30 January 2014

A Filofax Curiosity

Andrew, a Philofaxy reader sent me some photos by email the other day of this organiser.




In his email he said this:
I discovered your excellent blog last year when I was looking for somewhere to mend my grandfather's filofax. The metal spine and ring binders had become detached from the cover. In the end, I had to find a second hand filofax with as small rings (still a bit bigger than the original) as possible and the repairers took them out and put them into my cover.

The filofax was used by my grandfather who had a chemist's shop in Surrey.  My 80 year old mother says she remembers him using the filofax when she was a girl so it must date from the1930s or 40s. It's black leather and has 6 holes along the side of the slightly larger back cover so it can be inserted into larger (desk) filofax. I couldn't find it on any of your catalogues or in the pictures of vintage filofaxes. I use it as my holiday organiser.
So the rings are not the original ones, but they would be of a similar type and size.  But I asked Andrew a bit more about the organiser and he confirmed that the back cover is wider than the front cover, which confirms his thoughts about it being able to be clipped on to the rings of a larger organiser.

It would therefore fit a Personal Duplex (two sets of rings) type organiser like those shown here  It would fit a large ring ordinary personal size as well but may be it would add too much bulk?

Andrew mentions in his email above it fitting a Deskfax, whilst this is true (the ring spacing is correct) the Deskfax didn't appear until 1993!

It's not shown in the old catalogue I have from about 1937. Thank you Andrew for sharing this with us.

Have you ever come across anything like this before?

21 comments:

  1. I had a Personal Duplex (I think it was the hide leather one) which I used, I *think*, around 1982-83, just before moving to TMI systems. It was a great binder and really useful in all sorts of ways......I could still find uses for a duplex now, even though I have no idea what happened to that binder......

    ReplyDelete
  2. In a perfect world the Duplex would be brought back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Using this kind of binder the Duplex will become a Triplex. So not only the Duplex should come back, this integrating Slimline has to come back, too.

      Delete
  3. To me it seems in the early times things were made to match practical problems - here we see how to integrate a wallet-like slimline organiser into a personal size organizer (or even a Deskfax) to build up some kind of a planning or organisational ecosystem.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Steve - when Andrew mentions Deskfax, he would be meaning the original organisers that used this name. They were double standard page width models with standard holes. I remember them in the 1980s and they had been around for many years then.

    I feel sure that this Filofax was originally part of a larger duplex system where the organiser could be used on its own but also fitted into another parent ring mechanism, back in the office.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But did the Deskfax exist in the 1930's to 1940's ? I can't find any evidence of them until much later. Hence why I suggested Duplex which was around back then.

      Delete
    2. Agreed. A lot of companies kept data sheets and product information in Filofax systems. I'm sure this Filofax was one that would be used, say by an engineer, out on the road with customers and then returned to its parent Duplex binder at the end of the day, using the holes in the cover.

      Delete
  5. Duplex binders still exist... Army issue ones, not leather, but the size is roughly the same and the rings are personal size:

    http://www.kitmonster.co.uk/product_info.php/products_id/359

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've just ordered one of these, the firm is in Tunbridge Wells where I used to live!

      Delete
    2. Wonderful! They are designed to use all-weather inserts produced by a company called "Rite in the Rain". The page size described as"sub A5" is 180 x 119mm (7"x 4 5/8" in old money), so would hold both Filofax (171mm x96mm) and Time Manager (180mm x 110mm) inserts. Unlike a certain well known brand, they still produce lots of interesting inserts. Here are a few:-

      http://www.riteintherain.com/inventory.asp?CatId=%7B49D5C5CB%2DCA77%2D4ADF%2D8AE4%2DFA2CB860C707%7D&cpage=2

      Delete
  6. Found this really fascinating. My Great Aunt was a chemist and I could imagine her using a book like this. She worked in the days when chemists made their own pills, lotions and ointments... no pharmecutical giants. She knew the latin names and chemical composition/ healing properties of each and every plant and her prescriptions usually worked too!!! I feel so sad that such an intelligent, warm and loving lady, who was like a fairy Godmother to me, is no longer with us, and that all that knowledge she held has also died with her. She would have loved using this in her chemist's shop in Eilie, Fife. Thank you for this post... unintentional...,but it helped me remember my Great Aunty Betty today with so much love in my heart. xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Steve,
    Just to clarify when I said it clipped into a desk filofax - this was speculation and I didn't specifically mean a Deskfax. It's good to know that there were predecesors to the Deskfax that my grandfather could have used.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I LOVE to hear stories like this about old Filofaxes and their histories. Thanks so much for sharing Andrew! Welcome to the community. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. You're welcome. It's a pity that Filofax want around in WW1as it might have encouraged him to write about his experience in the trenches. As someone with some medical knowledge he rapidly became a surgeon, even though he wasn't a doctor.

      He also served in Mesopotania (modern day Iraq) to secure the oil fields.

      Delete
  9. Great item. The logo may give more clues on the age of this. I believe this stylised F and italic text came into use in 1980. So maybe it was a later accessory added to an older Filofax?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to the filofax website visual history, the logo was trademarked on 27.11.1930

      Delete
    2. I think they mean the trademark on the name Filofax rather than the precise format of that logo Andrew. The image they've put against the text isn't contemporary.

      Delete
    3. Gmax - I think you're absolutely right. Pre-war Filofaxes had the oval logo. The stylised "f" is much newer, probably dating this model to the 1980's. Andrew's mum may be confusing this with an earlier black Filofax? (Easily done. My wife thinks that all Filofaxes look the same!)

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Tim.
    This 1980s logo is subtly different from the current one incidentally - compare the letter X of each to see the clearest change.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very strange. I told my mum about this conundrum and she's adamant that it was the only Filofax he used and he died in the mid 60s.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails