5 Modern Archaic Technologies: Times, They Are a Changin’

I often talk to my students about how technology has changed society throughout history. In many ways it’s amazing: computers, cellphones, television, soap, cars, toilet paper, zippers, fireworks, air conditioning… But sometimes, I miss doing things a little more analog.

Here are 5 technologies I loved that are gone or are going extinct.

5. Rotary Phones I remember using a rotary phone when I was really young, my granddaddy had one at his house. I loved watching the dial spin, but I always got in trouble for attempting to call random people. I also miss the ringing of old telephones.

Image by Joe Shlabotnik

You can’t slam phones down like you used to!

Image by Joe Shlabotnik

4. Polaroid Pictures I miss shaking a Polaroid picture and waiting for the image to show up. By the way, you weren’t supposed to shake the Polaroid but that never stopped me.

Shake It!

Shake It!

3. Projectors  I miss old film projectors. I liked when the film broke or got off track.

Image by SparkCBC

Sometimes I watched the project more than I watched the film.

Image by SparkCBC

2. Cassette Tapes

I was a kid when tapes died and CDs became popular. How I miss waiting and listening to the radio all day with a blank tape ready to record my new favorite song. I prayed the house would be silent when I was recording and hoped the DJ would not ruin it and keep his mouth shut while the music played.

Cover the ends with scotch tape and record!

Cover the ends with Scotch tape and record!

1. The Sound Old-School Clocks

Image by Nick

Image by Nick

Tick, tick, tick. Young K. Renae P. would be furious that I miss the ticks and tocks and dings and dongs of  old clocks. I used to be irritated by the constant sound of the grandfather clock. But like a train humming in the background, it soothed me. Analog clocks today just don’t tick like they used to.


I LOVE technology and how it has brought the us closer. Yet, I miss not being so connected to other people. It is such a catch 22. Maybe it’s time I buy a front porch swing and yell at kids to “Stay off my lawn!” while I remember the technology that was.

Which technology do you miss?

16 thoughts on “5 Modern Archaic Technologies: Times, They Are a Changin’

  1. I remember the days before television. I remember running home from school so I could hear the next chapter (or whatever it was called) of serial story on the radio!

    I remember mimeograph machines which were tiny printing presses that worked by forcing ink through a stencil onto paper. That was how we copied things. No xerox, no kinkos.

    I remember my first word processor was an Atari “computer” that, if I remember right, was mostly used for playing PacMan.

  2. I miss all those things too. By the way, I have two rotary phones still in use in my house! My kids always used to laugh at those phones!

    • Kids are so funny. They like learning about old technology. I do get mad when they asked me how I felt when color tv came out. I grew up in the late 80s and 90s!

      • Ha! I grew up in the 60s and 70s, so that question would be legit for me! LOL! My boys, who are in their early and mid 20s now, did not like black and white television when I first showed them a black and white movie!

  3. Wow, I’m feeling all nostalgic now! My husband found this youtube clip the other day of kids reacting to a walkman. It’s so FUNNY watching them try to work it out!

    • Ha! I love this series. Sometimes the kids put on too much, but they are funny. When the one kid was told how much music tapes held, he grimaced and responded, “I’m thinking about how many tapes you would need”. I laughed and laughed. Because we needed a lot of tapes.

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