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The forgotten gadgets you couldn’t live without

Added 316 days ago. 04 January 2019

If one thing has changed over the last few decades, it has to be our dependence on technology. But that’s not to say we haven’t always loved our gadgets!

Today’s technology looks a little different from the gadgets and gizmos we used to swear by – iPods putting our Walkman to shame, while the thought of manually changing the maps in your Satnav seems crazy! It’s amazing to think how far things have come over the last century.
 
How many of these break-through pieces of technology do you recognise from your childhood?

The Victrola

While the phonograph was actually invented way back in 1877, the Victrola, made by the Victor Talking Machine Company in the early 1900’s, was the first audio player to become a staple in people’s homes.
 
At the time, most people thought the iconic external horn of these early phonographs ugly, the most desirable being those where the horn could be hidden away inside the wooden cabinet, giving it the look of a sophisticated piece of furniture.
 
Today though, the earlier static horned devices are the most valuable for collectors!

The Electric Typewriter

Early mechanical typewriters date back to the 1700s, but it wasn’t until the first electric model was introduced by IBM in the 1940’s that typewriters were used on mass in offices across the country.
 
Unlike the earlier inventions, IBM’s electric design was able to give a clean, crisp sheet with proportional spacing between types for a professional looking finish. Plus, it was a lot less tiring to use!

The Kodak Brownie Camera

This neat little device was the first mainstream camera to exist off the tripod.
 
Introduced in 1900, these compact, affordable little cameras were made out of brown leatherette and cardboard and though originally marketed at children, they were also eventually carried by soldiers!

The Routefinder

Do you remember what came before the Sat Nav?
 
In 1920, it was all down to the Plus Fours Routefinder - a manual navigator, resembling something like a clock with little paper maps and wooden dials that needed to be scrolled through manually. Not so convenient whilst driving!
 
By 1930 though, the first automobile navigator, the Iter Avto, was introduced. In this device the paper maps passed over the screen along with the speed of the car, working in a similar way to that of a mechanical speedometer.
 
That said, the driver would still need to realign the map manually if he took a turn...

The Rotary Dial Phone

The idea of dialling a number on a rotary dial might seem long winded to us today, but it took a surprisingly long time for the push-button phone to catch on!
 
Post offices in the UK trialled push-button phones in 1965, but it wasn’t until 1975 that the push-button telephone began to take over from the rotary dial in people’s homes.

Sony Walkman

The last of our throwback devices, the portable, affordable music player didn’t come into play until 1979, when Sony brought out the first compact Walkman.
 
Running off AA batteries, the Sony Walkman was the first music device to use headphones for a completely private audio experience, taking us a step away from vinyl and a step toward the CD player and the iPods we know today.
 
These are some of the many gadgets which were part of our everyday life.

Can you remember any other devices you used to love? 

Share your memories with us on our Facebook page.

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