Flat-top desk (library table, writing table), 1772
Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004
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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Benjamin Franklin and his Circle," 1936
University of Pennsylvania," The Intellectual World of Benjamin Franklin," 1990
University Hospital Antiques Show, "An Image of Benjamin Franklin," 1963
"Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World," Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary traveling exhibition, 2005-2008
Related Publications

."An Image of Benjamin Franklin," Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital Antiques Show, 1963. The catalogue does not contain detailed entries for objects; however, the library table is included in a list of objects in the Loan Exhibit and visible in a photograph of the installation.

Benjamin Franklin and his Circle: A Catalogue of an Exhibition (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1936) (notes by R.T.H. Halsey, Joseph Downs, and Marshall Davidson) Pp. 133-134, No. 300, illus.

Talbott, Page, "The House that Franklin Built" (Antiques & Fine Art, Vol. VI, Issue 5, January-February 2006, pp. 232-38)

Talbott, Page, ed., Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World (New Haven and London: Yale University, 2005) (companion book to exhibition of same title)

Winegrad, Dilys Pegler, ed., The Intellectual World of Benjamin Franklin: An American Encyclopaedist, at the University of Pennsylvania, an exhibition catalogue (Philadelphia: Smith-Edwards-Dunlap, 1990).

Franklin's journal in London, now at the American Philosophical Society, contains the following entry for June 1772: "in Favr of Mayhew for a Writing Table 10.0." Documents in the Penn Rare Book & Manuscript Library files provide the following history: after the death of Franklin, the desk was owned by Israel Whelen, Sr., a Quaker merchant and public figure in the Philadelphia area. It passed to his son, Israel, Jr., who gave it to an employee, Robert Town. From him it went to his brother, Benjamin, and to Benjamin's son, the Rev. Edwin Town. Newspaper clippings dated July 4 and October 25, 1856 document the desk's exhibition in Independence Hall. Some time before 1897, it was given by Town's family to Dr. Roland G. Curtin, as a January 8, 1897 article in "The Times" states that Dr. Roland G. Curtin owned the desk, having acquired it from "one of the present members of the Town family." Before 1936 it was acquired by the University of Pennsylvania.
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