Things we don’t have anymore

Here is an amusing feature, by Anna Jane Grossman, of things that have become or are fast becoming obsolete. She adds a list of such things as:

Carbon paper
Wite-Out
Lickable stamps
Printer paper with holes on the sides
Walkmans
Tie tacks
Dial-up
Sound of the modem starting up
Non-wireless Internet
Diaper pins
Wall-mounted pencil sharpeners
Calculator watches
Mimeograph machines
Manual car windows
Getting out to open the garage door
TripTiks
Stovetop popcorn poppers
Film
Flash cubes
Mercurochrome
Water beds
High diving boards

What other things in recent memory that we used to think were high-tech or way cool have faded away?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Used to be high-tech and are now gone:
    Poloroid cameras
    Scotchgard (cans) – not replaced but found unsafe
    cassette tapes
    video tapes
    floppy disks

    Not gone yet, but quickly on way out:
    fax machines
    big boxy TV’s
    CD’s
    plain radios
    daily newspaper printed on paper

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Just read her list and I disagree with…

    -While You Were Out pads -use them everyday;
    -Secretaries – the term is out of style, but the job remains;

    -Rolodex – use it as a back-up system. I’ve instructed everyone in the office to grab it in event of a fire!;

    -Phone trees – teachers still use them to notify the staff of a school closing from their homes;

    -E-mails written with the formality of letters – Oh do I disagree! This will only go out of fashion if we allow it. All emails should be written as a formal letter. I feel SO strongly about this. We need to go down fighting on this one – model it to everyone. Of course, daily banter between friends and loved ones can be very informal;

    -Glass baby bottles – I just read an article yesterday (or did I see it on TV?) about the return of glass baby bottles for toxin reasons;

    -Trapper Keepers – still going strong in schools.

    I forgot one more thing on the forgotten list:
    Key holes on the passenger door side of a car.

  • http://www.parentalrights.org/blog/ Rich Shipe

    I have to admit that I miss manual car windows. That’s probably weird for most people.

    For the list:

    - Typewriters

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    I don’t think Ethernet (wired internet) is going away any time soon. It offers a level of physical security wireless isn’t ever going to have, and speeds are easier to increase over copper than over air. But a nice list.

  • Carl Vehse

    High diving boards

    Two decades ago the high diving boards were removed from People’s Republic of Austin municipal park pools. I asked the head of the park department why and he said it was because of injuries. I ask how many had been injured and he said he didn’t know of any, but the risk was there.

    Over the years there have been a few drowning deaths, so maybe park officials should remove the water, too.

  • Kirk

    Caleb Jones and I were talking about all the time that we wasted in elementary school learning to use things that were obsolete before we reached Jr. High. Library card catalouge systems were the biggest thing that came to mind. Penmanship also seems to be going to way of the dinosaur, as does spelling.

  • Ryan

    Lets see… its odd you posted this since the little fabric tab on my tie broke this morning and I am using a tie tack. For full disclosure I’m 32.

    In my daily life I still use:

    Carbon paper – for some tax documents

    Wite-Out – when I make the church bulletins

    Tie tacks – as I am wearing today

    Dial-up – DSL/Cable/Satellite is not available in my area
    Sound of the modem starting up – it still happens, but I can turn it off.

    Non-wireless Internet – Come on, its more stable than woreless, its what I use at church.

    Diaper pins – used them this morning for my daughter’s diaper

    Wall-mounted pencil sharpeners – have one in my garage workshop as well as the Sunday School

    Manual car windows – My 2004 Kia has them

    Stovetop popcorn poppers – Makes the best popcorn, and they still sell them all over.

    Film – I do have a digital camera I use most of the time but I still mess around with this, can’t afford a nice digital camera with changeable lenses

    High diving boards – I plan on watching high diving at the olympics. There is a high dive board in one of the parks in Clayton, Missouri for public use.

  • Kirk

    Oh! AOL! You never hear “you’ve got mail!” anymore.

