Learn about the history of real property listing in the State of Wisconsin.  Please check out The Back Forty, which was written by Edna Lippert and  Jeff Bluske.  An update to this history will hopefully be coming soon as we have put another twenty years in the books.

Addressographs, What are they?

Prior to the computer age and after the time frame when people would hand write assessment rolls and tax rolls the real property lister oft would have used some sort of addressograph.  I never used one myself, but from what I have been told they were large and loud and if you were working in a room with one it would get hot and I believe it was common to get ink all over the place.  I have never heard anyone speak of wishing that they could use one again or were sad to see them go.  Basically there would have been plates that were pressed in order to emboss addresses the address plates were loaded into drawers which would feed into a machine and the addresses would get printed onto the paper rolls.  It sounds like a lot of work to me.  It would make a great amount of sense to automate the process when you are repeating addresses frequently.  However considering all of the unique property owners and addresses it seems like an old fashioned pen would do the trick.  Legible handwriting would be a problem though and of course the introduction of human error when one might mis-spell a name or address thus compromising the information.  Their uses extended well beyond the realm of real property listing but by now aside from specialty production of credit card like items or dog tags I presume they have been mothballed.  Even for those types of items one would assume that something newer has come along from a production standpoint, but who knows, perhaps they are still prevalent in other industries that I am unaware of? If you would like to learn more about the addressograph you can look it up on wikipedia or officemuseum.com. If you would like to see some images of addressographs or read more about them try a search for addressograph on Bing, Yahoo, Google or whatever search engine you prefer.  here are a lot of images and old advertisements featuring them and here are but a few i found…



WRPLA 60th Anniversary
The 60th Anniversary of the Wisconsin Real Property Lister's Association -Stone Harbor Resort - Sturgeon Bay, WI
The 60th Anniversary of the Wisconsin Real Property Lister’s Association -Stone Harbor Resort – Sturgeon Bay, WI


Modified colored logo…(WRPLA.ORG era)…2007-2016…










Original logo…(pre-internet)…?-2006…

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