Take a look at the above picture. If you cannot identify the item, find someone older than you and have them explain it to you. If you know what it is and remember using it, you must be old. If you think it’s a car air filter that sat in a large round can on top of an old V-8 engine — well, you’re older than you think.
For those of us who remember using the Kodak Carousal slide projector, it was a great innovation that made it much easier to sort slides for presentations. This was the era before software and computer projectors made slides obsolete. It was a time before digital cameras; a time when you took film to the drugstore to have it processed.
There was something poetic about the Carousal slide projector that was lost when computers took over presentations. When the projector lit up the screen, the lights in the room would go out. It felt like you were in a movie theater. Then as the presenter advanced each slide, you would hear the gentle clicking of one slide being replaced by another. The whirring of the cooling fan on the projector; the dimmed lights; the gentle clicking with each slide; all these elements together created a powerful cure for insomnia.
While the soothing sounds of the Carousal slide projector might be gone, computer presentations have at least carried forward the ability to put people to sleep. What still holds true, no matter what the presentation technology, is the content of the presentation and its power to persuade, inform or connect with an audience at an emotional level.
If you’ve never seen the Kodak Carousal pitch on the show Mad Men, follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suRDUFpsHus. It not only shows you the operation of the projector, but also the power of presentation.