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Marketing Domestic Technologies
January 28, 2008, 5:31 pm
Filed under: 2008

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Marketing Domestic Technologies

Here’s a series of links from the Internet Archive, a pretty amazing collection of archived materials. These are from the Prelinger Archives, a collection of over 48,000 emphemera – advertising, educational, industrial and amateur films. (There was a nice article about the archives by GIDEON Lewis-Kraus in the May 2007 Harper’s Magazine; available on boing-boing here). These links below take you to some humorous ads which highlight gender and gendered roles in the marketing of household appliances such as coffee makers and refrigerators, telephones and the television; there are many more…

What boys did in the 30s: All American Soap Box Derby from General Motors in 1934.Edison Electric’s Young Man’s Fantasy from 1952 features the most annoying teenage girl and her love interest, a self-interested nerd.

Another from General Motors where the Robot assumes Domestic Duty is from 1940, Leave it to Roll-Oh.

Telephone advertising includes instructional films from Bell; Operator Toll Dialing which is all about Cord Signals (1949); AT&T’s We Learn About the Telephone (1965); and Bell (1970) telephone commercials.

Here’s a truly surrealistic ad from AT&T called Once Upon a Honeymoon, a 1956 musical about color telephones.

Yet another dance number is from 1957, Frigidaire Finale .

Post WWII and the girls are outta work and back in the home; proliferating automobiles and mushrooming suburbs … Redbook Magazine produced a film in 1957 called In the Suburbs where they extol the virtues of atomized living amidst atom bomb fears, no less!

In 1955 General Motors produced a film Magic in the Air about early television.

The 1960’s American Women – Partners in Research is about Corning Ware’s manufacturer of a coffee maker.

Flash forward a decade to 1967 and Proctor & Gamble’s notions of Consuming Women – Selling to the Sixties Women.


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