Back to the “Office”?
Looking back on what work environments and offices of the past looked like.
By J Blomqvist
New York magazine recently featured a story entitled “Remember the Office?” It was a retrospective on office life with pictures from New York from the 1950s to the present. It got me thinking about office life in DeKalb County. Since 2020, when COVID-19 hit the scene, many people left their offices and began working from home. Or from the parking lot with the good wi-fi! This photo essay shows some of what “office” life was like in DeKalb from the 1930s and on. From the buildings to the office furniture to the workmates and the office parties, office life may not be the same as it once was, for better or for worse. Whether your “office” is a cubicle, a classroom, a cash register, or a construction site, we can reminisce and remember…
First National Bank, circa 1960s, unidentified woman
First National Bank collection- 2002.93
DeKalb County administrative building, January 2, 1986
Joe Lee collection- 2011.29
DeKalb History Center archives, 2019
Photo by J Blomqvist
First National Bank, Decatur, circa 1960s
First National Bank collection-2002.93
Typewriter used by the Decatur City Clerk, Mrs. Mortie H. Christian.
From the DeKalb History Center collection-1997.2
DeKalb County Board of Health, ca. 1937, Clairmont office
DeKalb History Center photo collection- DeKalb Health Department, Clairemont
Research and Development office, DeKalb County- 1975
From the Joe Lee Collection- 2011.29
Clocks being repaired, 2000
From the DeKalb History Center collection
Check writer; Before computers, checks could be created with check imprinters, which added security, since payroll checks could not be made without the machine.
Blue steel check imprinting machine, with vinyl cover
Royal F&E check protector
Sign-O-Meter and dater
From the DeKalb History Center collection- 2011.20
Unidentified worker, location, specific year; collection features photos from 1940s-1970s
From the Guy Hayes collection- 1984.304.3309
Unidentified worker, location, specific year; collection features phots from 1940s-1970s
From the Guy Hayes collection- 1984.304.4955
Sgt. Emily West, no specific year; collection features photos from 1940s-1970s
From the Guy Hayes collection- 1984.304.7282
What was office life like for you? What do you miss about it? What do you NOT miss about it?