Woodruff File Cabinet, Late 19th Century

Woodruff File Cabinet, Late 19th Century

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Description
The 19th Century saw the growth in the number of the large business such as railroads, finance and telegraph companies. Government was also a large consumer of these systems. As these companies grew larger, new systems to collect and preserve communications such as letters, documents, and orders were created. New systems were created to accommodate this need.
Changes in filing began in the mid 1800s. Prior to this time a registry method was used where the document was noted in a log book and then folded twice and bundled with other documents in chronological order--easy for a small company to retrieve but not so for a large multi-divisional company.
This file cabinet was manufactured by the Woodruff Manufacturing Company of Washington DC in the late 19th Century. It is a combination of the bundled document and the vertical file. It is primarily made of oak and used for filing folded documents. There are 6 rows of 8 drawers totaling 48 drawers. Each drawer has a brass bracket on the outside which holds a card which would identify what is in the drawer. Inside each drawer is a support which slides along a metal track to hold the document bundles upright and in place.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
File Cabinet, Vertical, Woodruff
Date made
late 19th century
maker
Woodruff Mfg. Co., Inc.
Place Made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
Measurements
overall: 63 in x 43 in x 12 1/2 in; 160.02 cm x 109.22 cm x 31.75 cm
ID Number
1989.0346.01
catalog number
1989.0346.01
accession number
1989.0346
subject
[NO SUBJECT]
Office Furnishings
See more items in
Work and Industry: Office Collection
Industry & Manufacturing
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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