The Hipster PDA, circa 1915
From the depths of my dissertation-completion process, yet more proof that everything old is new again. In a manual about “record keeping for child-helping organizations” published in the early 20th century:
Many other important items which might be advantageously utilized in annual reports or in other published statements are often forgotten in the rush of daily work. To prevent this loss a small desk index for memoranda is invaluable. A canvas box 5 1/2 inches wide, 3 1/2 inches deep, and 3 1/2 inches high, will serve this purpose. Memorandum pads with sheets 3×5 inches may be used for making notes to be filed in this box.
The superintendent may find it helpful, in addition, to carry a pocket note book, with loose leaf pages 3×5 inches which may be taken out and filed in this box. By means of division guides the memoranda may be classified as they are filed, so that matters relating to the children, the institution plant, administration, and so forth, will be in separate groups, ready for use.
I think I’ve read about this somewhere before, or maybe I saw it in a catalog far beyond my grad-student budget. Next thing you know, someone will find a way to modernize and re-market the visible desk index or the combination filing cabinet.
In the meantime, I’ll be over here enjoying some new fountain pen ink.