The Modern World & Inventions

I was thinking about the many things that didn’t exist when I was born (at least to the average American) and that I take for granted now.

What do you think you would miss the most? Which ones do you wish we could do without?

Here are a few of the inventions that I thought of:

microwave ovens
central air conditioning
clothes dryers
food processors

pocket calculators
personal computers
cordless telephones
answering machines
pocket cell phones (remember car phones?)
8-track players
CD players
DVD players/recorders
video games

live world-wide (or even coast to coast) news broadcasts
credit cards
power steering
birth control pills

organ transplants

Doppler radar
World Wide Web
Internet protocol (HTTP) and WWW language (HTML)
Satellite global positioning for navigation (boats and cars.)

Then there are the little things:

Super Glue
Disposable lighters (flick your Bic)
Post-It Notes
Floppy disk
Pop-top cans
Digital camera

Then there are all the things from the 20th century (since my mother was born, in 1906).


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34 Responses to The Modern World & Inventions

  1. jeans2nd says:

    The very first gift derived from the space race – Tang.

    Liked by 5 people

    • weather257 says:

      And Teflon…and WD40?
      Tang!! Used to take it backpacking. Bringing a flask of Vodka gave the option to make screwdrivers with pure, cold Sierra Mountain water. Also took baggies of Coffeemate and Oatmeal…and baggies of instant coffee as well..

      Liked by 3 people

      • LafnH20 says:

        WD-“40″… 🤔


        In 1953, a fledgling company called Rocket Chemical Company and its staff of three set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry. Working in a small lab in San Diego, California, it took them 40 attempts to get the water displacing formula worked out. But they must have been really good, because the original secret formula for WD-40® Multi-Use Product -which stands for Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try—is still in use today.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. WeeWeed says:

    I remember tooth powder – the predecessor of toothpaste. I’m not enamored of either one. Toothpaste is too sweet. Tooth powder, the best I remember, was too dry and grainy. Wish they’d up something better in that little department.

    Liked by 7 people

    • stella says:

      I remember that my uncle used baking soda to brush his teeth. I don’t think I would like that.

      Liked by 5 people

      • czarina33 says:

        We were a little poor when I was growing up, and baking soda was a fine substitute when we ran out of toothpaste. When Mama got gum disease her dentist told her to brush with a mixture of salt and baking soda, and it completely cured her gum disease. I prefer soda, but need Sensodyne now due to enamel wear from grinding my teeth.

        Liked by 5 people

  3. Imagine now how overwhelmingly different the world is today, from when our elders were born and grew up in the turn of the century, ‘teens and twenties…..
    WIthout easing into it, today’s modern marvels would surely seem like sorcery or acts of god or something. God Bless us all.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Menagerie says:

    I think I’d miss a washer and dryer more than anything in my house. After the hvac unit and hot, running water.

    Liked by 7 people

    • litenmaus says:

      Menagerie, I have been a weeee bit distracted this past week, but saw your question about springtime and, here you are :0) and yes, its been beautiful springtime weather here. The grass went from dead brown a week ago to a deep forest green today. It is however, very dry and very windy and the farmers are hoping that somewhere in the near forecast is some moisture.

      One can survive, but one cannot thrive without hot water, at least that was my experience. After hot water it would definitely be the washing machine. I loathe laundromats more than I can say.

      Liked by 6 people

  5. glendl says:

    Does “Political Correctness” count?

    Liked by 3 people

  6. tblakney says:

    That is a very interesting thought article Stella. My deal is that my parents were born pre- depression and it always amazed me that after they grew up so poor and how that era influenced their perspective on life. For instance, to be able to purchase a car after being raised in the horse and buggy days. They were able to accumulate a respectable amount of money, not rich, and they traveled by AIRPLANE to Alaska and California and it absolutely blew their minds. LOL!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • czarina33 says:

      Same for my parents, except they both worked for Braniff Airways and flew everywhere! My mom went to school in a buggy called a trap, and had to put the horse out to pasture while they were in school, then hitch it back up at the end of the day. The one that was huge was cheap long distance, since prior to that letters had to travel a long way and back for a reply. My mom had parents and 10 sisters and brothers with little communication between them until they felt they could afford those calls.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. weather257 says:

    I’ve often contemplated that we have lived in the best age ever. When I first went to work, we used crank calculators, 12-columnar pads and ledger books.
    I can also think of some feminine products that improved life tremendously!

    Liked by 3 people

    • weather257 says:

      The first electric calculator I ever used…really! It was fun and fascinating.

      Computers were invented, but they used key punch cards back then.

      Liked by 2 people

      • stella says:

        I remember when my boss wanted to train me on the comptometer. That was in 1967.

        Liked by 3 people

      • stella says:

        PS: I learned to key punch in 1971 when I took my first computer programming class.

        Liked by 3 people

        • LafnH20 says:

          stella, In the late 80’s, I was stationed on a U.S. Navy ship which had been scheduled for a major overhaul. I was assigned to the “Integrated Logistics Overhaul” (ILO) team. (Bean counter)

          Once in place “drydock” at the Philadelphia shipyard, nearly everything (sans large installed systems not scheduled for overhaul) was removed from the ship to a pier side, large, multi story warehouse.
          (No small feat)

          What I remember most, was the entire 3rd story of that massive warehouse. Endless Rows of filing cabinets filled with computer punch cards. One punch card for every widget (or group.. such as 1/2″ bolts) and gadgets, from every nook/crany on the ship.

          The “Integrated Logistics Overhaul” (ILO) team was tasked with finding those widgets/gadgets. (placed Willy nilly as they were offloaded on the 1st or 2nd floor)

          Take a group of punch cards identifying what was ‘sposed to be there..

          Find the corresponding “stuff”..
          Or not

          Collect it
          Count it
          Count it, again
          Label it
          Move it to section xx-xxx-0097-xx
          Note count/location on punch card

          Send punch card somewhere else.

          Punch card returns

          Take punch card
          Go back to xx-xxx-0097-xx
          Count it
          Count it, again…

          If ALL was well…

          GLADLY Put punch card in “Reconciled” file cabinet.

          If not… 😣

          We have come far…

          I would say, one of the things our modern world would be hard pressed to do without would be “Bar-Coding”….

          On this day, June 26, in 1974, a supermarket cashier in Troy, Ohio slid a multipack of Wrigley’s chewing gum across a bar-code scanner, making it the first product to be checked out with a Universal Product Code.

          Liked by 3 people

      • glendl says:

        I bought my first hand held calculator in the fall of 1973, my first year teaching. Before that, it was the slide rule, but that would not work on grades.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. czarina33 says:

    Okay,mine are personal automobiles, washing machines, World Wide Web and air conditioners. I think I could manage without most other things.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. weather257 says:

    Key punch backward from the 10-key calculator…brain twisting. I believe you and I ran in similar worlds and times, Stella. Learned typing and shorthand in high school but the rest on the job with Kelly Temp Services in the ’60s. Super way earn and learn just starting out.

    Liked by 3 people

    • stella says:

      I attended Moser Secretarial School in Chicago after one year at University. I also took typing in high school. Later took programming classes (where I learned to key punch) and eventually became an IT professional, concentrating in IBM midrange systems. Early on I also learned several different telephone switching systems, and at the end of my career was managing a corporate telephone and voicemail system.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. nyetneetot says:

    Solid-state electronics had become mainstream when I was little. My family had a few Westinghouse transistor radios floating around that I took apart and “lost” when they stopped working for some reason.

    Liked by 4 people

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