Before globalization killed everything
American Radio Library has added a set of Italian electronics mags from the 1970s.
Before globalization's cold deadly hand killed all national industries, Italy was strong in electronics.
Americans didn't pay much attention to Italian products; we were mostly tied to the Krauts for high tech. We did get Olivetti typewriters and adding machines,
but not Olivetti computers
, which were WAY ahead of ours.
Everything in Italy was more stylish and attractive.
Starting with Gernsback in the '20s, radio mags always used pretty girls to "demonstrate" products. Needless to say, Italian girls were prettier than US girls:
And even Italian nerds were more stylish than US nerds. (An ad for a training school always tried to picture the real students, so you could imagine yourself attending the school.)
Italian products were more stylish AND more ergonomic. Speaking of WAY ahead, here's a neat little multimeter, built into its own case with a compartment for probes. It measured frequency, reactance, capacitance, and transistor voltage drop along with the basic VOM scales. I don't think those extra measurements were available on handheld instruments here. A few big
expensive digital multimeters for lab use had the cap and freq and other functions.
[The price of 12500 lire was about $20 at the time, or about $100 in today's dollars. Not bad.]
The Italian ergonomic tradition goes back a long ways. Here's a 1908 portable voltmeter made by CGS, the electrical department of Olivetti, which was split off after Olivetti decided to focus on typewriters.
The meter is strapped on, so you have both hands free for probes. Note the triangulating straps and the self-coiling probes. The meter is more like clothing than a tool.
Labels: Alternate universe, Metrology