Jason and the Argos Gnomes (Part Twenty Four): The Pullman Combination Personal Organiser

And they called it ‘Yuppie’, love…

Yuppiedom reached the heady heights in 1988. In a big way. In that big a way they were a ‘different class’ with their fast cars and ‘loadsamoney’ dichotomy. A short lived boom and another tax cut for the rich not only saw greater competition, but also a sense of loss as public services were sold off in the name of ‘popular capitalism’.

Yuppiedom also had echoes of post-industrial riverside apartments. Plus the very point where cookery programmes began to have fancy ingredients a world away from anything the average Joe could pick up in Lo Cost. Most obviously, the rise of car phones and mobile phones the size of house bricks. Though the fast cars and mobile phones were out of reach of many working class household, there was one ‘must-have’ Yuppie item available for a realistic price.

The Pullman “Combination” Personal Organiser

Ah, a Filofax! Well, not quite. A Filofax in structure, though not in name. Pullman’s Combination Personal Organiser was their creme de la menthe, featuring a smaller organiser inside of a bigger one.

The standard size organiser has maps (the obligatory InterCity and London Underground maps probably), useful information such as weights and measures, and a financial section. The last section for home accounts (well, they could have used GEOCalc on their Commodore 64 or Lotus 1-2-3 on their PC). The smaller organiser, removable from its bigger brother, is a telephone and address book, diary, notepad and has a credit card slot.

Pullman still does luggage today, but there is one thing which may surprise you. Filofax is… a British company. They was formed in 1921 as Norman and Hill, but the Yuppie boom saw the East London based stationers rename the company after its most popular product line. Their main product has Philadelphian leanings, and it was their import of Lefax’s product which changed things for the company. They would absorb Lefax in 1992 with Filofax themselves becoming part of the Letts group.

Yet, even in the smartphone age, you can still buy them today. And all the other stuff such as extra notepaper, the obligatory Tube map and diary pages. Some swear by them; plus there’s no need to charge the things. Anyway, apps are limited to playing Battleships on the square paper.

  • Catalogue: Autumn/Winter 1988;
  • Page and Item Number: Page 88, Item 3;
  • 1988 Price: £19.99 (£38.99);
  • 2014 Price: £49.10 (£95.76).

Well, we have come to the close of this year’s Advent Calendar. I hope the products mentioned have given you some memories. Just to bring you up to date, I hope you get the presents you want and have a Merry Christmas.

S.V., 24 December 2014.


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