Dec. 1979: Yes. There Was Life before PowerPoint. #ThrowbackThursday

On December 18, 1979, Mayo Clinic's Medical Graphics Department began producing slides with its new Genigraphic system.


The electronic image-generating system was installed on the eighth floor of the Plummer Building in early September. Staff members engaged in learning the digitizing and data processing techniques to run the complex system. They also took on a few simple projects from colleagues for practice.

Robert Benassi, head of the Section of Medical Graphics at the time, asked interested observers to restrain themselves from stopping by for "private showings" so that Graphics personnel could have time to become more skilled at operating the system. Also, he said that the system was very sensitive and could be easily disrupted by the presence of more than a few people in the room.

Mr. Benassi said the Genigraphic would give his section the ability to produce many more slides much faster, at considerably lower cost, and with consistently higher quality.

Alyssa Frank (@alyssafrank)

Alyssa Frank

Alyssa Frank is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She leads marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Alyssa has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015.