Do You Remember? – A Tuesday List of Ten

List of 10Technology moves so fast that things that were commonplace just a short time ago have disappeared from current culture. Or if they have not disappeared completely their popularity and use has either declined or changed dramatically. On the other hand, sometimes changes in laws and public opinion have caused the disappearance of some phenomena. A number of things come to mind that were once the norm and now are almost completely non-existent.  Some of them are very recent changes and others are a little older. This week’s List of 10 itemizes some of those changes.

Do You Remember….

1.  Making collect calls? Mostly a relic from before cell phones, a collect call (or reverse charge call) was made and the expense was charged to the person who received the call rather than to the caller.  Collect calls were often placed by people who were away from home and did not have other means to place a call. Today inmates in institutions are among those who are most likely to place collect calls.

image2. Having a portable phone with an antenna? Before smart phones and flip phones there were large, bulky cell phones that looked like a small club. They had antennas that needed to be extended to get any reception. Along with these dinosaurs were “bag phones” in the 90’s which were huge but more transportable than anything that had preceded them.

3. Station wagons? Families used to load  lots of kids in stations wagons. Many times the children sat in the back, unrestrained, in he cargo area possibly with the back window open. The imagekids could move around or lay down and change positions which made long trips much easier to endure. Station wagons were popular before SUV’s. There was no concern about making sure that the children had car seats or restraints. Although they can still be seen today it is primarily just a few dinosaurs that are still in operation. Many of today’s newer designed SUV’s resemble station wagons but there are restraints in each spot where it would be appropriate for children to sit.

image4. Cigarette vending machines?  They used to be as common as candy machines and soda machines. I recall seeing them all over. Now in the United States they can only be found in places where children under the age of 18 are not allowed. They are also restricted in many other countries.

5. Smoking on airplanes? Through the 1960’s smoking was allowed on all planes. United Airlines had the first nonsmoking section in 1971. The first ban of smoking in the U.S. was imposed in 1988 on domestic flights of two hours or less. In 1990 it was extended to domestic flights of six hours or less. Not until 2000 was smoking banned on all domestic and international flights.

6. Trying to get correct directions to find a location for the first time? “Turn left on Main Street. Go through three stop lights and then turn left on Elm Street. Go two blocks and turn right on Wisconsin Avenue. Then there is an immediate left turn on to Howard Place. The house is the 3rd house on the left. It is white with black shutters.”  The greatest development in recent years has been GPS. It really has increased my efficiency in finding places and I now I am rarely lost. I know some people still do not have GPS, and I only have had it for about 2 years, but I don’t know how I ever got by without it.

7. Boom boxes? Portable music has come a long, long way. The huge combination radio, tape players (and later CD players) with as big of speakers as possible to make music be as loud as possible have basically disappeared as portable music. They used to be a status symbol for America’s youth. Developments in electronics made it unnecessary to carry around such large and heavy audio equipment The are still around but you are not likely to see people carrying them around.

8. Shooting a roll of film and taking it in to be developed? Serious photographers may still use film but obviously digital photographer and quality cameras on cell phones have taken over for the casual photographer.

9. Flashbulbs or flash cubes on photography equipment? I recall a time when most family snapshots were taken outside because flash photography indoors was not very reliable. Of course today most cameras use electronic flashes and many modern cameras have automatic functions where the flash is activated if needed. Professional photographers may still use separate flash bulbs but they have disappeared for the most part for the casual photographer.

image10. Typewriters? Generations of college students prepared papers and thesis and assignments by using a typewriter, either manual or electric. Typewriters were the standard equipment in offices for decades. Although they can still be found especially for die-hards who cannot give up something they are comfortable with, typewriters have largely been replaced by computers and word processing programs. I recall doing papers in college and getting to the bottom of the page and finding out that I had not left enough room for the mandatory footnotes so the entire page had to be re-typed. Or finding a huge grammatical error very early in the paper that could not be corrected by squeezing in another word. I am not sure today’s students and administrative assistants really understand and appreciate how “cut and paste” has made producing papers and documents so much easier.

