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Times Are A-Changing
Danese, the Milanese manufacturer of this calendar, often collaborated with the Italian designer Enzo Mari. Together they created a range of products—from domestic tools to office supplies. Their products strove to underscore “the dimension of play as a cognitive tool.”[1] The Timor calendar reflects this philosophy as it requires the user to flip around the...
An Office Artifact
As a portmanteau for “rolling” and “index,” the term “rolodex” has entered the English lexicon to mean a list of one’s business contacts. Though the term can be used broadly, it also refers to the brand name Rolodex—the company that made this swivel file. Devices such as these allowed the user to type or attach...
Utility and Marketing: A Matchsafe Made in Heaven
Cooper Hewitt holds a large number of matchsafes: small, metal boxes that emerged around 1830 to house recently invented friction matches. Vital for lighting lanterns, kitchen stoves and smoking accessories, people from all walks of life carried matchsafes, or vesta cases.  The air-tight containers kept matches dry and reduced the risk of spontaneous ignition, a...
Knoll’s Orchestra Disk Holder: An Artifact of Office Tech
Knoll Group’s Orchestra Disk Holder is an artifact of the bygone days when floppy disks were the most widely used digital storage tools in the corporate landscape. First introduced by IBM in 1971, the floppy disk reigned supreme until the late 2000s when smaller-scale or higher-tech alternatives like the USB flash drive, optical discs (CDs...
Manpower Temporary Services
Lois Ehlert is a children’s book illustrator who also worked as a graphic designer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the late 1970s, she created this remarkable series of posters for Manpower Temporary Services, a Milwaukee-based agency that connects temporary office workers with companies. Ehlert derived her bright, playfully simplified images from everyday office culture. Ellen Lupton...
Narrow, rectilinear stapler with curved hand grips; sides decorated with overall geometric black and white enameled pattern.
Juwel for a Tool
The design for this stapler was patented in the United States in 1934 by Fridolin Polzer who was at the time working for E.H. Hotchkiss Company, a leading manufacturer of stapling machines, based in Norwalk, Connecticut. In Japanese, the word for “stapler” is “hotchikisu” after the E.H. Hotchkiss Company, which first shipped staplers to Japan...
Bill Moggridge moves in with the Education department
Bill working in his new office located in the Education Department trailer. While the office trailers have been a fixture in Cooper-Hewitt’s garden for the last two years, they recently gained a high-profile resident. Cooper-Hewitt’s Director, Bill Moggridge, has migrated from his grand office in the Museum’s mansion into the Education department trailer for the...