In some places the slant top desk is known as a "bureau" desk, and in others it goes under the name of slope-front desk. In the United States, the slant top desk is sometimes called a Governor Winthrop desk, in memory of John Winthrop, the 17th century governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. As Winthrop died in 1647, he had no actual connection to this style of desk, which originated in the 18th century and is especially associated with Chippendale. The name "Winthrop" was attached to this kind of desk by the Winthrop Furniture Co. of Boston, Massachusetts, who offered their "Gov. Winthrop" desk in 1924, during the colonial revival period.
Like the Wooton desk, the fall front desk and others with a hinged desktop (and unlike closable desks with an unmovable desktop like the rolltop desk or the cylinder desk) all documents and various items must be removed from the work surface of the slant-top desk before closing up.
The slant-top desk has been handcrafted in a variety of styles, the most famous being probably the block front seashell desk of the 18th century which was popular among the well-to-do of Colonial America.
The slant-top desk has also been mass produced in a great quantity of sub-forms and materials. For instance, some slant top desks have very crude chains or levers to hold the desktop in an open working position, while others have elegant sliders which are manually or automatically extended to give support.
See also the list of desk forms and types.