Saturday, 12 October 2019
The Saturday List #236 - Ten things that used to be essential that are now obsolete
1. The answerphone. We all had one. If we were out, then we could at least know whether someone wanted to get in touch. Now we have mobile phones, so the answerphone has made its way to the junk shop.
2. The car cassette player. There was time when every car had a cassette player, if you were off on a long journey, a bag of cassettes was part of the routine, I bought a Ford Mondeo in 1996 that had one, I think that was the last year that they came as standard.
3. Tin openers. In the 1970's, we all had a tin opener in the kitchen draw. I can't remember the last time I opened a tin of anything with a tin opener, now everything has easy open tins. Mind you I will have to dust it off tomorrow, as I have for tea, as a special indulgence, a Fray Bentos pie, which is one of the few things that still needs a tin opener.
4. Fountain pens. When I was at FCHS, we had to write all essays in fountain pen. A Parker pen was the pen of choice for most of us. I don't know if any schools still require such implements, certainly none of my children were forced to use them.
5. Portable Transistor Radios. We all used to have a little transistor radio that we'd listen to under our pillow. These days, we do all that on our mobile phones.
6. VHS players. The video machine transformed our lives. It used to be that if you missed a film, that was that, until it came on telly. Blockbusters appeared on every High Street. It all disappeared nearly as fast as it turned up.
7. Electric Blankets. Back in the days before central heating, going to bed in winter could be a bit of a nightmare. The bed would be freezing. The solution was an electric blanket. You'd put it on five minutes before bed time and it would toasting when you got in. For my Dad, it was his favourite invention.
8. Modems. When we first got computers in our house, we'd buy modems to connect them to the internet. When you wanted to go on line, you would use the modem to dial up. The modem made a very strange noise and if you were lucky, you might even get on line.
9. Film. 30 years ago, if you went on holiday, you'd buy some film, take your pictures, get them developed and stick them in your album. When was the last time you bought film?
10. Encyclopedias. Do you remember the encyclopedia Brittanica? If you wanted to find out an obscure fact, you dug out the relevant volume, looked up the tasty fact and off you went. Now we 'Google it'
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