The “Submit the best application for the WOM and become famous” contest was dreamed up in early 1973.
MOS production was having yield problems. Since product commitments were hard to keep, marketing and sales were forced to mark time until production could keep up. To fill the advertising void, MOS Marketing Head Bob Dwyer and his crew came up with the idea of a silly part to be made into a contest. The WOM data sheet that had been written earlier and was a natural for the contest.
I wrote the data sheet, our Ad Agency (Hall Butler Blatherwick, Inc.) wrote all the contest material except for the Rules which I wrote. They came up with the motto “Better Living through Electrical Stuff”, a twist on the DuPont motto, “Better Living through Chemistry”. All the humor on the contest brochure was dreamed up by the Agency guys. (Note, the three aforementioned links are in high resolution and can be magnified to easily read all the text displayed. This text has been hitherto accessible only if you had an original brochure in front of you. It’s like opening an ancient 41 year old tomb.)
The “Name a real or imagined” application contest for the WOM required entries to be in “by July 31, 1973” so that’s the public debut of the WOM. The person submitting the “best application” was to have their name become eternally famous. The contest was launched with a brochure bound into an issue of the bi-monthly Electronics magazine. I’m not sure of the issue date, the lore is, it was April. It was 1973 for sure. We received quite a pile of entertaining but wacky application ideas.
A winner was JEFF LIEBERMANN, from Santa Cruz, California. He is looking for a copy of his winning application as some are interested. Jeff believes he was a runner-up but I can’t confirm. I was not in on details of finish except to judge entries. My memory is we only picked one.
John G. (Jack) Curtis