Pop Culture

Arcade Games

Early 1950s fore-runners of arcade games included photo booths which became a national craze and shuffle games which moved beyond bowling with Deluxe Shuffle Targette. Meanwhile, Auto Test let practicing drivers learn the rules of the road, and Two-Player Basketball put a new one-on-one spin on the old Basketball Champ formula. And for the smallest(...)

Army Men

Toy trends come and go, but old soldiers never die. In times of war, in times of peace, those valiant fighters we call Army Men have stood valiantly in place (probably because their feet are moulded to plastic bases, but who are we to question their heroism?). Whether they come in a bag, a bucket or(...)

Arthur Scargill

British trade-union leader. Elected president of the National Union of Miners (NUM) in 1981, he embarked on a collision course with the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher. The damaging miners' strike of 1984 - 1985 split the miners' movement. Born in Leeds, Scargill became a miner on leaving school and was soon a trade-union and(...)

Assassination of JFK (1963)

President Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963 - shot in the head as he was driven through Dallas, Texas, in an open car on his way to a political festival. A number of shots were fired as crowds cheered him on a golden, sunny day. The 46-year-old President slumped in the car as his wife turned(...)

Asteroids

In the years after Star Wars (1977), anything involving outer space, zippy interstellar craft and dangerous battles was golden. Into this arena of sci-fi fantasy came Atari’s Asteroids, one of the most enduring hits in video game history. Atari’s recipe for addiction consisted of the following: one screen, five buttons, one ship, a few UFO’s, and(...)

Astrid Kirchherr

Astrid Kirchherr

Astrid Kirchherr is best known for her striking photos of The Beatles taken during their first stay in Hamburg, which were later reproduced around the world. Ironically, though, people would probably be more familiar with the photographs than they would with the photographer's name. In a sense, it could be said that The Beatles' success overshadowed Kirchherr's(...)

Atari

Atari

Californian Nolan Bushnell created a game called Pong in 1971. The following year -  with $250 of his own money and a matching investment from partner Ted Dabney -  Bushnell created Pong's parent company. He called it Atari, a term used in the Japanese strategy game GO to politely warn an opponent that he is about to(...)

Austin Princess (Vanden Plas)

As the 1970s dawned, Austin decided that they would produce a Glam car for discerning middle class suburban swingers using a name which had earned prestige in the 1960s when the company had used a Rolls Royce engine for a limited edition Princess Vanden Plas (pronounced "Vanden plah"). The Glam version of the Princess had(...)

Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s)

Before Automatic Teller Machines (ATM's) were everywhere you had to withdraw your cash from a large building with human tellers and queues. OK, so we still have the queues but at least they're outside . . . It was called "A Bank" and was only open during business hours. People went there on payday, waited(...)

Avalanche

This early Atari title wasn’t exactly the black-and-white equivalent of a Swiss Alps nightmare, but it was the closest a video game could come in 1978. At the top of the screen were several rows of rocks, which could drop at any second. Your task was to manoeuvre your paddles underneath the rocks, catching them(...)

Avon Ladies

"Ding Dong, Avon Calling" The most successful door-to-door makeup enterprise in history, Avon has been bringing front door service to housewives since 1886. The company was the brainchild of David H. McConnell, a book salesman from New York. An expert travelling salesman, Mr. McConnell used vials of perfume to entice his female customers to open(...)

Ayatollah Khomeini

Trained as a Muslim theologian, Ayatollah Khomeini became the arch-prophet of Islamic fundamentalism in Iran. Bitterly opposed to the Westernised regime of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, he inspired the revolution that toppled the shah and established strict religious law as the basis of the new Islamic republic. During his long exile in Turkey, Iraq and(...)

Baader-Meinhof (Red Army Faction)

"Baader-Meinhof" became the popular name for the West German left-wing guerrilla group the Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction), who were active from 1968 against what it perceived as US imperialism. The three main founding members were Andreas Baader (1943 - 1977), Gudrun Ensslin (1940 - 1977), and Ulrike Meinhof (1934 - 1976). The group carried out(...)

Baby Doll Dresses

Baby Doll Dresses

During the swinging 60s, men advanced to walking on the moon, and ladies reverted back to infancy. The 60s rejected the voluptuous hourglass curves of the 50s and returned to the prepubescent days of childhood style. The little girl look was all the rage in fashion, and this childish craze was consummated for nightwear with baby doll(...)

Baby On Board

Yuppie car rear-window signs proclaiming the presence of an ankle-biter in the car. The signs originated in 1985 as a way of informing rescue workers that there was a baby in the vehicle - toddlers were apparently often thrown some distance from car-wrecks and may go unnoticed. They were also intended to generally alert other(...)

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