Office Supplies Throughout the Ages

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The way we work has transformed throughout the years, and, likewise, workplaces have developed with the times. Where we used to work in tiny cubicles, you’ll now find more open office space concepts. The tools used in an office have also changed considerably over the years. This blog shares a brief history of office supplies over the centuries to ground the modern office in its humble origins.

1. The Quill Makes Way for the Ballpoint Pen
Admittedly, it’s been a while since the pencil, fountain pen, and ballpoint pen drastically changed how we write. But before these now standard tools were available to everyone, writers and scholars used goose feathers. They dipped the sharpened tip of a feather in a jar of ink to create an effective and creative writing tool. This simple combination allowed them to record their thoughts and ideas to their heart’s content! Given how common feathers and ink were throughout the ages, it’s not surprising that we often see someone busy with a feather and ink in historical films!

2. The Rolodex Merges with the Computer
If you were born or grew up in the increasingly distant period before the ’90s, the word ‘Rolodex’ may still be somewhat familiar. And no, it doesn’t refer to the decadent roll of caramel and chocolate found on supermarket shelves. A Rolodex is a system that contains all kinds of cards with contact details – a sort of telephone book for the office. A Rolodex allowed employees to find the necessary data by browsing through the device manually. Today, much of this information is categorised and organised in computers, eliminating the need for the humble Rolodex and phone book.

3. The Typewriter Loses Out to the Keyboard
Ideally, all the words you type on a keyboard are immediately visible on the screen. This concept is somewhat similar to its predecessor, namely the typewriter. However, there is a significant difference: you cannot adjust the text that you type with a typewriter. Every decision you make is final. So, if you made a mistake, you would have to start over with the text or be left with a messy end product! Fortunately, we no longer suffer from this inconvenience with modern computers and laptops! Made a mistake? With the help of the handy backspace key, your error is gone forever.

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