Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Commentaries on this Media!

Vacuum tube as symbol for computerization

by Critical Commons Manager

In this ad from Business Week 1098 (September 16, 1950): 1, a vacuum tube represents the benefits of computerization for a gender balanced group of office workers, whose load is lightened by automatic data processing. In 1950, the usual iconography of mainframe computing (punch cards, tape drives, panels full of switches and flashing lights, etc.) may not have yet been part of the visual vernacular for computing. The vacuum tube that here stands in for computerization aligns instead with visions of the future by evoking space exploration and wireless data transfer.

Business Week ad for vacuum tubes

A gender balanced workplace is aided by computerization that lifts the load from humans

from Vision is Indispensable to Progress (1950)
Creator: Banker's Trust Co.
Distributor: Business Week
Posted by Critical Commons Manager