Does anyone know what offices would have looked like in the U.S. roughly between 1830-1860? In particular, did clerks and others work in a more open plan environment, or did people tend to have their own rooms in a building? If the former, I'm curious about what divided work spaces, and, if the latter, what the doors would have looked like (would names of positions be on plaques, absent, or on signs...etc.).

(FYI: I know the term White Collar didn't come into play until later in the century but I couldn't think of a better word!)

  • This is another wonderful question and certainly a visit to Savannah, GA is always a worthy exploration. I would define "white collar" in this period as absolutely and sometimes shockingly precise accounting methods. Shipping on the Eastern Seaboard was serious business prior to the Civil War...and so was trade...although "workplaces" were pretty sub par as the slaves and goods were literally "lower deck" at the Port with retail on the "top side" absolutely resplendent even today. Ironically the lower decks today are really awesome hangout and retail scenes now..."slave collar quality" if I ma – Doctor Zhivago Nov 20 '16 at 6:18

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