  • FullTime

    Roller Skates (as opposed to Roller Blades)

    Baby Walkers with wheels

    Large chalk boards (I just got one from business that finally switched to white boards. You cannot get these things any more!) (Well, I suppose a school could, but not your average homeschool family.) (and most schools that I have seen recently have gone dry-erase)

  • Arfies

    How about these?
    —Analog (standard definition) televisions
    —telephones with circular dials
    —telephones that just make and receive calls
    —automobiles that the owner can repair him/herself
    —automobiles with simple audio controls
    —crt computer monitors
    —non-programmable thermostats
    —16mm movie projectors & 35mm slide projectors for schools
    —VCRs

  • Joe

    This list is really off the mark. In fact, my secretary is typing something on a typewriter as I type this. We have some legal forms that have to be done this way. Any guesses on what she’ll do if she makes a mistake?

    We also use bike messengers all the time. Those folks are amazing, they have a weird looking attachment that straps on to the person – not the bike that allows them to carry up to four document boxes at a time. I moved about 15 boxes of exhibits from my office to the courthouse via bike messenger last year for a trial. We also use them everyday for filing papers with the court. They are not going anywhere soon.

    Shoehorns? Is this person crazy. I use one all the time. They help to keep your shoes in good shape.

    I make my wife popcorn at least three nights a week in a stove-top popper. It makes the best popcorn.

    Also, unfortunately, my daughter was given a UNICEF box from her (former) public school.

    Choose your own adventure books are also still around.

    Full service gas stations still exist and in fact it is illegal to pump your own gas in some states.

    Electric frying pans are not going anywhere either. They are perfect for deep frying (they maintain a constant oil temp. better than a stove top) and making pancakes.

  • Julie Voss

    My son’s friends couldn’t figure how to “roll down a window” in my old volvo!

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Things on the way out:

    Manual transmissions

    Shoe polish (friends of mine were amazed at how my shoes look–they’d never opened a can of Kiwi or Meltonian to see how good shoes could look)

    Wool clothes (apart from things for marryin’ and buryin’)

    Clothes that fit (knits are pushing out decent sewn goods)

    Real food (compare virtually anything you can buy to anything you bake at home using real butter and sugar)

    Fine woodworking (but we can buy it for $100 at Wal-Mart!)

    I hope I’m wrong on all these, by the way.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    I still need white-out, because I still make misteaks. Oops, mistakes.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I think the reactions here show that many things presumed on the way out actually aren’t — they may have merely lost their popularity and retreated to a niche audience. If something is a good idea, it’ll tend to stick around until it truly is replaced.

    For instance, just this morning, the half-and-half I put in my coffee came from a glass bottle, which I’ll return to the grocery store to get my deposit back. And the beans I put in my coffee were ground by me in a hand mill. Some of this may be attributed to the fetishization so common among coffee lovers, it’s true, but some of it is because those old ways really do offer advantages. Namely, the elimination of cardboard waste and improving on the lousy job most (cheap) electric grinders do.

    So I won’t miss the demise of the cassette, which was always a horrible technology. The portable and recordable benefits it offered were long ago superceded by the CD, and now the MP3 player.

    But I won’t give up my wool socks or homemade food (referring to some of Bike Bubba’s list @13), and all you have to do is travel outside of North America to find out how popular manual transmissions are. My wife bought a Whirly Pop popcorn popper last year for our friends who probably think microwave popcorn is meh.

    I think the reason most people migrate to the newer options, though, is because they’re cheaper, and people can’t distinguish, or don’t care about, the quality. Perhaps this is due to poor math skills — microwave popcorn is more expensive per serving than bulk kernels, but amortizing the cost of a stovetop popper can be confusing.

  • http://www.thekurths.com daisymay

    How about maps! With the growing popularity of googlemaps and GPS navigation systems (which I readily admit are super convenient), I’m terrified that my children (or at least their generation) will grow up not knowing how to read a map. I shudder at the thought. I love maps!

  • Pete

    Another thing we don’t have anymore: The “Issues etc.” radio show on KFUO and the internet. Its loss is a real blow for gnesio-Lutherans and the true Gospel of the Cross.

  • anon

    Freedom fries fried in real bacon grease.

    Crisco

    Shortening.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    What Pete says is true. I just called KFUO and they confirmed this horrible news. No reasons given for this loss. Today we lost my favorite radio show.

  • Greg

    as of today issues etc since the synod fired Wilken and cancelled the show today.

  • Greg

    oh sorry I did not read petes coment before I posted. I guess I am so steamed about this. I hope this was not done for political reasons. If the synod is broke and has to sell kfuo that is won thing..but if they are trying to squelch wilkins message that is quite another..

