Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

10 Modern Technologies We Lived Without in Primitive, Pre-Millennial America

Life wasn't easy without our modern technologies, but it was a lot simpler.

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

May 5, 2014 - 9:00 am
Page 1 of 10  Next ->   View as Single Page

While the 1970s are known for some terrifying fashions and the human indignity of the Disco Era, the decade (with some assists from the previous generation) also gave us some amazing technological advancements that many of us take for granted today. Here are ten that changed the world:

1. Microwave Ovens

1970 microwave

Before the 1970s, our only option for heating up leftover pizza was the conventional oven and we didn’t have the luxury of 4-minute microwave popcorn (gross as it is). Though the “Radarange” was first sold in the United States in 1947, it wasn’t until the ovens became affordable for the average family that “microwaves” became common in American homes (even if they didn’t live up to their promises of delicious layer cakes and scrumptious roasts in 30 minutes). In addition to the high prices, many Americans were afraid of radiation associated with microwave ovens. I remember my dad refusing to purchase what he called a “radar burger” at a concession stand in the early ’70s. In 1971, only 1% of households in the U.S. owned a microwave. By 1986, roughly 25% of households in the U.S. owned a microwave oven, with the number soaring to 90% of American households by 1997.

B00CH3A86O_main

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (46)
All Comments   (46)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Oh, don't get me started on lead-free paint... lead paint is dangerous ONLY is you are drinking paint and eating classical/Renaissance style paintings all the time. Which obviously, smart people never does.
It was the elaboration process what was dangerous, because in the pigment stage you have lead powder and -if you add low protection, the workers would get sick; and the same with the lead painting in walls. It was a case of bad use or low protection.
Now, I am unable to find artist grade white colour (which was lead based pigment) because... lots of regulations and paranoias. Good riddance classical and Renaissance art, DC and European hate you. White lead painting was unique in their properties for the foundation used in the past. It is an opaque pigment and quite robust and flexible, so many layers can be built over it. OF COURSE, people now value weird stupid paintings (Impressionism on) with weak pigments like Titanium white and Zinc white, no one of them with the properties of Lead white. Thus, the best of the painters (the few you don't even know about) who paint according to classical/Renaissance principles, have t more difficult; while the mediocre modern artist can go on because they don't care, and many don't even know about pigment properties... AARRGHHHH
/RANT OFF
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
sorry, but you are wrong. Microwaves let us heat water and food easily, without haviing to go out, chop wood, start the fire and put the kettle on.
Hairdryers let us wash our hair and go out in Minnesota without ending up with freezerburn. Cellphones are lifesavers in emergencies, and are revolutionizing the economy in places like Africa. Pocket calculators are easier to use than slide rules, and computers mean I can write you nasty notes on your essay from the rural Philippines in two seconds, instead of writing snail mail that takes a month to get to you.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
This article and posts are extremely entertaining and informative. I guess it would be hard to go back and live the way we did prior to these inventions but life was still pretty good back then.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Acoustic couple modems, vs direct attach, and now wireless via your cell phone carrier and WiFi.
The "Divestiture", or the ma-bell breakup, allowing you to chose your own LEC and long distance carriers.
Ubiquitous dishwashers.
Fax machines that spun a drum, and had to be synchronized (and the same brand), vs common fax standards and thermal paper
HBO's creation of 3 movie companies to jump start the cable/ movie industry. (Silver Screen Partners, Tristar, and Orion)
Post it notes
LCD displays
MRI's
Visicalc
Roller blades.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I started elementary school in 1954 and graduated high school in 1967. Of course we didn't have any electronic marvels that are available today but perhaps that wasn't such a bad thing. We had to work out math problems using our brain power. My first job at 14 involved using a cash register; I had to be able to calculate change in my head. Today if you give a cashier a $20.00 for a $15.47 purchase if their computer register is down they can barely figure out what the change would be. We didn't have Nintendo or X box, instead we spent our days outside playing baseball or football, swimming at the pool (or beach if we could get a ride). Yeah there were a few kids who were overweight but no one was obese or even close. It was a different world.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you had to calculate change in your head, then you were ill served by whoever taught you to run a register.

Count back.

'nuff said.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Paula - not to be picky but Texas Instruments came out with the hand held calculator in 1967. The first I'd ever heard of them was in a magazine article in early 1968. For me it was one of those 'what will they think of next' moments. If I'd only known.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
My dad always touted what a difference the fax machine made in business. It would take weeks to get a signed contract prior via USPS. He has always been an early adapter due to work. We were the first family I knew with a car phone and a green screen Osbourne computer. He might have invented the cocktail napkin contract, I was born at the wrong time. It's five o clock somewhere.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I still put my hair up in curlers. Best way to get the look I want. They still have bonnet hair dryers, though I don't use one.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm so old that state-of-the-art in word processing was the IBM Selectric when I was in college. When I got one that had a correct key I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! Of course, I typed 90 wpm and now type faster than my computer keyboard can keep up with, which is frustrating.

When I was in high school and college it took over an hour to dry my hair with the 1,000 watt hair dryers that were available then. Now I can dry the same hair in about 5 minutes. I do remember the bonnet hair dryers as well. My stylist still uses the kind you sit under, which my Mom also had at home for many years.

I remember in the early 80's my boss could not wait to buy an Apple computer. Of course, he had no idea how to use it or why he needed one, but he was a guy and it was a guy toy. When he finally got permission to buy one, he brought it into my office and told me to figure out how we could use it to justify the expense.

24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I remember fondly sneaking big cassette recorders into concerts to make 'tapes'. We'd send a guy in on crutches who woudl use them as mic poles and we'd have extra batteries to power the recorders. Today's digital hand led recorders make that unnecessary and I can now mix live recordings on a computer in like 4 minutes when in the past it requred $250,000 studio machines!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 Next View All