Vintage Business #11: Steno Pool Fantasies

Larry Page Orchestra- Executive Suite

My boss is a female. In fact, my boss' boss is female.  I am well aware that the workplace gender dynamics has changed dramatically over the years.  It's true that men still get paid more for doing the same work statistically; however, when you compare the playing field of today versus the workplace of the 1970s and earlier, it's unarguably better.

Indeed, the image one gets of the typical workplace of the pre-Reagan USA, is that of the smoking and drinking male with his harem of doting secretaries.  The image has certainly been embellished by the brush strokes of pop culture (i.e. Mad Men, 9 to 5, and porn), but it's not too incredibly off the mark.

roles reversed
I've covered this area before, so I'll refrain from too much elaboration.  However, I can't help but be intrigued by images of the workplace from yesteryear.  I'll be the first to admit, it's an image that is more than a little pleasant, as a fantasy.  I'm sure a lot of the appeal of Mad Men is the delusional idea of men ruling the workplace with all women basically serving as their lustful slaves.  Is it a misogynist fantasy, or just an instinctual desire to be "the hunter" in a world where men have largely been emasculated? I'll leave that question to the sociologists.  Here's the pictures.

click images to enlarge


  1. Larry Page used to be manager for the Kinks. He had also made several easy listening albums in the late 60's-early 70's.

  2. Grumble grumble equal rights blah blah.

  3. BTW, anybody else get a little excited whenever Mr. Drysdale talks about the secretarial pool? They certainly had some hot little numbers taking dictation at the Commerce Bank.

  4. Hey, who is the girl with the cigarette (pic with Playboy logo) and is this photo part of a series?

  5. Okay, thanks to Google's search by image I found out that it is Alice Denham. I also found two additional photos from this set.

  6. AnonymousJuly 26, 2011

    That fro on the girl in the fifth picture is amazing!