Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Film Industry Holiday Promo Gifts

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'Tis the season for free giveaway junk.  Looking around at the countless stacks of calendars from my insurance guy, I got to thinking about the sorts of promotional freebies that ring in the holidays.  The things consumers get are usually pretty cheap, but here are a couple of sort of classy business-to-business gifts from members of the film industry.

Ashtray_01_1 This holiday, give the gift of smoking!  I've joked in past posts that our moonshot was more or less tobacco powered, and you can say the same about the film industry even today.  Every film shoot I've ever been on (including a commercial shoot for one of Truth.org's anti-smoking campaigns) has had a high percentage of smokers, Ashtray_02so it makes perfect sense that back in the 60's a film supply company would give away fancy ashtrays.  You can see the logo for the SOS Cinema Supply company in this rather ornate ashtray made in (you'll never guess...) Holland.

Pictured at the top of this post is a tidy little desk set from our friends at the imaginatively named Plastic Reel Corporation of America.  This 1963 bit of convergence (ha!), Penholder_02has a notepad, uses 8mm reels to support the penholder, but the main feature is an odd-looking Santa face made out of a film reel.  This desk set originally came gift boxed!

These items both came from a recently demolished warehouse for the company Auricon.  Their claim to fame was a camera that could shoot optical sound right onto 16mm film as you were shooting it.  It was a great camera for sports & news.  Auricon's camera were pretty expensive, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from their exceptionally cheap pens pictured below.  After the swanky ashtray, and the neat desk set, the lousy pens make Auricon look like a bunch of pikers, don't they?

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