Monday, January 11, 2010

Card-file steals scene in TV debut

[“Now you go out to the Altro Corporation Monday morning and report to a Mr. Hodgeman.”]

The above scene is from “Betty, Girl Engineer,” an episode from the second season of Father Knows Best, first aired on April 11, 1956. The plucky card-file, a newcomer to the home screen, upstages Mr. Glover (Jack Harris), a clipboard, and several unnamed students who have been taking a course in vocational education. Off-screen, Betty Anderson (Elinor Donahue), also a student in the course, waits to sign up to work with a surveying crew. Its members will include a college man who thinks women have no place in engineering. The episode will go on to treat sexual discrimination and harassment in a less than satisfying way, as Betty’s harasser falls for her; and she, for him.

This card-file later had small roles in Dragnet and Car 54, Where Are You? before going into real estate.

Threatening to upstage the card-file is an enigma. What, what is that cup-like object on the desk?

January 10, 2012: Looking at the enigma again, I think it might be the ink reservoir for a dip pen, minus the pen, something like this one.

Related posts
“Betty’s Graduation”
“A Woman in the House”
Repurposed tea tin (An index-card holder)

comments: 6

jw said...

I am often struck by the luxury of space that's created on a desk without a computer. I know that's backwards, because the desk precedes the computer in terms of creation, but it's 2010, and desks and computers are difficult to separate. Even with my Macbook, when I sit down to work, out comes the computer and the whole expanse of open space on the tabletop disappears.

Michael Leddy said...

I know what you mean, JW. I sometimes use our kitchen table to do work — my desk is ruled by a MacBook.

Bardiac said...

Could the cup-like thing be one of those auto-inking stamping things such as notaries use sometimes?

Michael Leddy said...

I didn’t know about those things. But it looks right, though large. Maybe the bottom part is a base that the stamp fits into?

Bardiac said...

The ones I used as a receptionist had a sort of flipping apparatus inside or something, and were a bit bigger at the base like that one. Interesting, isn't it, that something so recent seems so different? But maybe we aren't working in the right offices?

Michael Leddy said...

“But maybe we aren't working in the right offices?”

I’m waiting for time travel to solve these problems.