Remember White Out? I just checked and we have one bottle of Bic “Wite-Out” correction fluid in our supply closet. Sometime after the era of carbon copies, after office copy machines became ubiquitous but before computers overtook typewriters – c1970s-1980s … I like to think of this time as the golden age of white out.
Correct a mistake with white out, re-insert page in typewriter and type correctly. White out was good also for handwritten notes, for cleaning up random marks before photocopying a document, and for personalizing birthday cards.
What to do, however, if you use paper in a color other than white? The answer was, obviously, white out in colors.
In addition to the fact that the memo above is on green paper, it is interesting also for the content, and for clues to the office culture of the time. Written in 1979 by Irving Brodsky, who served as Executive Vice-President of the Associated YM-YWHA’s from 1957 to 1981. For more information on Irving Brodsky, please take a look at his oral history, which can be found here: Brodsky Oral History. Note that the memo includes the letterhead for the Associated YM-YMHA’s of Greater New York, located at Federation’s offices on 59th Street.
The addressee is Dr. Don Feldstein, who was the Executive Director for Federation’s Community Services division beginning in 1976. Presumably it was Dr. Feldstein who wrote the note to Executive Vice-President Sanford Solender to the left of the date, “SS: We left it that you would see him.” And note the message in the upper lefthand corner from Sanford Solender to his secretary, Addie, to see if she could secure a copy of the Judge Benjamin letter.
On our wish list: examples of pink, blue and yellow white out.