There are a ton of other items that can be added to this list. I am curious about what comes to your mind as you think of things that have disappeared from modern culture.


22 thoughts on “Do You Remember? – A Tuesday List of Ten

  1. hirundine608 July 7, 2015 / 12:32 pm

    Sure I remember all that and more besides.

    1) I remember a time, when one could turn up for a flight either domestic or International about 30 mins before take off and still make the flight.

    2) Boom boxes? Heck I remember gramophones even the wind up sort.

    3) My first camera was a Brownie Box and it did not have a flash. My dad had a SLR and it required a separate flash unit. Bulbs were extra.

    4) Smoking was endemic not just airplanes but also cinemas and dining. Clubs and Pubs.

    5) Working for CP Rail a couple of cabooses had a radio phone. Big bulky affairs attached to the wall. Not only had an antenna but had an exterior extension. … Do you remember the caboose?

    6) I still use maps … I use google maps for convenience but GPS? No, thanks.

    7) I used collect calls to allow family to track how I was doing on a long trip. You placed the call, then when operator asked if the they would accept the call from the location? Then you hung up. Good way of tracking now long gone.

    8) My SUV is a small one and I would not dream of allowing kids to ride back there. My dog rode there when he was alive. The only time we had a “station wagon” was a small Datsun now Nissan wagon. I had a large P/U though but with an extended cab and canopy over the bed. Little reason for riding back there?

    9) Type writers? My Mom was a stenographer wrote shorthand and typed. So she got all those jobs. While I use email these days, I do not miss typewriters where the fingers would go so fast the keys would tangle.

    10) Scythes and milk delivered by horse and cart … two things gone that I miss!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good Woman July 10, 2015 / 8:44 pm

      What a great response you gave. Being able to show up just 30 minutes before a flight is something I had almost forgotten about. That is a great edition to the list. I too remember the gramophone. We had a wind-up Victrola that played 78’s when I was a child. And cabooses–I do remember very well. In my mind they have almost a romantic connotation. Several people mentioned using collect calls like you did. Today I think very few would put kids in the back of a station wagon, but back then we didn’t think anything of it. When I was in high school there were secretarial classes where kids learned shorthand and typing. And I love your memory of typewriters where the keys tangled. Since I grew up on a dairy farm we did not have milk delivered–that had to be a town thing.

      Thanks for your lengthy comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hirundine608 July 10, 2015 / 9:00 pm

        Thanks …. milk delivered by horse and cart was a London thing. The stables were located at the end of my street. One day they were gone and electric cart was in it’s place. The horse’s name was “Cherry” all the kids petted his nose. A trip to the knackers yard, was all the thanks he got.

        I think an honourable mention should go to drive in movies? The place where we would drive in backwards and use the back of the wagon or van, to lay out and watch the movie. After, a trip to the drive-in restaurant was de-rigour?

        Cheers Jamie. P.S. and I still miss scythes. A sharp scythe could cut a field down in a morning. The only noise was a swish, swish. … sigh!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Good Woman July 10, 2015 / 9:11 pm

          More great memories–drive-in movies were great fun. I do remember scythes as well. I remember my uncle cutting weeds around the farm with a scythe. I don’t think I ever used one myself.


          • hirundine608 July 10, 2015 / 9:44 pm

            A bit of a lost art … scythes. They’re not easy to use but not hard either. The secret to using them? Keep a stone in pocket or close by and keep the razor sharp. Knowing how to use them on blade is most of the battle. Cheers J.


  2. susieshy45 July 7, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    I do remember the station wagons and did wonder if they are around in the US still. I can only remember small cars, or big land cruisers from my last visit there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good Woman July 10, 2015 / 8:46 pm

      I don’t see many station wagons any more. The sports utility vehicles have seats in the back where children would be restrained so it is not at all the same as having kids in the cargo area. I have a co-worker who had an 18 year old station wagon. She got rid of it just a little while ago but she didn’t have little children who rode in the back!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good Woman July 10, 2015 / 8:48 pm

      I had a hard time limiting it to just 10 items. I wanted to stick with some of the more recent changes–things that had changed during the later years of my adult life. If I were to go back through my whole life the list would have been way too long.


