In 1958, Velcro was brand-new, space-age technology imported from England. The ideal place to use it? Down the front of a man's jacket! At least that's what Sears did for Christmas. Continue reading The hot new Christmas Gift for 1958: Velcro!
For many people, the holidays are a lonely time. Separated from family, isolated from friends. What better way to deal with the holiday blues…than a good game of solitaire! Continue reading How to Be Alone and Like It
From the Tandy Computer Catalog, 1978. Before the Apple Stores, there were Radio Shack Computer Centers. And before that, there was this catalog of computer hardware sold by Tandy… Continue reading Present at the birth of the personal computer revolution
Spencer Gifts! Mainstay of malls. After 70 years, Spencer’s still offers the frivolous and the faddish, whereever shopping malls still draw visitors. God, how I loved Spencer Gifts stores and catalogs when I was a certain age. The Mood Rings! The Day-Glow Posters! The Black Lights… Continue reading S-l-o-w-l-y a Pale Hand Emerges
Is there an irony in using a printed catalog to promote computer games? From the 21st-century viewpoint, certainly yes. In 1984 Human Engineeered Software climbed to a peak from which there was nowhere to go but down…. Continue reading Into the Pit!
Long before Avon, before Mary Kay, before Tupperware, before Herbalife, before a hundred other companies, there were multi-level marketing pioneers like Lee Manufacturing… Continue reading The roots of Multi Level Marketing
A new iPhone is being announced in a few weeks. It may cost close to $1000. A lot of money? Consider how much your iPhone does. Then consider just the function of video recording as it existed in 1984… Continue reading How to Shoot Video, 1984-style
Watch this space. A collection of Christmas gift timepieces for him or her. $1 a week would buy you the the Bulova Goddess of Time model, and $2 weekly would pay for a Hamilton Pacer, a seriously space-age design… Continue reading Become a Goddess of Time for $35.95
“The things you see here lay at the bottom of the South China Sea for 235 years.” The J. Peterman Company catalogs were as unusual as the products… Continue reading Sunken Treasure…Found by J. Peterman
B. Altman & Co, 1948: Was there ever a 20th-century gift more associated with fathers than a tie? Continue reading Give Dad a Tie for Father’s Day