In April 1965, the U.S. government owned and used computers 1767. In April 1965, in the country there were 22 500 computers is the 450 computers in the state. We know this because 2 of the April 1965 Time magazine published an 8-page story called “the Computer in society: the cybernated generation,” in which he described the exact situation on the computers in the United States. Today in Manhattan or Dallas is a separate building, each with more computers than all of the United States in 1965.
Before the New Year, Apple sold 22 500 computers every 38 minutes.
The 60s was a period of various revolutions — civil rights and feminism, the sexual revolution and rock-n-roll — but among them there are such, which has not received enough attention: the rise of technology as a cultural phenomenon.
When the first home electronics?
In 1957, when the Soviet Union launched “Sputnik-1”, and even in 1961, when President Kennedy started the race to the moon in real life there was no concept of technology. Technology was something not of this world. Under them primarily meant nuclear weapons and related missiles and bombers.
The Americans had in the late 50’s and early 60’s all sorts of “gadgets”, but they were not electronic. It was household appliances designed to make life easier or more fun.
In 1950 only 9% of American households had a television.
In 1965 90%.
Americans bought conditioners (for 50 years the number of purchases increased by 8 times), bought dishwashers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Convenience became a passion. Number of clothes dryers has increased 10 times from 1950 to 1969; electric openers surpassed all other devices in the number of sales.
Eric Shattsberg — historian, Georgia Institute of Technology who studies the concept of technology has changed and how the use of the word. He notes that the Americans not use the word “technology”, speaking about the growing number of home devices, and advertising all these modern items — from a passenger aircraft to a console televisions — the word also was not used.
“It was not the idea of technology that we use everywhere now,” says Shattsberg. In the late 1950s and early 1960-ies “technology” was overshadowed by the feeling of “hidden inconveniences,” said the historian.
In this context, NASA and Apollo had a powerful cultural influence. Space changed the aura and taste of technology. Americans a decade spent hours watching on TV review of the space program; more and more in people’s minds imprinted picture from the other people sitting at monitors in the mission control center. They used the computers for military operations, they used them for the toughest feats of humankind: space travel, missions to the moon. They used computers for fun and adventure. The astronauts were the soul of flight, and computers have become a vital tool in all this, as important as rockets and spacesuits.
In fact, in the history of Time in 1965 about the growing impact of computers on American society in the first page was a picture of a photograph of PCO NASA with dozens of consoles and computer screens. There was also a joke about how a network of computers NASA, scattered in 15 locations around the world, “observed, watched, advised and from time to time warned the astronauts “Gemini”.
The real use of computers in the space program was reflected in popular culture. In 1950-ies in America there was not one TV shows about space. In the 1960s there were five: “the Jetsons”, “lost in space”, “I dream of Jeannie,” “My favorite Martian” and “Star trek“. Three of them included whole worlds of technologies built around computers and robotic assistants. Fifty years later, the space ship “enterprise” seems to us to be all in the same fantastic way as in the era of “Apollo”.
These broadcasts also helped to form the perception of and attitude. All three technologies were in the service of the people. They cooked, floated in deep space, answered questions and provided instant video. In “the Jetsons” technique cleaned the house, prepared Lunches for the kids, walked the dog. Overall, computers were easy to use and useful, quietly invaded daily life for another two or three decades before it began to happen really.
But the pop culture of the time also reflects how astronauts “Apollo” and MCC ahead of ordinary Americans in the same way as kirk, Spock and Uhura was ahead of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins.
When President Kennedy in may 1961 asked the Americans to spend billions of dollars to send astronauts to the moon, he said: “…in the truest sense of the word, it’s not one person will go to the moon, it will be an entire nation. We must all work hard to send him there.”
The passenger planes were in service for only two years. In 1961, the majority of Americans have never flown on airplanes. Forget about the moon — people, even in the air does not rise, even on Earth. By July 1969, when Armstrong and Aldrin stepped on the moon, only 4% of Americans had phones with tone dialing. This gap was doing missions on the moon even more amazing, both technologically and politically.
The product, which began to transform the feelings of Americans regarding technology, it was the first real “personal” device: transistor AM radio, which became available in the 1950-ies, but has gained popularity in the 1960s, when the price fell. In 1965 you could buy a transistor radio for $ 19 (equivalent to a modern $ 150). By the time of the first moon walk, has sold 35 million transistor radio in a country with 200 million people. It is noteworthy that the first compact electronic device was named after the technology that made it feasible, the same technology, thanks to which the astronauts visited the moon.