Congressional Desk: A Brief History From The Client.
"This is 1 of 2 US House of Representatives’ Page desks. We have determined that this particular desk was on the Republican side of the House Chamber from around 1890 until 1949/50 when the chamber underwent a renovation. The desk is uniquely crafted for that exact location next to the podium. The design features a drawer placement that accommodated the raised floor and marble podium. While researching the history of this desk, we have found a photo archive of documents showing the desk on the house floor for joint sessions of Congress, Presidential State of the Union addresses and special sessions (memorials, visiting state officials). These were found on various US Government web sites (Library of Congress, US Capital historical sites and many academic sites).
My father, William Jennings “Bryan” Dorn, was a member of Congress from 1947 to 1975 when he retired. My mother, Millie Johnson Dorn, acquired the desk during the House renovation. She passed it to me in 1980 and I have held it since then.
The desk was occupied by various pages and/or clerks. The pages were young students who ran errands for Representatives around the Capital complex. In the early days, they played a major role in the communications flow among the representatives and other government officials. Many of the pages signed their names inside the desk drawer as a legacy of their service. Some chose to discard chewed “bubble gum” under the desk drawer as well. In researching the signatures, we made connections through obituaries that included their tenure as a page. Two examples: 1- Leo Costello and 2- Jimmie Dingell. Leo was a page according to his obituary. We believe the other is the signature of Rep. John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress. It is noted he served as a page in the 1930’s as a teenager.
This desk is significant as it is only 1 of 2 uniquely crafted desks that had a front row seat in the US Congress for 60 years. During those years, it witnessed State of the Union speeches by Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and F. Roosevelt, as well as other stately events like President McKinley’s memorial service."
GREENVILLE COUNTY PREMIERE FURNITURE RESTORATION