It was the hippies and flower power that did for the title and ties generally and in the Valley in particular. The countercultural movement meant throwing off things like dress codes imposed by “the man”. This rapidly spread across even a company as controlled as IBM – I saw a group photo of the workers at IBM Hursley in the UK from 1975 – and the young and old were clearly delineated by dress (tie-dye, sandals, caftans and long hair for the young and jackets, ties and short-back-and-sides for the senior). But they all knew that if they had to visit a customer the suits and ties would be required (“Never underdress the customer”).
Now let’s examine the title . The two gentlemen here are middle-aged – at least 40 years old at the time this was taken, I would guess and possibly older. They are examining piles of paper, especially stapled reports and memos. The one one on the right is rebelling against conformity with his choice of patterned shirt and wide and large pattern tie (which I would guess was put on for the photo given the way it seems to be throttling him). But he is still sporting a pen in his shirt pocket while carrying another at the ready in his hand. The one on the left seems more comfortable, has rolled up his sleeves but a more tonally matching solid color tie and tie. Given the people’s ages, this picture could have been taken as late as the 1980s even in Silicon Valley – but is probably more senior types in the 1970s.
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