10 Technological Life Changers

Earlier this year Travel Man and I were driving back home from a road trip we took to Arizona. We were jabbering about this and that, and got on the topic of all the gadgets (because Travel Man is known to be a gadget guy) that our grand-kids will never use. These are the things that they will not have a need for, and that most of us grown-ups will miss. Here is the list of the top ten gadgets that made our lives complete, and that our grand-kids will never own.

1. Record Players – I remember riding my bike to the Ben Franklin to get the latest and greatest 45 record.  I distinctly remember buying one of Donny Osmond’s 45’s. Oh, and I had a portable Panasonic record player that I could play my 33’s or 45’s on, and I could take it to a friend’s house!!  That made for some great slumber parties.


2. Black and White TV-  My memory of watching black and white TV was when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.  We watched that event on our black and white in our family room.  I don’t really remember when we got our first color television, but I may ask my Mom about that.  When we were kids black and white was the norm for us.  We did not know any better.



3. Kodak Instamatic Cameras- Remember how you had to have the little flash cubes, and they would rotate to all four sides?  We always took our Instamatics on vacation with us.  Then my parents would lovingly get the film developed, and then we would have tons of random, silly pictures.


4. The ever famous home phones (of the rotary variety) with the long squiggly cord.  That would have normally been the phone in the kitchen.  The cord was long so you could walk around the room and talk or hide in a corner for some privacy.


And then there was the princess style phone.  If you were lucky enough to get your own phone in your bedroom this was the one to have.  That was every teenage girls dream.


5. Polaroid camera’s -Do you mean I can take a picture, and it will spit out the front of the camera, and then a picture will appear? That’s amazing!  I remember the flash bar on the front of my Mom’s Polaroid camera.  Do you have an extra flash bar?  That was almost as distinct a question as, does anyone have any double AA batteries?


6. The Sony Walkman for your cassette tapes.  This was the best way to walk around with your music while listening to it.  That’s amazing!  I can listen to my music by myself and ignore everyone else!


7.  Cassette tape players- I can remember when my kids had these when they were young.  We got each of them a little portable cassette player for listening to their music “tapes” and for making their own recordings.  That way they could each have their own “music machine” and there was no arguing.


8. Fax machines- I can still remember how cool I thought it was when our office got its’ first fax machine.  Do you mean I can place a document on this thing and it will transmit the same image to the person I’m sending it too??  That’s truly amazing!


9. Electric typewriters-  When I started my career as a professional administrator we still used an electric typewriter.  Shortly after I started, probably within 18 months , my boss bought the company’s first IBM computer.  So now I could learn word processing, make my corrections on-screen, and then print my document.  Wow! That was amazing!



10. VCR- This is really a more recent electronic wonder, yet it has already become a thing of the past.  The VCR tapes used to be stacked all over our living room and game room.  Then we transitioned to stacks of DVD’s.  My kids would always want to watch the same tape until it you thought it should  be worn out and ready for the VCR tape graveyard.


Looking back I can see that all of these “gadgets” changed our lives in one way or another.  And I am certain that as our own kids and grand-kids get older they will have just as many if not more gadgets than we did.
What was your favorite gadget that is no longer around that you will be sure and tell your grand-kids about?


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