pointerLife at a Bell Labs datacenter in the 60s

A great gallery by Larry Luckham, who captured the daily life at the Bell Labs datacenter he used to work for in the late 60s.

What’s immediately noticeable is the amount of women who used to work at the place. As a recent New York Times article explains, gender balance in tech used to be much better than it is today:

Employers simply looked for candidates who were logical, good at math and meticulous. And in this respect, gender stereotypes worked in women’s favor: Some executives argued that women’s traditional expertise at painstaking activities like knitting and weaving manifested precisely this mind-set. (The 1968 book “Your Career in Computers” stated that people who like “cooking from a cookbook” make good programmers.)

Things changed for the worse when programming became a noble activity (back then, developing the software had a lower status over building the hardware) and when personal computers entered everyday life (parents encouraged boys to play with them, less so girls).

(via @kottke)