Tagged with secretaries
Swimming in the Steno Pool: a Retro Guide to Making It in the Office
I can’t remember how I found this book--review in Bust? It seems like a Bust type of book--but I know I was interested because the author was a zinester in the 90s. (Mystery date : one gal's guide to good stuff Zines P4755m) It reads like a long magazine article on the history of women’s office support work: typing, stenography, secretaryship, written in a personal tone, through a feminist lens, and with enough endnotes to convince you of its authority. It is accompanied by lots of sidebars and historical photos and ads and a lengthy index (♥).
re: 19th century typewriter, “There was also a question of etiquette, which deemed handwriting more polite than mechanical type. ‘I do not think it necessary . . . to have your letters to me taken to the printers’ and set up like a handbill. I will be able to read your handwriting, and I am deeply chagrined to think you thought such a course necessary,’ read the handwritten reply to a typed missive sent by an early adopter in the insurance industry.” p.17-18
re: feminism and working class, “In fact, what the Miss America protestors should have thrown into the Freedom Trash Can was a coffee pot, because when it came to gender politics in the office, the battle was fought over coffee--and who should make it.” p.200 (citing a Fortune article “Beyond the Liberated Secretary.”