One specific switchover point shows up in all sorts of technology. During the 30s, industries were desperately trying to find new ways to survive and profit. They were developing REAL improvements at a frantic pace. After WW2 the massive pent-up demand relieved the obligation to improve, so improvement stopped.
In cars, power brakes and air conditioning appeared before the war, then went away and didn't reappear until '54. In refrigerators, UV sterilizer lights and auto-defrost were starting to appear around '41, then went away. The UV never came back. In radios, remote control and automatic station-finding were common in '41, then went away and never came back.
Here's another '41 peak point that never came back. From the new series of Westinghouse Engineer journals
at American Radio History.
A window-mounted heat pump. Turn the knob one way to get heat in the winter, turn the other way to get cold in the summer. Heat pumps never came back in window units, and started in central units in the '80s.
The ashtray under the cooler stands out to modern eyes. Even in '41 this placement of an ashtray wouldn't have been smart; the fan would blow ashes all over the room. Westinghouse clearly wanted to signal that the cooler was associated with comfort,
and tobacco is an appropriate signal. Another thing that went away and never came back. If we had more smokers, we'd have less OCD snowflakes and Karens.
Labels: Alternate universe