Have a Nice Day Smiley Face

When you see this you probably think of the seventies. More than one person has claimed they created it. I have a friend’s dad who was a graphic artist in the sixties and seventies who claimed he came up with it. This is one of the most iconic images in the world.

50 years ago in Worcester, Massachusetts Harvey Ross Ball, an American graphic artist, and ad man created it to raise the moral of an insurance company… he was paid 45 dollars for less than 10 minutes of work. The State Mutual Life Assurance Company made posters, buttons, and signs to lift the morale of their workers.

Neither Ball nor State Mutual tried to trademark or copyright the design. That was a mistake.

In Europe, In 1972 French journalist Franklin Loufrani became the first person to register the mark for commercial use when he started using it to highlight the rare instances of good news in the newspaper France Soir. He trademarked the smile, dubbed simply “Smiley,” in over 100 countries and launched the Smiley Company by selling smiley T-shirt transfers.

In the early 1970s, brothers Bernard and Murray Spain, owners of two Hallmark card shops in Philadelphia, came across the image in a button shop, noticed that it was incredibly popular, and simply used it.

The brothers knew that Harvey Ball came up with the design in the 1960s but after adding the slogan “Have a Happy Day” to the smile, the Brothers Spain were able to copyright the revised mark in 1971, and immediately began producing their own novelty items. By the end of the year, they had sold more than 50 million buttons and countless other products, turning a profit. Despite their acknowledgment of Harvey’s design, the brothers publicly took credit for icon in 1971 when they appeared on the television show “What’s My Line.”

In 1996, Loufrani’s son Nicolas took over the family business and transformed it into an empire. He formalized the mark with a style guide and further distributed it through global licensing agreements including, perhaps most notably, some of the earliest graphic emoticons. Today, the Smiley Company makes more than $130 million a year and is one of the top 100 licensing companies in the world. The company has taken a simple graphic gesture and transformed it into an enormous business as well as a corporate ideology that places a premium on “positivity.”

Loufrani isn’t convinced that Ball came up with the design…well of course.

In 2001, Charlie Ball tried to reclaim the legacy of his father’s creation from unbridled commercialization by starting the World Smile Foundation, which donates money to grass-roots charitable efforts that otherwise receive little attention or funding.





Slang from the Seventies

I remember most of these. Once in a while when I’m in a good mood at work…I will slip some of these in just to see the reactions. I’m in IT so I can get by with it…we are viewed as weird anyway. I never realized how much out of date slang there is out there. This doesn’t even scratch the surface.

Do Me a Solid – do me a favor

To the Max – I still use this one…it contains my name so it fits.

Disco Biscuits – Quaaludes

Cool Beans – Not a side dish but it’s cool

10-4 – good buddy – an understanding

Sweet! – very cool

Psyche – To fake someone out…love this one

Groovy – Everything is cool

Stop dipping in my Kool-Aid – Stop getting into my business

Do Me A Solid – Do me a favor

Catch you on the flip-side – See you later

Far Out – Cool and groovy

Can You Dig It – Do you understand

Wicked – Awesome

The Skinny – The lowdown

Good Night Johnboy – from the Waltons…a form of goodbye

Dy-no-mite! – JJ or Jimmy Walker from Goodtimes…something that is great.

Dream On – Saying something is unrealistic

The Man – Well this one is used today…the authority, corporations, police, government… the boss

Bitch’n – very cool

Gimme Five – This one has totally vanished…I’m updating this one…many do this with kids now…so I see a comeback.

No Way, Jose – Not going to happen

That’s Bogus – Not fair


Image result for 1970s slang




Twister…with help from Johnny Carson

If not for Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor…Twister may not have been part of our culture.

In 1965 Reyn Guyer, of the Reynolds Guyer Agency of Design had been hired to do a promo display for a shoe polish company, and he was tinkering with colored polka dot paper for ideas. He was suddenly hit with inspiration for something much different…a board game where the pieces were people not plastic.

