Before the 19th century, and the spread of the industrial revolution around the globe, nearly all offices were small offices and/or home offices, with only a few exceptions.
Most businesses were small, and so was the paperwork that went with them.
Small desktop items helped office workers either at their job or at home by keeping things organized. Items such as letters, fountain pens, ink pens, pencils, paper, paper weights and paper clips.
Letter holders were very popular in the early 1900s. They were made of brass, bronze and cast iron. Vintage cast iron letter holders were very ornate. Art Deco Brass & Alabaster Marble letter holders were very popular. Key letter holders, wall mounted letter holders, chinese letter holders.
Letter opener, or paperknife, is a knife-like object used to open envelopes. Most were made of wood, cast iron, brass and celluloid but the really nice old vintage letter opens were made of silver. Many of the old vintage letter openers had advertising printed on them. Many of the Worlds Fair sold or passed out celluloid letter openers to their vistors. promotional advertising magnifier letter opener, advertising letter opener.
In the mid-1840s, glass
Paper Weights appeared. They were a functional glass form that drew upon the ancient glassmaking techniques. The sudden emergence and popularity of paperweights can be attributed not only to their decorative appeal but also to a growing Victorian leisure-time interest in letter writing. This fashionable upper and middle class pastime assured their profitable manufacture along with many other glass accessories related to letter writing, all of which were purchased inexpensively at stationery and novelty shops.
Another very popular desk top item and collectible is antique or vintage
calendars. Most of these calenders were made of tin, steel and plastic.
Collecting antique or vintage Pencil Sharpeners can be fun and low cost. Some of the old die cast pieces take on interesting shapes.