The Sony U-Matic Color Videocassette Recorder will cure cancer

According to this 1972 Life magazine ad for one of the first Sony VCRs, the Sony U-Matic will cut cancer mortality rates by 1/3rd. The rationale is wonderfully clueless on how the whole peer and FDA-approved medical system works. From the second page:
Suppose a cancer specialist has some valid success with a new form of treatment. He doesn't wait to present a paper at some future medical convention. Then and there, he records his technique on a U-matic color videocassette. Thousands of copies are mailed and made out. Within days, thousands of doctors in hospitals and private offices have seen the technique on their U-matic, and can put it to use. Knowledge snowballs.
Of course, so do malpractice lawsuits. However, Sony was right on the money about one thing: the U-matic copy eerily soothsays the era of invasive and ubiquitous video surveillance. Antique Ads [Brad Staggs via Retro-Thing]
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13 Responses to The Sony U-Matic Color Videocassette Recorder will cure cancer

  1. Halloween Jack says:

    Well, let’s see:

    1) Conquer disease: Whacking off to porn rather than patronizing prostitutes? Makes sense.

    2) Stop crime: See above.

    3) Save the environment: Less porn in print saves trees.

    Sounds like they hit all three marks.

  2. Brother Phil says:

    Speaking of typos: “thousands of copies are mailed and made out”.
    So who were they making out with?

  3. John Brownlee says:

    @8: They said it will end crime by allowing police to video tape everything. It’s right there in the image. How much clearer does it need to be?

  4. takeshi says:

    Well, sure… the megaphone cured polio. LaserDisc didn’t fare so well, but it is a well-known fact that the 8-track virtually eliminated leprosy in much of the Occident.

    That is still one huge machine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    this “little” machine…?

  6. zuzu says:

    Clearly Sony was pitching this to the DHARMA Initiative, and apparently they bought a few as a result.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t the ad copy missing the word “with?”

    “Man might conquer disease, stop crime and save his environment [with] the help of this little machine.”

  8. RedShirt77 says:

    Mankind misses the mark once again.

    Here we used this device to expand the porn industry when we could have saved the environment.

    Hopefully we don’t make the same mistake with the blueray.

  9. Qeb says:

    I’m sorry, could you help me understand how the “U-matic copy eerily soothsays the era of invasive and ubiquitous video surveillance”? They’re talking about people spreading information more easily, not trying to create a “safer” or “more secure” environment.

  10. Uncle Geo says:

    I just chucked out (ok, recycled) the non-tuner version of one of those babies !

  11. semiotix says:

    Amen, #3.

    Man might conquer disease, stop crime, save his environment, and successfully proofread headlines in 40-point font before they’re run in freaking Life Magazine, with the help of this little machine.

  12. Psymiley says:


    Compared to its predecessors, it’s practically pocket sized.

  13. Jake0748 says:

    @3 & 6, By the placement of the word “environment”, it looks like they left space for “with”, just forgot to put it in. Pretty hilarious. :)

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