[Ledgers and Time Books from a National Blank Book Co. Catalogue]

Photography Studio Stadler Photographing Company American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 852

"Time is money, and as such, a careful record of it must be kept," insisted ad copy for the National Blank Book Company. Stationers to the managerial class, National sold timekeeping rosters that segmented each day into a terse equation of hours worked and wages billed. Their success speaks to a reorganization of American life around commodities, whose production and purchase appear here inexorably entwined. The photograph, mounted to the page of a disbound catalogue, shows inventory measured and marked for order. A neat grid evokes the strictly ruled pages within these books, reiterating the rigor of their corporate brand.

[Ledgers and Time Books from a National Blank Book Co. Catalogue], Stadler Photographing Company (American, active 1900s–1940s), Gelatin silver print with applied color

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