Sunday, September 9, 2012



Same model JFK used in the Oval Office

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) This weekend a very special package arrived at the White house here in Knoxville.  The package contained a Hercolite Executive Desk Lamp which is the exact same model JFK used on his desk in the Oval Office.

                           JRW's Desk
                  with Hercolite Lamp
           Photo by John White (2012)

Since my teen years, I have tried to replicate JFK's famous desk in my home.

Only as an adult & with the advent of EBAY, have I been able to acquire items which match JFK's desk items.

President Kennedy used the famous Resolute desk which remains in the Oval Office today.

The JFK Library in Boston has a replica on sale in their Museum Store for $6,495.00 + $650 shipping & there are other replicas on EBAY & from other vendors available for purchase.

While I, of course, would love to have a Resolute replica, that is something have never been able to afford.

My parents gave me the desk I still use today.  

On the desk, I have used an old 2 bulb florescent gooseneck lamp, but in late August I ran across the same model desk lamp that JFK used on EBAY.

The seller, Mr. Jerry Neman of Statesville, North Carolina, told me that he bought the lamp at an estate sale.  It was made by the HERCO ART MANUFACTURING CORPORATION of Wallingford, Connecticut & retailed for $125.00 in 1961.

I couldn't pass this opportunity up.

Mr. Neman informed me that Jacqueline Kennedy had purchased JFK's Hercolite lamp especially for use on his Oval Office desk.

The JFK Library lists JFK's lamp's Serial # as 605SB.

           JFK Greets Guests at his Desk
                White House Oval Office*


The young lady JFK is speaking to in the photograph (front row left) is Mary Sue Coleman, currently the President of the University of Michigan. She was named one of the 10 best college presidents in the nation by Time Magazine in 2009.

Other items that I have purchased on EBAY include "The Fisherman's Prayer" plaque (exact replica) that JFK had on his desk, as well as a green "Call-Director" telephone.

JFK's phone had a dial & 3 rows of buttons.  Mine has a dial & 2 rows of buttons.  While all the buttons are inoperable, except one, my phone did receive & make calls. 

Since AT&T has gone digital, however, I cannot call out, but I can still receive calls on the Call Director.

I also have the bronze version of the JFK Inaugural Medal on a pedestal under a glass dome.  JFK's was made of GOLD & was encased in plastic.

I have several books on JFK with a couple of US Eagle bookends as well as a piece of scrimshaw.

The other items I need & hope to acquire for my JFK collection include a replica of JFK's famous Boston rocker as well as a replica of the coconut shell display.**

**I do have a replica of the pillow JFK used with his rocker.  

I want to thank Jerry Neman for making the lamp available to me.

Here are some more photos of the JFK+50 desk.