A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 15, 2005
“From Nine to Five”
From "9 a.m. to 5 p.m." is the familiar time for work. "9 to 5" was also the title of a popular song and film (1980) of Dolly Parton. "From Nine to Five" was the title of a 1940s-1960s cartoon by Jo Fischer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

The 1933 novel From Nine to Five, by Mary Badger Wilson, chronicles life in New York City.

However, a 1923 essay by acclaimed local wit Robert Benchley was also titled "From nine to five." Did Benchley coin or popularize this?

(Oxford English Dictionary)
nine to five, n., a., and adv.
Forms: 9-5, 9 to 5, nine-to-five.

A. n. The period of time (or the hours) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., representing the hours worked during a standard office day; (by extension) a person who works routinely between these hours; work or a job occupying these hours; the routine imposed by this.

1936 Business Wk. 11 Jan. 25 (advt.) 'Nine to Five'Thursdays 7:15 p.m., E. S. T., Blue NBC Network. 1975 P. G. WINSLOW Death of Angel i. 41 Wants a nine to five... That's her type, not a policeman coming in at all hours.

B. adj. Usu. with hyphen. Designating a routine, lifestyle, etc., centred around a standard office day lasting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., esp. to express an idea of boredom and predictability. Also: designating a (conventionally minded) person committed to such a lifestyle.

1956 Canad. Jrnl. Econ. & Polit. Sci. 22 50 He is almost never free, though he may not be burdened with a nine-to-five routine. 1961 Oxf. Mag. 4 May 318/2 The so called '9 to 5' atmosphere and routine.

C. adv. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

1980 W. VALGARDSON Gentle Sinners ix. 103 Game wardens work nine to five nowadays.

About 9to5
9to5, National Association of Working Women

In 1973 a group of office workers in Boston got together to talk about issues which had no name—sexual harassment, work/family challenges, and pay equity. From this beginning 9to5 emerged as the national organization dedicated to putting working women's issues on the public agenda. 9to5's consituents are low-wage women, women in traditionally female jobs, and those who've experienced any form of discrimination. Membership is open to all. Now in its fourth decade, 9to5's mission is to strengthen women's ability to win economic justice.

Workin' 9 to 5
What a way to make a livin'
Barely gettin' by
It's all takin'
And no givin'
They just use your mind
And they never give you credit
It's enough to drive you
Crazy if you let it

Robert Charles Benchley (September 15, 1889 in Worcester, Massachusetts — November 21, 1945) was an American humorist, newspaper columnist, film actor, and drama editor.

(NYPL record)
Title: Present-day essays, ed. by Edwin Van B. Knickerbocker ...
Imprint: New York, H. Holt and company [1923]
-- From nine to five, by R.C. Benchley.--

(NYPL record)
Title: From nine to five / Mary Badger Wilson.
Imprint: Philadelphia : Penn Pub. Co., c1933.

19 February 1933, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, pg. 7:
Study of New York Life

"From Nine to Five," by Mary Badger Wilson, is a study of New York life in recognizable terms. Jane Pendleton's problems and perplexities are real, and her job in an office no mere five-finger exercise while waiting to be tapped for the "Vanities." She does not escape the man-made loneliness of the city, but she finds strength in its man-made splendor. She realizes that New York is a training school for the business of living and not a parade ground ofr her charms. "From Nine to Five" offers you a romance in which freshness is not adulterated with synthetic sophistication. It answers the cynic's complaint that "there is no adventure in middle-class life."

Posted by Barry Popik
Work/Businesses • Tuesday, November 15, 2005 • Permalink

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