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Mad Men Season 1 Props Gallery 1 - Mad Men Season 1 Props GalleryMad Men Season 1 Props Gallery 1 - Mad Men Season 1 Props Gallery

Set in 1960 New York, Mad Men is about the lives of the competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising. The task of filling this world with authentic objects falls to the production's property master Scott Buckwald. In this photo essay Scott explains the unique challenges that he and his department needed to overcome in order for the show to recreate an accurate vision of corporate and home life in 1960's New York.
Photo by Carin Baer

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Scott Buckwald (Property Master): "The interesting thing about 1960 is that it's pre-Beatles. A lot of times when people hear the '60s, they think of the Beatles era. But 1960 owes more to Elvis and to the 1950s than what people typically think. It was the beginning of the Kennedy era. It was just at the point where America was starting to lose its innocence."
Photo by Carin Baer

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Scott Buckwald, Property Master: "Everything we see doesn’t necessarily come from 1960. Today, for example, everything doesn't come from 2007. There are things that we have now - like a pants style - that might be from 1997. So, in 1960, there are a lot of things that are holdovers, especially for the older generation. Their cars could be from the early '50s."
Photo by Carin Baer

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Scott Buckwald, Property Master: "We also don't want to create a historical anachronism by putting a 1962 typewriter or transistor radio in, so we try to watch that, unless, creatively we just decide it’s a good way to go. Otherwise, we keep ourselves locked to April of 1960."
Photo by Carin Baer

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Scott Buckwald, Property Master: "When we started this show, during my first show-and-tell for the producers, we laid out 20 to 30 running feet of table with everything from record albums to cigars, cigarettes, transistor radios, cameras -- anything that if you had gone through someone's house in 1960 you would expect to find."
Photo by Carin Baer

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Scott Buckwald, Property Master: "So when the opportunity arises, we could put a transistor radio on someone's desk. Everybody has watches. The watches, every single one of them are period correct."
Photo by Carin Baer

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Scott Buckwald, Property Master: "You have to watch out for the misinterpretations and prejudices you might have about the era. It's also very easy to try to jam everything that was introduced in 1960 all into one episode. You have to space it out a little bit. 'Cause everything that was developed in 1960 didn’t happen in one day."
Photo by Carin Baer

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Scott Buckwald, Property Master: "We have boxes of license plates. It'd be very easy to make them all 1960, but in 1960, there were still cars driving around with 1959 plates. So we had to keep that. Also, New York now has inspection stickers on the front of their windows. I naturally assumed they had them in 1960, but they didn’t."
Photo by Carin Baer

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Scott Buckwald, Property Master: "All the cigarettes, food -- anything the characters eat and drink -- anything that needs to be re-manufactured comes from our department. The cigarettes we use are all herbal cigarettes. If we get filtered ones, we cut the filter off. It's not tobacco, but I still wouldn’t recommend it. It’s really nasty."
Photo by Carin Baer

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Scott Buckwald, Property Master: "At 3:00 in the morning when the director says, “I need a pen”, it's not as easy as just reaching into the box. It's like keeping an orchestra finely tuned. Keeping the historical accuracy allows the characters to develop the way [series creator] Matt Weiner wants."
Photo by Carin Baer

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Scott Buckwald, Property Master: "We have tons of art supplies, all period correct. They are very hard to find because it's not the kind of thing that people hold on to. A lot of this stuff was made to be disposable. Just trying to round up enough stuff to create that slice of life can sometimes be a bit of a challenge."
Photo by Carin Baer

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Property Master Scott Buckwald explains how he and his team recreated 1960 New York.
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