UPDATE: See end of post. One of the things I work pretty hard at is finding out exactly when each Mad Men episode takes place. In general, there’s a calendar visible somewhere, or somebody mentions a news event…something.
I am delighted to discover that the only indicator in episode 7.11, Time & Life, is…Time. The magazine, that is. It’s visible on Peggy’s coffee table when she takes a meeting with a headhunter. The image is unclear, but I searched an archive of every Time cover in May, June, and July of 1970, and it’s clearly the June 29, 1970 issue.
Now, that doesn’t prove to me exactly when this episode takes place. First of all, Time publishes over a week ahead of the cover date. As I write on April 30, the current issue of Time, with Baltimore rioting on the cover, is dated May 11, 2015. Since Peggy works in the Time & Life building, I imagine she gets issues as soon as they come out, meaning it could be the week of June 15, 1970. On the other hand, did the Mad Men production crew actually look up when Time is released, or just go by the cover date? Since there isn’t a little stack of Time on the coffee table, my money says it’s the current issue–she throws old ones away or stores them elsewhere. And yes, I do believe that the production crew thinks through things like that–homes reflect the characters who live in them.
Assuming that the use of the magazine is accurate to the actual publication scheduled of Time, we know that the meeting with the headhunter took place on a weekday somewhere between June 19 and 25, 1970.
UPDATE: More than one Basketcase pointed out that a calendar behind Trudy indicated August 4. At first I was dubious, but then I found a shot of Peggy’s calendar that clearly shows a 6. It can’t be Monday, July 6, because that 6 is visible on the third of three consecutive weekdays. The day that people think shows August 4 is two days before the 6 is visible, and that makes the three days Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. August it is.
Never let it be said I can’t admit when I’m wrong!