Joe Cappello, Word Searcher
Stories, Poems and Pieces about Today’s Workplace

Office Takes

​A LITTLE WORKPLACE HISTORY 




















In pre-industrial America, farm work was intense but not steady. The typical farmer went fishing, horse racing, visiting and “tavern crawling.” In addition to farms the home and small workshops were the chief workplaces of America. But when the factories came along skills like shoemaking and glass blowing, usually performed by individuals, were quickly replaced by factories and their famous “division of labor” techniques. For example, someone used to making an entire pair of shoes, might find himself on an assembly line where he merely affixed the heel to shoe after shoe. It was troubling to many and caused a great deal of unrest in the early years of industrialization in America. (From “The Work Ethic in Industrial America, 1850-1920,” Daniel T. Rodgers, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL Copyright: 1978) 

WORKPLACE DISASTERS 













The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Greenwich Village, New York—1911 Over 145 garment workers perished in this fire. The numerous safety violations that were found prompted a national debate on worker’s rights. 

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS ESSENTIAL ITEM (LEFT) FROM
 THE EARLY OFFICE?

No, it’s not a weapon. Believe it or not, this is an office spindle found in many workplaces right up until modern times. You literally rammed invoices, slips, messages and other important papers on it until you had time to process the paperwork. You can still buy one of these, just be careful where you put it!

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