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Centres of Calculation
Centres of Calculation

Desks, filing cabinets, mimeographs, adding-machines, card indexes, desk calendars, telephone extensions, adjustable desk lights. Wire correspondence baskets, erasers, carbon paper, type-brushes, dust rages, waste paper baskets. Pencils, hard and soft, black and blue and red. Pens, nibs, backing sheets, notebooks, paper clips. Gum, paste, stationery: the half dozen sorts of envelopes and letter heads. Tools were these, as important in trade as the masthead and black flag … As important and perhaps to be deemed as romantic some day; witness the rhapsodic advertisements for filing cabinets that are built like battle ships. (Sinclair Lewis, The Job, 1917, in Haigh 2012: 90)

For many years, the ‘central business district’ (CBD) was a key term in explaining urban structure. However, as part ...

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