The Lower East Side Ecology Center was founded in 1987 to help New Yorkers recycle electronic waste, keeping countless quantities of toxic chemicals from old computers, televisions, and other electronic devices from ending up in landfills. While much of what comes in is recycled, some products are refurbished for reuse. Interestingly, they’ve found that there’s great demand from movie and television studios for vintage electronic props, and this has resulted in the creation of a historical collection of devices, offering a prop library for recreating past eras. So if you’ve ever wondered where they got all those old televisions, typewriters, and phones for shows like Mad Men, now you know. Once I’ve finished writing my autobiographical screenplay, at least I’ll be certain I can find the right 8 track tape player and Fairchild Channel F console to recreate my youth.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He serves on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.

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8 Thoughts on "An Unlikely Library of Obsolete Technologies"

So, can I donate all of my obsolete electronic and photographic equipment to the museum and write it off on my taxes as a charitable donation?

If you’re local, you can bring your old equipment to the recycling center for disposal, and then I suppose they will decide if they want to keep any of it. Not sure how much of a tax write-off one gets for disposing of electronic waste in a responsible manner, but at least you can feel good about doing so.

I had a neighbor who had an idea and wrote a letter to Gates. About two weeks went by when he actually got a call from Gates, who informed him that his was the first letter he had ever received! Also, Gates told him that his idea was not novel….

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