We didn’t realise quite how dangerous a 1940s office was, but luckily this video has survived the decades to highlight the numerous hazards that existed. Broadcast in America in 1944, the video takes the office worker through the various dangers, trying to cut down on the number of accident at work claims. With a ‘hilarious’ voice over, some questionable sexism and what can only be described as interesting attempts at acting – Typewriter Bites Girl! is a fascinating insight into a bygone era. Gee whizz…
From “bright, cheerful, well-rested office personnel” to “an industrious-looking fellow with his mind on his work”, everyone is presented as an ideal employee. The concerns are oddly small-scale as well – where today we might focus on lurid situations involving forklifts or high heels on wobbly chairs, they seem more worried about accidents at work involving pinched fingers and banged knees.
Nevertheless, there is some good advice in Typewriter Bites Girl! relating to office safety. Avoiding home-made First Aid solutions and making sure you pay attention to your fellow workers’ safety as well as your own is advice that almost any office could benefit from. Still, it’s hard to take it seriously with so many parodies of this kind of educational film in existence, in shows from films like Dodgeball to cartoons like South Park.
Our favourite line? “Get acquainted with your chair. Know its limits, and observe them.” Beautiful.
Thanks to Prelinger Archive and The Atlantic for sharing
If you want to make an accident at work claim then speak to our expert solictors at Loyalty Law.