Twentieth century science was particularly obsessed with finding new ways to approach love — or in some cases, lust. During the 1920s, technology magazines insisted that you'd be able to find the perfect partner through a series of highly scientific tests. By the 1950s, mechanical computers and love-automats were the future of finding Mr. or Mrs. Right.
The May 1, 1955 issue of American Weekly explained that a small town in Germany was experiencing a shortage of men. This had led them to experimenting with a more mechanical form of matchmaking — a special contraption for "slot machine sweethearts."
Women would approach a machine that looked a bit like an old school automat. The machine had photos of different men, each with a short description. She would put her coins in a slot and out would pop a more detailed note, describing just what kind of guy her potential suitor was. The woman would then take her letter to a love-agent who was able to make an introduction.
American Weekly took the necessary pot shots at post-Nazi Germany, but the article didn't rule out the possibility that this could be something Americans could import for a more scientific approach to finding a mate.
From American Weekly:
Minna has paid her two marks (50 cents) into the machine and now reads about her dream man. The sign means "acquaintances."
Now Minna hurries to the slot machine agent for the name and home address of her choice. The agent tells all...
And so below, Minna and Kurt meet and get acquainted. Who ever would have thought, that day Minna put the coins in....?
Minna has found out that Kurt doesn't beat his mother, Kurt that Minna cooks with gas, so they toast their engagement. The drinks cost more than the slot machine fee, but this time Kurt pays.
And if all of that seems ridiculous, well, it might be time take a good hard look at Tinder. Or not. I hear you can get hep C just from downloading the damn thing.
Images: Scanned from the May 1, 1955 issue of American Weekly