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This technology continued to be important through most of the nineteenth century.Offices employed copy clerks, also known as copyists, scribes, and scriveners, men who typically stood, or sat on high stools, while working at tall slant-top desks.Sometimes they want to circulate copies of documents they create to several interested parties.They may need hundreds of copies of circulars and form letters. 1880) The technologies that were most commonly used in 1895 to make copies of outgoing letters and of circulars and form letters are identified in a description of the New York Business College's course program: "All important letters or documents are copied in a letter-book or carbon copies [are] made, and instruction is also given in the use of the mimeograph and other labor-saving office devices." (The Stenographer, July 1895, p.Indeed, heavy reliance on calligraphy continued in offices for decades after the first practical typewriter was marketed by Remington in 1874.Until the late 18 century, if an office wanted to keep a copy of an outgoing letter, a clerk had to write out the copy by hand.Alternatively, the office could organize its correspondence by client, which avoided indexing but made it necessary to use numerous copying books on a given day.
He would then turn 20 sheets of tissue paper and insert a second oiled paper.
Letter copying presses were used by the early 1780s by the likes of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. Tilden's Message to the Legislature, Albany, NY, Mar. show letter copying presses that were displayed at the 1851 Industrial Exhibition in London. was still using copy presses and press books for outgoing letters in 1913 (p. Production of copies was easiest if the user copied its letters into a single letter book in chronological order.
In 1785, Jefferson was using both stationary and portable presses made by James Watt & Co. Bedini, (c.1830), a story set in Paris in 1823, Balzac wrote of a government office worker who carried a handwritten memorandum "to an autographic printing house, where he obtained two pressed copies," and of another office worker who was "considering whether these autographic presses could not be made to do the work of copying clerks." The image to the left shows a copying press patented in 1828 in the UK by Mr. Along with typewriters, letter copying presses are the most common machines found in photographs of late 19 century offices. 4-5) reports that the Illinois Central Railroad used copying presses to make copies of outgoing letters in press books at least from the late 1850s to 1896, that the Repauno Chemical Co. 181), and that the Hagley Museum and Library has press books that were used in the 1930s (p. In that case, the user needed to make an index so that letters of interest could later be retrieved.
Jo Anne Yates reports that "the Du Pont Company continued to use hand copy books through at least 1857." ( century, but none had a significant impact in offices.
In 1780, steam engine inventor James Watt obtained a British patent for letter copying presses, which James Watt & Co. The patent illustrations include a press with two opposing rollers, like the wringer on an old washing machine, and a second model with a screw mechanism (Plate 1). Proudfoot, In a review of office equipment at the 1851 Industrial Exhibition, Granville Sharp recommended that when an office was selecting a press like those in Plates 1-3, it should make sure that the handle was heavily weighted at the ends to insure proper spinning.