Illustrated Law Enforcement Training Targets, Circa 1982 – 1988

In the early 1980s, an officer of the Judicial Police of Belgian city Liège, Francis Dorao, began seeking a cost-effective method for providing more realistic simulations of high-risk situations for police target training, claiming that the traditional black silhouette targets did not adequately prepare officers to face actual human opponents or to make the split-second decisions necessary when distinguishing between an armed threat and an innocent bystander…

“Look It Up, Check It Out”: REX 84 and the History of an American Conspiracy

By Michael Grasso

On July 5, 1987, the day after Independence Day, a year and two days after President Reagan’s centennial rededication of the Statue of Liberty, and at the height of the Iran-Contra hearings, a monumental story appeared in the Miami Herald. Penned by investigative reporter Alfonso Chardy, the piece claimed to expose the workings of a “secret government” in place during the first six-and-a-half years of the Reagan Presidency…

The Chrysler Cordoba de Oro, 1970

The Chrysler Cordoba de Oro was a concept car unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in 1970. Designed by Elwood Engel, Chrysler’s design chief from 1961 to 1974, the future-forward vehicle had a cantilevered roof, no A-pillars (the vertical supports in the window area connecting the roof to the car body), and experimental, grille-shaped headlights…

Burger King Exterior, Circa 1978

Burger King, founded in 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida, emerged in the 1980s as one of the main nationwide competitors to McDonald’s in the United States. In 1978, the probable year of this photo, former McDonald’s executive Donald N. Smith began revamping Burger King’s image, which included taking power away from franchisees, refreshing and standardizing the restaurant chain’s look, and most importantly adding new items to the menu…

Shoulder Pads in Fashion, 1979 – 1989

The shoulder pad—whose origins lay in the protective padding used in military uniforms—first became a feature of female fashion in the build-up to and during the Second World War. Perhaps in response to the militarization of society then underway, its expressionist lines were introduced by prominent designers like Elsa Schiaparelli, whose work was heavily influenced by the surrealism of Cocteau and Dalí…

Incorporated Television Company Ident, Circa 1973

The thunderous strains and spinning lozenges of this ITC ident preceded all kinds of disparate television programs from the 1960s to the early ’80s—from the surreal spy tales of The Prisoner, to the pre-Star Wars sci-fi of Space: 1999, to the beloved The Muppet Show. They were all distributed internationally by Incorporated Television Company (ITC), or ITC Entertainment, as the company was known in the States…

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce: Appraising the Brady Bunch’s Art Collection

By Kirk Demarais

The world of The Brady Bunch can be defined by a conspicuous style. After all, the setting is an architect father’s passion project, accoutered with what Carol Brady once described as Danish Modern furniture. The family’s fashion arc went from Ozzie and Harriet in season one to post-’60s extremes in season three. Yet the Brady’s choice of household artwork seems oddly uninspired…