Equipping a Modern Office

Monday, September 26, 2022

A collection of miscellaneous publications was recently transferred to the library from Hagley’s foundation archives. Transfers are always fun because it’s like opening a time capsule. You never quite know what you are going to find. In this case, the transfer contained a variety of trade catalogs and pamphlets for mid-century modern office and industrial equipment. So, let’s see how an efficient workplace of that era might have been furnished...

The Office Valet

What employee or visitor to the office would not be immediately impressed by the Office Valet system, which provides smart, modern space-saving wardrobe equipment? It’s new and advanced, with health, sanitation, and morale benefits to boot!

The Office Valet: System of wardrobe equipment,
by Vogel-Peterson Co., [1953].

Thermo-Fax Microfilm Reader-Printer 

Information storage and retrieval in the office is key, so did you know that a Thermo-Fax “Filmac” microfilm reader-printer saves time and money by improving work efficiency? Its simplicity makes microfilm systems more practical for workers in offices, banks, libraries, hospitals, insurance companies, accounting firms, and more! 

Microfilm comes to life in seconds with Thermo-Fax “Filmac” reader-printers,
by Thermo-Fax Sales Incorporated, 1965.

Art Metal Office Desks

Here’s exciting news... you can free yourself from old-fashioned desk arrangements that detract from efficiency. Desks from Art Metal Construction Company set the standard in modern office décor. They are new in beauty, new in functional efficiency, and new in comfort!

Presenting the New Century line of executive and general office desks,
by Art Metal Construction Company, [1953].

Swingline Staplers 

Why not add more beauty and efficiency to your modern desk with a Swingline stapler? Secretaries will smile since they are available in jewel-tone decorator colors and make a beautiful accessory. And they are functional, too... you can load a Swingline blindfolded.  

Replace your old stapler with a modern Swingline,
by Speed Products, 1955

The Gray Audograph Dictating Machine

And don’t forget the boss. The Gray Audograph brings you instrument dictation at its finest! You can even run your office without a desk if you desire because you can talk away all your paperwork! It will simplify your labor and add much fun to your executive life.

The new Gray Audograph V with full control microphone and true fidelity voice reproduction,
by The Gray Manufacturing Company, 1956.

I told you this was fun! 

Max Moeller is Curator, Published Collections Department at Hagley.