Pop Culture

1957 – IBM

Mid-century advertising from IBM.

When it comes to the mid-century, you can’t get more iconic than a secretary and typewriter. So for today’s Great American Brands post, I choose a little company called IBM. True, they no longer sell typewriters (no one does), but they do still provide tools necessary to get the job done in an office.

These ads were all published in 1957 in Today’s Secretary magazine. All feature an IBM electric typewriter and a cute secretary busy at her desk.

IBM Electric Typewriters Outsell All Other Electronics Combined!

The electric typewriter was the latest technology in the mid-century and a welcome relief from the previous generation of manual typewriters.

IBM Typewriter from May 1952 Mademoiselle Ad

I was able to crop this closeup of a green all-metal typewriter from a 1952 ad. You can see the simplicity of the machine. One just needs to learn the layout of the keyboard and life is good.

Just Touch and Go Lightly!

IBM Electric Typewriter Ad – Mademoiselle May 1952

The ad below references the all important typewriter ribbon and carbon paper which was also sold by IBM.

IBM Electric Typewriter Ad – Glamour July 1952

Give this partnership the advantages of specially designed IBM Ribbons and Carbon Paper and you have the perfect combination . . .

International Business Machines (IBM) was founded in 1880’s and is headquartered in New York. In the mid-century, typewriters were the boring part of the company. The company had grown due to the war, and there was much more pressing work to be done such as the development room-size computers in the early fifties. Their fascinating history is outlined nicely on Wikipedia.


IBM Electric Typewriters Logo – 1957
IBM Logo 1952

More IBM Ads on MidCenturyPage.com

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