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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Feb 1 10:28 PM

Feb 2, 2009: Resolute Desk

You've seen it, or at least pictures of it.
It's been the President's desk in the oval office since Mrs JFK had it dragged out of the Treaty Room of the White House and decided JFK would use it.
I suspect JFK said, "Yes dear".

Metafilter has the history of the desk and why it's called the "Resolute Desk".



The plaque on the desk reads;

Quote:
H.M.S. "RESOLUTE" Forming part of the expedition sent in search of SIR JOHN FRANKLIN IN 1852, was abandoned in latitude 75 41' N. Longitude 101"22' W. on 15th May 1854. She was discovered and extricated in September 1855, in latitude 67 N. by Captain Buddington of the United States whaler "George Henry." The ship was purchased, fitted out and sent to England, as a gift to her Majesty Queen Victoria by the President and People of the United States, as a token of goodwill & friendship. This table was made from her timbers when she was broken up, and is presented by the QUEEN of GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, as a memorial of the courtesy and loving Kindness which dictated the offer of the gift of the "RESOLUTE."
In 1845, famed explorer Sir John Franklin set out in the Terror and Erebus to discover the Northwest Passage but got trapped in the ice.
The British Admiralty launched a rescue mission in 1852, led by Captain Belcher, aboard the Resolute, Pioneer, Assistance, North Star and Intrepid, but they didn't fare much better.
Then Buddington, the Connecticut whaler, salvaged the Resolute and brought it home.
Quote:
At this time America and Britain -- still licking their wounds from the wars -- had an uneasy peace. The British public was outraged that an American whaler could accomplish what their own captain couldn't, and the American public was overjoyed to take a British prize. In order to quell the popular feeling, Queen Victoria released all claim to the Resolute; and in turn, the American Congress purchased it from the whaler, had it refit it to perfection, and returned it to
the Queen as a token of goodwill.

The HMS Resolute never served again, and was broken up in 1878. But that wasn't the end of it.

Queen Victoria had the best timbers of the ship saved, and worked by master naval craftsman William Evenden into three desks -- one for the widow Franklin, one for Captain Buddington, and the largest -- and most famous -- for President Rutherford B. Hayes.
I wonder where the other two are now?


skysidhe  Sunday Feb 1 10:43 PM

I saw a story on the history channel about this very thing. I forgot though so I can't say.

Unfortunately all I can think of is how I can't stand those yellow curtains.

I feel so blond.



wolf  Sunday Feb 1 11:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by skysidhe View Post
Unfortunately all I can think of is how I can't stand those yellow curtains.
But they really pick up and bring out the colors of the eagle in the seal in the carpet ...


xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Feb 1 11:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by skysidhe View Post
Unfortunately all I can think of is how I can't stand those yellow curtains.

I feel so blond.
Them ain't yeller, them's gold.


newtimer  Sunday Feb 1 11:58 PM

I wonder how much loose change there is in those couch cushions.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Feb 2 12:02 AM

None, the people that park on those cushions have people, who have people, to handle all the monetary things.



TheMercenary  Monday Feb 2 05:20 AM

That history is very cool. Great post.



capnhowdy  Monday Feb 2 08:20 AM

Is that a little black boy crouched and hiding behind the desk?
He may be looking for change.



Coign  Monday Feb 2 12:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
I wonder where the other two are now?
Not sure where the third is but the second I found via Wikipedia.

Quote:
There was a second desk called the "Grinnell Desk", or the "Queen Victoria Desk" also made from the timbers of HMS "Resolute". This smaller lady's desk was presented to the widow of Henry Grinnell in 1880 in recognition of her husband's generous contributions to the search for Franklin. It was gifted to the New Bedford Whaling Museum in 1983, and is currently in their collection in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Doing more research I don't think there was a third desk. Every where except for the original link only mention two desks made.

http://abcfinedesignblog.com/tag/grinnell-desk/
Quote:
Furniture Friday: Resolute Desk Part IIPosted by: Holly : Category: Furniture Friday
Recently it was pointed out to me on my post on the Resolute Desk that I wrote back in December that the other desk that was made from the HMS Resolute is located in new Bedford MA. Not in London at buckingham palace as the information I had at the time told me.

This second desk called the Grinnell Desk or the Queen Victoria Desk was given to Henery Grinnell’s widow as a thank you for her husbands financial help in finding the ship. In 1983 the desk was given to the New Bedford Whaling Museum as a gift and is now in their collection.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_was_william_evenden
Quote:
He constructed the two desks built from the wood of the HMS Resolute. One desk went to President Rutherford B. Hayes and the other went to Queen Victoria. They currently reside in the Oval Office and Buckingham Palace respectively.
http://library.mysticseaport.org/man...ll/coll257.cfm
Quote:
James M. Buddington (1817-1908) was a highly successful whaleman. Taking his first command, the whale ship WILLIAM C. NYE, at age 24, Capt. James M. subsequently sailed aboard more than 17 vessels in his life time. His most notable achievement occurred as he commanded the bark GEORGE HENRY. On her arctic voyage of 1855-1856 while sailing in the Davis Straits he found the HMS RESOLUTE. Commissioned by Sir Edward Belcher to locate Sir Franklin and his lost expedition, the RESOLUTE had become icebound. Unable to free her Captain Kettle abandoned ship. Captain Buddington soon freed the RESOLUTE, divided his crew between the two vessels and both returned to New London. Perkins & Smith, the owners of the GEORGE HENRY, received the $40,000.00 prize money, the president of the United States later received a desk made from the RESOLUTE's timbers, but it is rumored that Captain James M. Buddington received nothing.



