An IBM PC with 128K of RAM for only $4188
April 13, 2022 6:17 AM   Subscribe

The Richmond Times Dispatch put a large collection of newspaper ads from the 80s on their website.
posted by COD (18 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 


Ads, bafflingly, are a strong argument in favour of archiving everything. Who would have thought that some of the most fascinating old media - the most glaring embodiment of the phrase "the past is a foreign country" - would be the commercials?

Certainly not me, but here we are.
posted by mhoye at 6:26 AM on April 13 [6 favorites]


I used to like reading those old ads on Wendys tables...

STARTS NEXT FRIDAY "FIREFOX"

40 years on and the Russians are the Bad Guys, for reals. So weird.

COMING SOON "BLADE RUNNER"

I didn't know how good I had it back then.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 6:34 AM on April 13 [5 favorites]


Richmond.com is as determined as ever to get you to view ads. But this is right I my wheelhouse, having moved to Richmond with my family in 1981.
posted by emelenjr at 6:43 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


My feet blistered just looking at that ad for jelly shoes, while my inner child immediately piped up to ask me to open another window and shop for some.
posted by the primroses were over at 6:44 AM on April 13 [3 favorites]


An SX-70 Sonar, which Polaroid was trying to unload for $165, now sells for $395. Not quite keeping up with inflation, but still pretty good.

And right below that, I had forgotten just how even back then, nobody was pretending that Spielberg didn't actually direct Poltergeist.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:47 AM on April 13 [2 favorites]


would be the commercials?

I can spend hours on shorpy just looking at store fronts and depots. Millions of pictures taken everyday now and I bet many days have zero images of a warehouse loading dock.
posted by Mitheral at 6:48 AM on April 13 [10 favorites]


A friend's parents had a Le Car into the late 90s. Everyone in the family was incredibly tall, and another friend of ours was not only incredibly tall, but also had unusually-long arms. He could sit in the passenger seat, reach out the window and touch the ground when the car was fully-loaded.

And holy crap, the interest rate on that car loan. Interest rates have been ridiculously-low as long as I've had a reason to care about them, but 19.6% on a car loan is eye-popping.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:23 AM on April 13 [6 favorites]


The LeCar only cost a few dollars more than the IBM PC!
posted by Ike_Arumba at 8:03 AM on April 13 [2 favorites]


My thesis re: 1980s inflation was just the baby boomers all turning 25 at the same time and stressing both the credit markets and much more limited uncomputerized "supply chain" buying all that they could on credit.

That would be very, very inflationary, and gas going from 25c/gallon to $1 1970 -> 1980 didn't help, either.

So they brought in Volcker to turn off the credit taps for a couple of years, throwing millions out of work.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=Ocgm shows how millions of workers flooded into the workforce in the 1970s (blue) and wanted to stick to the red full-employment trendline, but Volcker's rates (green) killed that 1980-82.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:04 AM on April 13 [3 favorites]


This looks like someone spent some time grooving while digging through the microfilm/microfiche.

BTW, the movie 'Bachelor Party' did not age well.
posted by mikelieman at 8:25 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


wild observing that "Grease 2""E.T." "Conan the Barbarian" "Porky's" & "On Golden Pond" were all in the theaters at the same time. (upthread -coming soon "Fire Fox & Blade Runner)
posted by djseafood at 8:28 AM on April 13 [2 favorites]


I'm from Richmond, grew up there all through the 80s. My mother worked for the Richmond Times dispatch in the 1980s and hand drew ads for them. Some of hers might be here. These are all a real blast from the past.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:07 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


1980s inflation was just the baby boomers all turning 25 at the same time

But they were turning 40 in the 80s.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:15 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


Ironically denied access because I’m running an ad blocker.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:32 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


~1980s inflation was just the baby boomers all turning 25 at the same time
~But they were turning 40 in the 80s.


Depends on which end of the baby boom you mean. The immediately-post-war boomers were turning 40. Those of us illogically lumped into boomerdom even though we were born 20+ years later were definitely turning 25 in the 80s.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:36 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I think 1962 is the generally accepted end of the baby boom, so somebody born then was only 25 in 1987. Yet a Boomer like my dad was 40 in 1986.
posted by COD at 1:31 PM on April 14


"Boomers are all turning 25" in 1985 = "Millennials are all turning 25" in 2018 - that is, technically true of some younger members of the generation, but guaranteed to piss off the older ones.

(Boomers = 1946-1964, Millennials = 1981-1996, according to Pew , which is as authoritative a source as any.)
posted by madcaptenor at 1:48 PM on April 14


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