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A Brief History of Addressograph reprinted from:
The Wonder Book of Knowledge* - 1926

The Story of the Addressograph

     If you were asked to enumerate the different kinds of clerical work performed in the modern business office, you would probably fail to mention the writing of names.  Yes the writing and rewriting of names is as essential in most offices as the addition of figures or the dictation of correspondence.

     In fact, names represent the backbone of nearly every business or organization.  There is the list of names of those people you sell to; the names of those people you want to sell to; the names of those people you buy from, the names of those people who owe you money; the names of those people to whom you owe money and the names of those people who work for you.  Then, lodges, clubs, churches and other organizations must maintain lists of names of their members; and so the different kinds of lists go on ad infinitum.

     Now, in most offices, these names must be written and rewritten over and over again - often many times each month - on envelopes, price-lists, statements, checks, pay forms, ledger sheets, order forms, tags, labels, etc.  And in many offices the writing of names is still a slow, tedious, drudging task - as the workers in those offices will testify.

The Birth of Mechanical Addressing

     But in one office this monotonous task of writing and rewriting the same names over and over again became such a hardship that the man who had to do it, thinking twenty-five years ahead of his time, had a vision of performing such work mechanically.  That vision was the forerunner of the Addressograph.

     In the early 90's, Mr. Joseph S. Duncan was manager of a little flour and grist mill in Iowa.  The requirements of his business necessitated the daily addressing of 100 quotation cards.  Those were the days of pen and ink and the imperfectly developed typewriter.  Mr. Duncan's office was small.  He was the sole worker in that office - and as the typewriter was still a curiosity in that section of the country, Mr. Duncan was obliged to depend upon pen and ink in addressing his daily price cards.  This routine task wasted a great deal of his valuable time each day.  In an effort to finish the work quickly, so that he could devote his attention to more important matters, Mr. Duncan found that he was frequently sacrificing accuracy for speed.  Result - his concern often suffered considerable loss of profit because his quotation card did not reach the people for whom they were intended.


Builds First Addressograph


The Beginning of a Great Industry


Answering Demand for Greater Speed


Invents Embossed Metal Address Plate


A Card Index that Addresses Itself


Electric Motor Increases Speed


Attachments Increase Utility of Addressograph


Small Users not Overlooked


The Addressograph - Its Place in Business






* "The Wonder Book of Knowledge"
"The Marvels of Modern Industry and Invention
The Interesting Stories of Common Things
The Mysterious Processes of Nature
Simply Explained"
By: Henry Chase Hill
Publisher: The John C. Winston Company
Copyright 1926 by L. T. Myers
Pages 364 - 372



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