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Vis-O-Matic: 1950

Vis-O-Matic: 1950

June 6, 1950. "Vis-O-Matic department store," a premonition of virtual retailing. One of at least 200 photographs taken by Bernard Hoffman at retail magnate Laurence Freiman's newfangled catalog store in Pembroke, Ontario. The cards were an index of merchandise on color slides viewed by customers on rear-projection screens. Life magazine image archive. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Another first?

Hey! Did they accidentally invent the scroll wheel?

Whatta Rolodex!

I've been a lurker here for a long time, so you don't know me. The wheel used to flip the Rolodex looks big enough to turn a boat! It must have been for show, because current Rolodexes use a much smaller knob.

[The junior-size Cardineer rotary index that she's using is quite a bit bigger than a Rolodex. - Dave]

Jaunty Chapeau

I imagine it must have taken tons of pins to keep that hat on her head. Could also be contributing to the expression of tooth-grit pleasantry.

Pembroke, Ont.

Pembroke is such a sleepy little town. With a lot of history. It's hard to imagine that it had a store like this back then.


She looks like she's been staring at the rear-projection screen a bit too long. Take a break, girlfriend.

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