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Early Office Museum

Antique Office Interior Photographs 
~ 1890-1894 ~

When no date is provided in the Description column below, we do not know the date of the image or photograph.  
We have placed undated images and photographs in their likely chronological order.
If the Source in the right-hand column is anything other than "Early Office Museum Archives," 
we do not have the ability to grant permission for use or to provide a high resolution image.

Click Image to Enlarge Description Source
1890_Office_with_St_Paul_Insurance_Co_sign.jpg (181522 bytes) "The Old Office," 1890. The sign on the wall reads "Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, St. Paul, Minn." The Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. was founded in 1853. Photograph shows a roll-top desk, safe, Remington typewriter case, kerosene lamps, and cuspidor. Early Office
Museum Archive
1891_Patent_Office_New_Wing_B._W._Kilburn_Littleton_NH_OM.JPG (65883 bytes) Interior, New Wing, Patent Office, Washington, DC, stereoview by B. W. Kilburn, Littleton, NH, 1891. Private collection
Pension_Office_Employees_at_Work_Wash_DC_OM.JPG (142113 bytes) Pension Office Employees at Work, Washington, DC, stereoview. Private collection
DPL Office of Finding Hardware 1892 10001984.jpg (28792 bytes) "Office of Finding Hardware," Breckenridge, CO, photograph by Otto Westerman, 1892. Photograph shows 1891 and 1892 calendars, a poster advertising the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition, letter copying press, kerosene lamps, potbelly stove, and bird cage. Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, X-1984
1892_Man_at_Desk_Colorado_Springs.jpg (39407 bytes) Man at desk, Colorado Springs, CO, lantern slide, 1892. Roll-top desk, pigeon-hole file, stuffed eagle and deer head. Private collection
Man_in_office_with_kerosene_lamp_round_photo_OM.jpg (172326 bytes) Office with hanging kerosene lamp, 1892. Dated by wall calendar. This 3.5" diameter round photograph was taken with a Kodak No. 2 camera, which was introduced in 1889. Early Office
Museum Archives
Office with men working at high slant-top desks. There is a water cooler on the wall near the right side of the photograph. On the first slant-top desk, near the right end, is a Standard Automatic Safety Check Punch, which was patented in 1887-91 and advertised in 1892. Early Office
Museum Archive
Office_with_two_men_HA_Mowrey_Ashland_OH_c_1892_a.jpg (94775 bytes)
Office_with_two_men_HA_Mowrey_Ashland_OH_c._1892_b.jpg (218475 bytes)
Two men at a high slant-top desk, cabinet card by Harvey Allen Mowrey, East Main Street, Ashland, OH.  H. A. Mowrey (1864-1956) purchased an interest in a studio on East Main Street in Ashland, Ohio, in 1889, bought out his partners in 1891, and operated a studio in Ashland until 1948, according to information provided by the Ashland County Historical Society. The next two photographs are also by Mowrey and are on identical cards. The style of the four cards as well as the contents of the offices indicate a date c. 1892. 

These two photographs show the same office scene from different angles. Calendars and posters advertise the H. C. Frick Coke Co., the Pocahontas Coal Co., and the Standard Scale & Supply Co. of Pittsburgh, PA. Henry Clay Frick, a business associate of Andrew Carnegie, founded Frick Coke, which operated coal mines and coke ovens in southwest Pennsylvania throughout the 1880s and 1890s. The Pocahontas Coal Co. and others first mined commercial quantities of coal in the Pocahontas coalfields in southern West Virginia and an adjacent county of Virginia in 1885. Standard Scale & Supply was a producer of industrial scales capable of weighing railroad coal cars. These two photographs may show an office of a large coal dealer or customer, such as a steel company.

