Gallery: 13 images that helped define the look of the electronic age

Originally published at:
In INSIDE THE MACHINE: Art and Invention in the Electronic Age [W. W. Norton & Company], cultural historian Megan Prelinger guides readers through the history of electronics.


It is pretty uncool to be doxxing Elvin G. Gustafson like that, @doctorow.

Is there more than one electronic age? Whatever happened to those beautiful iridescent photos of Intel processors? The Cray super computers in their red, white, and black color and lighting schemes? What of an actual console screen?


Yes, please. All of it.


Ah yes, the IRE. Before they merged with the AIEE to become the IEEE.

Thanks for showing us what’s inside this book. I was beginning to wonder, as no previews were available.

But I’ll probably skip buying it, as I can go to the stacks of the local university science library and browse all the original trade magazines myself, for free. They are a lot of fun to read through, especially the ads like these.

1 Like

If only William Jr. had taken over Burroughs Corporation. Imagine the possibilities. . . .


Mother of god how does this have only one like.


You might enjoy the Reanimation Library in Brooklyn. The library serves to collect books with cool art – mostly related to the arts and sciences!

Graphic design vocabulary of ~1955-1965, applied to engineering of which almost no one had the slightest technical understanding.

I’d love any of this on my wall, but what I notice most is how little it has to say about the things it talks about. There’s a lot of vaguely metaphorical, themed nonsense going on.

We’re not doing that much better today, but on average current illustrations have a lot more machine process in their pedigree, and a lot less soul.

1 Like

We’ve come a long way, baby!

CGI only:

1 Like

I have occasion to read modern brochures and ads for the defense electronics industry. Where the sixties had these lovely hand-painted images of atoms and rockets and flasks, we now have photographs of drones and tanks and fighter jets. It’s just not the same!


Honeywell might now be into more than process control and fertilizer, for one thing.

Yeah, but they’ve got all the cool instagram filters on 'em!

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.