Safire on Pop-up Ads

William Safire, of The New York Times , has written an enlightening little history of pop-ups, both online and off.

In it, he traces the pop-up ad back to children’s books of yesteryear as well real paper-and-glue pop-up print ads.The first mention he finds in the Times, is May 4th, 1967 when the Butler Manufacturing Company ran a pop-up ad in Nations Business.

I thought it was rather limited of Mr. Safire to simply review references in his own newspaper. But now I see why: Internet search engines do not know about print ads that pop up when the page is turned, only those pop-ups on the net.

Safire finds another early use of pop-up in describing the menus in Apple’s Lisa computer (Remember them? Think of a Macintosh’s ™ mom.) John Markoff wrote of this in InfoWorld in July, 1983.

Last month, Rep. Markey of Massachusetts decried the use of pop-up ads on the Internet. He has introduced a bill called the “Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass” act.

Why the bad translation sound? It’s called the SPYACT, for short.