Electronic Game, Telegames Super-Pong

Description:

Pong is an electronic game that simulates on a two-dimensional screen the play in table tennis (Ping Pong). The California firm of Atari originally introduced it in 1972 as an arcade game (see 1984.0890.01). Seeking a larger market, Atari designers soon were working on a smaller device that could be played at home, with a television set as screen. A home version of the game was distributed from late 1975 by Sears, Roebuck and Company. This is a slightly later version of that game, sold as "Super Pong" from 1976.

Two gray controllers fit into the brown plastic game unit. Each controller is marked: Sears. The unit played four games. Text at the center top of the game unit reads: SUPER PONGTM (/) TELE-GAMESTM. Atari filed for a trademark for PONG in 1975, and it was registered November 28, 1978. Sears applied for a trademark for TELE-GAMES in 1977, and it was registered April 11, 1978. A Sears catalog from 1976 and 1977 advertised Tele-games Super Pong (indicating trademarks). Hence it seems likely that the game dates from between 1976 and 1977. By 1978, Super Pong was offered on cartridge.

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References:

[Advertisement], Hartford Courant, April 5, 1978, p. 30

[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, Apr 6, 1978, p. G25.

[Advertisement], New York Times, March 29, 1978, p. C4.

Henry Lowood, “Videogames in Computer Space: The Complex History of Pong,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 31 #3, July-September 2009, pp. 5-19.

Sears, Roebuck and Company, Wish Book for the 1976 Christmas Season, pp. 390-391.

Sears, Roebuck, and Company, Catalog, Spring, 1977, p. 1044. The game is priced at $78.95. Games played include electronic versions of catch, basketball, handball, and (as with the original Pong) table tennis.

Sears, Roebuck, and Company, Catalog, Fall, 1977, p. 1262. The game costs $39.95.

Sears, Roebuck, and Company, Catalog, Spring, 1978, p. 1060. Doesn't include this form of Super Pong.

Date Made: 1976Date Made: 1976-1977

Maker: Atari, Inc.Maker: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Entertainment

Subject:

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Computers, Computers & Business Machines

Exhibition:

Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Collected by Jon Eklund

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2006.0132.31Catalog Number: 2006.0132.31Accession Number: 2006.0132

Object Name: Electronic Game

Physical Description: plastic (overall material)metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 7 in x 11 in x 6 in; 17.78 cm x 27.94 cm x 15.24 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-212f-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1303665

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