SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Office Girls: 1921

Office Girls: 1921

December 1921. Washington, D.C. "Machinists Association." And what could be an exhibit for the Museum of Antique Office Equipment. Experts please weigh in. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Imagine the Sound of Six

As a computer operator in the late 60's I ran jobs that produced punched paper tape spools that were used as input to the six Addressograph machines at the service bureau where I worked.
Imagine a room containing six of those Addressographs running non-stop for an eight hour shift. The din!!
Those Addressograph machines punched out raised print credit cards that were run through the manual credit card imprinters in department stores of the day.


in those HARD wooden chairs 8 or more hours a day must have been brutal....

Don't put it on your résumé!

I typed Graphotype plates (both metal and plastic) for Addressograph Multigraph in Minneapolis during the summers of 1969 and 1970. It was a boring job and, due to the vibration of typing on metal, it actually slowed my typing speed down a bit. I quickly realized (uninspired by the full time fellow-workers around me) that this was something I absolutely did NOT want to do for the rest of my life. Fortunately it was just a high school summer job and I was relieved to leave it behind and head to college in the fall of '70.

Wouldn't you know it though - my first week on campus I got a call from the school's alumni office. The admin building had burned to the ground the previous year and they were reconstructing their alumni membership lists from the sooty remains of the addressograph plates which had (sort of) survived the fire.

Unfortunately somebody had noticed that I had "Graphotype Typist" on my college application/résumé and the bells rang. They corralled me. My first work-grant "scholarship" at college was (using a graphoptype machine they had shipped down from my old workplace) retyping every dang one of those charred plates.

And a Graphotype to boot!

Yes, this is Addressograph/Multigraph equipment -- we ran it into the sixties. The filing cabinets contain the small metal plates used to address envelopes and such. The lady nearest is printing from the metal plates through a cloth ribbon on some roll of paper material. The two seated ladies farthest from us are operating Graphotypes -- these were the machines that stamped the letters and numbers onto the small metal plates. There are still a few of these machines around though they are mostly used to make dog tags for military wannabes.

Oh, goody!!! More work!

The expression on the face of the young lady seated nearest the window says it all.

The hair pin

Takes the prize, but the watch, dress and silk stockings are close runners up! The bobbed hair is right in style, too! "Thoroughly Modern Millie" even if she was from 1922!

A monthly mailing

I'm thinking Addressograph/Multigraph. The operator in the middle looks like she might be creating the little metal plates -- a lot like dog tags, really -- that the Addressograph system used for high-speed imprint onto labels and envelopes. And the finished plates would fit perfectly in those little drawers in the left-hand cabinet. An after school job in a church rectory taught me way too much about that system.

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.