10 Things Found on the Show "Mad Men" that I Remember from my Childhood
When Peggy Olson decided to move to the city to be closer to work, she gave one to her mother. Her mom didn't want to accept it because she figured it was a "make-me-happy-so-I-can't-be-mad-at-you" gift. My grandfather had one and his only had one knob. It got basic channels and of course had to be changed by hand. Which probably explains why for years, it was always on channel 7...
2. Black and White Box TVs
Along with the floor TV, was the TV with no color. It's amazing to recall having a black and white TV in our home. Even more amazing was that a friend of mine brought one to our college dorm. It was a 2-knobbed one like we had as kids. You turned the 1st knob to the U space and then used the 2nd knob to get to the higher numbered stations where only about 2 or 3 channels actually existed, surrounded by a bunch of static. And should the attached antenna inevitably break, not to worry, that's what the wire hanger was for!
3. This glue
Before the infamous dotting of the Elmer's from the orange-rippled twist top, there was this glue. Peggy Olson had one of these on her desk at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Hers had a yellow top, which I seem to remember more than the orange. A slit had to be cut in the rubber flat-head and then with the bottle held at an angle, it would be dragged down the length of whatever needed gluing. This thing was a mess waiting to happen.
These were all over the show. Every office had one. Every secretary had one. Including Dawn Chambers, the first black secretary the team hired (by force no less).
I pretty much taught myself to type on one of these. The correcting tape, the smell of the mechanicals, the low hum, the loading and lining up of the paper. Oh, and the ding when you got to the end of the line...The memories.
I remember watching my mother fire off a report on one of these things when she was in school for her Master's, with barely a mistake made. Impressive I tell ya...
Who had this on the show? Don Draper, Roger Sterling, or Henry Francis? I'm not quite sure. But this is the clock you could take on a trip to wake up. It's the one you would give as a gift on like Father's Day or something. My grandfather had one. Not a tie this time Grand-Dad!
6. Dinty Moore Beef Stew
Don Draper pours this directly from can to bowl right before sitting down to type up his manifesto. As a kid I ate this concoction over rice. It was among my least favorite things to eat. Unlike Don, we heated ours up first. And it was probably just as bad hot as it was cold.
7. Rotary Phone (desk or wall)
They were all over the show and we had both. Private conversations with one of these? Not even. Wherever the phone stood, there stood ye. That was my dilemma with the kitchen phone at least. And when the cord did get stretched out (from me pulling the wire so tight it would almost snap, to get into the room next to the kitchen and close the door) oh the coily mess it became. Some were silent as the rotary rolled back from a number selection, others made the tic-tic sound in your ear. Either way, there was no speed dialing possible and you hated calling people with too many 9s in their number. And 0s? Forget about it...
8. Manual Pencil Sharpener
Peggy Olson had one in her desk drawer. And again my grandfather had one too. Mounted to the side cabinet in his office. There was never an excuse not to get homework done when we came from school.
Of course these were in all the classrooms when I was growing up. It's where you had to walk to so you could show off your new sneakers or to drop off a note to your friend on the other side of the room.
9. Phone Booth
I think there were a few phone booth scenes in the show. Don Draper got in one to call Megan's parents to see if they knew where she was after they'd had an argument. Phone booths used to be everywhere. They were so popular for a time that a whole movie was devoted to one. (Not a good movie by the way, I do not recommend it).
But phone booths were great. They allowed people to have discreet conversations, as opposed to today where people talk any and everywhere and have private conversations in public places. So now when you're in the check out line or on an elevator you get to hear all about how Chelsea still can't get her life together or how Nina still owes so and so money. Where's a phone booth when you need one? Sheesh...
10. Car Lighter
Betty Draper was probably the one who used this, though I can't be sure. It may have been her dad Gene. But these lighters were toys for me and my brother. And in our day, we got left in the car on many occasion while a parent ran in a store to grab something with a quick, "I'll be right back". The world was different back then...(in my most nostalgic of voices) But with us alone with one of these??... it's a wonder we didn't "burn the car down".