Some Old (Really Old) Commercials – Are We Any Better Off Today Than 1958?


While I was looking for a commercial to feature on today’s blog, I decided to take a look back at some really old commercials. While there were a lot of web sites that offered a look back at such commercials, one of the best sites I found was the Internet Archive, which can be found here. A word of warning, it can become addictive looking at some of these commercials.

The two I decided to use here are both from the 1958; one is a commercial about typewriters, and the other is about airline travel.

Here is the typewriter commercial:

“Isn’t it wonderful how the Remington Quiet-Riter helps stimulate interest in the young people, brings out the best in them.” This typewriter has the Fab 4! It’s only $1.50 per week! And it’s portable!

Wow, how times have certainly changed. Can you imagine asking a student today to type a term paper on this thing?

However, as the next commercial shows, changes are not always for the better.

Here’ a commercial for Pan Am.

Again, wow, how times have changed. Forget about getting lobster and other full-course meals for dinner, forget about all that room (did you notice the size of the restrooms?!), forget about the flight attendant walking around serving hors d’oeuvres, forget about being able to smoke (thank heaven).  Plus look how nicely everyone is dressed. I also read that Braniff International used to require its flight attendants to change their outfits three times during a routine flight.

The two commercials offer an interesting contrast at how progress isn’t always for the better. I’m thrilled that we’ve moved beyond 16 pound portable typewriters to smartphones and tablets, but I long for the days of a kinder, gentler approach to air travel. Unfortunately, I think that plane has already left the tarmac.

4 thoughts on “Some Old (Really Old) Commercials – Are We Any Better Off Today Than 1958?

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