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Office Visit: 1902

Office Visit: 1902

Detroit, Michigan. January 1902. "Richmond & Backus Co. office." Our third peek behind the scenes at R&B -- printers, binders and "office outfitters" -- reveals a cozily cluttered workspace enlivened by a display of "faces you have'nt saw." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


Where he would rather be.

Tacked to the wall between the two men you can see a picture of a boat. I wonder if he ever got that boat.

Faces you hav'nt saw

It seems spelling and grammar weren't their strong points. Anyway, I'm surprised no one has noticed so far. Maybe because I am a teacher.

[I suspect the heading was regarded as a folksy colloquialism. Perhaps a catchphrase of the day. - Dave]

Faces You Hav'nt Saw?

We have some very sharp-eyed members here and the spelling and grammar in this poster it seems should have garnered some response, unless the problem is with me.

Maybe it was a play or musical review or some such.

That 1902 calendar

from the greatest named railroad in the U.S., the PERE MARQUETTE.

Carefully taking notes,

but will he lose them as soon as his visitor leaves?

Wish I could read the papers

Would have been nice to read all the documents on the desks.

The Hat

What was the etiquette?

Rolltops and newfangled machines

One small (?) hole in the back of the desktop, and now with wireless, not too much trouble. The mess, still the same!

Ghostly Lamp

It looks like he either swung the desk lamp towards him or it fell on its own while the shutter was open.

Perhaps he had to turn it off, it looks like it may have been on mid arc?

[I think that's either a reflection of his lamp, or it's his neighbor's lamp. The blur is from his head. - Dave]

The desk on the right

It's messier than mine, and that says something. If not for computers, mine would be even worse.

Incidentally, antique roll-top desks are very cool, but difficult to use in a modern office, unless you ruin their historic value by boring holes in the back for cables.

Right at home

These guys with their lack of facial hair, except for a mustache, look like they could pass right into our time. Only the collars, spectacles and possibly shirts would give them away. Love these photos of offices and all the different supplies, paper products, telephone styles, chairs and other office furniture.

Time Portal

Curious that it is January in the office, but on the other side of the door it is February. Must be H. G. Wells' office.

Dueling Calendars

The one above the man in the hat says January 1902 but if you look above and to the right of the hatless man, there's a February 1902 calendar. I'd initially thought it was a reflection but then realized if that were so, it would show up in reverse.

True Desk

I love the desk on the right. I'm a pro photographer. When I photograph someone in their office, most people insist on cleaning off their desk. I've never found a clean desk, but people want that illusion.

That's Ben Bernanke

just above the glass partition. Maybe his first money printing job was at R&B.

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