Dismiss
InnovationQ will be updated on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 10am ET - noon. You may experience brief service interruptions during that time.
Browse Prior Art Database

Marketing the Monster: Advertising Computer Technology

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129504D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 16 page(s) / 72K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

WILLIAM ASPRAY: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Interpreting the rich and striking blend of technical, intellectual, economic social, and cultural information in advertisements of computer technology reveals how popular understanding and perceptions of the meaning of computers changed between 1950 and 1980. The study's findings contribute to the historical understanding of the social diffusion of the technology in society; its methodology illustrates the historiographic strengths and weaknesses of using advertisements as historical documents.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 6% of the total text.

Page 1 of 16

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1986 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Marketing the Monster: Advertising Computer Technology

WILLIAM ASPRAY

DONALD DEB. BEAVER

(Image Omitted: © 1986 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or pan of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Authors' Addresses: W. Aspray, Charles Babbage Institute, 103 Walter Library, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455. D. Beaver, History of Science Department, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267. © AFIPS 0164- 1239/86/020127-143

Marketing the Monster: Advertising Computer Technology

WILLIAM ASPRAY

DONALD DEB. BEAVER .00/00)

Interpreting the rich and striking blend of technical, intellectual, economic social, and cultural information in advertisements of computer technology reveals how popular understanding and perceptions of the meaning of computers changed between 1950 and 1980. The study's findings contribute to the historical understanding of the social diffusion of the technology in society; its methodology illustrates the historiographic strengths and weaknesses of using advertisements as historical documents.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: K. 1 [The Computer Industry] -- markets; K.2 [History of Computing] -- hardware, people, software, systems; K.4 [Computers and Society] General Terms: Human Factors Additional Key Words and Phrases: advertising

In the early years of the history of computing, attention has centered primarily on advances in theory and design of hardware and software and, to a lesser extent, on the business and economic conditions that prevailed in the computer industry. Little attention has been paid to how the computer got out of the laboratory and into use how it moved from product development to a technology firmly woven into the social fabric.

The technical, internalist history has relied on personal recollections, oral interviews, printed material, and recently on traditional manuscript material (correspondence, laboratory notebooks, and business memorandums) and near-print materials (manuals and technical reports). Economic history has relied primarily on conventional economic source data, especially statistical information provided by industry and government. The possibilities of less traditional source materials have not been seriously explored.

This paper has both historical and historiographic aims, which we believe are mutually supportive: to study computer technology in its social context, and to investigate the...