File Cabinets: 5 Fast Facts

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Fact #1. The earliest methods of filing systems date back almost five thousand years, including ancient Sumerian use of clay tables for writing Cuneiform language. This was used to document important information, such as weather data and crop yields. These clay tablets were stored in large libraries.

Fact #2. By the late 1800s, several new methods of filing emerged to organize information both alphabetically and chronologically into small containers. Among these inventions were Shannon files and storage bellows. By 1868, the first multi-drawer file cabinet became available. However, it was rather cumbersome to use.

Fact #3. A file cabinet is a multi-drawer piece of furniture typically constructed from sheet metal, steel, or wood. It’s designed to store and organize documents into separate labeled folders that are easy to access. The majority of cabinets are either lateral or vertical in design. Lateral cabinets are wide and offer side-by-side storage of folders and documents. Vertical cabinets are taller with front-to-back organization of their file folders.

Fact #4. Many cabinets have drawer labels to help the user identify the contents in each compartment. Because they store private and sensitive information, most cabinets incorporate a keyed lock to prevent unauthorized access. Should a cabinet not have an integrated lock, then a locking bar can be installed on the outer frame.

Fact #5. The most important consideration to make before purchasing a file cabinet is the amount of available space in your home or place of business. For example, if you work for a law firm with small printing and file rooms on the premises, then a vertical cabinet will be easy to place into corners. If you need additional storage options for your workforce, then lateral file cabinets can also work to an employee’s advantage.

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