Episode 32: Everything About Nostalgia Trip

1970s

Getting a lollipop at the doctor’s office early 1970s

Bicycles with super long chopper seats.

1980s

Speak and Spell

 

Lip Lickers

  • Launched by Village bath Products in 1977
  • Lip gloss in gold slider tins: Coca-cola, grape, vanilla, pina colada…so many flavors.

 

 

Disclosing Tablets: Tabs that turned your teeth bright pink where there was plaque.

  • Sold over the counter, used in some dentist offices, typically a red or blue dye
  • We had pink in school
  • Stains the plaque on your teeth so you can see it
  • Dental health with a dash of shame

Ditto and Mimeograph Machines: photocopying for old people

  • Invented in 1923 by Wilhelm Ritzerfeld. Best known manufacturer was the Ditto corporation
  • First sheet was typed, drawn or written. The second sheet coated with a layer of wax and impregnated with a colorant. The pressure of the typing from the first sheet transferred colored wax to the back side of the first sheet producing a mirror image. Two sheets separated then the first sheet was placed in a drum machine to act as a printing plate. One master made 40 or so good copies.
  • The color of the wax was usually aniline purple. You always knew the kid who got to go make the copies for the teacher because they had stained fingers. Schools never had the automated machine. We always had hand cranked ones.
  • What Ever Became of…Ditto Machines?

Cigarette vending machines 70s & 80s

1990s

Dial-up Tone: Oh yeah, the sound of waiting.

Actually, it was the sound of your modem trying to talk to another modem across the phone lines. Give it a listen. Ahhh. sounds like high school.

Card Catalogs

  • Wikepedia: a catalog card is an individual entry in a library catalog containing authors name, book title, Dewey decimal number, sometimes a short synopsis.
  • Largest in the world Worldcat.org 360,000,000 records
  • 1780ish the first one appeared in Vienna. Developed over the years. English and French taking a crack at improving the system.
  • The first published issue of the American Library Association was to complain about the non standard card catalogs. That was in 1876.
  • Dewey decimal system books organized by subject. That’s the number and then, within a category, by the author’s name. 636.1 is horses 636.8 is cats.
  • By 2000 we’d figured out how to put it all on computer.

Measuring and modeling the information revolution.

Wikipedia

More recent estimates have reached the following results:[16]

  • the world’s technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks grew at a sustained compound annual growth rate of 7% between 1986 and 2007;
  • the world’s technological capacity to store information grew at a sustained compound annual growth rate of 25% between 1986 and 2007;
  • the world’s effective capacity to exchange information through two-way telecommunication networks grew at a sustained compound annual growth rate of 30% during the same two decades;
  • the world’s technological capacity to compute information with the help of humanly guided general-purpose computers grew at a sustained compound annual growth rate of 61% during the same period.[17]

Mercury Thermometers

Wikipedia:

  • The mercury-in-glass or mercury thermometer was invented by physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in Amsterdam (1714).
  • The application of mercury (1714) and Fahrenheit scale (1724) for liquid-in-glass thermometers ushered in a new era of accuracy and precision in thermometry, and is still to this day regarded as one of the most accurate thermometers available.[1]
  • As of 2012, many mercury-in-glass thermometers are used in meteorology; however, they are becoming increasingly rare for other uses, as many countries banned them for medical use due to the toxicity of mercury. Some manufacturers use galinstan, a liquid alloy of gallium, indium, and tin, as a replacement for mercury.
  • The typical “fever thermometer” contains between 0.5 and 0.3 g (0.28 and 0.17 drachms) of elemental mercury.[4][5] Swallowing this amount of mercury would, it is said, pose little danger but the inhaling of the vapour could lead to health problems.[6]
  • The first electronic clinical thermometer, invented in 1954, used a flexible probe that contained a Carboloy thermistor.[22]

 

LaserDisc: 1978

Wikipedia

Initially licensed, sold and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in the United States in 1978.

The first LaserDisc title marketed in North America was the MCA DiscoVision release of Jaws in 1978.[9] The last title released in North America was Paramount’s Bringing Out the Dead in 2000.[10]

It was estimated that in 1998, LaserDisc players were in approximately 2% of U.S. households (roughly two million).[14] By comparison, in 1999, players were in 10% of Japanese households.[15]

By the early 2000s, LaserDisc was completely replaced by DVD in the North American retail marketplace

The format has retained some popularity among American collectors, and to a greater degree in Japan, where the format was better supported and more prevalent during its life

Betamax

The first Betamax device introduced in the United States was the LV-1901 console, which included a 19-inch (48 cm) color monitor, and appeared in stores in early November 1975.

Betamax is obsolete, having lost the videotape format war[2]

Production of Betamax recorders ceased in 2002; new Betamax cassettes were available until March 2016, when Sony stopped making and selling them.[3]

 

Carbureted Engines

A carburetor (American English) or carburettor (British English) is a device that mixes air and fuel for internal combustion engines in the proper ratio for combustion.

When the engine is cold, fuel vaporizes less readily and tends to condense on the walls of the intake manifold, starving the cylinders of fuel and making the engine difficult to start; thus, a richer mixture (more fuel to air) is required to start and run the engine until it warms up. A richer mixture is also easier to ignite.

In older carbureted cars, the choke was controlled manually by a Bowden cable and pull-knob on the dashboard.

They are still common on small engines for lawn mowers, rototillers and other equipment.

In the U.S. market, the last cars using carburetors were:

Leaded Fuel

Wikipedia

Tetraethyllead (commonly styled tetraethyl lead), abbreviated TEL, is an organolead compound with the formula (CH3CH2)4Pb.

TEL is a petro-fuel additive; first being mixed with gasoline (petrol) beginning in the 1920s as a patented octane ratingbooster that allowed engine compression to be raised substantially.

highly effective and inexpensive.

TEL levels in automotive fuel were reduced in the 1970s under the U.S. Clean Air Act in two overlapping programs: to protect catalytic converters, which mandated unleaded gasoline for those vehicles; and to protect public health, which mandated lead reductions in annual phases (the “lead phasedown”). When present in fuel, TEL is also the main cause of spark plug fouling.[5] TEL is still used as an additive in some grades of aviation gasoline, and in some developing countries.

Pagers/Beepers

Dennis Duffy was the last remaining beeper salesman in New York City and was known as the “Beeper King“.

https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-pagers-and-beepers-1992315

1949 that the very first telephone pager was patented. The inventor’s name was Al Gross, and his pagers were first used in New York City’s Jewish Hospital.

In fact, the FCC did not approve the pager for public use until 1958. The technology was for many years reserved strictly for critical communications between emergency responders like police officers, firefighters, and medical professionals.

There were 3.2 million pager users worldwide at the beginning of the 1980s.

By 1994, there were over 61 million in use, and pagers became popular for personal communications as well

While Motorola stopped producing pagers in 2001, they are still being manufactured. Spok is one company that provides a variety of paging services, including one-way, two-way, and encrypted.

Jeremiah Puhek Pagers

Services

A cell phone is only as good as the cellular or Wi-Fi network off of which it operates, so even the best networks still have dead zones and poor in-building coverage.

Pagers can do one way/two way encrypted, also instantly deliver messages to multiple people at the exact same time—no lags in delivery, which is critical when minutes, even seconds, count in an emergency.

Finally, cellular networks quickly become overloaded during disasters. This doesn’t happen with paging networks.

So until cellular networks become just as reliable, the little “beeper” that hangs from a belt remains the best form of communication for those working in the critical communications fields.
Other stuff we don’t have time for but I love:
Rotary Phones
AOL
Floppy discs
Reel to reel
8 tracks
Microfiche