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Flashback Friday: Encyclopedia Britannica

by Sean P. Aune | March 16, 2012March 16, 2012 11:00 pm PST

Flashback FridayThere was a time, not all that long ago really, where everyone had to have a set of Encyclopedia Britannica in their home. As we all know, that era came to an end this week.

After 244 years, the Encyclopedia Britannica will no long be published in print.  It seemed only fitting that I dug up this gem of a commercial from 1985 to bid a fond farewell to them.

As someone who watched way too many cartoons in the 1980’s, this commercial was a staple of just about every afternoon viewing.  I actually kind of got to where I hated this kid, and then I started to wonder just what sort of sadists his parents were to send him out in this type of weather.  Any way you looked at it, it was just never pleasant to watch.  And do you notice that no matter how essential they said this was to own, they never once told you how much it would cost you.  Always a sure sign it was going to be more than you really wanted to spend.

There was even a time where these books were sold door-to-door by the old style sales people who would travel the highways of the country, stopping in every town and walking from house to house to see if they could interest you in a set.  Of course that sales pitch was one of the first to go, but the commercials lasted long into the 1990s, and they even brought back the same kid time and time again as he aged … I still didn’t like him.

So, say “so long” to the age of the print edition, and “hello” to the digital-only world for the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...