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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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Private Secretary: 1955

Private Secretary: 1955

January 25, 1955. "Becton Dickinson Inc., Rutherford, New Jersey. Mr. Sherman's secretary's desk." With, presumably, Mr. Sherman's secretary. Large-format acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

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Just shoot me.

If I worked in a place like that I'd plug a coffee maker in the socket behind the secretary, ---or kill myself

Real or plastic?

I like how the plant gives the whole area a warm, homey feeling.

Thoroughly modern secretary

She's typing on a top line IBM Model B Executive electric typewriter. The Executive differed from the standard B in its use of a film-type ribbon instead of the usual fabric (see canisters mounted on each side of the typewriter body) and variable spacing. Wide uppercase letters such as "M" and "W" occupied a space and a half, whereas narrow letters such as lowercase "i" and "l" were given a half space. The Executive had two space bars, one for standard spaces and a shorter one for half spaces.

[Ours has a much wider carriage, however. - tterrace]

Answer to JDC_OKC's question

They were still using typewriter platforms under desks like that in the 60's, but I don't remember any hydraulics being used. There was simply a heavy spring that was under tension when the machine was recessed, but as you pulled it out and up, the tension helped raise the platform and held it in place. You had to overcome the tension to lower it back inside the desk.

State of The Art?

I wonder if the typing table is equipped with an Acme Hydraulic Table Lift to facilitate the raising and lowering of the typewriter so it can be pushed back into the cabinet.


The anomalies noted previous come from the camera's lens focal length -- slightly wide angle.

Cubist cubicle

If I had to work in a room like this, I think the geometries would drive me mad. For instance, if I'm not mistaken, the wall on the right does not meet the counter above the filing cabinets at a right angle. Neither do the filing cabinets. So do the file drawers run parallel to the wall or somehow at an angle to the wall, maybe even into the plane of the wall? See, I'm already losing my mind. But I do like the cork tiles on the floor and on the wall behind the typist.

SHORPY OLD 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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