Roy Richardson's Computer Buttons

My father collected things. He collected coins and stamps. A nonsmoker, he collected matchbooks. He collected cans and bottles of root beer, without emptying them. He collected postcards, hundreds of them. When he died in 1992, I inherited the collections. There wasn't much else.

I don't know what happened to the matchbooks. I emptied out the root beer containers when I was sixteen. I've got the postcards, I've even had them scanned, but I'm paralyzed by how many of them there are. But there's something else my father collected, seemingly by accident: buttons from computer trade shows. I've had these buttons for a long time, to the extent that they feel like an important part of my childhood, these wearable ads for obscure IBM mainframe software packages.

I've got about twenty of these buttons, plus namebadges and other miscellaneous historical things-with-pins. All the computer buttons could have been acquired at a single Los Angeles event in 1982, but there's also a namebadge from 1978, and my father went to these trade shows pretty regularly, so who knows? They provide a glimpse into another software industry, dominated by mainframes and unafraid to put cheap sexual innuendoes on promotional material. I hope you enjoy.


This document (source) is part of Crummy, the webspace of Leonard Richardson (contact information). It was last modified on Thursday, December 24 2009, 03:25:00 Nowhere Standard Time and last built on Monday, November 24 2014, 21:00:50 Nowhere Standard Time.

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