06 June 2014

Guest Post - Mail order in by-gone years - Gmax

If you'd been placing an order for Lefax products exactly one hundred years ago (June 1914), this is what would have been available to you.


I don't think this list has absolutely everything, but the range does look rather limited, until you take into account that the reference data sheets (covered here as "duplicate and back sheets") would have numbered several hundred since they started being produced in 1910.

It was 1921 when Norman & Hill Ltd. began local UK manufacture and distribution of the Lefax products. The Filofax name was coined about four years later by Grace Scurr, who had been taken on by them as a temporary secretary. It only came into prevalence much later on though. And Grace Scurr famously saved the company, but that's another story!

9 comments:

  1. Always wondered how FF got started and how the name was chosen. Very interesting. Thx for posting. Love to read how secretary saved company.

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    1. In the Files section, there is a document called "A Chronology of Filofax", Bettyann. There is also the book Filofax Facts, which sells for ridiculous prices in the used book market.

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    2. One of the images here contains a photo and interview with Grace:
      http://www.filofax.co.uk/from-the-archive
      (Second row from the bottom, second from the right.)
      The article must date from 1987.
      A remarkable woman.

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  2. Amazing that inserts from this era have survived intact. A nice glimpse into bygone days. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I was unaware that Lefax was originally published by Standard Corporation, or that they were located in the Pennsylvania Building. I was under the impression that Lefax was Lefax, and that they were headquartered in the Sheridan Building, and the corner of 9th and Chestnut Streets. Granted, that information is true only as far back as the 1920's, if I recall.

    In fact, I have no idea where the Pennsylvania Building might stand, if it is still extant, nor have I ever heard of Standard Corporation. Very interesting!

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  4. Well spotted - I'd not paid much attention to the address there.
    The Sheridan building was evidently a bit later, and certainly used from the start of the 1920s as you say.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. List here suggests Pennsylvania building was at 15th and Chestnut streets.
      http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9276/m1/246/

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  5. Prompted by your observations Gemma, I am starting to uncover some quite fascinating details of Standard Corporation, and will share my findings!

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