Lockheed Ad From The 1950s Shows The Defense Industry's Better Days

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The military and the defense industry have certainly seen better days (though most of the bigwigs are still making money hand over fist).

"Sequestration" has become the bogeyman beneath Washington's bed — an automatic, blind trimming of 50 billion dollars threatens all things defense related, to include American jobs.

In a lot of ways, the old-school job ad here reflects the good ol' days associated with the 1950s. The industries of foreign enemies and friends were in shambles. Meanwhile, America was not just intact, but WWII spending had artificially riled up the economy like Twinkies do to a toddler.

The ad reflects a level of pride about the military industry far different from what you hear today — "no field of science offers greater challenges and scope for achievement." It also reflects the subconscious underbelly of U.S. paranoia. Fear. External threat. It wouldn't be long before the Red Scare, and America needed missiles. Lots of missiles.

Along the right side of the ad we also see just how much the funding the defense industry offered us. The company IBM had just entered "the computer age," and national security dictated the dumping of money into these systems, along with many others.

Would we have an iPhone or a Siri without it? Be honest — probably not.

Further down we read a total blast from the past: people actually wrote resumes. Actually put them into envelopes and into the mail, where a real actual human would then open them up and actually read them.

Lockheed's current job ads are as inhuman as one would expect.

It's all done over the web. Rather than write a letter, lick a stamp, several fields confront you — name, date, state, zip code. (It's the same if you're applying to CNN or most other companies.)

One would presume an algorithm, several times removed from human touch, sorts the applications — which must be a flood, in this economy.

The only thing human about the process is the stock image of a smiling woman.

Contrary to what her smile would tell you, the U.S. has seen better days.



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