Throwback Thursday: Items that are Obsolete

VHS tapesAs technology advances, a few things that we once considered necessities are now obsolete. Do the terms “dial-up Internet” or “movie rental stores” ring any bells? Share the items that we’ve lost to new technology in today's Hopkins Happenings' Throwback Thursday.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }


marsha greenberg July 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm

are Doctors still asking for "wet readings" from the Radiology Dept?


Alex July 25, 2014 at 10:55 am



Michelle July 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm

I was just cleaning out the office supply drawer and found multi colored floppy discs. Don't think anyone will need those!


Cherie Marvel July 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm

TVs with the antennae outside (roof or whatever) but its direction was controlled by a box inside the house. Took two people to fine tune reception: one to operate the box, and another to tell if the reception was getting better or worse on the tv set (which had a dial and no remote).

Bank books before ATMs. If you wanted to withdrawal or deposit money, you had to go in during bank hours, and they would stamp your bank book to record the transaction and update your account balance.

Mechanical clicker calculators (?) that helped you tally your expenses while grocery shopping so you did not go over budget. I feel like all moms in the grocery store were using these in the 70s.

And! we got our entire set of China from the grocery store by buying one piece (plate, cup, bowl, etc.) each week. Same with our Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia set.

Flash cubes for the camera.
$2 bills and 50 cent pieces.
slide decks for presentations.
the list is endless.....


David July 25, 2014 at 8:07 am

I have a roof antenna and get awesomely clear digital HD TV with it. So not obsolete for everyone. 🙂


Tamara July 24, 2014 at 11:59 am

Ever house had a home telephone , the television cut you off at 1am with the National Anthem, and Saturday was the day for Cartoon. and kids did not learn the ABC's and 123's until they started school.


Rose Richardson July 28, 2014 at 10:55 am

I till have a house phone or landline and Saturday is still my cartoon day and I remember the cartoon commercial where the bill is sitting on the steps of Congress singing, "I'm just a bill, yes, I'm only a bill...those where the days!!!


Dee July 24, 2014 at 11:19 am

Jiffy Pop (or non- microwave popcorn)
8 track taps
TVs without remote controls
Slide rules


Dave Monroe July 24, 2014 at 10:50 am

7yr old grandson got in my 2002 pick-up; asked what the handles on the door were for - never been in a vehicle without power windows!


Dave Monroe July 24, 2014 at 10:59 am

How about the terms "Royal" and "IBM Selectric" office staffers.
"Sneekers" were sold at shoe and department stores and under $25!


Tamara July 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

yes and keyless entry cars . What!


shanee July 24, 2014 at 10:32 am

I remember when it snowed outside we still had to go to school walking in the snow up to your knees.. Now you get called off and it doesn't even have to snow.. just a warning.....These kids today have it easy.

I remember as a kid (teenager) i had a beeper. no kids have cell phones, ipads, etc


Dave Monroe July 24, 2014 at 10:53 am

Schools also had dress codes ... 🙂


Rod G. July 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

I grew up in Los Angeles in the 1940s, and so I remember when gasoline was 23 cents a gallon -- 18 cents a gallon if two stations were having a "gas war."
My dad brought home the first television in the neighborhood, in 1948, and so neighbors would come over most nights to watch. ("The Kukla, Fran and Ollie show" was about the only thing on, but it was well done and funny!) If you had a cold, my mom wouldn't let you come in; you had to watch the TV from outside, through the porch window.

If a kid got a cold, they couldn't go back to school until a parent took them for a check-up at The School Nurse's little office, who certified that you were OK.

What else? Running boards on most cars, below the doors. Cars' turn signals weren't electric back then--my parents either used regular hand signals or they pushed/pulled a knob inside the car that made a metal pointer outside either stick straight out (for a left turn) or straight up (right turn).

When we drove into downtown L.A., the smog was so bad that your eyes quickly started smarting and weeping. And--get this--instead of putting our trash out by the curb for pickup, everybody had a little cement incinerator in their backyard, where we all BURNED UP our trash every day!


Bobbie July 24, 2014 at 10:25 am

Phone booths are a truly rare- where will Superman change?
Drive ins with the speakers on the pole- there are not many across the US anymore-we are lucky to have Benji's but no more speakers on the pole.
Going to the gas station, have the attendant fill your car, wash your windshield, and check your oil for no extra price other than the gas
My grandparents had an outhouse and a well. I have used both. I had home health pts who had the same in rural Virginia. I have had to draw water out of the well and heat it on the wood stove to wash my hands before/after care.
No glucometers- the tablets were used to test the urine for sugar and there was a color line on the side of the tablet bottle to measure how much the sugar was or a trip to the hospital to get blood levels drawn, usually as an inpatient
No DRGs, PPOs, or HMOs, people were admitted for rest, simple procedures, staff was abundant, and insurance paid for it all, no questions asked


Melinda Thomas July 24, 2014 at 9:25 am

I remember the rolls and rolls of used continuous paper brought home by my mother when she worked as a computer progammer. Paper was everywhere. My mother's old pedal sewing machine... We always sat near her while her feet did the magic move. We also got our first 13-inch black and while television when I was 12! Now as an adult, despite techological advances, I still have my VCR and VHS tapes, hoping that they will one day return... wishful thinking I guess. And last but not least, I can never go back to these heavy Nokia phones


shanee July 24, 2014 at 10:27 am

I still have my vcr also and about 200 tapes


Melinda Thomas July 25, 2014 at 11:06 am

I'm glad I'm not the only one...

