NEW SPACE-AGE Computer Scale (Oct, 1968)

NEW SPACE-AGE Computer Scale SHOWS WEIGHT INSTANTLY IN NUMERALS 10 TIMES THE SIZE OF ORDINARY BATH SCALES!

Amazing new Computer tells you exactly what you weigh instantly, precisely. No waiting while the numbers bounce around to settle on your weight. No old-fashioned 5-lb. intervals. Computer operates with computer speed and accuracy, giving you instantaneous optical read-out of your weight.

Furthermore, you see your weight in numbers ten times the size of old fashioned bath scales. And the numbers are lit up for even easier reading!

Computer is the first new idea in scales in decades. And magnificently styled, too, with 24-kt. gold plated trim, mylar mat platform. 10″ x 11-1/2″ x 1-3/4″.

It’s 100% accurate. And individually hand-tested against standard weights. Order Computer now. $19.98

18 comments
  1. GaryM says: February 2, 20103:09 pm

    The transcription says “70 times,” but the ad says “10 times.” Seeing the transcribed headline first on my RSS feed, I imagined the numbers being projected on the wall.

  2. Richard @ The Bewildered Brit says: February 2, 20103:58 pm

    Awesome! Back in 1968 I’d truly have been convinced by this that the Space Age was upon us! And that it would come with gold trim!

  3. /\/\ike says: February 2, 20106:49 pm

    The scale is 100% accurate, yet the copy has two different address codes.
    Yes, I know they were used to track the source of referrals and so forth, but that could cause some confusion.

    (OMG that is like, totally photoshopped too!!!)

  4. Les Paul player says: February 2, 20107:17 pm

    Back to the future!!!))) Thank you)

  5. Mike says: February 2, 20107:58 pm

    I still hear the term “Space Ace” in ads.
    What kind of display was it? I have a feeling it was a traditional scale where the numbers were just magnified to look “space age”

  6. George says: February 2, 20108:22 pm

    I agree, Mike. Perhaps it’s some sort of mechanism like a flip-card or odometer dial style clock. In 1968 pocket calculators were still a couple years away from being available, and those first ones cost $400, so I doubt a true electronic scale could be sold for $19.98.

    You can be sure the ad would make a big deal of the space-age computer electronics.

  7. fluffy says: February 3, 20104:06 am

    I think that today, Wii Fit would BLOW THEIR MINDS. Here we have a $90 peripheral that communicates with a $250 games console over Bluetooth so that you can see a little cartoon avatar that turns into a fatass while a synthetic voice admonishes you for eating too many snacks, on a 40″ LCD TV. And this is considered “entertainment!”

  8. George says: February 3, 20109:07 am

    I’ve always been knowledgeable about electronics and technology and perhaps a little less future-shockable than some.

    If in 1965 you claimed to be from 2010 and told me that some day I’d have a telephone in my pocket, I might have asked how heavy the backpack transmitter/power supply was. If you told me I would have a home computer some day, I probably would have accepted that, too, though would have wondered how much room the average house has for storage of magnetic tapes and punched cards.

    When you mentioned that the pocket telephone would have also had a built in film-less camera and satellite navigation I’d start backing you towards the door.

    And when told that some day one of my fun little projects would be to connect my vacuum cleaner to a computer so it could play music, it would be time to call the smiling men in white coats. http://www.youtube.com/…

  9. rick says: February 3, 20103:40 pm

    I know that the display in this scale does not utilize nixie tubes, which were around back then, but I always thought those things were really neat. The first time I ever saw them was in the mid sixties and they were in a voltmeter. I thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread. Anyone here ever had a gadget which used them?

    Rick

  10. Charlene says: February 3, 20106:02 pm

    George, does your phone get satellite radio, and if so can you connect it to the vacuum as well?

  11. Rick Auricchio says: February 3, 20107:36 pm

    Rick, there’s a whole Nixie-tube cult out there. Do a google search and you’ll see. People like yourself like the retro look and have built many devices using the tubes.

  12. rick says: February 3, 201010:28 pm

    Thanks Rick. Some time ago I found some nixies on eBay by accident and was reminded about the ones I’d seen. I’ll check out your Google suggestion.

    Cheers,

    Rick

  13. Toronto says: February 3, 201011:56 pm

    I used a programmable Wang “calculator” in ’76 or so that had a Nixie display. (Wang is the company name, not a functional description.) It had an unusual no-moving parts punch card reader we nicknamed ‘the toaster.’

    But I doubt this scale used that technology. Way too pricey for a $20 device.

    Some computers in the ’60s were using things like microfiche masks for projecting alphanumeric output – maybe that’s what it used. Our “Harmony House” (Sears) scale had 1/4-1/3″ numbers, so even if they mean 10x the *area*, that’s still .75″-1″ digits, way bigger than anything other than a filament tube.

  14. jayessell says: February 4, 20109:10 am

    Rick and rick:
    Google ‘Cathode Corner’
    also
    http://www.youtube.com/…

  15. rick says: February 4, 201010:16 am

    Thanks to you jayessell. The nixies on that site are interesting enough but I thought the stonehenge robotic clock shown there was REALLY great! I’ve got to get one of those ;-)

    And here’s Steve Wozniak showing off his nixie tube wrist watch.

    http://dvice.com/archiv…

    Rick

  16. carlm says: February 5, 20105:52 am

    LED 8 segment displays were around in the late 60s. They were a very new technology and not seen in consumer or measuring equipment. The landing computer in the Lunar Module had them. I’m not sure that this scale had it. I have seen incandescent lit 8 segment displays at this point in time. A simple strain gauge, op amps and diode logic could do the trick.
    The Nixie was, at the time, a cheap and commonly used digital display device. Essentially a neon lamp with 10 stacked cathodes shaped in the form of numbers. In 1968, $20 would be closer to $90 today. Not quite as cheap as you would think.

  17. carlm says: February 5, 20106:07 am

    Looking at the Ad. The display is raised up and the numbers look rounded and normal. This looks like the “microfiche” Incandescent projection display mentioned above.

  18. Arglebarglefarglegleep says: August 7, 201012:25 am

    The height of the display makes me think digital flip cards. It’d be mechanically easy to do if unreliable. You’d need a pretty deep case to give the display room to flip over especially if your scale mechanism was otherwise typical. Frankly, it would have been cheaper to make a whacking huge magnifying lens and use a transparent disc with a back light and photo resist the numbers onto the disc edge before spraying the disc with black paint.

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