The Rotor Corres-File

This reminds me of the days when I used to have a filing cabinet. That now marks me as an old-timer.

Richmond Times Dispatch - Mar 15, 1953

Pittsburgh Press - Jul 20, 1952

     Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 25, 2022
     Category: Inventions | Offices, Business Supplies, Institutional Regulations | 1950s

I wonder if this could have been an inspiration for the Rolodex, which was invented a few years later, in 1956.

Alex: If you're an old-timer, I must be an old old-timer. I still have and use filing cabinets; one metal 4-drawer, and two wooden 2-drawer cabinets which I stacked to save a little floor space. They don't get as much use now as they used to. I previously had two metal 4-drawer cabinets, which I used when I was the branch treasurer of my union (NALC Local 102), and several years later, when I was the co-founder and treasurer of an area non-profit organization.
Posted by Fritz on 07/25/22 at 07:04 AM
This also looks like the oddball cabinet that goes into the kitchen to hold the pots and pans along the corner where nothing else fits.
Posted by KDP on 07/25/22 at 09:32 AM
In the 1960s, Diebold came out with the "Power File." Imagine a Ferris Wheel with each gondola a filing cabinet drawer eight feet wide. Instead of on a wheel, they were carried on a chain up, over the top, down the back, and up again, always kept level. Push a button, and the drawer you want would quickly and quietly be brought to an opening at a convenient height. The equivalent of a dozen 4-drawer filing cabinets in a 8'x8'x3' space, and no bending over to get things in the lower drawers. They were things of mechanical beauty and great efficiency.

I bought one, government surplus, in the 1980s. On that model, the drawers were only six inches tall, made to hold microfiches. I never calculated the data density of that unit, but I'm sure it rivaled the hard disks of the time.

The best desk I ever owned had an extended surface -- the back ten inches were hinged lids you could lift to expose hanging folders. In the days when bills came in the mail, you could write a check, stuff it in an envelope with the coupon, write the date and check number on the remainder and file it immediately. It kept everything really neat and tidy, even for a procrastinator like me.

I'm always on the lookout for a serviceable 2-drawer filing cabinet at a decent price ($10?) for my garage. The number of service/user/owner manuals these days is outstanding. My new string trimmer has four -- one for the power head (you can use it on an edger, tiller, etc.), for the trimmer attachment, for the battery charger, and even one for the battery.
Posted by Phideaux on 07/25/22 at 10:20 AM
Phideaux, all those manuals are available online.
Posted by ges on 07/25/22 at 11:44 AM
ges, there's no 'online' available behind my garden shed when I'm trying to figure out why the Ryobi lawn mower I've only had for two months suddenly won't go more than ten feet without dying but always restarts instantly. Even if there was, fingers covered with goo and gunk don't swipe well.

Equipment manuals are one of the few things where a hardcopy will always be better than a pdf.
Posted by Phideaux on 07/25/22 at 07:11 PM
A really early Rolodex, Power File design.
Posted by eddi on 07/26/22 at 04:33 AM
@Fritz: you're quite right. Many, many offices still have filing cabinets, and so do many people for their own personal use. Including me.
Posted by Richard Bos on 07/30/22 at 02:46 PM
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