Friday, July 11, 2014

Computer Dating in the 1960s

I was in the car the other day listening to the radio and someone was describing a computer dating service that operated in the US in the 1960s. That's right - the 1960s! It was surprisingly simple. You filled out a detailed questionnaire (on paper) about yourself and your preferences and you mailed it (in an envelope with a stamp) to a business called JOPA and they entered your details onto punch cards, which were then processed by an IBM mainframe. Some weeks later your received, in the post, a list of prospective partners who matched your profile, along with addresses and phone numbers. You can read more about the service in this article in the Atlantic or view an original article from the 60s in Life magazine. Seems like there's nothing new under the sun.