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Can we talk about things we grew up with that are now obsolete or practically obsolete?  I'm always shocked when some really common object (at least common in my world) is declared obsolete.  Apparently kids don't wear watches anymore--I hear it's all GPS.  

What other objects are obsolete that us old fogies might not know about?

Thanks!
#1 - December 25, 2010, 04:16 PM
« Last Edit: December 25, 2010, 04:26 PM by Betsy »
www.ellenjackson.net
PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

Point and shoot cameras (it's all cell phones)
VHS players
Cassette tapes
Hot rollers
Walkmans
Roller skates

Just off the top of my head.
#2 - December 25, 2010, 04:20 PM
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Pay phones!
station wagons--as well as other people's parents who would put all the seats down in the back and let all the kids run around like monkeys with absolutely no restraints while driving.  :ahh
#3 - December 25, 2010, 05:10 PM

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The Thomas Guide.
Greeting cards. (so many people do e-cards now)
Birthday cards.
Publishing catalogs. (near obsolete. I get CD's, along with print catalogs... but soon, I suspect I'll only get the CD's, if that.)
Party invitations. (Lots of people use e-vites)
Bill paying by snail mail.
Subbing by snail mail.
Possibly photo albums. (lots of photos are stored on disks, or kept in the computer now)
Phones with cords.
Do people remember beepers?

Personally, I'm VERY outdated. I bought my very first smart phone (phone w/ internet access)...and it's scary.  :ahh Hope to get the hang of it one day.
#4 - December 25, 2010, 05:33 PM

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Going INTO a bank and filling in a form and passing over your bank book to the teller to make a simple withdrawal
records (vinyl) 33s (albums), 45s (singles) and (egad!) 78s
hand driven egg beaters
butter churns
tea cosy
tea pot
tea leaves!
wood fired oven/stove
jacks/knucklebones (child's game)
tupperware?
reel to reel tape deck
super 8 movies - camera and projector
film slides and screen
Kentucky Fried Chicken (before it became KFC)
spray-on dry shampoo (I sure know why that didn't last!)
those weird, smelly roller machines that copied paper before photocopiers (I forget what they were called)
telegrams
travelers' checks
SPF 4, 6, 8 and 12 sunscreen

Whew! Thanks for the trip down memory lane! : )

#5 - December 25, 2010, 05:46 PM
I've Got Eyes! - Amicus Ink

www.juliemurphybooks.com

Legwarmers. Did they ever make sense?

Banana clips. Do people still wear those? I'm not sure, so not offense if you do. I sure loved them when they were invented. Don't see 'em much anymore though.

DOS? I remember using DOS at work on a computer with no mouse. Just had to tab through everything and use codes. That's when AOL was first coming out.

Crazy straws. How can you clean those things? You can't.

Mix tapes?

This bleach spray you would spray in your hair. I think called "Sun In"?

Crimping irons.
#6 - December 25, 2010, 06:10 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
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I'm scared to think how many of those things you guys have named that I still have!  Tupperware?!!  Really???  Duh..what exactly do you use?
#7 - December 25, 2010, 06:10 PM
www.ellenjackson.net
PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

I just realized this is the over 40 thread. I'll be 39 this year so I don't quite make it.
#8 - December 25, 2010, 06:11 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

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You seem precocious to me, Diane.  We won't ask to see your driver's license.
#9 - December 25, 2010, 06:15 PM
www.ellenjackson.net
PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

I draw stuff for chocolates.
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The milk box and bottled milk from the dairy. And sipping the cream off the top when no one was looking.
Jiffy Pop on the stove
Nickle candy by the pound
Egg cream with an actual egg!
#10 - December 25, 2010, 06:15 PM
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Well, we were just watching a completely fun Cary Grant movie ("His Gal Friday") about journalists, and my 6-year-old nephew said, "What is THAT?"

THAT was a typewriter!  :)
#11 - December 25, 2010, 06:27 PM
THE CABINET OF EARTHS -- HarperCollins, 2012
A BOX OF GARGOYLES -- HC, 2013
THE WRINKLED CROWN -- HC, 2015
www.annenesbet.com

Honestly, I think kids use or know of a lot of these things - it's just that they're considered "retro" ;)
#12 - December 25, 2010, 06:31 PM
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The printing paper that came in long strips with holes on the side that you had to line up with the little pegs on the printer.
#13 - December 25, 2010, 06:48 PM
FIVE SHORT SECONDS
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You seem precocious to me, Diane.  We won't ask to see your driver's license.

