Office Supply Geeks Unite!
March 3, 2004 10:50 AM   Subscribe

The Early Office Museum :: check out communications technologies used by our Grandparents, as well as Punched Card Tabulating Machines and much, much more!
posted by anastasiav (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes, I'm aware that portions of this site have been posted before, but I'm betting that everyone was having too much fun with the virtual stapler to notice this very interesting link.
posted by anastasiav at 10:55 AM on March 3, 2004

Gnnnk. (That being the noise a stationery wonk makes as his jaw drops to the floor)

I'd never heard of slate pencils, and I didn't know that I really, really want one of these babies. So, yeah, thanks awfully for feeding my fetish.
posted by jack_mo at 11:02 AM on March 3, 2004

Today several panes of glass were replaced in my office and I got to experience why people ever had paperweights. I also got to experience a renewed love of artificial air conditioning - much less grit than an open window.
posted by pomegranate at 11:15 AM on March 3, 2004

Douglas Jones has an excellent punched card site, including links to technical and cultural histories of punched cards, the mechanics of chads, early punched card patents, and punched card machine emulators.

And great link, anastasiav!
posted by carter at 11:22 AM on March 3, 2004

This is too cool. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 11:25 AM on March 3, 2004

what? no telex machines?
my very first after-school job was sending telexes to chile every afternoon
posted by amberglow at 3:21 PM on March 3, 2004

As my dad ran an historical society when I was a kid, there was a heavy dependency on donated equipment such as this late-model addressograph. One of my father's first problems on taking the job was the introduction of zip codes -- all of the metal address plates said JIM SMITH, 123 MAIN ST, CITY. (Fortunately, in many cases, it was possible to re-punch the card legibly.) The metal cards were stored in carry-all trays and had little colored flags, resembling miniature mailbox flags, that were always getting lost, and making ad-hoc mailing lists was a pain -- not to mention making sure that people got back in the right categories when you were all done. There was also the mimeograph, a stencilling copying system invented by Thomas Edison, which cheerily spread blue ink all over its users. (When you had a great many copies to make, such as a newsletter for the membership, you periodically needed to re-ink the stencil with a brush. Very messy!) Later on, we graduated to such obsolescent technologies as the Magwriter.
posted by dhartung at 10:42 PM on March 3, 2004

*wonders if he is the only one here who has actually used both punched computer cards and a mimeograph machine*
posted by dg at 11:41 PM on March 3, 2004

every single handout and worksheet in my elementary school came from a mimeograph (that smell they had! who could ever forget?)
posted by amberglow at 4:42 AM on March 4, 2004

Ah, yes, I remember that smell like it was yesterday.
posted by dg at 2:37 PM on March 4, 2004

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