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Whatever the reasons (and I’m trying to put the best construction on this) I am kinda in denial at losing a voice of hope which was kind of like a trustworthy friend in the midst of all the other stuff on the airwaves. Right now it kind of feels like a death to me. Kinda like I would feel if Vieth’s little dose of reason (usually) was taken away suddenly. God be praised for every faithful voice proclaiming Christ crucified for sinners! And how conforting right now is Christ’s promise that His voice will never be extinguished (contrary to what the Mormons here in Utah believe about it being lost for so long). Whatever the reasons for the loss of Issues Etc. I am more than sad right now.

  • Greg

    I hope God turns this around and resurrects Wilkens program as an independent ministry. I hope God raises up leaders who can sucessfully bring to account those responsible for shutting down this voice for orthodoxy.

  • organshoes

    Thank you Greg, Pete, Bryan. I was going to post the same great loss.
    It’s like a light went out, losing Issues, Etc. I know THE light hasn’t gone out, but certainly A light has.
    It’s almost as if I’d been told my church was closing up shop.
    For shame. Wilken is a wonder–a true God-send.

  • Kimett N Geist

    I don’t know if this is stretching the theme of this blog but I now know that as of today, due to powers yet unknown, we no longer have the ability to listen to the Issues, etc program on KFUO. What’s happening at the Missouri Synod?

    Note: I had not read the previous quotes before I wrote this as it appears many feel the same as I do. I quess I was too upset and just wanted to vent.

  • Bruce

    How about those automobile front-window “window wings” that swivelled and allowed one to direct air into the moving car? I miss them. And I don’t think they are coming back.

    As for things like fine woodworking: that hasn’t enjoyed widespread use for many a year. While it can be argued that 1930′s furniture is better made than today, it still wasn’t really “fine woodworking” we’re talking about but mass produced assembly-line furniture. Yet on a local level, one can still often find furniture makers of quality.

  • organshoes

    I’ve missed wing windows for years. Nothing ventilates like wing windows did.
    Something I’ve missed having around is the test pattern on the television, meaning that stations once had the good graces to stop broadcasting for a few hours. Talking heads gave it a rest. (Actually, there weren’t so many know-it-all talking heads in those days. They were consigned pretty much to Saturday and Sunday afternoons.)

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I have wing windows on my car. But its a pretty cool old car, literally with the wing windows at full tilt!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    No answers yet from the Board for Communication Services of the Missouri Synod as to why Issues Etc. is no longer. I hope there are answers soon.

  • organshoes

    I hope they’re hearing–respectfully but honestly–from those of us who are, shall we charitably say–disappointed. I hope we’re not just endlessly venting on blogs, but calling, emailing, mailing, and otherwise speaking out. Not to mention praying and otherwise contributing to the support of Wilken and Schwarz.
    That would be truly speaking truth to power.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Yes, don’t just blog – get on the phone lines. I just checked again to see if they are giving any answers for this outrage yet. But no. Keep checking and working for ways to resurrect Issues Etc. The Missouri Synod can’t control all the airwaves.

  • Greg

    I did send a couple of emails about this tragedy this morning. I am still in shock over this.

  • Colt 45

    If the LCMS/KFUO does not offer a reasonable explanation to why this event has occurred, then I am inclined to finding a way to get Pastor Wilken and his producer back in business. In my humble opinion would include diverting money sent to KFUO to supporting these men in this wonderful ministry.

    I have expressed to Rev. David Strand my great disappointment over this decision and have requested strongly the reason for making such an abrupt conclusion of Issues, Etc.

    Since this was such a public and discouraging event, I believe all of us are deserving an explanation, In that way any speculation can be put to rest, especially to the people that have faithfully supported KFUO financially.

  • Colt 45

    This is information I got off the LCMS directory on their website:

    Rev Todd A Wilken
    1437 Jamie Ln
    Waterloo, IL 62298

    Phone:(618)939-9064
    Email: twilken@htc.net

  • Christopher Martin

    Well thanks to the bureaucrats in St. Louis, we no longer have Issues, Etc.

  • Roland Lettner

    The right to be Lutheran in the LCMS.

    RIP Issues …

    Wir fordern, dass das Programm wieder eingesetzt werden!

  • Chris

    Wilken, Schwarz and Ron Paul, all lost in the same year. When will their angry supporters figure out that it’s over? What will we do without their angry point of view?


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