Americans have a voracious and insatiable appetite for all things modern: technology, fads, clothes, gadgets--everything and anything that fulfills our wants and needs. As time moves forward; days fly by and decades seem but a brief pause at the speed of life. New replaces old, improvement begets obsolescence, and creative inventiveness fills windows in the “I Want That!” store.
A pensive glance in the rear-view mirror of seasons past provides a varied litany of items that have passed into history—illustrating the brief shelf life of our conveniences. Now it is time for you to dust off your memory, clean the lenses of your retrospective rose-colored spectacles and fondly remember a more simple, less sophisticated, and blissful naïveté we affectionately refer to as “the good ‘ol days.” Do you remember?
Pay phones, dial telephones, phone booths (a.k.a. Superman’s dressing room), TV antennas—rooftop and rabbit ears, reel to reel tape recorders, Kodakrome, Brownie box cameras, VCR’s, VHS and BETA video tape, cassette and 8-track tape, UHF/VHF,
studded snow tires, seat covers for automobiles, Polaroid cameras, black & white television, reel push lawn mowers, typewriters, mimeographs and ditto machines,
carbon paper, erasable typing paper, Bell & Howell 8mm & Revere 16 mm film projectors, 8mm home movies, chrome bumpers and trim on automobiles, phonograph records: 78, 45 and 33-1/3 rpm, carousel slide projectors and slides, incandescent light bulbs, flash bulb cameras, magic cubes, lava lamps, vacuum tube electronic devices: radios, television, amplifiers; wringer washing machines, wooden step ladders and extension ladders, ink wells, ink pens, desk blotters, Dictaphones, shorthand transcription, CB radios, Ham radios, steam locomotives, inner tubes, automobile seat covers, hub caps, automobile vent windows, Sears catalog, Montgomery Ward catalog, telephone books with understandable Yellow Pages, fountain service at drugstores and dime stores; deposit bottles worth 2 cents, glass soda pop bottles, bottle caps that needed an opener, “church key” can openers for beer, steel cans for soda, beer and everything canned, coal-fired home furnaces, coal bins, coal chutes, wristwatches that required winding, Christmas tree icicles, bubble lights, family dinner hour, comic books, Walkmans, Pac Man, radio shows—kids and adults: adventure, mystery, comedy, soaps, quiz, sports and entertainment; Watkins salve for First Aid, Merthyolate, Cabbage Patch Kids, brand names: Rinso, Duz, Babo, Ipana, Gleem, White Rain, Toni Home Permanent, Dr. Lyons Tooth Powder, Halo Shampoo, Oldsmobile, DeSoto, Henry J., Kaiser/Frasier, Nash, Charles Antel’s Formula Number 9, Hair Arranger, Wildroot, Fearless Fosdick, Lil’ Abner, Dick Tracy, Sal Hepatica, Kellog’s Pep, Argo laundry starch, Melmac dinnerware, Shoppers’ World, E.J. Korvette, Topps, Shoppers’ Fair, Jupiter Stores, Woolworth’s & J.J. Newberrys, Goldblatts, Edward C. Minas, Rabin’s, Morrie Mages—your store for sports; schoolbags, tin school lunch boxes with thermos adorned with favorite heroes; home delivery: milk, bakery, poultry & produce, door-to-door salesmen: encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners, pot & pans; The Fuller Brush Man, a photographer with a pony, S&H Green Stamps, American Family Flakes, Perfect Plus nylons, clothes that had to be ironed after laundering; wooden clothes pins/clothes poles/and hanging laundry outside to dry, automobile tune-ups requiring plugs, points, and condenser. Home electrical panels that used screw-in fuses, neighborhood grocery stores that ran a “tab” for their regular customers, metal coat hangers, High top canvas sneakers, Buster Brown shoes, Red Goose shoes, Hula Hoops, Knickers, Bowling alley pinsetters, full service gas stations, jalopies and hot rods, TV trays, pole lamps, polyester suits, beehive hairdos, balloon tire bicycles, Drive-In movie theaters, Drive-In restaurants, Saturday matinee movies—double feature, cartoons, News of the day, Coming Attractions, and intermission games on stage. How’s the memory?
Here’s more: bobby socks, saddle shoes, blue suede shoes, penny loafers, crinoline petticoats, duck tail haircuts, slide rule, metal toys made in Japan, ironing boards and irons, pinball machines, men’s felt hats, Selective Service: military draft, lickable postage stamps, baby chicks and ducks at Easter time, party line telephones, telephone operators, phone numbers that included letters of the alphabet, street cars, street dances, pencil boxes, wooden produce crates from the A & P, metal cleats for shoes, wicker laundry baskets, Hollywood movies without swear words, burning autumn leaves, and most poignantly--family, loved ones and friends who touched our life.