The Golden Age of IBM Advertising

Big Blue's classic midcentury campaigns for "card-programmed calculating machines," newfangled typewriters, and other miracles of technology.

Posted by  | Monday, August 30, 2010

November 1954
We all press Return keys every day–hey, even the iPad has a virtual one–but it’s startling to realize that they were once an amazing breakthrough. If you used a manual typewriter–in 1954, lots of folks did–you had to shove the carriage back yourself.

I don’t know where Big Blue got the numbers it quotes in this ad–especially the factoid about the average typist returning the carriage 268,000 times a year–but I like them.

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8 Comments For This Post

  1. Bill Says:

    Read the fine print. At that time you had to have 2 years training. This training was in so called electronics, Which in 1956 was a glorified electrician. Everything was vacuum tube and relays.

    I joined IBM as a Field Technician in 1970 after 4 years as an Airforce technician. By the 1980s they wouldn't even consider an applicant that didn't have a college degree. Even though the job at that time was getting less technical every year.

    I must say however that they did provide a career. I worked for they in one capacity or another for 30 years.

  2. ankit malik Says:

    IBM really did a great service on the tech industry. They revolutionized the evolution of computers.

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  8. Charles Carmean Says:

    I hired on with IBM in Tucson AZ in 1980(circuit card test tech) and the manufacturing business was going great building circuit card till 1989 when the plant started downsizing and I took a transfer to Charlotte NC and this business lasted till 1998 when once again the manufacturing of circuit cards moved to China. Everyone who thought that they had a lifetime job with IBM found out the reality of cheap labor overseas. In its heyday IBM was a great place to work and employees were taken care of.