A Brief History of
Addressograph reprinted from:
The Wonder Book of Knowledge* - 1926
The Story of the Addressograph
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Answering Demand for Greater
Invents Embossed Metal Address
A Card Index that Addresses
Electric Motor Increases Speed
Attachments Increase Utility of
Small Users not Overlooked
The Addressograph - Its Place
* "The Wonder Book of
"The Marvels of Modern Industry and Invention
The Interesting Stories of Common Things
The Mysterious Processes of Nature
By: Henry Chase Hill
Publisher: The John C. Winston Company
Copyright © 1926 by L. T. Myers
Pages 364 - 372