Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Office History Museums On the Internet–Fascinating!

      Everything about Old Offices and Office Equipment

I am always fascinated by historic photos and by stories about the development of everyday objects. I also am very interested in photos that feature people in business settings in the early to mid-twentieth century. Thus, I was thrilled to find several websites that provide tremendously interesting photos and historic tidbits. I’ll list them and let you look for yourself. Each opens in a new window, so you can come back here.

1. The Office Museum is a great resource for photos of old offices and office machines. I can browse there for hours. Put these links in your favorites so you can check them out when you have more time.

2. Another interesting site involves a collection by Prof. Christian-M. Hamann, Ph.D., whose doctorate is in Engineering. His tremendously interesting site is devoted just to antique adding machines and slide rules. I wrote to Dr. Hamann and he graciously responded to give me persmission to put a link here. Check it out, and be grateful for the calculator on your phone or PDA! Also be grateful for people like Dr. Hamann who make photos of these remarkable antique items available to the rest of us.

3. Chuck and Rich’s Typewriter Museum is also interesting. This site has several photos of office staff. I wondered about the individuals who were photographed and what life was like for them.

Alright, that will get you started! I am very grateful for my computer, keyboard, mouse, solar calculator and everything else that makes work easier. One day someone will display holographic images of our computers, printers and phones, and some little furturistic twirp will laugh at how antiquated the items appear. (And, the same little twirp will make fun of your clothes and hair style.) Take a photo of you in your office and make sure your family saves it–you might be in a virtual museum one day!

January 7th, 2009 Posted by | Life and Work | 5 comments


  1. Thanks for the links. The Internet is the best library around for this kind of thing and not many people use it to the max. Oh, and cute photo at the end of the post!

    Comment by Denver1 | January 10, 2009

  2. In every class of yours I’ve attended, you’ve talked about taking photos at work and I think that’s a great idea. Did you take these when you were a younger person and just getting started in business? (I’m kidding, of course! Don’t get mad at me and ban me from commenting.) Really, I enjoyed looking and reading about all the antique office machines. The employees looked grim, though! I can always count on you to have something interesting on your website. Happy New Year!

    Comment by Wiseacre | January 10, 2009

  3. Tina says: Thank you, Denver1 for commenting and for noticing the mouse concept!

    As for you, Wiseacre, I won’t ban you. I’ll be sure to get a photo of you next time I see you, so I can create my own museum of antiquities. (And I’m almost certain I know who you are!) 🙂

    Comment by TLR | January 10, 2009

  4. Historical photos always make me wonder about the people involved too.

    What seems to really get me thinking is seeing things like the pillars from old docks etc sticking up out of our rivers and lakes. Don’t know why but always wonder what was there. Who was involved? What happened to the people and the structure? Maybe it is because my Mom’s birthplace has been under water since the ’30s or ’40s thanks to the TVA.

    Comment by Marshall Harrison | January 15, 2009

  5. Tina says:
    That is a fascinating thought, Marshall! Yeah…what DID used to be there, where those posts and pillars are?

    I spend a lot of time at Cherry Creek Lake in Aurora, CO. There is a neat map for fishing that shows the structures under the water where fish might gather. They are the remnants of the homes that used to be there before the lake area was flooded. I find it so melancholy to think about that. Even if people are paid–and often they are not paid much–they lose their homes, as your mother did.

    Thank you again for the thought provoking comment.

    Comment by TLR | January 15, 2009

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