When I started at the Dayton school in 1945, we had desks that looked like this, although not quite so heavily defaced. In first grade there was no ink bottle in the ink well provided for it, and I don’t recall having one even in the higher grades. By then we had ball point pens, but the hole for the ink well remained. What I do remember about this desk is how we learned to write our names in first grade. Miss Fraine, who taught grades one through four, would write our names in chalk, in her beautiful flowing handwriting, on the top of our desks. We each had a jar of corn kernels and would outline the name with the corn, to learn the shape of our names.Embed from Getty Images
The desks were fastened in rows, with the back of one seat supporting the desk for the person behind. Seven or eight rows of these seats held the four grades in each room. Miss Fraine moved from row to row as each grade was called on for their lessons. By the time you reached fourth grade, you had heard those lessons several times over.