I just browsed through the Series 90 college version of the “speed building” text, published in 1979. At that time our state university (the University of Missouri) still offered shorthand classes (hard to believe!) and I remember buying the set of books new in the university bookstore.
Two things are striking about the photos in the book (other than hair styles and clothing): the first is that the “typical” desk had a telephone, typewriter, and paper on it. Total absence of computers. What a different environment . . . and how in the heck did people exist without the internet and software applications?
The other striking thing is how often there are ash trays on tables and desks, and how frequently people are shown smoking. Again, a huge cultural shift. We live in a different world today.