The latest of issue of the Collectors Weekly magazine (subscribe now!) has a pretty fascinating interview with Scott Buckwald, the prop master for Mad Men. This is the guy responsible for ensuring that Don Draper’s empty liquor bottles look like sixties liquor bottles, among many other things. He’s built a sixties-era Sara Lee box, hunted down a vintage vinyl wardrobe, built a lipstick display case, and cooked all the food Betty serves. Buckwald is awesomely obsessive but even he can’t get everything right:
Collectors Weekly: When it came to the Mad Men office scenes, did you have to get vintage typewriters and pencils and pens?
Buckwald: Well, pencils are pencils. There’s no change in the pencils, and a lot of offices were using ballpoint pens. Fountain pens had largely disappeared. Certainly for formal use, the fountain pen was still there, but not as an everyday office tool.
I thought Mad Men made a big mistake on the typewriters. They knew what the right history was, but they ignored it. The secretaries at that advertising firm would have still been using vintage-style typewriters, but they used IBM Selectrics simply because the producer liked the way they looked and they made less noise on set. So we got many letters about how they were wrong, but, again, that’s his call. And right or wrong, it’s his show. He can do whatever he wants with it.
“He,” of course, refers to the show’s creator and avowed Internet-hater
Anthony Matthew Weiner.
An Interview with Scott Buckwald, Prop Master for the Hit TV Show Mad Men [Collectors Weekly]