Reyn tested it with office workers who were divided into two teams and the game was called “Pretzel”. He showed it to 3M and they turned the game down.

Reyn took the game to the Milton Bradley Company in Springfield, MA where Mel Taft, the senior vice-president of R & D, chose “Pretzel” as the best of the eight-game ideas. Mel found there was a trademark problem, so he changed the game’s name to Twister, and Milton Bradley began to market Twister in 1966.

Milton Bradley’s competitors started to call the game “SEX IN A BOX” to destroy the game before it was marketed properly.

Milton Bradley discovered that stores were refusing to stock the game so they were going to pull it from the shelves. What they didn’t know was the public relations man they hired had made an arrangement to have the game played on The Tonight Show.

On May 3, 1966, Johnny Carson, the host of the show, was enticed by the “Twister” mat and demonstrated the game along with the beautiful Eva Gabor. That helped the game to say the least. Three million were sold the next year.

Twister was named “The Game of the Year” in 1967.

In 1985 Hasbro acquired the Milton Bradley Company, becoming Twister’s parent company. The Reyn Guyer Creative Group continues to work closely with Hasbro to develop and market new additions to the line of Twister products.

The Game still is being sold today.




Digital Wristwatch

In the mid-seventies, I remember digital watches started to appear around our school. I thought they were really cool. I got one when the price came down. I had a friend named Paul who shunned me a little after I got it. He said he thought they were for only people would couldn’t tell time…no Paul.

After Roger Moore was seen with one in Live and Let Die it was the thing to have. It’s hard to believe a watch could make me so excited back then with its red numbers that only lit up when you clicked it because it would drain the battery if it stayed lit.

Later on, in the early eighties, I went to the now-defunct Service Merchandise and my mom bought me a digital display wristwatch for my birthday that played the Beatles Hey Jude…midi style. I would give anything for that watch now.

In 1972, Hamilton introduced the world’s first commercial electronic digital wristwatch. It retailed for the pricey sum of $2,100.  The Hamilton Pulsar P1 was encased in 18-carat gold.

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Roger Moore as the one and only James Bond…his arm anyway. The Pulsar II

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The very first liquid crystal display (LCD) watch was introduced in late 1972. These Dynamic Scattering LCDs were power-hungry and unstable, and the market soon moved on to TN Field Effect displays. The Seiko 06LC was one of the first to use the new effect display and it stuck for decades.

Image result for Seiko O6LC 1973

Hamilton Pulsar Calculator Watch came in 1976. The buttons were extra small but every model had an improvement.

Image result for Hamilton Pulsar Calculator Watch

By 1977 the watches really started to fall in price. Star Wars watches were everywhere and they were a more affordable 16.95. A long way from the 18-carat gold watches.

Image result for 1977 star war digital watch

In 1982 the Seiko TV Watch was released. It allowed owners to view live broadcast TV on a tiny blue/gray LCD screen embedded into the watch face. But…and there is a but…an external tuning device had to be connected to the watch. I don’t remember these but it is incredible they had these in 1982… If you had one of these please comment…were they clear at all?

Image result for 1982 seiko tv watch

Now with Apple watches that can tell you your heart rate and bank account…they have come a long way.





Clackers or… death on a string came out in the 1960s. They were also called Ker-Bangers, Klackers, Click-Clacks, Klik Klaks, Klappers, and Zonkers.

I remember a kid giving me his Clackers. The object I guess was swinging them up and down until they hit each other and made a “clack” sound. The sound I got the most was a thud sound with plastic hitting my skin. They were also known to shatter and the pieces fly in all different directions.

They were similar to Bolas…a weapon used by cowboys to throw at cattle or game to wrap around their legs…sometimes breaking them. Yep…lets redesign this and give it to kids.

I never minded somewhat dangerous toys but I didn’t get too much pleasure out of these.