Beest  Monday Feb 2 01:13 PM

Connoisseurs of bad Nicholas Cage movies ( are there any good Nicholas Cage movies) will know the Resolute desks feature heavily in National Treasure 2, along with one of the other Statues of Liberty.



chrisinhouston  Monday Feb 2 02:57 PM

Bet those are some rocket proof windows behind the President's chair.



glatt  Monday Feb 2 03:42 PM

Maybe, but the oval office (if you look at a floor plan of the White House on the same site) is not exposed to any public lines of sight. There are berms of dirt and lots of heavy vegetation. You can't even see it from the rooftops of nearby buildings. The President is truly hidden in the rose garden.

The site is actually pretty cool if you want an idea of what the White House looks like inside.



classicman  Monday Feb 2 07:52 PM

Excellent info you guys - most interesting!



Cloud  Monday Feb 2 09:26 PM

wow. wasted far too much time at that White House site!



classicman  Monday Feb 2 09:36 PM

me too. I was there for at least 45 mins. very cool - I'll def go back. Lots there to peruse



glatt  Monday Feb 2 09:50 PM

If you look closely at the bottom of the Resolute desk, you can see that they added about 3 inches to it to raise it up higher. During the Kennedy years, that spacer was primitive looking and all black. Today it closely matches the rest of the desk in color. (See the actual IOTD above.)



Nagirroc  Friday Feb 6 02:27 PM

The desk in this photo is a copy of the original. The original was deemed too valuable for everyday use. So there was a copy made by a cabinet maker in Bucks County Pa. I can't recall his name at this moment, but he made gifts for President Carter to give to foreign dignitaries also. I'll look up his name and get back to you.



glatt  Friday Feb 6 03:05 PM

Well, there are duplicates of this desk made for presidential libraries. Is that what you are thinking of?



Coign  Monday Feb 9 03:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
If you look closely at the bottom of the Resolute desk, you can see that they added about 3 inches to it to raise it up higher. During the Kennedy years, that spacer was primitive looking and all black. Today it closely matches the rest of the desk in color. (See the actual IOTD above.)
I read that while looking for the supposed missing third desk. It was Ronald Reagan who raised it three inches. When he brought in his own chair the desk would hit his knees so he had it raised. It has been raised ever since.


Nagirroc  Tuesday Feb 10 12:51 PM

That may well be it. I was in this guys shop in Bucks County, and he was such a pompous ass. We were there as art students, to see how a professional wood worker set up his shop, and all he talked about was this desk that he made for the president. Maybe it was for the "past" president.



capnhowdy  Tuesday Feb 10 04:48 PM

That would clearly be a case of a pompous ass making a desk for a pompous ass.



cruiser3300  Thursday Feb 19 09:38 PM

I was fortunate enough to spend about 6 years working within a few feet of this desk. A few more fun facts....This is not a replica desk. The replicas that were talked about in previous posts were made for presidential libraries. The picture above is from the Clinton Oval Office. The previous post about the desk being raised 3 inches for President Reagan is correct. The panel on the front of the desk is not original to the desk. This was added for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was put there, at his request, because he did not want people to see the condition of his legs due to his paralysis. The panel is hinged and there is a lever to open and close it for air circulation. If you remember the historic pictures of JFK junior and his sister playing under the desk, shows it opened.



capnhowdy  Thursday Feb 19 10:14 PM

Welcome to the cellar, Cruise



Shawnee123  Thursday Feb 19 10:52 PM

Cool info, cruiser. Thanks! Welcome.



TheMercenary  Thursday Feb 19 11:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiser3300 View Post
I was fortunate enough to spend about 6 years working within a few feet of this desk. A few more fun facts....This is not a replica desk. The replicas that were talked about in previous posts were made for presidential libraries. The picture above is from the Clinton Oval Office. The previous post about the desk being raised 3 inches for President Reagan is correct. The panel on the front of the desk is not original to the desk. This was added for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was put there, at his request, because he did not want people to see the condition of his legs due to his paralysis. The panel is hinged and there is a lever to open and close it for air circulation. If you remember the historic pictures of JFK junior and his sister playing under the desk, shows it opened.
Very Cool! What was your job? Did they call the door under the desk, Monica's door?


capnhowdy  Friday Feb 20 07:41 AM

A desk?

I thought it was a huge cigar box.



Shawnee123  Friday Feb 20 08:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnhowdy View Post
A desk?

I thought it was a huge cigar box.
Ohhhhhhh....spank spank spank, capn!






TheMercenary  Friday Feb 20 01:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnhowdy View Post
A desk?

I thought it was a huge cigar box.
That is


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