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Posts Tagged ‘Rolodex

“Because the world is radically new, the ideal encyclopedia should be radical, too”*…

The current edition of The Encyclopaedia Britannica runs to 32 volumes of about 1,375,000 words per volume– 44 million words in all.  Wikipedia currently contains 2,537 million words across 4.3 million articles, the equivalent of over 1,900 volumes of Britannica.

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* Charles Van Doren (1962)

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As we appreciate the prescience of Douglas Adams, we might send well-organized birthday greetings to Arnold Neustadter; he was born on this date in 1910.  A businessman with a flare for invention, Neustadter created the Autodex, a spring-operated phone directory that automatically opened to the selected letter, Swivodex, an inkwell that did not spill, Punchodex, a paper hole puncher, and Clipodex, a transcription aid that attached to a stenographer’s knee.  But his masterwork, created in 1956 with Hildaur Neilsen, was the rotary contact file, the Rolodex.

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