Sunday, July 18, 2021

The secret of the Hass desk's hidden drawer

Dave Edwards, whose hobby is antiques and collectibles, volunteered last week at the Lucas County Historical Society Museum, giving him a chance to spend quality time with the Hass desk. If you're a regular here, you'll remember that the desk, which arrived in June 2020, was moved earlier this month from an A.J. Stephens House parlor into the Lewis Building's Vredenburg Gallery where it is better lighted and more accessible.

We'd suspected that the desk's elaborate cabinetry concealed at least one hidden drawer --- and Dave was able to find it. While there was nothing in the drawer other than a wire hook designed to be used in case of equipment failure, we're happy to know where it's at.

To find the secret, you'll need to keep your eyes on the two small drawers, lower right, just above the writing surface and below the square incised drawer with a lock.

The key to the secret here is that these drawers are far smaller than they should be if they extended back to take advantage of the full depth of the case, as illustrated by the left drawer.

The right drawer, if pulled straight out, is the same size and looks the same as the left. But if you move the right-hand drawer carefully to the left before pulling it out, a hook embedded in the back catches an eye in the front of what's behind it.

And that allows you to pull the hidden drawer out, attached to the smaller drawer in front of it, exposing your stash of secrets.

Any secrets the drawer once contained have long since been removed, but you can tell it's been used in the past --- and we're happy to know where it's at. So thanks, Dave!

The museum is open from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and at other times by appointment (call 641-774-4464). The office opens at 10 a.m. Tuesday through Friday.

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