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Vintage Christmas Tech Ads from The Saturday Evening Post

Published: April 17, 2014

These ads might seem quaint now, but the products in them were on the cutting edge of technology in their day. Typewriters, radios, refrigerators, black-and-white TV sets: each of these was once as recent as smartphones, tablets and Chromecast are today.

The 1940 Frigidaire ad featuring Santa Clause includes a price tag of “Only $116.50,” the equivalent of almost $2,000 today. The 1948 Admiral “Triple Thrill” ad for an all-in-one entertainment center featuring a TV, radio, and phonograph player lists a price of $549.50. That’s over $5,300 in today’s dollars.

They’re an icon now, but Christmas lights were still new in 1922.

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Before the Macbook…

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You mean Sony didn’t invent headphones?

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A gift for the whole family from RCA.

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Many ads found a tenuous tie between electric lights and Jesus’s birth.

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This 1929 ad uses Art Deco style to sell modern appliances.

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That’s an oddly specific letter to Santa.

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They’ve been playing holiday music on the radio for at least 70 years.

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Westclox: “Give the gift of time.”

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Clocks and watches used to be common Christmas gifts.

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Here’s a hot pun:

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By 1938, RCA already had decades of history.

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That’s almost $2,000, once you adjust for inflation.

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A shift to military production didn’t stop advertisers during WW2.

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Imagine coming home to this:

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Portable typewriters were the laptops of their day.

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This ad has a watch idea for everyone.

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Even in 1957, typewriter technology was still advancing.

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This ad series from GE boasts the latest technology from fifty years ago.

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Making home movies in 1966.

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And now you can watch TV everywhere you go.

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