Evolution of the Desktop


Credits: Photos courtesy of the Early Office Museum

This photo was taken at the end of the 19th century.  It shows an office worker of the time at a "Wooton Cabinet Office Secretary". The desk itself was invented by William S. Wotton in Indianapolis. A marketing brochure of Wooton's Desk Manufacturing Co. describes the desk as follows:

The Secretary is entirely different from anything ever constructed before. It consists of three sections, the main case and (two) wings or doors, which contain pigeon-holes, shelving, drawers, etc. convenient in arrangement and uniform in appearance. We manufacture four grades, the Ordinary, Standard, Extra and Superior, and three sizes of each grade.  The ornamentation and decorative style increased with each higher grade. Its capacity is more than double that of any other desk manufactured, occupying the same floor space. Every division is within easy reach of the writer; the Secretary can be opened and closed in a moment, and when closed, the contents are secure from dust and intrusion. The lock which fastens the wings is the only one required. (source: wottondesks.com)

Lovely, indeed. A personal desktop, storage for letters, security and single login, assembled in a decent craftsmen's design. How far have we come if we compare Wotton's secretary with today's working environment?

BTW_ have you noticed the mobile phone? Click the image to solve the riddle.

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