Who invented file cabinet?

A file cabinet is a type of office furniture which is used for storing paper documents in file folders. In simple terms, it is an enclosure for storing documents. File cabinets are mainly available in two varieties; the vertical and the horizontal file cabinets. The vertical file cabinets are predominantly used today in the modern world for storage and maximum utilization of space. These file cabinets have a key and lock mechanism that offers added security.

Henry Brown who was an American inventor, is said to have invented the horizontal filing cabinet in 1886 where as Edwin G. Seibels is the inventor of the most commonly used vertical filing cabinet in 1898.
Edwin G. Seibels was employed in his father’s insurance firm and he founded a vertical system for record keeping. In early days, papers were stored in envelopes which were stored in small compartments known as pigeon holes and these compartments were hung on the walls. These pigeon hole cabinets had about 20 to 60 slots for storing files.

Seibels came to the conclusion that there was no need to fold the papers for the sake of filing. Papers could be kept in a vertical position in a drawer which could save a lot of space. Though his idea could not be patented, he was awarded a bronze plaque in recognition for his invention. This invention revolutionized the way records were being stored. Today lateral as well as shelf filing systems are also available and are used in homes as well as offices and other establishments.

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