Information technologies travel together

Information technologies travel together, but it’s often not until several of them become common that they really shift an era. Typewriters, Vertical files, carbon paper, trains, and telegraphs interacted to create a new approach to information and work.

Q: Go back to Levy on this?


Yates, JoAnne. “From Press Book and Pigeonhole to Vertical Filing: Revolution in Storage and Access Systems for Correspondence.” The Journal of Business Communication (1973), vol. 19, no. 3, July 1982, pp. 5–26.

Carbon copying made a difference in communication, though it wasn’t dominant until vertical files took over. p. 15

From a memorial memo, it’s reported than an employee made it the “law of the Company …that no letters are to be mailed unless press copies are retained. In cases where you must either miss the train or not take the copy –miss the train and take the copy.” p. 8

The volume of paper to be managed increased due to the railroad, the telegraph (both as technologies and rapidly growing companies), and (eventually) the typewriter. p. 9