Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Computer Industry T-Shirt Museum

You can tell the story of the computer industry --- in great detail --- through T-shirts. The rise and fall of companies, projects and entire technologies can be tracked through the T-shirts produced to commemorate them. I have a small but fine collection of vintage shirts, including

  • PR1ME
  • CMU Java Day 1996
  • DEC SRC: "Turning theory into practice" (ironic, since they generally failed to do so)
  • IBM: peace, love, Mozilla
  • Mozilla 1.0 (dino head)

There are many classic shirts that I've seen or heard about, such as "The Apple engineer (unknown) has unexpectedly quit" from the inter-Jobsian era. I would love to see a T-shirt museum that captures these T-shirts for posterity and uses them to illustrate --- in a fun, visual way --- the progress of our industry. I'd be happy to donate any of my T-shirts. Why hasn't anyone done this?


Aleks Totic
Lloyd Tabb did: http://www.disobey.com/ghostsites/2007/08/geektorg-is-dead-killed-by-spammers.html
Cool! I'd like a physical museum though :-).
Robert Kaiser
FWIW, I put up a gallery of my Mozilla gear (mostly T-shirts) on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kairo_at/sets/72157644035445187/ This is just Mozilla, not all of computer history, but I have a nice collection there...
Liz Henry
There was a project last year at the Internet Archive, where you could donate your tech industry or conference tshirts, and they were making seat cushions out of them. The Archive's auditorium is in an old church with wooden pews. Not quite a museum, but fascinating to see!