Photo: The Spy Who Loved Me 1977 Danjaq, LLC, & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved
The Spy Who Loved Me Gadgets
The opening scene of the movie was a departure from previous examples, as it is made clear that James Bond would be working with or against a Russian KGB agent. The communication gadgets are just as good. They both have sex in the afternoon. What could possibly go wrong?
Admittedly, the KGB communication device is a little rudimentary in comparison with 007’s whizzy watch, but it is as pretty as the MI6 version is functional.
There are of course a myriad of musical boxes available, although admittedly, few with the KGB yelling down the other end, so more interesting is 007’s gadget.
Ticker Tape was the earliest form of digital communication. It was used by the Stock Exchange to communicate the fluctuations in the market and apart from the telephone is arguably the single invention that helped create the markets the Western world relies upon to control their financial systems.
In 1958 Dymo began selling label makers. It was a bit of a slow burning product, but by the 1970s the company were selling seven million label printers a year.
Based on the typewriting method, letter appeared on a daisy wheel, which could be moved around by hand. This enabled the user to introduce letters one at a time onto plastic tape.
It all sounds rather pre-historic now, but you could not visit an office in the 1970s or 80s without seeing little plastic strips with wording on them, stuck to something or the other.
Of course, Bond’s watch would not have operated in the same fashion – you simple could not fit a daisy wheel of the size that printed the letters on his message: A great idea, but complete nonsense.