Little things you remember, now consigned to the past

I have no idea why this popped into my head this morning, but Dad used to get these calendars that were metal, and wrapped around the band of his watch.

Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen green stamps in 20 years, either.

VCR tape cleaners (heck, tape and LP cleaners too…but I can still remember the smell of the fluid)

What haven’t YOU noticed in a very very long time?

Buggy whips???


Old fashioned mechanical cash registers without a barcode scanner.

Man oh man, I remember those! Nice pull.

Returnable glass soda bottles, a nickel each. We’d keep the wooden rack they came in by the back door and when we’d fill it we’d take it back to the grocery store. It was the first thing you’d do when you walked in, drop off your pop bottle cases.

I remember the ink pens you’d use in school had those replacement cartridges. Changing them was like inserting an IV into someone’s arm. You’d always know who just replaced one because their hands were covered in ink.

Pull ring tabs on aluminum cans, often times made into a necklace. The cheapest looking necklace ever, but a necklace nevertheless.

Travelling for one side of the world to the other by ship – taking about a month – because that was cheaper than flying.

Steam locomotives.

Telephones with dials – and before that, telephones with neither dials nor buttons, but just a crank-handle on the side to ring the exchange. And telephone exchanges staffed by a real person, who had to put all calls through.

Thanks! That’s why it seemed like such an oddball thing. EVERYBODY remembers records and AM radios…that’s no big deal, but do you remember what your LED watch loked like when you shook it?

Or that the copier in the library had (nixie) tubes to count the number of pages and that the ‘5’ was an upside down ‘2’?

My hands got covered in ink just using pens at school.

Yeah, and you tell her something like “Madison four fifty seven, please.”

cable wrapped in fabric (like the cord going from the handpiece of the phone to the base).

Ma Bell leased phones that weighed a TON.

Telephone poles seemed a whole lot shorter and at each pole’s crossbar the lines were secured with glass insulators. Some were semi-transparent green or blue and some were an opaque brown or off-white.

I remember in gravel parking lots, especially like at a ball park, there were flattened, half dollar-sized bottletops everywhere.

Rotary dial phone user checking in:

  1. Silver coins in your change.

  2. A letter from a friend that was actually written by hand, on paper.

  3. Leaving the front door open when you went “to town”.

  4. Candy with Red Dye # 2.

  5. Watching The Flintstones at night.

We had milk deivered to the front door in the mornings when I was a kid, by the milkman. Getting to have the cream on the top was cool.

Mom had to call Grandma long-distance about some very important event, so she made a person-to-person call.

If you got up too early and turned on the TV, all you’d see was a test pattern - no matter which of the four stations you turned the VHF channel wheel to.

This one’s a bit interesting, since I still use a fountain pen! They don’t make those el cheapo ones we used in school, but they still make nice ones with replacement cartridges. Your hands still get covered in ink.

My list:
[li]Milk delivery, with an insulated aluminum box by the front door.[/li][li]Nickel Cokes in 7 oz bottles in a huge red steel machine.[/li][li]Gas station attendants. In high school I used to brag to people that I knew how to pump my own gas![/li][li](a repeat): Green stamps[/li][li]duck-and-cover drills in school.[/li][li]Penny loafers with pennies in them[/li][li]Carbon paper[/li][li]Typewriters[/li][li]Punch cards[/li][li]5 dollar bills from an ATM[/li][li]Drive-up windows in banks[/li][li]Drive-in movie theaters[/li][li]Drive-in hamburger joints with the tray that clipped to the car window[/li][li]45 rpm records[/li][li]glass milk bottles (glass anything bottles)[/li][li]47 cents for a three-course meal at McDonalds (I am not making this up)[/li][li]Black-and-white TV[/li][li]Mickey Mouse Club with Annette Funicello[/li][li]Baseball trading cards in the spokes of your bicycle[/li][li]Kids’ clamp-on roller skates[/li][li]Push-button automatic transmission[/li][li]Bus drivers that made change for you[/li][li]Movie theaters showing one film at a time[/li][li]Cigarette ads on TV[/li][/ul]

Mimeo machines, with that weird purple type. Remember the smell of it?

I wasn’t around to see it, but I was recently told that they used to have x-ray machines in all the shoe stores instead of the foot measuring thing. Was that true? Blew me away at the time, though I guess it makes sense that I wouldn’t know - I can’t think of any reason for someone to mention it.

Going outside to turn the TV antenna pole so you could watch the station dozens of miles away in the other direction. Later, turning the big knob on the electric antenna rotor for the same thing.

For that matter, TV that came on at 5:50 AM with the test pattern with the Indian head, and the national anthem, set to ancient footage of the country. It went off the air at 1 AM, the same way.

Another TV-related one: “This has been a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. If this had been an acutal emergency, you would have been instructed where to tune in your area…” with the Civil Defense triangle logo on the screen.

Seems like folks dressed up a whole lot more whenever they flew anywhere; dresses, coat & tie. Plus you’d walk across the tarmack and up that rolling staircase to board your flight. They always gave the kids little golden wings to wear on their lapels.

Before “mag wheels”, there were a lot more hubcaps. Sometimes you’d see one rollin’ down the road all by it’s lonesome, but most intersections had a group hanging out together.

In the angled parking in front of stores downtown, there were little piles of cigarette butts everywhere where people’d dumped their ashtrays. Men and women both wore a whole lot more hats.

We’d stop at the store on the way home to get ice, a great big block of it which you’d use two-handled tongs to carry.

When you made a mistake, you’d back it up and hold that tiny piece of eraser paper over the mistake, retype the wrong key, then type the right one.

I’m old enough to remember those - they weren’t in place of the foot-measuring thing, they were to reassure my mother that the very expensive pair of Buster Brown Mary Janes (remember those ?) fitted properly. I was fascinated by the glowing green bones showing through a shadowy shoe.

Eventually they realized that gratuitous radiation was not a good idea. Even though it might have been good practice for the bomb that was going to hit any day. :smiley:

I also remember learning to write with a dip pen (skritch, skritch), the penwiper that was required, and braids (mine) in the inkwell :eek: (may Dy Mc* burn forever for that).



Getting up to change the TV channel.

Thinking Pong on Atari was the coolest thing evah.

Not having to install a fence around your pool.

Waiting until Sundays to call long distance because it was cheaper.

Doing research by going to the library, and you know, actually looking through books.

Funny story…my stepbrother is fixing up the house next to his mom’s and inside the kitchen is a rotary dial phone. My daughter recognized it as a phone, but she couldn’t figure out how to make it work. I about fell on the floor laughing at her. She kept poking her fingers in the holes, trying to press the “button.”