LOL! Thanks for letting me hang out with the older kids. :)

I was just talking with my in-laws tonight about how kids are fascinated by record players. My younger sister-in-law is in the music business and she always buys records because they sound better.
#14 - December 25, 2010, 07:01 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

EricJ

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I've already had to rewrite "Pay phones" out of one story (except in an office building or hospital, where you could still find an antique model), and "CD-Rom games" out of another...

We've had so many of the classics named, how about:
- Travel agents
- Those hard square 1MB computer disks (anyone even remember why they were called "floppy"?)
- "Regular" light bulbs   :book4:

those weird, smelly roller machines that copied paper before photocopiers (I forget what they were called)

- Ditto machines, a relative of
- Carbon paper

And "Don't touch that dial!" brings up all the other things we've lost from TV:
- "Scheduled" TV shows (every Tuesday night for Happy Days!)
- TV theme songs (I had to reference the Gilligan theme in one book, and wasn't sure whether kids would remember it)
- Classic reruns (ditto)
- Looking up episode descriptions in TV Guide
- Locally-produced shows (our local PBS has got probably one of the last local high-school academic-bowls in the country)
And the one thing I could write an entire essay about:  :protest:
- the Late-Night Movie  (When you start examining the cultural ramifications of a generation not getting to see random old movies for free anymore, if you don't own TCM, the longterm effects on the culture start becoming scary...I can watch Gone With the Wind on Blu-ray, but 80% of college students literally have no idea who the Marx Brothers are.)
#15 - December 25, 2010, 07:13 PM
« Last Edit: December 25, 2010, 07:17 PM by EricJ »

Just a regular land line phone.  Seems most people now just have cells.
Christmas cards.  I've been getting e-cards/with Christmas messages.
Record players.  Heck, vinyl records too.
10 cent phone calls
Regular camera using regular film.
Just sending letters by regular mail.  Most now just email each other.
Making copies on Zerox paper.  I still remember getting blue hands making copies for my students
Chalk and chalkboards
Paste
#16 - December 25, 2010, 07:19 PM
NO MORE GODDESSES:
http://www.zumayapublications.com
EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA: http://museituppublishing.com
CROSSED OUT:http://www.lachesispublishing.com

 :yoda  "Changing fast things are... but current we must stay!"

I was reading a recent mystery (published in 2008) where an alibi hinged on some teens going to the mall to buy CDs. Kind of took me out of the story. Teens don't buy CDs any more... heck, I don't buy CDs any more; we just download stuff to our mp3 players or iPods.
#17 - December 25, 2010, 07:43 PM

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polaroid cameras

the instamatic camera with the flash cube that you turned around [ it was a cube]

swim caps with flowers that you could peel off  =)

princess phones
rotary phones

only 8-10 channels ONLY on a television  [ before cable tv  =)  ]

doule feature movies  with a cartoon

#18 - December 25, 2010, 07:51 PM

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rollerskates that went over your shoes and you used a key.

school paste

a mimeograph machine
#19 - December 25, 2010, 07:56 PM

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Those copying machines with the purple ink and funny smell were called mimeographs.

Sun-in is still sold--I use it to touch up my highlights.  Yes, I'm over 40.  :)  The Vermont Country Store catalogue sells all kinds of old shampoos and products from the 50s and 60s and 70s--who used Lemon-up or that beer-based shampoo in the 70s?

Vinyl records are making a comeback, but I have NO clue why kids think they sound better.  They don't--the sound quality is awful when you actually sit and listen.  I think it's definitely retro nostalgia.

Yes to film in cameras...and flash bulbs!!

I remember growing up we had some sort of fancy antenna thing on our roof that would rotate the antenna so that we could better pick up the TV signals from Providence and Boston--it was very high tech for the day.  :)  And I remember our first home computer when I was in high school--a TRS-80!  My dad had a primitive modem, and on weekends we'd hook it up so we could log onto the local university computer and play Dungeon (aka Zork).
#20 - December 25, 2010, 07:58 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Wite-Out (tm). (So messy!)
Then we were thrilled when we could use Correct Tape (tm)  instead!
Carbon paper.
Onionskin paper.

When I was really little, we had our milk and ice cream delivered by Bill The Milkman in his horse-drawn carriage. I wish I could remember the horse's name.
Also, someone used to come around ringing a bell to see whether you wanted your knives sharpened.
Ice cream trucks.
#21 - December 25, 2010, 08:51 PM
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LOL. Imagine my shock when I walked into an "antique store" at the age of 14 and the woman was selling kersosene lamps. But we used them in India, I told her.

