History of the Button

By Ron Enderland January 2, 2007 No Comments   

While researching an article on pushbutton transmissions for my site IRememberJFK, I stumbled onto this quirky, fascinating, fun offering: The History of the Button.
The webmaster, Bill DeRouchey, is simply obsessed with buttons! The kind of buttons you push, that is.
His articles may go deeply in depth about buttons and where they originated, what they do, why they exist, etc. But sometimes it’s just a lightweight little lark that will put a grin on your face.
Just check out some of his categories on pushbuttons: apple, appliances, cars, cheese, and women. Unfortunately, the women buttons are NOT designed to help clueless husbands understand them better!


The entire site is tongue-in-cheek, and I think you’ll be as fascinated as I was.
Note this quote from Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings on the secret of how to win:

Ringing in early actually deactivates your buzzer for a fifth of a second or so, long enough for somebody else to beat you. So ringing in too early is as fatal as ringing in too late. There’s a narrow “sweet spot” somewhere in there, just like swinging a baseball bat or a tennis racket…

Fascinating, fun stuff. And DeRouchey has simply loaded a website with lots more just like it. I particularly enjoyed his take on the handheld Merlin electronic gamethat came out in the late 70′s. He waxes melancholy about how its instructions were intended to help the user, rather than protect the company with legalese.
So pop in to History of the Button, and plan on spending some time there. And be prepared to smile a lot.
http://www.historyofthebutton.com/

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