Carbons to Computers

Historical Timeline 1970-1979

Decade overview

In 1970, women constitute 38% of the labor force and 97.8% of the secretarial force.

In 1972, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act allows preferential hiring and promotion of women and minorities (affirmative action).

In 1973, Arab oil-producing nations move to embargo shipments to the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. The cutoff precipitates an energy crisis in the industrialized world.

In 1974, AT&T, the largest private employer in the United States, bans discrimination against homosexuals.

John T. Molloy's Dress for Success is published in 1975. This is followed by Women's Dress for Success in 1977.

In 1978, Congress passes the Humphrey-Hawkins "full-employment" bill, setting the goal of reducing unemployment to 4% nationally by 1983.

Corporate milestones

Floppy disk introduced for computer data storage
Dot matrix printers introduced by U.S. Centron
First pocket calculator, the Pocketronic, introduced by Texas Instruments. It weighs about 2.5 pounds, costs $150, and can add, subtract, multiply, and divide
Lexitron introduces first word-processing system
Federal Express Company begins operations
Post-It Notes developed by 3-M engineer Art Fry in response to a need for bookmarks that do not slip out but are easily removable
First international fax standard set by United Nations, allowing facsimile messages to be transmitted at a rate of one page every six minutes
"Electric Pencil," the first word-processing software package for personal computer, introduced
IBM introduces laser printer
Concept for "Workbench" modular office system designed by Bruce Burdick at Herman Miller to meet the needs of "Knowledge Workers"
Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs form Apple Computer Company on April Fool's Day
Paul Allen and William Gates found Microsoft
First commercial network of cellular telephones set up in Tokyo, Japan
First spreadsheet software program, "Visicalc," introduced for the Apple II computer


1900-1909 || 1910-1919 || 1920-1929 || 1930-1939 || 1940-1949
1950-1959 || 1960-1969 || 1970-1979 || 1980-1989 || 1990-


This material was generously provided by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

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