Monday, August 04, 2014

The Story of the Modern Office

Central London is the desired office location for many companies. With the number of businesses located in the centre, thousands of workers travel here everyday. Since the establishment of governments and organizations, the use of administrative and clerical work has prompted the need for offices.

The First Offices

The first offices for business appeared in the United states in the late 19th century. The railroad, telegraph and telephone were used as a means of office equipment communication. These offices allowed manufacturers to keep remote locations for seperating their offices from the textile plants. Typewriters, calculating machines and electric lighting were introduced for office use at this time.

Furniture in the Office

The desk and chair are the most noticeable pieces of furniture in an office. New office equipment and furniture, including roll-top desks and filing systems were popular exhibits during the 1875 Centennial exhibition in Philadelphia. However, accommodations had to be made with roll-top desks to fit the typewriter after it's invention.

The Story of the 20th Century Office

By 1900 office work for typists, secretaries, and stenographers increased to almost 100,000 people. This opened up specialized training for those who wished to study office skills. On average a worker could be expected to work a sixty hour week.

Office Space Ergonomics

A sixty hour work week meant that the white collar worker spent most of their time conducting tasks while seated. The relationship between man and the enviromental objects they interact with, better know as ergonomics, played a big part in how office equipment was designed.

Typing Machines

A small machine, electric or manual, that generates characters one at a time, on paper with the touch of a key stroke, in called a typewriter. In modern society, the typewriter is rarely used today. The computer and home printer have replaced this once, modern marvel.

Christopher Sholes Inventor

An American mechanical engineer named Christopher Sholes, was born on February 14, 1819 in Mooresburg, Pennsylvania. He invented the first modern typewriter, with the help of his business partners Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soule, in 1866. Technical and financial help of his associates, allowed Sholes the ability to create a typewriter similar to the models we use today. On February 17, 1890 Christopher Sholes died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the of 71.
English: QWERTY typewriter key layout depicted...

Inventing the QWERTY

With a universal keyboard and a type-bar system, the Shole typewriter was known to easily jam keys. Another associate, James Densmore, noticed that to solve the problem the typist needed to slow down the speed of their key strokes. Densmore, suggested that grouping the common used keys together, could fix the problem. This is why we have the "QWERTY" style keyboard that is still in use today.

Remington Arms Manufacturer

Christopher Sholes, sold the rights of his typwriter to James Densmore, because he didn't have the willingness or patience to market the machine. Densmore, contacted Phil Remington, the rifle manufacturer, and convinced him to market the device. In 1874, the "Sholes and Glidden", typewriter was not a sales success. With a few refinements created by the Remington engineers, the sales began to fly.