  3. luckyjc007 July 7, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    My husband would love to have the typewriters back….he has a lot of trouble with typing on a computer! Me…I can’t imagine having to type on a typewriter again…especially the manual ones!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good Woman July 10, 2015 / 8:51 pm

      I learned to type on a manual typewriter and used one for many years. I was so excited when I got a personal electric typewriter but it was nothing compared to the IBM Selectrics that I used on my job. I am so gratefull for word processing!!


  4. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature July 9, 2015 / 4:30 pm

    I sold my dad’s old Royal typewriter a couple of years ago. It is actually hard to press my fingers down so hard. Yep – collect calls, but hang up, so dad knew I’m ok without having to pay for the call. Yep, had a station wagon. Never had one of the clunker portable phones. Have never had GPS, I had a boom box, but I was already a grown up. The family camera when I was growing up was double reflex. The negatives were 2″X2″. I smoked for a short time as a teenager. A pack of cigarettes was $0.65. Cokes were $0.05, as were candy bars. When I got my drivers license, gas was $0.19. You mentioned party lines in another post. As kids, we could leave in the morning, be gone all day and return home for dinner. Our parents knew not where we were. Do you know that is actually illegal now? Sad. I am so happy to have been born in the early 50s. Such an amazing generation to be born into. Fun post Helen. It’s fun looking back. I sure am glad there is no smoking in restaurants, movies or on planes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good Woman July 10, 2015 / 8:57 pm

      Our fingers must have been really strong to use those manual typewriters! I am glad my post elicited a lot of memories for you. I had forgotten those 2″ x 2″ negatives but I do remember nickel candy bars. I don’t remember how much I paid for gas when I first started to drive but I remember being able to put in a dollars worth of gas and being able to drive all over all night long. I never had the freedom to be gone all day without my parents knowing what we were doing because we were out in the country on the farm. But of course when we did get off the farm we weren’t always doing what our parents thought we were doing. Times sure have changed. I too am glad to be spared the exposure to cigarette smoke, although I smoked for longer than I care to admit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature July 10, 2015 / 9:03 pm

        I didn’t live on a farm, but in a rural area. I would walk in the woods and follow creeks all day long. So grateful for that.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Good Woman July 10, 2015 / 9:09 pm

          That sounds so wonderful and from your posts that I have read it sounds much like the same thing you enjoy doing today. We did have a woods on our farm and occasionally we would be allowed to have an afternoon just spending time in the woods. We might pack a picnic lunch and eat and play.


          • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature July 10, 2015 / 9:11 pm

            Yeah, I’m still that kid at heart. Wasn’t it nice having nature so close? I wish kids could get out in nature more these days.


  5. Life of Janine July 15, 2015 / 11:58 am

    I think a lot of people forgot about collect calls until Mad Men titled the final episode, “Person to Person”. I would call collect from summer camp (on a party line – and this was the 1970s!) and always Station to Station, so I would speak to anyone who answered. I think there was an additional charge for Person to Person?

    My last car was actually a station wagon – a 2006 Dodge Magnum. Great car with unbelievable power. You still see them around but I think they are no longer produced. I grew up traveling the country in the back of a station wagon, with the little back seats. As a kid prone to car sickness, no one wanted to sit with me in the very back (as opposed to the back) seat.

    Thanks for the memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good Woman July 27, 2015 / 10:11 pm

      I never watched Mad Men so I was not aware of that reference. I do seem to recall Person to Person calls being more expensive. My parents were always so concerned about running up a phone bill. It’s funny but since I published this post I think I have seen many more station wagons around town then I have seen for a long time. Or maybe my trip of nostalgia just made me notice them more.

      Liked by 1 person

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