Early Office
Museum Archive
Two_Men_at_Slant_Top_Desk_H_A_Mowrey_Ashland_O_c._1892.jpg (67884 bytes) Two men at a high slant-top desk, cabinet card by H. A. Mowrey, East Main Street, Ashland, OH, c. 1892. See discussion of the preceding pair of photographs. The slant-top desk in this photograph is identical to that in the preceding two photographs. However, this photograph was obtained from a different source and may or may not be of an office in the same company. Early Office
Museum Archive
Man at roll-top desk, cabinet card by H. A. Mowrey, East Main Street, Ashland, OH, c. 1892. See discussions of the preceding three photographs. On the shelves above the desk are volumes of the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office. In the middle of the set is Vol. XLVI, which covers Jan.-Mar. 1889. Assuming that the set of volumes is continuous and is shelved chronologically, the last volume would cover Jan.-Mar. 1892. This supports an 1892 date for this photograph and the preceding three. This photograph was obtained with the pair above and may or may not be of an office in the same company.  Early Office
Museum Archive
Click on link at right to see photo. (Click on thumbnail to see full-size image.) When finished, click the "Back" button on your browser to return here. Minnie Oakley, assistant librarian, Wisconsin Historical Society, State Capitol, Madison, WI, 1892.  Photo shows a Remington upstrike typewriter.   Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Historical Images, No. 23284.
Click on link at right to see photo. (Click on thumbnail to see full-size image.) When finished, click the "Back" button on your browser to return here. Emma Hawley, librarian, Wisconsin Historical Society,  State Capitol, Madison, WI, 1892.  Photo shows a Remington upstrike typewriter. Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Historical Images, No. 23318.
Click on link at right to see photo. (Click on thumbnail to see full-size image.) When finished, click the "Back" button on your browser to return here. Stenographers at the law firm of Winkler, Flanders, Smith, Bottum, & Vilas, Milwaukee, WI, c. 1894.  In addition to four stenographers with upstrike typewriters, the photograph shows a McGill Single-Stroke Staple Press, which was patented in 1879.  This is the earliest image we have found with a stapling machine. Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Historical Images, No. 6992.
1894 DPL Nate Salsbury c. 1894 00105065 Electric Fan Y.jpg (43066 bytes) Nate Salsbury (1846-1902) sits in a wooden chair at a roll-top desk in a tent at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Brooklyn, NY, 1894.  Salsbury was the owner and manager of the show. Photograph also shows cuspidor and electric fan. Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, Salsbury Collection, NS-65
Minnesota_C._H._Bigelow_at_desk_1894_pf027096_Y.jpg (57582 bytes) "C. H. Bigelow at Desk in First Office Building," Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., St. Paul, MN, 1894. The Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. was founded in 1853. Gas and electric lighting. Minnesota Historical Society, Neg. No. 17838
Office with Calendar Advertising a Job Printers Company OM.jpg (57582 bytes) A man in a small but upscale office is working on a ledger. A letter copying press is sitting on a safe in the background. The calendar on the wall advertises a job-printing company. Early Office
Museum Archives
1894 Albany Bus College General Office OM.jpg (63177 bytes) "General Office - Albany Business College," Thirty-Fifth Annual Catalogue of the Albany Business College and School of Short-Hand and Type Writing, Albany, NY, 1894. Electric lighting and two upstrike typewriters. Early Office
Museum Archives
Click on link at right to see photo. When finished, click the "Back" button on your browser to return here. Men at desks in office, Aetna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, CT, 1894. Connecticut History Online
Click on link at right to see photo. When finished, click the "Back" button on your browser to return here. Sylvester Dunham and John Emery Morris at Travelers Insurance Co., Hartford, CT, identified by source as 1890s. The office contains a combination filing cabinet. Connecticut History Online
1894_Office_Boy_3_Men_Safe.jpg (136630 bytes) Office with three men and a boy, New York, 1894-95. Writing on the back, referring to the boy, says "William W Miller, his first job, taken about 1894 or 1895, N.Y."  Across the top of the large safe is the name "Jacob Pohs."  Below that are the words "Anti-Dynamite Device. Pat. July 28th 1885." Early Office
Museum Archives
Image, Source: b&w film copy neg. John Sherman (1823-1900) in his office, US Government, Washington, DC, 1894.  Photo by W. A. Lowell. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
ID: cph 3b15176
Repro. No: LC-USZ62-67704

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