[SIGCIS-Members] History of computer advertising

James Sumner james.sumner at manchester.ac.uk
Thu Apr 27 12:06:15 PDT 2017

Oh, and I somehow forgot to include a short paper of my own from a few 
years back dealing with the British case:



On 27 Apr 17 18:35, James Sumner wrote:
> 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 
> claims.
> 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 
> relevance:
> - 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!
> James
> 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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