Machines in the Office

 

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Machines in the Office

Machines in the Office

Rodney Dale and Rebecca Weaver

 

You probably have a mental picture of the classic old-fashioned office - rows of clerks perched on high stools, scratching away In ledgers with quill pens. Contrast that with today's offices, brimming with all kinds of devices designed to record and store information, make calculations or allow workers to communicate at the touch of a button with their counterparts on the other side of the world. How did this dramatic revolution come about? And what were the very earliest offices really like?

In this wide-ranging survey Rodney Dale and Rebecca Weaver take a look at the many technological changes and Inventions that have affected the development of the office, and the working lives of many of us: the typewriter, from the earliest writing machines and the first patented models, to the word-processor; the telegraph and telephone, from Alexander Graham Bell's first telephone to today's mobile phones and fax -machines; the copying machine from Its beginnings to photocopiers and laser copiers; the calculator; and - probably most significant of all - the computer, from the cumbersome models driven by punch cards to today's powerful micros and mainframes, The story Is clearly and entertainingly illustrated with patents, advertisements, cartoons and sketches from contemporary sources.

Discoveries and Inventions is a series focusing on areas of everyday life which have been radically changed by technological innovation, drawing on source material from the British library's wide-ranging collections.

Rodney Dale has spent a lifetime writing books at all levels on engineering and technology topics. Rebecca Weaver is a former teacher with a special interest in 18th and 19th century history.