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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Dear Sirs: 1902

Dear Sirs: 1902

Circa 1902. "Richmond & Backus Co. office, Detroit." Our sixth glimpse behind the scenes at this printing, binding and office supply business. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


Does that calendar on the window say 1903? No one spotted that? You guys are

[A common full-year calendar format of the time also printed the first six months of the following year; that's what's below the 1903...roflmao. -tterrace]

Nice office

I bet they didn't have casual Fridays. There is so much to look at in this photo. Mind-boggling how offices have changed.

Yours truly

Boss: "Miss Jones, Please read that back to me."

Miss Jones: "How can I read it back? It's in shorthand."

(The above was an old shorthand teacher's joke in 1955 as it is easier to write in shorthand than it is to read it back. I learned the Gregg method, not the Pitman).

Take a Letter

"Take a letter, Maria. Address it to my wife ... "


This is a potpourri of office nostalgia.

My eyes spotted that pair of banker's shears hanging on a hook under the window sill. They were originally used by tellers to cut local currency from large sheets for customers. I used them in the news business to cut columns out of newspapers with just one, maybe two, snips.

They're not found today in big box office supply stores.

Nice Corner Office

"Miss Jones. Take a letter. And after that, freshen up my spittoon."

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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