Posts Tagged ‘archival office supplies’
If you’re like us, you’ve given up purchasing new desk accessories. Current offerings at stores such as Staples are uninspired. We prefer to comb thrift store aisles for tape dispensers, pen holders, metal files and the occasional typewriter.
Movies are an excellent source for office supplies. We recommend shopping from films of the nineteen thirties. Desk accessories from this era were well made with an emphasis on scientific precision and good design.
Case and point is the pencil sharpening “instrument” purchased by Dr. Max Sporum in The Good Fairy (Sturgess 1932).
As you’d probably guess, we’re devotees of everything analog . Clocks and watches are the most obvious examples, but I’ll confess to a serious obsession with analog stove and oven controls (I see no reason why home ovens can’t have the same interface as a commercial Blodgett). The latest and most impressive analog inspiration comes from flickr user hawkexpress. His PoIC project is an excellent exercise in self-documentation and brand loyalty, two characteristics that we endorse highly. We’re not sure precisely what goes on the cards – it’s apparently a “system to organize [hawkexpress’] life,” but we heartily complement the methods.
Ed. Note: Friend Lynn M. and I love French-made Rhodia notebooks (in 1997, Rhodia was acquired by my other favorite stationary company, Clairefontaine). I maintain a large personal archive of used/unused Rhodia notebooks in oddball sizes. My personal favorite is Rhodia N° 8, a narrow, oblong pad with gridded paper. In this Archival Clothing guest post, Lynn documents her current preference for Rhodia N° 16. To follow along, or pick your own favorite, click this link to view the full Rhodia line (but strike the metallic collection from memory).
My daily notebook companion is a Rhodia. My current obsession is a black covered N° 16 lined pad.
Undersized at 6″ x 8 1/4″ it fits perfectly inside any of my daily errand bags.
The top stapled cover easily folds out of my way when I want unfettered notetaking.
I rely on my Rhodia for recording things I need from the store, what I should accomplish today and any observations made in transit.
The perforated tear sheets are handy when I’m the only one with a notebook, perfect when my daughter begs for a sheet of drawing paper.
I’ve been using Rhodia notebooks for more than a decade, the smaller ones for travel and disposable jots, the more substantive wire bound books to manage projects at work. I’ve even lately become a fan of the Rhodia weekly planner.
The design of Rhodia notebooks hasn’t changed since 1932 and they are made with the original quality standards. The notebooks are still manufactured in France, in the Alsace region, an area that I have actually visited. I am charmed by the idea that I have a mental image of countryside where they are produced.
Sure, there are other notebooks worth considering, but none are as distinctive as these orange and black beauties. Rhodia notebooks are one of the constants in my life, as comforting as coffee with an old friend.
Rhodia notebooks can be easily obtained online, but check first with your local stationary shop.
Editor’s Note: friend and guest blogger Tom B. is back again with an entry on archival organizational tools from Saunders, “universally recognized as the leading manufacturer of aluminum form holders and plastic and aluminum clipboards” (Saunders company website).
Despite the impressive user interface, iPhones and their ilk will never completely replace paper and pen for organization and note-taking. Hopefully, the massive popularity of the Moleskine brand indicates the stability of the medium. But let’s take a look at another option for those suffering from Moleskine overload.
Saunders is a company based in Maine that produces hardware supports for paper, from pastel plastic clipboards to absolutely brilliant aluminum form holders.
Most organizers, lap-desks, and time-managers are hopelessly fussy and bring to mind business travel, black pleather, and jumbled bins at TJ Maxx. It’s almost worse when venerable companies add organizers to their accessories section.
The endless pockets for credit and business cards, the obnoxious six-ring format, the brass rings clashing with the silver snap closure– it’s simply too much, even if the materials are high-quality. The death knell, of course, is the $200 price tag (currently on sale for $99).
The genius of Saunders products is their versatility – you can imagine throwing all kinds of scraps into the case and snapping it closed. Rather than a slot for every scrap, it’s more of a corral for clutter that seals up nicely and can be tossed into a pack or tote.
Most of Saunders’ products are made in the USA, and most of the aluminum products are made of recycled materials. The prices are embarrassingly low. The build quality is superb. There’s a very wide range of products, including the Ticket Board, designed for traffic stops, although there are marine patrol and “Homeland” versions too. [Editor’s Note: I highly recommend screening the Ticket Board demo video on Youtube.]