Rosie Kavras July 24, 2014 at 9:06 am

I remember driving with my sister, who is 3 years older than me, she would stop and $1.00 worth of gas for the car, back then gas was $0.50 cents a gallon. We would drive all around on a dollar.


Bobbie July 24, 2014 at 10:28 am

When I first started driving, gas was 35 cents/gallon. I could fill up my land yacht Oldsmobile for $5


Vicki July 24, 2014 at 8:47 am

I remember when penmanship was taught in the schools and you used a cartridge pen to write with I remember putting a colored film on the black and white tv screen to make it look like a colored tv. I remember being taught to tell time on a regular clock NO DIGITAL!.........and no I am not older then dirt!


Leticia July 24, 2014 at 9:23 am

Oh wow! I never heard of the color film on a black and white TV thing. And I'm not even that young.


Thanks for sharing.


Madeline Jay July 24, 2014 at 8:42 am

I remember needing exact change for bus fare. Now I use a plastic card to ride all forms of MTA public transportation.


Janice July 24, 2014 at 9:42 am

Well...I remember when the bus driver would make change for a $5 or $10 bill from a cash box and a coin dispenser!


Reginald Binns July 24, 2014 at 9:50 am

Bus robberies put an end to that in the sixties.

George Sack July 24, 2014 at 8:40 am

Before CT scans I remember hoping that a patient with an acute intracranial event would have a calcified pineal gland so that we could use it to detect a midline shift of the cranial contents!


CAF July 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

I remember when medical care didn't result in bankruptcy and that was just 30 years ago.


Yasmine Sursock-Khouri July 24, 2014 at 8:34 am

I remember having to use a card catalog in the library to find a book. Pay phones, cassettes, typewriters, and most of all I remember as a child having to "pretend" my baby doll was eating.


Linda Goodman July 24, 2014 at 8:34 am

I remember, as a child, my grandmother making me clothing on a pedal powered sewing machine. I made clothing for my children on a portable electric sewing machine. How many people even bother to make clothing now that finished clothes are less expensive than the supplies to make those clothes.


Melinda Thomas July 25, 2014 at 11:09 am

I know exactly how you feel about the sewing machine. I too have a sewing machine and find it much cheaper and less time-consuming to just purchase the clothes. I find myself getting excited and rush to Joann's only to walk out without the material...:-)


Ella Mae Haber July 24, 2014 at 8:33 am

No remote control for TV


Rachel July 24, 2014 at 8:32 am

I remember playing Pong on our black and white television


Robin July 24, 2014 at 8:31 am

VHS cassettes, dial up phones, palms used for business, calling cards and pay phones, polaroid self developing cameras-ahhh the good old days.


Tabatha July 24, 2014 at 8:15 am

TV's that have dials on them. I know I just aged myself.


Bobbie July 24, 2014 at 10:29 am

LOL Only dials an no remotes. As a little kid, I was my grandfather's remote. That was how I learned my numbers.


Nora Lanier-Kohl July 24, 2014 at 7:52 am

Cassette Tapes...books on cassettes, radio players with cassette compartments.


CHUCK G. July 24, 2014 at 7:44 am

I remember cell phones that looked like big walkie talkies.
8 inch floppy disks,and dot matrix printers.
going to Mac Donalds eating in the parking lot cause there was no tables inside.
Collecting HIGH'S Bottles at the neighbors house's and on side of road and getting .25 for them.


Paul Schley July 24, 2014 at 7:37 am

Ever since I was a kid we had an Underwood brand typewriter sitting on a metal stand in the dining room, next to the sewing machine. A few years back I went to a local new and used office equipment store to find out how much they would offer me for it. He said "trash the typewriter and I'll give you $10.00 for the stand." I was shocked that no one wanted this marvelous piece of engineering. I think we donated it to Goodwill.


Elizabeth Rodriguez July 24, 2014 at 7:02 am

Hmm... Well, I remember that my dad's car could play 8tracks. Of course I remember records, Cassettes, VCRs, and PDAs. Also, I remember when the only computers out there were PCs (light colored with the huge monitors!) Oh, and having to look for pay phones everywhere to be able to call home.


Erica Colbert July 24, 2014 at 5:06 am

I remember an Abacus.


Reginald Binns July 24, 2014 at 9:47 am

I was on Okinawa in the early eighties and small shop keepers were still using them.


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