The toy was recalled in 1985



When Waterbeds were cool

I had a waterbed in the early 80s as a young teen. I always liked it and thought it was comfortable. Two things I didn’t like about it was… if there was a leak you would not know until 2:30 am and on a school night…always. If the heater was either turned down or went out…you would wake up as a human popsicle at…you guessed it… 2:30 am. Nothing ever happened to it at noon on a Saturday.

in the early 1800s. Scottish physician Dr. Neil Arnott devised a water-filled bed to prevent bedsores in invalids.

In 1873, Sir James Paget, of St. Bartholomew Hospital in London, presented the waterbed designed by Dr. Arnott as a treatment and prevention of ulcers, a common condition at this time. Paget found that waterbeds allowed for even pressure distribution over the entire body. The only problem was that you could not regulate the water temperature.

In 1968 Charles Hall presented the waterbed as his Master’s Thesis project to his San Francisco State University design class. While showcasing their work, students rotated through workshops to see each other’s inventions. Once they reached Hall’s project – a vinyl mattress filled with heated water – the class never left. “Everybody just ended up frolicking on the waterbed,” Hall recalls.

Hall’s first waterbed mattress was called ‘the Pleasure Pit’ and it quickly gained popularity with the hippie culture of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Time Magazine in 1971 about waterbeds. “Playboy Tycoon Hugh Hefner has one–king-size, of course, and covered with Tasmanian opossum. The growing number of manufacturers and distributors, with such appropriate names as Aquarius Products, the Water Works, Innerspace Environments, Joyapeutic Aqua Beds and the Wet Dream, can hardly meet the demand. They have sold more than 15,000 since August.”

Sex always sells… one ad stated. “Two things are better on a waterbed. One of them is sleep.” and “She’ll admire you for your car, she’ll respect you for your position, but she’ll love you for your waterbed.”


By the 80s waterbeds were in the suburbs and gaining in popularity. In 1987, waterbeds had achieved their peak, representing 22 percent of all U.S. mattress sales.

At the end of the 1980s waterbed sales fell off. Some say it was because they were too connected to the 70s that had fallen out of favor (the horror!)… but most think it was because of the maintenance and pain in setting them up and moving them. Also, you had to make sure your floor was braced enough to have one depending on the size and weight of it.

Today you can still buy them but most are designed thinner to hold less water in rolls instead of sleeping on a lake beneath you.

I had mine until I was 20 with plenty of patches but it still held water and me… but I left it behind when I moved.

This egg-shaped one below I would gladly take home now



Keith Moon talks about a waterbed


Badfinger – Baby Blue

Baby Blue never gets old to me…it is the perfect powerpop song. It has the right combination of crunch and pop with an irresistible guitar riff. I love the way they used the song in Breaking Bad that fit the scene perfectly. The song peaked at #14 in the Billboard 100 in 1972. The “Dixie” in the song was Pete Ham’s ex-girlfriend, Dixie Armstrong.


Dixie Armstrong and Pete Ham…I got this picture from http://soref.tv/the-true-story-behind-badfingers-baby-blue/

The song came off of the album “Straight Up” that also contained the hit “Day After Day” and it is considered by many their best album. I’m happy that Breaking Bad showcased this song so that another generation knows the song and hopefully that will lead more to learn about Badfinger.

Baby Blue

Guess I got what I deserved
Kept you waiting there too long, my love
All that time without a word
Didn’t know you’d think that I’d forget or I’d regret
The special love I had for you, my baby blue

All the days became so long
Did you really think, I’d do you wrong?
Dixie, when I let you go
Thought you’d realize that I would know
I would show the special love I have for you, my baby blue

What can I do, what can I say
Except I want you by my side
How can I show you, show me the way
Don’t you know the times I’ve tried?

guitar solo

Guess that’s all I have to say
Except the feeling just grows stronger every day
Just one thing before I go
Take good care, baby, let me know, let it grow
The special love you have for me, my Dixie, dear.