• Why Are America's Most Innovative Companies Still Stuck in 1950s Suburbia? When Apple finishes its new $5 billion headquarters in Cupertino, California, the technorati will ooh and ahh over its otherworldly architecture, patting themselves on the back for yet another example of "innovation." Countless employees, tech bloggers, and design fanatics are already lauding the "futuristic" building and its many "groundbreaking" features. But few are aware that Apple’s monumenta…
  • The Mystery of the Phantom Page Turner A few months back, we received an email from a gentleman named Ian Spellerberg, who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. “Lovely article about letter openers,” he wrote. “However, what is illustrated is a mix of letter openers and paper-knives. They are quite different.” “Paper-knives are dull by design.” In fact, letter openers and paper-knives represent only half of Spellerberg’s expertise on…
  • The Existential Conundrum That Is the American Waste Paper Basket If the acclaimed 20th-century existential phenomenologist Martin Heidegger had written a book about garbage cans, it might read like portions of "The Paradox of the Waste Paper Basket" by Jos Legrand. Published earlier this year in Maastricht, Netherlands, where Legrand lives, is a concise history of the trash receptacles used in American offices between 1870 and 1930. You know, exactly the sort …
  • Typewriter Collector Richard Polt on More Than a Century of QWERTY I started to get interested in typewriters around age 12. My dad and I stopped at a garage sale and he bought me this typewriter from the 1930s, and I was just learning to type at the time. It’s a Remington Noiseless Portable, and it has very lovely Art Deco lines. I used it for about 10 years for most of my writing work and picked up a couple of similar machines along the way. I loved that machin…