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History of the Office and Office Equipment: A Resource Guide

Photocopiers, Calculators, etc.

A.R.C. Chicago. Teaching Center Office in Action: Dictating, answering the telephone. December 1917. American National Red Cross photograph collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

There are many office gadgets and equipment both big and small. Some of the large categories are covered elsewhere in the guide, while this section features a select group of smaller or niche items. We have included materials on calculators, photocopiers and cash registers that are "office" machines for a particular type of business. Though important in the everyday functioning of the office, smaller items like staplers, carbon paper, rubber bands, files, dictating machines, hole punches are not included. The technological marvels like light bulbs/electricity, elevators, and air conditioning that really impacted all aspects of modern life including offices are out of scope of this guide.


The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.

Photocopiers, Calculators Internet Resources

Below are a few links for resources related to various office machines, equipment, gadgets, and the like. Some resources are web based articles, others are resources for more detailed information.

Photocopiers, Calculators, Miscellaneous Internet Resources

Research the Companies

It may also be important to research the companies that manufacture the various types of machines and gadgets using books, articles, and other related resources. If you want more guidance on company research the Business Reference Section published the Doing Company Research guide which will help with finding more current current company information. The Doing Historical Company Research guide can help you to understand a bit more of the detective work required of anyone researching companies from decades ago that may no longer be active.