As far as we're concerned, a President's design sensibility is just as telling as their policy, and there are few places more indicative of their taste in interiors than the Oval Office.
But did you know that only six desks have graced the Oval Office since construction was completed during Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency?
Earlier this week, Slate's Atlas Obscura blog published a history of these pieces of furniture – and it's nothing short of fascinating.
Take a look at each one below – then check out the complete history .
1) The Resolute Desk
The wood from the desk comes form the HMS Resolute, a British naval ship that was abandoned in the Arctic in 1853, writes . An American whaling vessel discovered the ship and restored it at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It was then returned to the United Kingdom, and when the ship was broken down in 1879, Queen Victoria commissioned three desks be made from its timbers – one of which was a gift to the United States "as a memorial of the courtesy and loving kindness which dictated the offer of the gift of the Resolute," according to .
It's worth noting that the American presidential seal in the center of the desk wasn't part of Queen Victoria's design. The seal is actually a panel which President Franklin D. Roosevelt had commissioned to cover the knee hole and, by extension, the leg braces he wore due to polio – but he didn't live to see it installed, according to .
The desk didn't make it to the Oval Office until Jackie Kennedy found it while she was restoring the White House. Interestingly, when President Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon B. Johnson moved the desk out of the Oval Office – perhaps out of respect or desire to make the office his own.
2) The Johnson Desk
President Johnson loved this mahogany desk: Slate reports that he used it while he served as a Senator and during his stint as Vice President before moving it to the Oval Office. Made of mahogany, it's the only presidential desk that's been topped with green leather. Its rounded body and bulbous feet are consistent with other furniture found on the Senate floor.
Nixon passed on the desk following Johnson's tenure, and it was moved to his presidential library, where he would reportedly hide behind it and scare visitors.
3) The Wilson Desk
15 vice presidents used this piece in their office in the Capitol building before President Nixon moved it to the Oval Office. Slate reports Nixon believed it had been previously used by his predecessor Woodrow Wilson, and delivered his "Silent Majority" speech on the Vietnam War from behind the desk, reiterating President Wilson's rhetoric about World War I.
A White House curator later discovered, however, that it was called the Wilson Desk because it was used by Henry Wilson – the 18th Vice President. Oops!
Nixon kept using the desk – probably because he'd installed five hidden microphones in it, which recoded some of the conversations of the Watergate Tapes, according to .
President Ford used the desk following the Watergate scandal, but it was returned to the vice president's office in the Capitol – where it is still used – when Ford left office.
4) The Roosevelt Desk
More presidents have used this piece – which was built for Teddy Roosevelt, who – than any other desk. It was designed by the same architectural firm which designed the original West Wing, and was moved by President William Taft to the Oval Office during his term.
Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower all elected to use the desk as their workspace. In 1961, JFK moved the desk to the vice president's office, where each new administration has signed its top drawer ever since, according to .
5) The Hoover Desk
It may be named after President Hoover, but FDR got way more out of this desk, which he chose as his workstation during all 12 years of his presidency. (Even though Roosevelt ordered the panels be installed onto the Resolute desk, he actually kept it in his study – not the Oval Office, according to .)
Hoover had been using the Roosevelt Desk during the first year of his term when a fire ravaged the White House. Someone threw a tarp over the desk and it made it through the fire unscathed. But when the Grand Rapids Furniture Manufacturer's Association donated a new desk to Hoover, he decided to make the swap.
Truman was the most recent president to work at this desk.
6) The C&O Desk
Only President George H.W. Bush has used this desk, making it the shortest-lived desk in Oval Office history. It was built by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in 1920, when one of the company owners used it as his personal desk, according to the .
After several mergers, the C&O donated the desk to the White House, and it was placed in the Oval Office Study. George H.W. Bush elected to use the walnut desk while he served as vice president, and moved it to the Oval Office when he was inaugurated in 1989.