It shows that, contrary to what was previously believed, the first computerized dating system in either the US or the UK was run by a woman.For Valentine’s Day, 1961, the cartoonist Charles Addams—of Addams Family fame—drew a futuristic cover for the New Yorker.It explores the mid-twentieth century origins of computer dating and matchmaking in order to argue for the importance of using sexuality as a lens of analysis in the history of computing.Doing so makes more visible the heteronormativity that silently structures much of our technological infrastructure and helps bring other questions about gender, race, and class into the foreground.You filled out a questionnaire, fed it into the machine, and almost instantly received a card with the name and address of a like-minded participant in some far-flung locale—your ideal match. He called up his friend Robert Ross, a programmer at I. M., and they began considering ways to adapt this approach to find matches closer to home. “This loser happens to be a talented fashion illustrator for one of New York’s largest advertising agencies.They’d heard about some students at Harvard who’d come up with a program called Operation Match, which used a computer to find dates for people. She makes Quiche Lorraine, plays chess, and like me she loves to ski. ”One day, a woman named Patricia Lahrmer, from 1010 WINS, a local radio station, came to to do an interview.
But after 32 years, I must finally admit that I met my wife online—or, to be a little more precise, via the technology that would power online dating for decades.
Abstract: Although online dating has only recently become culturally acceptable and widespread, using computers to make romantic matches has a long history.
But rather than revolutionizing how people met and married, this article shows how early computerized dating systems re-inscribed conservative social norms about gender, race, class, and sexuality.
Baby boomers were in the formative stages of their careers during this era.
And when it came to meeting your soulmate, many of us had little time or inclination to frequent the disco pick-up scene.