I miss the action/sound of clacking typewriter keys and the bell at the carriage return but don't want the bother of ribbons and carbon paper and whiteout.

Vijaya
#22 - December 25, 2010, 08:57 PM
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My sons, 11 and 14, still wear wrist watches. They youngest just got a new one for Christmas, and the oldest just got his a few months ago. And they both prefer point and shoot cameras over cell phones.

Most of the things I can think of have already been mentioned. I'll try to think up a few more, but I may duplicate.

Bonnet hairdryers
boom boxes
glass soda bottles

Heck .. all our common over the counter medicines - iodine, mecurochrome, Creomulsion cough syrup, do they still make Bactine?

SLIDE RULERS

Okay ... back in the day computers had floppy discs ... and before that nada ... there was no way to store data except on the computer ... and they were all connected by landline computers. In my college days, I remember placing the receiver end of the phone in this little cradle thing by the computer ... you had to sit there until your assignment was done or someone else could erase it ... and if there was heavy rain between our campus and the big university where the Master Cyber was ... well you weren't going to get any computer connection. We knew of no such thing as the internet. (Edited to add: This refers to computers used in college computer labs and libraries in the late 70's and early 80's .. people didn't really have personal computers.)

Oh... brought this up not too long ago ... in college we used to have little memo boards with the wipe-off pens for messages on the doors to our dorms.

Those lovely little CALL POLICE banners that your parents had you keep in your car before cell phones existed.

Manual typewriters. And now electric typewriters and word processors.

EIGHT channels!  Geesh when I was a kid there were only TWO and you had to go outside and climb up on your roof to change them.

As for office use .. dictation machines

And oh I remember the mimeograph ... and I wonder if they still use the scantron thingies ... with the narrow strips of paper with circles to bubble in .. I used to use those for tests .... and do they still make overhead transparencies?

Disc cameras!

CB radios.

Tea kettles.





#23 - December 25, 2010, 09:50 PM
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 06:37 AM by lillian »
Making metaphors out of molehills for over thirty years.

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writing checks

theaters that only showed one or two movies at a time

a world with no Walmarts

drugstores with snack counters where you could get a coke and a burger

fabric stores (most are mostly crafts now)

fabric and sewing supplies being sold in most major department stores (Penneys, Kmart, Belks, Sears)

soda fountains used to ALWAYS be behind the counter at fast food restaurants .. you couldn't go get your own

roadmaps .. the paper ones that you never can seem to get folded back right

#24 - December 25, 2010, 09:56 PM
Making metaphors out of molehills for over thirty years.

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I guess I am old-fashioned - I am not even 35, but I still have a thomas guide, milk in glass bottles, use tea kettles, teapots and loose tea leaves and send letters. (Seriously Lillian, no TEA KETTLES?  what do you use to like, boil water?)

Don't wear a watch, but that is because I don't like them and wouldn't have even worn one in the old days. :-)

I do use my phone for a camera, a computer rather than a typewriter, however.  So only PART way obsolete.  :horse:
#25 - December 25, 2010, 10:33 PM
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It's annoying,  because every time I put something in a story,  it becomes obsolete...    :old

We still get phone books (yellow pages),  but I hear that "nobody" uses them anymore.

Video game arcades were mentioned in another thread.   
#26 - December 25, 2010, 11:18 PM

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Thank you, Literaticat!!  I was beginning to feel pretty obsolete myself. 
#27 - December 25, 2010, 11:33 PM
www.ellenjackson.net
PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

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I loved the smell of freshly mimeographed paper!

TV going off the air late at night - usually signing off with the National Anthem and then the test pattern.



#28 - December 26, 2010, 04:14 AM
XVI, Puffin/Speak, available now
Truth, Puffin/Speak, January 2012
http://juliakarr.com

I was just going to glance at the first couple of posts here, but couldn't resist the read!

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#29 - December 26, 2010, 04:41 AM

Ice cream trucks.


I saw an ice cream truck Tuesday in the nearby "big city".  Its signs proudly boasted "we take EBT (food stamps) and Debit cards."  Something about handing the creepy ice cream guy (they were always creepy!) my debit card seems so not childlike to me.  Ah well, call me over 40.
#30 - December 26, 2010, 05:36 AM
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