Today is November 11th, Armistice day. A day where the country comes together to remember the fallen soldiers of the First World War and other battles.
It has been 98 years since the end of the war, and in that time advances in technology means the office spaces of that time are almost unrecognisable from what they look like today. Computers hadn’t been invented for around half a century, and sending a letter to someone on the opposite side of the world took weeks, not seconds.
We have found a few interesting photos of offices and office equipment from the 1910’s that we’d like to share with you today. Most of these images are of offices in cities in America, but we imagine London offices would have been similar during these times.
General Office, J. C. Morris Co., Ltd, New Orleans, LA, photograph by Covert, 1917. The man at the center is using a Comptometer – a mechanical calculator that was used during this time.
General Office, Consumer Biscuit Co., New Orleans, LA, photograph by Covert, 1917. In the foreground, there is a multigraph, which were used for early forms of photocopying.
This is an image of an insurance agency circa 1920, with instruments including a Chicago check perforator and a Boston Pencil Pointer.
This is the general office of the Gospel Trumpet Publishing Company, who are operating today as the Warner Press.
Accounting Department, Hernsheim Co. Ltd., New Orleans, 1917. Hernsheim Co. manufactured cigars.
Accounting Department, National Lead Co., New Orleans, 1917. On the left there is an early vertical filing cabinet.
Factory Office, Southern Mattress Co., New Orleans, 1917. There is a Clipless paper fastener on the desk to the left and a Protectograph check protector on the desk at the rear.
General Office, Elmer Candy Co. Inc., New Orleans, 1917. At the right are two Burroughs bookkeeping machines.
Office of A. C. Israel, New Orleans, LA, 1917. A. C. Israel was a coffee importer. At the left is a ticker tape machine that provided information on coffee prices.
Office at Swift & Co., Denver, 1917