1. Boombox portable music player
These systems arrived in the mid-1970s. The concept was simple: take your music on the go, anywhere, anytime. It wasn’t uncommon to see boomboxes hanging from the shoulders of people of all ages. Whether it was a day at the beach, a dance fight, a sporting event or a vacation, everyone seemed to have a boombox. Celebrities like Bruce Springsteen are also behind the boombox craze.
The most popular brands included: JVC, Sanyo, General Electric, Panasonic, Sony, and Sharp.
Boomboxes are less common today thanks to other smaller stereo systems, iPhones, and portable Bluetooth speakers. Did you have a boombox and what did you use it for?
2. The clock radio
What’s better than waking up early and early to the sound of your favorite musician? The clock radio served two purposes. It was an alarm clock and a supposedly “doctor approved” radio.
GE released the clock radio in 1979, and many families rushed to get one.
Today the clock radio has mainly been detected by iPhones and smartphones with the same capabilities. But who doesn’t remember waking up to a clock radio next to their bed and having to flip a switch for the AM / FM radio?
3. Walkman cassette players
Walkman cassette players are a form of portable audio players. A less robust and less noisy option than the portable Boombox. Everyone seemed to have a Walkman, and why shouldn’t you? You can listen to all your favorite musicians on the go.
The Sony Walkman was an essential part of the culture.
What were you listening to on your Walkman over and over?
4. Magnavox color TV
The TVs were much squarer … and lower to the ground, it seems. It’s hard nowadays to imagine watching your favorite shows or sports on anything other than an HD flat panel, but we’ve all done it.
Who still remembers their parents telling you not to sit by the TV because it would damage your eyes?
TVs have certainly come a long way and we are grateful for that.
5. The cordless telephone
When the first cordless phone came out, many changed their lives. It was the first big step towards what was to become the era of mobile phones and smartphones, even if we didn’t know it then.
From parents talking on the phone while doing housework to children, preteens and teens who stay up late talking with friends, cordless phones have changed the way we communicate.
While some families still have cordless phones, many have switched exclusively to cell phones.
6. Telephone answering machines
Who remembers coming home after a long day and the first thing you do is check missed calls and messages?
Now with everything in the palm of our hands, it’s hard to imagine not having the anxiety of losing messages and not checking them the instant they arrive.
But what about urgent calls? Well, they had to wait too! (At least, unless you also had a pager …)
7. Vintage record player
There is something so nostalgic about owning and playing a record on a turntable.
The first turntable that sold millions came out in 1965 and the turntable has continued to evolve. There has been a resurgence in turntables in recent years as records have made a comeback and vintage turntables sometimes sell for a lot of money. What records were you making?
8. Vintage video cameras
Our poor shoulders! A video camera weighing 15 pounds … and boasting of being the lightest in the world!
The camcorder became popular in the mid to late 1980s. With the rise of the camcorder came popular shows like America’s funniest home videos. Camcorders were initially mostly only available for professional use, but over the years, families have begun to make them as essential as cameras.
Thanks to the video camera we can relive memories of different eras.
9. AM / FM pocket radio
The AM / FM Pocket Radio is a compact and typically lightweight portable radio. Although it is called the pocket radio, most people who owned one had to have deep pockets to fit it.
It was great for people who wanted to listen to the radio on the go. Whether you want to take a bike ride, go to the gym or take her to work, you can listen to the radio whenever you want.
Have you ever owned one?
10. Texas Instruments home computer
Texas Instruments is best known for its calculators. There is no feeling like coming home on the first day of school and having to ask your parents to run and get you a TI-84. But do you remember when they also made a home computer in 1980?
It was a computer with educational functions that helped children and adults alike.