In Grace Lees-Maffei’s new book Iconic Designs: 50 Stories about 50 Things, my former professor Ken Ames writes about the Wooton Desk, one of the most sensational objects produced in Victorian America. If it appeared any other time, he argues in this fascinating article, this desk would not have been of any interest. But when it was introduced in in 1874, long before paper moved into file cabinets, the Wooton Desk was an enormous success and a powerful icon known across the globe. It looked like an ordinary Victorian cabinet, but when opened up, it consisted an entire world, an office within one piece of furniture. While the Wooton firm produced only fifty of them, this innovative and patented object has become an icon. It celebrated America’s prosperity and as such became a status symbol, owned by those creating gilded America. The Wooton Desk owned by Jay Gould, the leading American railroad developer and speculator can be seen at his former home Lyndhurst in Terrytown New York.