Modern Office Supplies: How They Have Changed Over the Years


office-820390_640The modern office supplies you see in every business today have changed a lot compared to what you would see in an office 50 years ago.

For instance, instead of seeing PCs and monitors on everyone’s desk, you would see IBM typewriters which were cutting edge at the time. When a business had a lot of typewriters it meant it needed Carbon Paper which went in between paper so the typewriter could make multiple copies as the typist was typing.

The prevalence of typewriters also meant typewriter ribbons were an essential office supply. Both Copy Machines & Fax Machines needed special chemically coated paper to make reproductions & worked very slowly. There were a lot of expensive supplies required for the modern office of 1975.

The reason for that is because you needed separate devices to do everything. If you wanted to make copies of something, you needed a machine for that. If you wanted to fax something, you needed a machine for that. It wasn’t like today where one machine can do it all.

The Difference Between Early and Modern Office Supplies

These days almost everything has changed. The typewriter, once an office staple, has since gone the way of the horse & buggy. Now everyone either has a PC or a Mac on their desk, which is most likely connected to a wireless multifunctional machine shared by the office.

The idea of buying separate machines for printing, copying, and scanning is almost unfathomable these days when you can buy a machine that does everything. It makes more financial and practical sense to buy one machine rather than having multiple machines all over your office.

Compared to earlier times, it has become more affordable to acquire modern office supplies due to the fact that everything you need can be purchased in an all-in-one machine. Not only is the technology getting more affordable to acquire, it’s getting more affordable to run. If you think modern day toner is pricey, it’s nothing compared to the prices of liquid toner in the past.

The scanner in particular, whether part of a multifunctional unit or not, is one of the biggest things to come to modern office supplies. If you’re not currently making use of your scanner daily, we recommend you reading our article on small business document management.


Not that there was any doubt, but there are many advantages that modern day office supplies have over office supplies of years past. Buying one machine means buying one type of toner and one type of paper. These days you’re not buying supplies for all different pieces of equipment.

Another tremendous advantage of modern equipment is that the advanced technology makes problems easier to diagnose. If you have a problem, the machine gives you a code which you can then take to a technician. If you call us, for instance, a technician  can be at your office that day to fix it so you can get on with your work

We can handle any and all problems with your office equipment, whether it’s modern or 50 years old. If you’re in the middle of an office equipment emergency, or just have a question about something, call us any time at 973.559.3512.

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