Friday, September 23, 2011


I love paperwork.  I always have.  Many of my jobs over the last 18 years or so have been tied to duties involving 'paper":  filing, data entry, sorting, mailing, stuffing envelopes, reconciling checks, accounts receivable and payable....and I was happy as a clam.

Whether it's because I knew I'd have enough work to keep me busy or just because I liked the looks of them, invoices were one of my favorite types of paper.  They still are of course, but now I get to do whatever I want with them!  And with that, what I'm about to show you I've spoken of before, but only as a teaser.  But now, in all their glory, is a WHOPPING PILE of invoicey wonderfulness:

This is the stack that my art friend Shelley Massey and I went halfsies on.  I'd love to see what she's making with her half!  :D

I love these so much!  Most are accounts receivable invoices for Allis-Chalmers, a manufacturer of farm implements and tractors which was founded in Milwaukee in the 1840s (it was such a presence that the city of West Allis may have gotten its name from the company).  Unfortunately, A-C isn't in Milwaukee anymore but Houston, Texas, where it's known as Allis Chalmers Energy.

Mixed in with the Allis Chalmers A/P invoices are all sorts of A/R invoices for various companies, some based in Manitowoc (where we found this wonderful stack).  Most of these are from the 1920s-40s, but there are a few early Aughts in there too.  The logos on some are prime examples of early advertising!

I've only used one of these invoices so far, and it's in an unrecognizable way.  See the sepia-colored bits in this mirror with mocha-colored vertical lines (you can see part of it by the bird on the left hand side)?  That's part of the invoice, which is on a vellum-like paper.  It lent itself to this piece so nicely that I HAD to use it.  It was screaming at me!  :D

I can't WAIT to sink my teeth into this pile further - I hope I do these invoices justice in my work!

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