Sunday, April 1, 2012

When computers were sexy: Hilarious vintage ads from the early days of the PC

Companies such as Apple have made their name by marketing their products not just as technological tools but as glamorous and fun toys.

But this marketing technique is nothing new, as these vintage adverts from the early days of PCs show.

They portray computers as fun, easy to use - and even sexy, with the help of a few eager-looking models.

Other quirks of the now-outdated ads include the attempt to initiate consumers in the strange world of 'electronic mail', and an appearance from the young Bill Gates.


Hot shot: Bill Gates teamed up with Radio Shack in 1985 to promote computers carrying Microsoft Windows

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Black and white pictures capture the lives of Londoners in the 1800s

The Water Cart: 'It costs me about twelve shillings a week for my living and the rest I must save, I have laid aside eight pounds this past twelve months'

Described by Adolphe Smith as an 'old women reduced by vice and poverty to that degree of wretchedness which destroys even the energy to beg'

The Independent Bootblack: 'The independent bootblack must always carry his box on his shoulders and only put it down when he has secured a customer'

Flying Dustmen: 'They obtained their cognomen from their habit of flying from from one district to another. When in danger of collison with an inspector of nuisances, they adroitly change the scene of their labours'

Public Disinfectors: 'They receive sixpence an hour for disinfecting houses and removing contaminated clothing and furniture, and these are such busy times that they often work twelve hours a day'

Strawberries, All Ripe! All Ripe! 'Strawberries ain't like marbles that stand chuckin' about. They won¿t hardly bear to be looked at. When I've got to my last dozen baskets, they must be worked off for wot they will fetch'

Cheap Fish of St Giles: 'Little Mic-Mac Gosling, as the boy with the pitcher is familiarly called, is seventeen years old, though he only reaches to the height of three feet ten inches'

Street Doctor: 'Vendors of pills, potions and quack nostrums are not quite so numerous as they were in former days'

The Seller of Shellfish: 'Me and my missus are here at this corner with the barrow in all weathers, ¿specially the missus, as I takes odd jobs beating carpets, cleaning windows, and working round the public houses with my goods'

Silent Highway: 'The silent highway they navigate is no longer the main thoroughfare of London life and commerce, the smooth pavements of the streets have successfully competed with the placid current of the Thames'

The Street Locksmith: 'There are several devoted to this business along the Whitechapel Rd, and each possesses a sufficient number of keys to open almost every lock in London'

Cast-Iron Billy: 'Forty-three years on the road and more, and but for my rheumatics, I feel almost as hale and hearty as any man could wish'

William Hampton of the London Nomades, a group of travellers who were staying on vacant land in Battersea: 'Why what do I want with education? Any chaps of my acquaintance that knows how to write and count proper ain't much to be trusted into the bargain'

The Wall-Workers: A way of advertising cheaply by covering a wall in placards. 'Business, sir! Don't talk to us of business! It's going clean away from us'

The London Boardmen: 'If they walk on the pavement, the police indignantly throw them off into the gutter, where they become entangled in the wheels of carriages, and where cabs and omnibuses are ruthlessly driven against them'

A Convicts' Home: 'It is to be regretted that the accompanying photograph does not include one of the released prisoners, but the publication of their portraits might have interfered with their chances of getting employment'

Italian Street Musicans: 'There is an element of romance about the swarthy Italian youth to which the English poor cannot aspire'

An Old Clothes Shop in St Giles: 'As a rule, secondhand clothes shops are far from distinguished in their cleanliness, and are often the fruitful medium for the propagation of fever, smallpox &c'

Dealer in Fancy Ware: 'It's not so much the imitation jewels the women are after, it's the class of jewels that make the imitation lady'

Survivors of Street Floods in Lambeth: 'As for myself, I have never felt right since that awful night when, with my little girl, I sat above the water on my bed until the tide went down'

The Temperance Sweep: 'To his newly acquired sobriety, monetary prosperity soon ensued and he is well known throughout the neighbourhood, where he advocates the cause of total abstinence'

Caney the Clown once delighted at the pantomime but 'since his exertions to please at Stepney Fair caused the bursting of a varicose vein in his leg, the mending of chairs brings him constant employment'

Itinerant Photographer on Clapham Common: 'Many have been tradesmen or owned studios in town but after misfortunes in business or reckless dissipations are reduced to their present more humble avocation'

Black and white pictures capture the lives of Londoners in the 1800s