Markline Catalog: Holodeck workout

The Amazing ’80s Technology Gems of the Markline Catalog

A few months ago one of my coworkers at Redfin unearthed a long-lost treasure lurking in his garage: The Fall 1983 Markline Catalog. This amazing book contains a cornucopia of cutting edge technology from the early 1980s. I was able to borrow the catalog for a day to take it home and scan the entire thing in glorious high resolution.

Here are just a few of the amazing ’80s tech gems in the Markline catalog…

Credit Card Calculator

If you like calculators, Markline has you covered. Is it a credit card, or is it a calculator?!? Who can say?!?
Markline Catalog: credit card calculator

Wristwatch Calculator

Or maybe you don’t carry a wallet? No problem, strap a calculator to your wrist!
Markline Catalog: wristwatch calculator

Checkbook Calculator

Or perhaps you’d prefer not to flaunt your calculating prowess to the world… how about a calculator in your checkbook?
Markline Catalog: checkbook calculator

Printing Calculator

Maybe you need a calculator that can print tiny color charts? NO PROBLEM!
Markline Catalog: printing calculator

Mr. Disc

Sometimes after a hard day of calculating, you need to take a break. Behold: Mr. Disc!
Markline Catalog: Mr. Disc

Holodeck Workout

Gotta keep in shape, ’80s style, in the holodeck!
Markline Catalog: Holodeck workout

So Much More

The fun goes on and on and on… for over 40 pages. Just a few more examples:

  • Take A Look Into The Future With Casio’s Large Screen Pocket-Sized LCD TV!
  • The Miracle of Remote Control—In A Watch.
  • Any Watch Can Tell Time… Only The Casio TS1000 Can Give You The Temperature Too!
  • Revolutionary Storage Idea For All Your Tapes.
  • Koala Makes Your Graphic Dreams Come True With The Friendliest Innovation In Personal Computing.
  • The Phone Of The Future Is Here Today.
  • How Do Your Buy A ColecoVision Virtually For Free?
  • At Last A Rechargeable, Voice Activated Microcassette Recorder.

At last!

Where’s My Fall 2013 Markline Catalog?

When this was brought into the office, another of my coworkers tried calling the toll-free ordering phone numbers mentioned throughout the Markline catalog. Unfortunately, one number was disconnected and the other went to some other company who had never heard of Markline.

So what happened to Markline? I dug around online a bit and was able to find this article, published about 10 years after this particular catalog hit the presses.

Catalog Age | October 1993: Markline ‘disappears.’ (Markline International goes out of business)

WEYMOUNT, MA—By all indications, gifts cataloger Markline International is out of business. Markline’s phone lines are either out of order or they go unanswered. Sources close to the company say it has ceased doing business, and “disappeared off the face of the earth,” according to founder and former owner Herb Klein. Klein still runs a business called Markline Business Products in Weymouth, MA, where Markline International had been based.

Gene Bellotti, whose direct marketing agency Harper Bellotti produced catalogs for Markline, says owner Robert D. Montague has “stopped mailing [the catalog], and he’s trying to sell it.”

Sad times.

But fear not! You can still enjoy the entire Fall 1983 Markline Catalog in convenient pdf format by downloading below or simply browsing the embedded version below.

January 2015 Update
I had the good fortune this month to receive the following email, reproduced with permission of the sender.

My daughter found your posting of the Markline catalog online. I was the vice-president of catalog planning (77-85) which included merchandising the catalog. I left the company before they were sold.

It probably was the most fun job I had during my career. Finding new and unusual items. In fact, we introduced the Sony Walkman in the U.S. We imported it from Hong Kong because Sony U.S. didn’t think it would be a hit. They changed their mind after they saw how many we sold. I’ve kept several different catalogs including the one you posted.

Thanks for the memories,

Ray

Seattle Civil Defense Manual

Generally the only kind of material I like to put on our website is content that we have created ourselves, whether that be stories, photographs, or whatever. However, I have decided to make an exception for this content, on account of the fact that it is a WORLDWIDE INTERNET EXCLUSIVE!!!

The pictures featured below are scans of a publication released in 1951 by American Radio Publications, Inc. through the local AM talk radio station KVI. The Seattle Civil Defense Manual covers all sorts of important and useful information that all local citizens apparently needed to know in order to survive in the harrowing times known as the fifties. A copy was unearthed by an industrious and awesome coworker of mine as he cleaned out his garage. He loaned it to me for a weekend and gave me permission to scan it and put it online.

I’m sure there would be nearly no end to the clever commentary I could provide to go along with this material, but I have decided to let the publication speak for itself. Please note that the contents of this publication should not be construed as reflecting (positively or negatively) on the present-day KVI, since they most likely have little connection (outside of the name) to the KVI of 1951.

Click on a page to open a new window with the full version. The full-size scans are somewhat large, so horizontal and vertical scrolling will probably be necessary. Alternatively, you may download the full manual for later viewing. High resolution, non-watermarked TIFF files are also available upon request.

Front Cover
"SEATTLE CIVIL DEFENSE MANUAL"
KVI’s Staff And Facilities Are Dedicated To The Public Defense
"KVI'S STAFF AND FACILITIES ARE DEDICATED TO THE PUBLIC DEFENSE""KVI'S STAFF AND FACILITIES ARE DEDICATED TO THE PUBLIC DEFENSE"
KVI – Don Lee Programs Dedicated To The Public Welfare And Necessity
"KVI - DON LEE PROGRAMS DEDICATED TO THE PUBLIC WELFARE AND NECESSITY""KVI - DON LEE PROGRAMS DEDICATED TO THE PUBLIC WELFARE AND NECESSITY"
The Seattle Area Prepares For An Atomic Attack
"THE SEATTLE AREA PREPARES FOR AN ATOMIC ATTACK""THE SEATTLE AREA PREPARES FOR AN ATOMIC ATTACK"
Civil Defense Provides Maximum Protection On The Home Front
"CIVIL DEFENSE PROVIDES MAXIMUM PROTECTION ON THE HOME FRONT""CIVIL DEFENSE PROVIDES MAXIMUM PROTECTION ON THE HOME FRONT"
Atom Bombs Could Destroy These…
"ATOM BOMBS COULD DESTROY THESE...""ATOM BOMBS COULD DESTROY THESE..."
The Mighty Atom Bomb!
"THE MIGHTY ATOM BOMB!""THE MIGHTY ATOM BOMB!"
Damage Effects Of An Atom Bomb Explosion
"DAMAGE EFFECTS OF AN ATOM BOMB EXPLOSION""DAMAGE EFFECTS OF AN ATOM BOMB EXPLOSION"
Advance Precautions May Save Your Life
"ADVANCE PRECAUTIONS MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE""ADVANCE PRECAUTIONS MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE"
What To Do
"WHAT TO DO (IF BOMB FALLS WITHOUT WARNING)""WHAT TO DO (IF YOU HAVE ADVANCE WARNING)"
Personal Injury Effects Of An Atomic Blast
"PERSONAL INJURY EFFECTS OF AN ATOMIC BLAST""PERSONAL INJURY EFFECTS OF AN ATOMIC BLAST"
Subversive Organizations In The U.S.
"SUBVERSIVE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE U.S.""ENEMIES FROM WITHIN"
No City Is Safe From Atom Attack
"NO CITY IS SAFE FROM ATOM ATTACK"