We all know that FIT stands for Fashion Institute of Technology but we often forget what “Technology” meant when our institution was founded. In honor, of Legacy Week and FIT’s 70th Anniversary let’s take a moment to reflect on the technology of 1944 and how far we’ve come.
After WWII ended production of televisions resumed and the RCA 630TS sometimes called the Model-T of televisions was the first mass-produced television and most popular postwar model. The screen was 10 inches (about the size of the first iPad) but not at all portable the Television weighted over 80 pounds. The entire television set was 15” high x 26” wide x 19” deep and carried an initial price tag of $435 (minimum wage was $0.30 an hour).
The first programmable electronic digital computer was operational in 1944, it was designed to help with code breaking during World War II. However, the world would not find out about the super secret computer, dubbed Colossus because it took up an entire room, until the 1970’s.
Telephones were rotary phones and only had numbers 0-9, # and * weren’t added to telephones until 1968. Additionally, private lines were not common most people had party lines; where multiple households shared the same line – eavesdropping was not uncommon.
The internet was science fiction in 1944. If you wanted to do research for your paper you’d have to go to the library, use the card catalog and read through various books. Really makes you appreciate how much easier it is now?
Fashion Institute of Technology
In 1944, FIT was located on the top two floors of the High School of Needles Trade (now called the High School of Fashion Industries). FIT didn’t move to 27th street until 1959.
1944 Penn Station looked like an entirely different place. The Great Gate room had chandeliers, giant suspended clocks and glass ceilings.
A 1944 Time Square had fewer billboards and lights.