This week I am posting my third “Do You Remember?” Tuesday List of Ten. My first “Do You Remember?” list was published on July 7 in which I recalled things that were once prolific but that have disappeared from common use over the last several years. My first post prompted comments about other things that have disappeared which compelled me to do “Do You Remember? – Version 2.0”. After playing hooky from posting for a week, this post was prompted by a few comments on Version 2.0 that listed some things that I had not yet mentioned, so this week I am adding my third “Do You Remember?” post.
I also had one person who stated she was too young for anything on my list. I have constant reminders of my aging so that does not offend me, but I would be amused to know what things she now takes for granted in her young life will soon disappear. Also is “playing hooky” still used in modern times? Once again I may be dating myself.
Do You Remember? – Version 3.0
- Library Card Catalogs. Card catalogs was a physical listing of all the contents in a library, with one card for each item in the library. Young readers may need a description to know what I am talking about. They were an absolute necessity when trying to do research for a paper, or to find out if the library had a certain book. By the end of the 20th century most libraries had converted to computer systems. But the card catalog cabinets are somewhat sought after today for home uses.
- Book Mobiles. Book mobiles are designed to be libraries on wheels. In a rural society, book mobile day was very exciting as it would travel out to areas and communities that did not have their own library. You could browse the books just like a regular library and if you needed something specific you could request it. It would be brought out on the next visit. Book mobiles still exist in many communities but they seem to be less common as society becomes more urban. They are expensive to maintain and many times they have become victims of budget cuts.
- Phone Booths. I would like to believe that people still remember pay phones if not the phone booths that contained them. With cell phones being so common place the need for pay phones in public places has been greatly reduced. They are still around but not nearly as common as they once were. I remember when you needed a dime to place a phone call, and it took me a long time to get used to needing a quarter. These days the traditional phone booth is frequently seen almost as a curiosity.
- Hand Written Personal Letters. Letter writing is a dying art. With quick communication provided by email and texting it is becoming rare to receive a personal handwritten letter. I recall when I was in college (in the 1970’s) my mom wrote me a letter every week. I also exchanged letters with several other friends. Now to actually get a personal letter in the mail is a real treat that happens much too infrequently.
- Cassette Tapes. (I don’t dare mention 8 track tapes and reel to reel tape recorders). When cassette tapes first became commonplace music became very portable. From the 70’s through the 90’s they were among the most common format for pre-recorded media, first along side LP’s (long-playing albums) and then along side C.D.’s. Cassette tapes are still sold today but are not a common format for pre-recorded music. For that matter with digital music formats C.D’s are also declining in popularity.
- VHS Tapes and Recorders. I clearly remember when video cassettes, along with their recorders and players, first became popular. It was such a handy way to be able to watch movies at home. Along with them came the video rental industry where almost any movie could be rented. Early on there was another format of video tapes called beta which competed with VHS tapes. Beta tapes required different devices and were beaten out by VHS tapes. Of course today, both have been widely replaced by DVD’s and more recently digital formats. We still have all the Disney cartoon movies on VHS although I wonder how long I might have a device to play them on.
- Camcorders. Along with VHS tapes came the very exciting and portable camcorders. They became very common place and the lives of many babies and toddlers were recorded in a way that was never before possible. The long running show America’s Funniest Videos became possible because of the proliferation of camcorders. Of course now with the ease of recording videos on phones and tablets, the clumsy camcorders have also become relatively obsolete. Although some people committed to higher quality products may still use camcorders they are much less common in day-to-day usage.
- 8 mm or 16 mm movies. Prior to camcorders were the home movies. They seemed to be much more complicated than camcorders. You had to have the camera and a separate projector and a movie screen. I believe the movies had to be developed just like other pictures. The film is still used in commercial applications but I doubt that it is very often used for home type movies since quality video is so easily made with phones and tablets.
- Cars with Push Button Transmissions. This particular item is older than most of those on my list. Push button transmissions were never extremely popular but I remember our family having a 1956 or 1957 Plymouth that had a push button transmission. Rather than having a shift lever, you pushed the buttons. When I was learning to drive in about 1967 that was the car that I drove in around the farm. Several manufacturers have tried push button transmissions but they never really caught on.
- Brush Hair Rollers. It isn’t really fair to include ridiculous fashion trends in “Do Your Remember?” but that is the last item on my list this week. And I get to poke a little bit of irreverent fun at myself. This is definitely not the most flattering photo that was ever taken of me, nor is it the best quality but I used to run around looking just like that. Seeing me in my cat-eye glasses with curlers in my hair around home was not unusual. My poor family probably rarely saw me looking any different. I was not someone who went out in public with curlers in my hair but many girls and women did. I used to sleep in those curlers. What torture! This was of course before blow dryers and curling irons and straighteners. I used those rollers not to curl my hair but to straighten it as it pretty much had a mind of its own without being coaxed to behave itself. I am very glad I passed that stage.
Thanks to Jamie (Hirundine) at Needle at Sea Bottom; Mary at Walking My Path; Ann of Grubbs & Critters; Mary Mann at Breathing Life; Carol at Stitching Dreams; and the very youthful Ally B. Jones at My Kind of Pop Culture; as well as other bloggers who have followed these lists and have added comments to further my list development.