In 2013, the official attendance numbers for CES – the Consumer Electronics Show – were just over 150,000, down from 2012, which saw the highest ever (156,000) according to the Consumer Electronics Association, the professional organization that produces CES. Behind the scenes of the massive, multi-day show held every January in Las Vegas, though, many industry insiders and media have been whispering of the “death of CES” – and large tech trade shows in general – for several years now. Less hyperbolically, the industry is certainly undergoing a lot of changes, and huge shows with dozens of major product launches can seem less important than they have in years past. Many companies have scaled back the number of products they launch each year, and often have their own launch events to maximize attention and press coverage. Over its 46 year history, however, CES’s attendance numbers have grown steeply, and this year’s CES, will likely be attended in larger numbers than ever before. As we move toward CES 2014, we decided to take a retrospective look at the history of the industry’s largest trade show. Here are some fantastic and weird photos of CES through the years.

Editor's note: Originally published in January of 2012, this feature was updated on January 4, 2014.