Vintage electron-related ads


Not the Electron I was hoping for.

What’s fascinating to me about the RCA ads is that many of them are not advertisements for electron microscopes or esoteric research devices… they’re apparently advertisements for television receivers, going to a general audience. But rather than talk about televisions, the approach seems to be to talk about some great research work they’ve been doing at the company, and then say at the very end that since they’re doing all this amazing stuff, they clearly make the best television receivers.

I’ve seen quite a few of these sorts of ads from that era; it’s interesting to see how companies were very much interested in telling potential customers for consumer products about the great new scientific and industrial things they were inventing (or during the war, devices for the military they were developing), describing how they were clearly at the forefront of modern technology even if the products they were selling to consumers weren’t obviously so. They’re from an era where companies had major labs that did major research, and, if these ads are taken as an indication, were very proud of them.

Outside of perhaps ads for ASIMO, I’m not sure that this is quite so prevalent now.

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Cosmetics maybe? Although they carefully leave out any specific research. Usually they just say their cream has a revolutionary “new” chemical. Typically with a pharmaceutical-y sounding name like “rejuvenol” or “retinactive”. Probably some analog or isomer of retinol or vitamin E.

Maybe at the time it was hard to sell a TV reciever on the basis of the content you could watch on it, either because the content didn’t yet exist, or people didn’t think in terms of sitting down and watching TV.

It’s the glasses on the microscope that crack me up…I can see the ad men arguing:

“Let’s just have these scientific paragons marvel at this wondrous example of tech…that’s enough.”

“It looks like a giant metal cock and balls for Chrissake…humanize it, what the hell do I pay you for?”


“Perfect Peterson…I see big things in your future.”

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