[SIGCIS-Members] History of computer advertising

James Sumner james.sumner at manchester.ac.uk
Thu Apr 27 10:35:06 PDT 2017

Hi Enrico

To the various excellent suggestions so far I would add

- C Dianne Martin, "The myth of the awesome thinking machine", 
/Communications of the ACM/ 36 (1993), 120-133.

Its case study is earlier than your period and deals with journalistic 
interpretation rather than adverts as such, but, like the Aspray and 
Beaver article, it has broader lessons on how to analyse promotional 

I'd also second Marcin's suggestion of Paul Atkinson – whose orientation 
is design history, but in a way that deals strongly with promotion and 
the creation of visuals – and I would recommend, in addition to the 
Reaktion Objekt book, three of his papers:

- "The curious case of the Kitchen Computer: products and non-products 
in design history", /Journal of Design History/ 23 (2010), 163-179.

- "Man in a briefcase: the social construction of the laptop computer 
and the emergence of a type form", /Journal of Design History /18 
(2005), 191-205.

- "The (in)difference engine: explaining the disappearance of diversity 
in the design of the personal computer", /Journal of Design History /13 
(2000), 59-72.

I also thought the work of Neil Selwyn on computer promotion in 
education might be indirectly useful – but a quick search revealed one 
paper I hadn't previously seen that looks like it's of very direct 

- Lyn Dawes and Neil Selwyn, "Teaching with the dream machines: the 
representation of teachers and computers in information technology 
advertising", /Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education/ 
8 (2006), 289-304.

Hope this helps!

On 27/04/2017 15:41, Enrico Natale wrote:
> Dear list members,
> For an article I’m writing I am interested in the history of computer adverts in newspapers (1955-1995), but I am having a hard time to find literature on the topic.
> Maybe some of you could suggest me some literature on computer advertising ?
> Also, I would be interested to find collections of computer adverts, possibly digitized and accessible online. Any suggestions ?
> Best,
> Enrico Natale
> _______________________________________________
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