1. Thank you so much for that truly unique story. You are I'm afraid
one of the
few people who could tell the whole story of this curio. But the $64K
Do you still have one?
2.The Philco story is indeed a sad one but it dovetails perfectly into
why the US car industry itself almost died when faced with the ruthless
innovation and higher standards of our Japanese competitors. Many
American companies were woefully out-of-touch with
their customers and their changing taste and desires. I am happy to
report that now a few
companies like Dell and Apple are proving that exactly the opposite is
true. I only wish
that there were many other examples of "yankee ingenuity" in other
our current economic picture is in part symptomatic of this stagnation
and in part a lack of "Made In America" as a part of our modern
vocabulary and destiny.
On Thursday, July 10, 2003, at 11:23 AM, Aaron Z Snyder wrote:
> Steven C Barr wrote:
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Aaron Luis Levinson" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> 1. the "hip-pocket" flexi-discs of the 60's that could be taken to
>> I bought a large number of these, unopened, as a group...at a flea
>> in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. They were apparently a product of Philco
>> ]the short period when that firm was a subsidiary of Ford Motor Co.
>> them to a local (Toronto) record show, and had no trouble selling them
>> for several times what I paid! Still don't know what you could play
>> on, though.
> I'm sorry to say that I *do* know what you could play them on. I was
> for Philco-Ford at the time (circa 1968), and the company was trying
> darndest to come up with innovative consumer products to catch the
> imagination of the public. It turns out that their marketing people
> less than inspired. The company, which was quite influential in the
> development of TV in the 30s and 40s, now was selling color TVs with
> commercials featuring a chimpanzee pressing the single-button automatic
> color control ("We do the rest", the commercial assured us.).
> the public didn't like being compared to their brother primates.
> The hip pocket record was another abortive innovation. Small in
> diameter and
> running at 33.3 rpm, this was supposed to replace the larger and
> bulkier 45
> rpm discs which were standard for popular music. There were several
> with these discs:
> 1) "Hip pocket" may have been their name, but the marketeers never
> about what happens when one sits down with these discs in a hip pocket!
> 2) All of the music that was legally available to Philco had already
> off the charts, so there were no current hits available in the format.
> kids, to whom this was being marketed, had little incentive to buy
> 3) The modulated grooves came much closer to the spindle than those on
> regular formats. This caused havoc with average listeners, who tried
> to play
> these discs on their record changers.
> Philco had a special manual record player available for these discs.
> It was
> quite small, and the platter, if I remember correctly, was the same
> as the hip pocket discs. Nonetheless, the player was large enough that
> was hardly convenient to carry to the beach. I also don't think that
> it was
> battery operated.
> All of this happened during a period when Philco's consumer products
> division was in its death throes. Ford finally got rid of the Philco
> giving the name to GTE-Sylvania for their cheap product lines. This
> was a
> very sad end to a once-great and innovative company.
> Aaron Z Snyder