After Seeing This Photo From 1943, You’ll Hug Your Computer

After Seeing This Photo, You'll Hug Your Computer

Aren’t you glad there are Excel spreadsheets today?

Before computer spreadsheet programs, people still needed to calculate large amounts of numbers. It would usually be done on a huge chalkboard (or an erasable pen and a huge pane of glass/plexiglass) set up like a giant table or balance sheet. Here’s the caption from this photo from January, 1943.

“Chicago, Illinois. Mrs. Marie Griffith, manager of the information room, at one of the boards listing rates to points all over the country at the Union Station. Photo by Jack Delano, Office of War Information.”

This woman is calculating all the fares for each fare type and location.  She’s wearing a jacket over her outfit to protect her clothes from chalk dust.  The original photo is in a very high resolution: click on it to see just how much work had to go into making these calculations, even though today they would be very easy to automatically compute.

Source: [Shorpy.com] and [Library of Congress]

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Image | This entry was posted in 20th Century, Family Life, Historical Photos, Modern History, U.S. History and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to After Seeing This Photo From 1943, You’ll Hug Your Computer

  1. Trapper Gale says:

    As a CPA I definitely appreciate spreadsheets. However, I began my career well before PC’s and remember just a little too well working large handwritten spreadsheets!

    • If it’s one thing that history has taught me, it’s that 1) history is awesome, and 2) so is living in modern times. 🙂

      • Trapper Gale says:

        History is awesome, but I sometimes think I was born a 150 years too late. I wish I could have explored the West and left society behind. Now I explore it through art.

      • I know what you mean! I’m torn though, I study ancient Rome and I always think I’d love to have lived through it. But then I remember that instead of being born a rich male emperor (the successful kind, the one’s the Romans didn’t end up killing), I’d probably have the bad luck to have been born a poor female slave. Can I choose who I go back as? 😉

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