Thursday, June 28, 2012

Robinson Reminders in print


[New Yorker, March 18, 1944.]

“Jot it down — Do it — Tear it out — Live notes only!” It’s like Getting Things Done with perforations. Note the clever names for the other products: Billminders and Miss Gadabout. Miss Gadabout!

Google Books has dingy-looking scans of Robinson Reminder advertisements from as early as 1915. The slogan — “Live notes only,” minus the exclamation point — was already in place. That slogan does seem to go with early-twentieth-century notions of efficiency. Clear the decks: history is bunk, right?

Here, from 1921, sharpened, straightened, and neatened up, is the patent for the Robinson Reminder:



If you cannot get enough of the Robinson Reminder, A Continuous Lean has a post with some fine photographs.

Previously on Orange Crate Art
Pocket notebook sighting (a Robinson Reminder in the movies)

comments: 16

Gunther said...

What a great idea for a notebook! I wish it was still available.

Michael Leddy said...

There are a couple for sale on eBay, but it’s probably close to impossible to find a supply of replacement pads.

Ren said...

I found eight of these in a Goodwill today. I wonder if I should put them up on Ebay. They're still in the plastic.

Michael Leddy said...

Lucky find — I would guess that you’d have no problem finding a buyer.

Unknown said...

I have four unused refill pads from my dad's desk. I don't want to toss them, but are four worth the eBay effort?

Michael Leddy said...

I think I would keep them and be tempted to buy a holder to go with them.

Unknown said...

Robinson Reminders was started & owned by my great grandfather here in Westfield, MA. Every few months I go online to try and buy any of the books on eBay. I always love to see write ups online every so often!

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for writing, Susan. Your comment helps make the past a little less past.

Anonymous said...

I knew "Robbie" and son Jack. Special people. Also Jack's wife Sue. Nice memories of times spent together.
Kent Tarrant

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for sharing that, Kent. I’m always happy when someone comes to a post in this way.

cath61 said...

Found your blog tonight while looking through a bag of things I bought at an antique store here in Tucson AZ. In the bag among a bunch of neat old black and whites (no names unfortunately) was what appears to be a brown leather (?) cover with a set of blank reminders. On the inside cover is an area marked "papers" and "fileaway". What a neat little item, complete with instructions on how to "jot it down" and "tear it out". Thanks for the additional information!

Michael Leddy said...

What a great find! Thanks for sharing it here.

Tamara Washington said...

My mother recently passed away and while going through her things I found one wrapped in plastic. It took me a while to find out what it was but what a nifty idea. I will hang onto it as it apparently is kind of rare. Love having things people no longer use...in another few years our kids and grandkids will wonder what pencil and paper are.

Michael Leddy said...

I think things like that are priceless. I’m glad this post gave you some background, and thanks for letting me know that you found it helpful.

phxxer said...

I just checked, and I have 15 refills and one brown leatherette cover. Robinson Reminder notebooks fall in the category of "too good to use." I used them sparingly, then very sparingly. At 91, I guess I don't need to save any more. These all have a price sticker "NON FOOD," so I must have bought them at a grocery store. They were 20 cents each. I also have 5 slightly larger four part notebooks called "Jiffy Jotter." The paper seems to slightly better (not as yellowed),and the perfs much finer, sort of slices rather than small holes. On computer paper they called it "Micro=perf." These were a product of Transparent Shade Co., Los Angeles 12, Calif. These were bought at "Pic-N-Save" (now Big Lots) for 15 cents each. Phil, Phoenix.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for the stationery details, Phil. I know well the feeling of having stationery supplies that are too good to use. :)