Memory of the Month: They don’t make ’em like they used to

By on October 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

In honor of GEICO’s 75th anniversary, we’re sharing an image from GEICO’s past each month this year and inviting you to exercise your caption-writing skills.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, with the company growing by leaps and bounds, GEICO executives realized that paper storage of policy information would eventually become impossible to manage. That’s when big, impressive machines like this IBM 650 Data Processing System began to appear at GEICO’s corporate headquarters just outside of Washington, D.C.

Fast, efficient data storage and retrieval remains a priority for GEICO, and the company’s IT department employs hundreds of associates like these two chaps – although we don’t see many bow ties (or ties of any sort, for that matter) around the office these days. Some of the company’s systems hardware still resides at the corporate headquarters, but much of it occupies a large data center in GEICO’s mid-Atlantic regional headquarters in Fredericksburg, Va.  

And of course, your average smartphone now packs more computing power than the beast these fellows are working on. What do you suppose they’d say if they knew what the future of data processing held?

50 responses to “Memory of the Month: They don’t make ’em like they used to

  1. Chris says:

    “What do you suppose they’d say if they knew what the future of data processing held?”

    From what they’re dealing with in the picture, they’d probably faint!

  2. dan says:

    i don’t understand–we’re still using this machine here!

  3. Hyuk hyuk hyuk says:

    I have it on good authority that the man in the driver’s seat is actually Don Knotts.

  4. JP says:

    OK McFly.  Press this button and you should be back to the future

  5. JOE says:

    “i don’t understand–we’re still using this machine here!”


  6. Jim says:

    But I just got my Certification in Binary…

  7. Chris M says:

    The “loading program” icon for this machine is an actual physical hourglass.

  8. Joe W says:

    Houston, we have a problem…..

  9. Libby says:

    Never press this button right here.  No matter what>”

  10. Pegs says:

    What do you suppose they’d say if they knew what the future of data processing held?

    – (guy sitting in chair) So let me get this straight, I just sat here for 8hrs putting input into this monster. And you can take a picture of a piece of paper and send it across the country to the home office in 3 seconds? …..I’m going to take my 15 now.

  11. scott says:

    steve jobs just invented what?

  12. Lee says:

    What do you suppose they’d say if they knew what the future of data processing held?

    If you know this now, why isn’t it here yet?

  13. Bx says:

    Photo courtesy of GEICO, Lakeland, FL © 2000
    OK.. So how do I cast my vote for Al Gore?

  14. Ax says:

    Ok so how far do I have to go to actually see a morlock?

  15. Buff says:

    How are we siamese twins if you are so much older then me!!

  16. BackPack says:

    Machine:Your mailbox is over its size limit
    Man sitting: All I did was download a No-Fault File

  17. AnnaB says:

    Skynet has a long way to go

  18. Ali says:

    Look Charlie, I just found a rat while trying to debug this thing!

  19. Roy Buckingham says:

    How Mindsweeper was invented

  20. brad says:

    this is the long lost relative of HAL 9000…..this is HAL 9……..

  21. Brian says:

    Do you think this will support ATLAS

  22. Steve says:

    “I don’t know, Sherman; we’ll be in big trouble if Mr. Peabody catches us fooling around with the Wayback Machine.”

  23. Bx says:

    “Please back up.. Your breath is kickin’…”

  24. John Locke says:

    Just enter the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 and then press Execute.  Do this every 108 minutes, or else.

  25. Mon Mothma says:

    Many bothans died bringing us this information

  26. Ax says:

    Han- Honestly Mothma what the heck is a Bothan. Do we really care how many we lost? I mean do you miss them? Really?

  27. Buffy says:

    So this is the inside of the police box.

  28. Olino says:

    Let’s see if we can lookup the world’s record for smallest bowtie

  29. DC says:

    First company PIP adjusters getting computer assistance with workload.  (Clock on wall shows 12:00 midnight)… You think you have it bad?

  30. Sean says:

    “…And would ya believe it weighs under Ten Tons?!?!” 
    “Really, Wow!”
    “Well that’s before you load the coal, its main power source”

  31. Jason says:

    I’ve giv’n her all she’s got, Captain, an’ I canna give her no more!

  32. Katie says:

    This thing is on wheels!  First sign of going mobile??

  33. Buff says:

    Tom I’m stuck. I threw out my back, I threw out my back. Get me a Chiropracter.

  34. Simon says:

    Being this close to a large dangerous machine, shouldn’t one of us be wearing the red ensigns shirt ?

  35. Rex says:

    Supposedly this is the toilet of the future.

  36. Carlos Michaelangelo Jr. says:

    Please stop leaning over me… Get your own computer.

  37. Dianna says:

    Man seated: “Hey Chuck, look at this will ya?  They’re saying here that in the future all the records found on our newly installed 650 can be accessed from phones!  Can you believe it?”

    Man standing:  “No way!  Really?  Let me see that!”

  38. BX 718 says:

    So where do I plug in my Ipod?

  39. THX says:

    Man standing: “Why should I be the only one in here with lice?”

  40. A B says:

    I didn’t want to vote for Taylor Hicks!!!

  41. Kylashandra says:

    Man sitting: It seems to be some kind of count down.

    Standing: What? Let me see that!

  42. Akin says:

    so the flux capacitor goes where?

  43. Q-Bert says:

    “Here we are… face to face… a couple of silver spoons…”

  44. Frogger says:

    Sharing the laughter, sharing the laughter and love

  45. Donatello says:


  46. Ryan says:

    “…and we’ll call the final number ‘PROFT SHARING’!”

  47. Michelangelo says:


  48. Sean says:

    “And if I can adjust the screen a little with this dial here… there… I’ve got it!!  Now we can get every NFL game right here at the office!”

  49. victoria says:

    the clock in the back actually says 12 pm, but our company’s low cost policy involves a certain number of light bulbs allotted to the basement office per annum.

  50. SLS says:

    This button here releases the flying monkeys!!!