Saturday, June 13, 2020

Men At Work

Once in a while I have found slides of people at their places of work from decades ago, and sometimes I actually find them to be interesting!

Look at this guy, he'd be comfortable at the helm of the Space Shuttle. There are knobs and dials aplenty (analog as heck!). "Hmmm, the variances in wavelength seem to be within nominal tolerances. Wait'll I tell the guys!". At least that's what I would say, who knows what this gentleman is thinking. 

Any idea what all those gizmos are for? Does this man own the best Hi-fi system in the universe? You can't tell, but this man was into the early punk rock scene. I am especially curious about that odd device just the right of the man, it looks like some kind of robot space baby.

This one is pretty dark, but it sure is impressive. I kind of like that greenish tint, which I attribute to the comforting fluorescent lighting. 

There's more dials, but not as many knobs. Lots of swtiches though, maybe even one that says "SELF DESTRUCT". Do you think this could be a power station of some kind? Maybe even NUKULAR? They use that broom to tap on the controls when they get "sticky". One gentleman is wearing shorts to work, so he is living the life.

I hope you have enjoyed today's Men At Work. I have more factories and such, if you are interested.


Nanook said...

Definitely a ton 'o knobs and big gauges. The 'robot space baby' is a puzzlement. I do spy the 'guts' end of a Polaroid Land Camera attached to some sort of viewer.

I'm just guessing that second one isn't nuclear - but you never know. It was definitely a different time for manipulation of "stuff".

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Picture #2: Bring-Your-Kid-To-Work Day??

TokyoMagic! said...

When I saw this post's title and photos, I asked myself, Who Can It Be Now?

That first pic was taken in the basement underneath the Enchanted Tiki Room. This was one of those days when the audio playback was not working, so that man was having to provide all of the bird voices, "live."

Unknown said...

Appears the top photo is an electron microscope. Hose on top is vacuum line running to a compressor.

Budblade said...

Ahh, unknown beat me to it. The thing behind and to the right of the man in the first picture is a small electron microscope.

In the second picture, the square-ish things with the lighted circle in them are chart recorders that record values over the course of time. They are often used to record the temperature of areas throughout the month. But I suppose they could be recording values of almost anything that could be measured.

I don’t think this is a power plant, because electron microscopes are a pretty specialized piece of equipment that is very expensive to buy and maintain. I’m thinking this is a college somewhere and these are the maintenance people who take care of it.

stu29573 said...

Actually these shots are views inside the first calculator watch. Those tiny guys double checked all calculations before engaging the "digital" display. Now, of course, they are even smaller and live in smartphones.

Budblade said...

TM, I see what you did,There.

I have a few jokes about unemployed people… But none of them work!

zach said...

I'm digging that lamp in the first scan. And why he doesn't have a pocket protector I don't know. And everything in that scan has changed or become outmoded or improved since then except the clip board.

I went to work with my dad a lot during the summer. He worked the commute trains to SF and back to SJ so I saw a lot of men and women going to work and my dad at work. And darned if I can think of one other song by Men at Work.

Some google poking tells me that is a Stereoscan MK1, the first commercial scanning electron microscope and was produced by the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company in the 60s.

Happy weekend, all


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, thanks for pointing out the Polaroid, I would have never noticed! Very interesting. And yeah, I’m sure the second one could easily be a hydroelectric plant, or something completely unrelated.

Lou and Sue, “Here’s my 35 year-old son, we call him Mike-Mike”.

TokyoMagic!, I am sorry that these are not photos of your favorite band, and I feel very guilty for misleading you. I would have loved to be there when that man started crooning, “Let’s All Sing Like The Birdies Sing”!

Unknown, I realize that this sounds like BS, but I actually did wonder if that thing could be an electron microscope! I swear!

Budblade, seconded! “chart recorders”, interesting. I certainly have no clue what they are! Maybe they are measuring the relative crunchiness of Lucky Charms (yum). The first pic is unrelated to the second, I should have said so. But a university (for photo #1) is a good guess!

stu29573, wow, these photos are even more incredible than I imagined! I’ve always wanted a picture of the little man inside my television, you know, the one who runs everything. Not much room in the new flatscreens.

Budblade, OUCH.

zach, this was probably taken during the pocket protector shortage of the 70s. I’m sure we all remember those dark days of waiting in long lines to get our pockets protected. My dad was in the Navy, and by the time I was old enough to understand what was going on, he was a Lieutenant Commander (and later a Commander). It was always felt odd to me to go to the base and see his work area. For one thing, those offices are NOT fancy. Some might even call them shabby. But I remember the ladies there were always so nice to me! Nice research on that electron microscope, thank you.

JC Shannon said...

This is so cool, I bet father and son are building a time machine. They plan to go back to opening day at Disneyland, ride all the rides and get Art Linkletter's autograph. They love that guy. Thanks Major.

Omnispace said...

Good job identifying the electron microscope. Anything more I say about it is simply going to be Overkill.

The second pic reminds me of the old central steam plant at the large county hospital campus near me. I'm sure the man on the left has a cot and a hot plate set up in a back corner. He says, "Nice to see visitors Down Under!"

Melissa said...

Are used to have a chair that looked exactly like the one in the first picture. I got it at a secondhand store and it was murder to get in the house because it was as heavy as a wrecking ball. I left it there when I moved.

When I see big, complicated control rooms like these, all I can think of is the preshow from Mission to Mars. None of these guys is as groovy as Mr. Johnson, though.

Nanook said...


And speaking of "the little man" - if I had to indicate a preference - I've always wanted to know about the guy who so-reliably turns on the light inside my refrigerator-! (Quite possibly, he never turns it off... Ah-ha. No wonder it always works without fail-!)

TokyoMagic! said...

Budblade and Omnispace, ha, ha!!!

Sue and Major, I think that man's 35 year-old son is named John, and his father is telling him, Be Good Johnny.

"Lou and Sue" said...

TM! Major’s probably thrilled you left out ILL, this time.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, just look at all those clocks, it MUST be a time machine! I’d want Walt Disney’s autograph, but something tells me he didn’t stop to sign much stuff that day.

Omnispace, wow, I would think that whatever that place is in photo #2, it would be for something city-sized. Maybe a really large hospital would actually need that much control?!

Melissa, that’s probably some valuable mid-century chair! I have office chairs that seem to fail in one way or another every few years, it would be nice to have one that was tornado-proof. I just scanned a slightly blurry photo of “mission control” in the Mission to Mars attraction, all of the large red LED readouts are almost funny, they make no sense but look “technical”.

Nanook, whoever is inside your fridge, you can guarantee that he is wearing a fur anorak. Like the other Nanook!

TokyoMagic!, now I have that darn song stuck in my head.

Lou and Sue, but YOU didn’t leave it out!

"Lou and Sue" said...


Nanook said...

There's another Nanook-? And I thought I was it-! My, how the 'mighty' have fallen...