The Tech of Mad Men—Just In Time for Season 3

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Drink. Smoke. Fuck. Don't let the perfect writing, production, and acting fool you. That's really what Mad Men—one of the best TV series ever—is all about. And wondrous retro tech too, like you can see in these videos.

Ah, Don Draper, how much I wanted to be like you. A creative mind at a top banana, zowielala company in New York, drinking 12-yo single malt scotch at work, going to great restaurants and fancyschmancy clubs, having love affairs left, right, and center, with your perfectly cut 50s suits.

I need to buy one of those suits.

Click to viewMad Men Season 3 starts on August 16. If you haven't seen it yet, you have two days to get up to speed. But if you don't fell like it, you can watch these shorts showing the retro tech in the series, from the passive exercise thingamajig to the first copier, cameras, and lots of old clickityclack electric typewriters with IBM keyboards. [Mad Men—Video compilation by Spencer Lund based on an idea by Joel Johnson]


The cool thing about Mad Men's perfect production and attention to detail is that they get all their stuff right. The other is that you get to see a lot of new products that were invented around that age, like the passive exercise machines you now see in endless infomercials. Even better, you can see their genius as they created the need for those products using their black magic powers.

Here you have an IBM Selectric II typewriter. At the time, its optional correction feature was a godsend for office workers all around the country and the world.


I wonder what they would have said about projectors is cameras back then. Although knowing how cool they were, they probably wouldn't have batted an eyelid, and just came with a cool name for it. And then proceed to use it to record their sex antics.


No solid state flash recording. Just pure, unadulterated, silver-based film goodness with no sound.

Back then, copiers were wonders of technology. They probably invented buttxeroring too.


And finally, a small compilation of various tech objects from the series.