Photos: Workin’ for a Livin’ in 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

We like news, we like to comment, we’ll dabble in politics, sports, business and technology.  Perhaps most of all, we like photography.  But above all, if there is one enduring rule here at PE, we like history and nostalgia.  Photography is perhaps the best way to enjoy both.  In this spirit, here comes a curveball.  Be warned, this will either be the most uninteresting entry ever or completely fascinating.

We recently came into possession of a stack of photos taken in 1985.  The circumstances of the shots are untold and the photographer unnamed (we’re privy to both). However, we can’t resist sharing some of the more interesting faces and places.   They are all wonderful artifacts of yesteryear.  See for yourself…

What DO we know about these photos? They were definitely taken in 1985; likely in the Summer. They were taken in a printing plant in Louisville, Kentucky. The name of the company is apparently Federal Paper Board Company, if the sign in front of the building is to be believed.

Judging from the opening photo, we also know they portray a time when workplace wardrobe was uh, relaxed.  Maybe it was a dress down day? Refreshingly, Zesta and Keebler logos have retained their look.  More on that later.

First, the exterior of the building.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

Whatever that is on the roof looks positively scary.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

The building still stands as of 2011.  Here is a Google Streetview.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 2011

Let’s go inside and see the printing presses!

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

We can’t quite determine what they were printing that day. Perhaps, cigarette cartons judging by the size.  But we can’t quite place that logo and color scheme.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

The employees…or “associates” in 2014 terms.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

All kinds of cool.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

These guys were definitely buds.  The calendar does read 1985.  Also notice the quips on the well-guarded locker behind them.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

Hawaiian shirts, pocket protectors and jeans for the crew.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

REAL vintage t-shirts ahead.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

We really like these gals.  They look so happy.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

The ladies are well-dressed and feathered.  The horrible late-1980’s trend of masculine lines and ridiculous shoulder padding had yet to be thrust upon an unwitting mass of consumers.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

This gentleman stands proudly in front on a display case.  You can see the packaging products they produced.  Pampers, Luvs, Betty Crocker (?) and Marlboro.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

Who would have guessed this beard would be so 2014.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

Relaxed on the job.  This is the first picture where we start to get a sense of the technology…or lack thereof.  Adding machines, ticker-tape, paper desk calendars, physical in-boxes and typewriters.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

Pretty sure this gentleman was the big boss.  Why?  Wood desk, wood wall.  Is that an ash tray?

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

Break time!  There’s a microwave, a change machine, an analog clock and…wait for it…a cigarette vending machine!  More vintage tees and awesome soda cans.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

Epic coffee machine.  We think we once saw it in an episode of The Wonder Years.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

What was it about the 1980’s that we had to put wood paneling in our offices, cars and even on our vending machines?  Oh..and what’s RC?  Kidding.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

Paper.  Lots of it.  Rotary phones with 24 lines.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

Vintage tee.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

Using the adding machine without looking.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

More paper.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

This gentleman looks like a fellow photographer.

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

FPBC, Louisville, KY - 1985

What’s so valuable about these pictures?  They provide a compelling view of life in the blue-collar workplace in 1985.  They are not only a study in the changes in style but the environment of the workplace.  We hope you enjoyed.

Needless to say if you are pictured here, please let us know! We’re hopeful you would enjoy seeing a picture of yourself from nearly 30 years ago you probably forgot was even captured. If not, we’d be happy to edit this post.

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