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.
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About the author
A bean-counter counting literal beans: Esther Cervantes is an accounting and tax professional with 15 years experience supporting small businesses, worker-owned cooperatives, social enterprises, non-profits, and collective housing.
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