With the season five premiere for Mad Men last night, I thought it would be appropriate to showcase some if the amazing technological feats of the 1960s that were used through out the show. Check out some of the “cutting edge technology” of that time, in the list below.
Typewriters have been commercially marketed ever since the 1870s, with the Hansen Writing Bal. On Mad Men, most of the typewriters seem to resemble IBM’s Selectric model, which dates back to 1961. The Selectric was an electric machine, that used a swiveling ball that pivoted before striking the typebars onto the ribbon. Today, most typewriter functions can be handled by Microsoft Word.
Mad Men Quote – “Now try not to be overwhelmed by all this technology. It looks complicated, but the men who design it made it simple enough for a women to use.” (Joan reassuring Peggy on her first day)
The Xerox Machine
The Mad Men office uses the Xerox 914, which went on the market in 1959 and become so popular by 1965 that it reached $500 million in revenue. The original 914 model weighed 648 pounds and could make one copy every 26 seconds. Today’s photocopier has become compact and efficient enough to integrate a regular printer, fax machine, scanner, USB interface and even sharing options. High volume office versions are still rather bulky, but many can copy 55 pages per minute, and some up to 110.
Mad Men Quote – “It’s much bigger than they said it was. I think it needs an office.” (Joan upon seeing the Xerox machine for the first time)
The Photo Carousel
Kodak “reinvented the wheel” for this slide projector. All prior devices had been horizontally fed straight trays. Kodak sought to emphasize the round tray’s stacking and storing abilities, another streamline to the 1960s household efficiency craze.
Mad Men Quote – “Technology is a glittering lure, but there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product.” (Don Draper during his pitch to Kodak)