Tuesday, December 03, 2013


My earliest memories include visits to my dad's office and the office of his personal assistant
 or "secretary" as that position was called back in those days. 
There were times when Alice would let me help her, or at least watch 
her work some of these complicated machines. 
This was a church office so she would be addressing envelopes and all sorts of other things. 
Alice taught me to type, and one thing we loved about her was that she wanted us to call us 
by her first name, almost unheard of in that day.

I think eventually I learned to work the "addressograph" machine, which is what she is 
using in this photo. I looked it up and found this exact machine still for sale. 
I remember she would make the little metal plates with the name and address 
engraved on it and each one would slide down and go into the stamping place 
as she put an envelope in pace. As we grew older, every Friday after school
 my sister and I went to the church to fold the bulletins. 
We thought we were the "cat's meow"as we could fold 20 at a time. 
We didn't get paid, we were learning to serve others. 


  1. What a fun memory! I have never heard of such a machine, I would love to see one.
    Have a good day!

  2. what a cool photo! and neat story

  3. Thank you for providing this peek into a church office that I would not otherwise have. Alice looks like a young lady. How old might she have been then? Did she go on to marry and have a family? I also particularly loved those folks who preferred us to use their given names rather than a "title." I felt much closer to them.

  4. An addressograph is something new to me. Love the photo of Alice working in the church office. Letting you "help" may have been more work than usual, but you learned something valuable. I'd love to know what happened in Alice's life.

  5. We didn't have an "in" to the church office. In fact, I don't ever remember going into the office. I'm sure we had an "Alice" too. I wish I'd known her.


  6. it is really sweet that you you and your sister had someone like Alice in your life to help you learn what it's like to do something for nothing. This is such a cool picture to have all these years, I've never seen such a thing!


  7. What a sweet memory.

    That addressograph was probably top of the line in its day.

  8. What a great post - and serving others is so overlooked today. We're mostly into serving ourselves. Wonderful photo! Did you have a mimeograph machine? I remember helping in the church office, inking and using the messy mimeograph machine to print church bulletins. Thank you Lord for modern technology.

  9. Your church must have been a big one to have such a machine, I remember handwritten envelopes from our church.
    It's funny when you mention about first names, I watch the reruns of I Love Lucy and she always introduced Fred & Ethel as Mr. & Mrs. Mertz, and of course herself as Mrs. Ricardo.
    We've evolved from the formality of names and dress (hats and gloves) to people wearing blue jeans at church now.

  10. That was a nice little trip down memory lane. I remember all the old machines that have now been replaced with one computer.

  11. That is an interesting machine that I've not seen or heard of before. What a great time of serving for you and your sister, helping Alice in the church office. Technology sure has come a long long way.

  12. This is just a precious post. Oh how things have changed...do kids even get to go to the church to help now days? What wonderful memories.

  13. I love this post! A little slice of life, and a story of service. What a privilege to be encouraged to help. My mother did some volunteer church office work. In the summer, when my sister and I were on summer vacation, she would do the work at home. She brought a big file box for Sunday School attendance, as well as each class's attendance book. She taught me to enter the information from the books into the file box, and I enjoyed it so much.

    (I, too, would like to hear more about Alice.)

  14. Such a sweet, nostalgic post this is. It brought back memories of summer holidays when I was allowed to 'serve customers' from behind the counter of my uncles' portrait studio. When it was quite I would look through the sample wedding albums - what a treat it was!

  15. That's a neat photograph and memory!

    I love that you were allowed to help and learned how to serve by doing this. Alice seems like she would have been a good grown up friend to have.


  16. Fun vintage photo! It's amazing how technology has advanced since then. I posted a photo of downtown Denver in the snow on facebook today and someone commented that they thought the pay phone on the corner in the photo was the first pay phone they have seen in years! :)

    Yes, it's very cold and snowing here today. It's a storm coming down from the arctic!

    Perfect Christmas card writing weather :)

  17. Beautiful memories of childhood isn't it! And I'm hearing the name of the machine for the first time. Thanks for sharing Podso:)


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