Funny Old Magazines.


Introducing, "The Travel Phone"


So, first I apologize for the quality of the picture, but hopefully you get the idea.  What you are looking at has to be one of the first mobile phones ever marketed.  I’m in possession of an old magazine.  1978 to be exact.  Inside is an incredible amount of what the Sports Guy would call, unintentional humor.  We’ve come a long way since ’78.  How far, well, that “Travel Phone” listed above?  It retailed for $2695.  There’s no decimal point in there.  Brought to you by Travel Electronics International.  The calling plan?  To quote, “It’s linked to a computer for billing.”  Hmm…sounds dubious (And, what is a computer).  Of course, if you had an extra few grand to drop on a brick with an antenna that could place calls to most phones in the U.S., I guess 10 bucks a minute or whatever it probably was, wasn’t a big obstacle.  I think we can come to the agreement that maybe Verizon isn’t that bad.

The rest of the magazine is loaded with ads.  Some of the companies, I’ve never heard of.  Others have gone completely out of business.  Of course there are the old stalwarts, though.  Jameson Irish Whiskey is just a bulletproof product that will last through the generations apparently.  A sampling…

Fotomat.  Aww…..remember Fotomat.  I almost teared up when I saw this ad.  Let me jog your memory…

Photos in one-day!  Bang!  Can you imagine?  I used to love going to the Fotomat.  I’m not sure if it was the yellow roof, or the excitement of new pictures, or what, but it was always a good time.  There was one in the parking lot of the grocery store in Berwyn.  Talk about convenience.  Of course, now, film hardly exists.  Not sure they saw that coming in the Fotomat business model.  Tough break.  Great concept though…

The magazine is littered with ads for ATARI.  This should come as no great surprise.  ATARI was really blowing up, but it remains shocking, just shocking to look at the graphics.  I had an ATARI, but don’t remember it well.  I think it was all Frogger all the time.  The jump in quality of graphics to the Nintendo I’d get a few years later would blow you away. ATARI’s slogan:  Don’t watch TV tonight, Play it!  Brilliant.  Here’s my wallet.

Let’s see here, Selected Liquor Brands I’ve never heard of.

  1. Inver House Rare Scotch Whiskey (very rare these days)
  2. Hueblein (A Pre-Mixed Manhattan…ugh)
  3. White Horse Scotch
  4. Passport Scotch (Heard of, never seen)
  5. Metaxa Liqueor

I could go on and on, but I think this is probably the real coup de grace…

Now, apparently Dingo is a leather company.  Very literal slogan.  O.J. Dingo.  I suppose O.J. is so famous at this point that a campaign isn’t really necessary?  Just stick him there with some leather boots, O.J. Dingo, and you are on your way.  I remember O.J. from the car rental commercials, but this was obvious his real marketing peak.  I imagine there probably isn’t a less marketable person in the country right now, but back in ’78 it was O.J. Dingo.  If you didn’t know, you’d best ask somebody.



4 thoughts on “Funny Old Magazines.

  1. looks like they threw a Dingo on his third leg.

    in the text it says, “like OJ Simpson, we mean what we say…” i’ll let 3PT come up with the punch line

    yeah i had totally forgotten about Fotomat…i feel old

  2. i don’t know why OJ has too many legs…

    I was going to go with a caption like, “Back in ’78 OJ’s leather accessories fit him perfectly.”

    But, the whole ad really is a gold mine.

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