The word payroll first appears in the English language around 1765, according to Webster’s. While I’m pretty sure the “roll” part comes from the concept of “roll call” or “muster roll” (which probably itself came from such things being recorded on rolled-up scrolls), I like the way this Dey Time Register time clock at the San Francisco Cable Car Museum brings the word full circle.
I also love what a time capsule the curator card itself is, with that typeface and its comparison of this ca 1900 time clock to “today’s time clocks.” I imagine “today” was some time in the 1950s or 60s. Though to be fair, the last time I transferred a client from paper time cards to an online system was in the 2010s…
Have you ever wondered what workers for the San Francisco Cable Car system do, if they’re not conductors? How they keep the cable cars rolling? The museum is housed in the system’s working central powerhouse, and admission is free. It’s well worth a visit.
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