Mad Men Your Workspace: Vintage Office Supplies

Collection of vintage office supplies.

 Maybe it’s the TV show Mad Men, which wrapped up season 6 this summer, or maybe it’s because it’s back-to-school time again, but it seems like we are seeing vintage office supplies everywhere. From typewriters to Moleskine notebooks, paper and office supply geeks know that vintage office supplies are in. That means whether you are looking to trick out your  home office with a little vintage panache or you just want to add a little bit of retro pizazz to your cubicle at work, we’ve got some ideas and inspiration for you.

Bring a little bit of retro into your everyday with vintage office supplies.

Vintage Office Supplies

Poking around Etsy revealed a smorgasbord of vintage-inspired and genuinely vintage office supplies. Stuff like real ink pens, rotating rubber stamp holders, crank pencil sharpeners and wire In and Out boxes. Here are just some of the fun highlights from out search.


Vintage office.

Image: Thread and Brush Studio

Love this teal Olivetti Studio 44 Portable Manual Typewriter with its original case and in working condition. Whether for show or to channel your inner Hemingway, this is a stylish piece. Using one of these bad boys for a bit would really make one appreciate word processors and laptops as well.

Office Supplies and Stationery Tin Box

Vintage office supplies kit.

Image: Inklinks

What a clever find this kit is. It’s filled with vintage office supplies and stationery from 1950s-1980s ready for your next letter writing (gasp, snail mail?) session. It’s filled  with all kinds of usable ephemera like a marble-covered notebook, Staedtler erasers, floppy disk labels, old tags, and Owl paper clips, among other goodies.

Fountain Pen

Vintage office supplies.

Image: zandbroz

While you might think they are messy, fountain pens are actually a much more sustainable choice over disposable pens. And this restored 1946 Parker Vacumatic Jet Black Fountain Pen is more than better for the planet, it’s also super cool. Leave the iPad back in the office and show up with this for notetaking at your next meeting.

Rubber Stamp

Important vintage rubber stamp.

Image: unqueDuJour

Hand stamp your own letters and memos or even create your own stationery using this vintage “Important Message” rubber stamp. Even though we live in the digital age, it’s possible to have some retro fun when sending your paper-based communications.


Vintage office supplies.

Image: collectiblesatoz

Even though some of us have phones that “bump” to exchange info and others have business card apps on our iPhones, we still always end up with business cards and addresses written on scraps of paper. That’s why the Rolodex will never go out of style. This one is from the 1980s.


Vintage office supplies labels.

Image: juliecollings

Instead of reaching for those generic Avery labels from the big box store for your next labeling project, consider using these vintage Dennison labels instead. Form and function together in one.

Carbon Paper

Carbon paper vintage office supplies.

Image: TheInspiredTrader

And for a bit of nostalgic fun, how about some carbon paper? Carbon paper was the original copy and paste! This package of Solvent Carbon Paper by Burroughs Corporation dates from the 1960s.


Vintage No. 2 pencils.

Image: pastoria

And for the back-to-school crowd, how about these vintage Cascade C120 Soft. No.2 pencils—they still use pencils in school, don’t they? These are from the 1980s.

Top Image: Matteo Paciotti | Photography

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Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.