Modern American offices are not just a collection of desks, chairs, and machines. Other than our homes, they are the places in which we spend most of our time. They are home to our talents, energies, and efforts--our work.
Offices reflect our society's values. They show that we care about efficiency and order but also power and authority. They reflect our beliefs about progress and high technology, but also competition and cooperation. Exploring the changing American office, from its beginnings in the 1830s in the railroad industry to its dominance in the American economy of the late twentieth century, shows us a way to study our nation's growth, from the industrial revolution to the postindustrial information age.
We study the remaining tools and weapons of ancient peoples to understand who they were and how they lived. Computers, typewriters, and calculators are the tools and weapons we use to wage the battles and do the work of our advanced society. In observing and recording their role in modern America we not only learn more about our own society but preserve our times for the students of the future.
Introduction || Birth and
Growth of the American Office || Office
Office Organization || Global Office || Conclusion
Historical Timeline || Lesson Plans || Resources || Site Contents
Home (text) || Home (graphics)
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