Friday, January 30, 2015

Thrifty Acres: 1968 Flashback

Hello! Picked this up recently at a thrift store:

The Telephone Book, by Joe Kaufman; published in 1968 by Golden Press. 

I thought it'd be fun to see how much things have changed since 1968. As the book is subtitled THINGS WE USE on the title page, several common (or then-common) household objects are shown. 

So what's different sine 1968? Well, for one thing phones have certainly changed in size and shape. The above is a rotary dial phone. And yes, I'm old enough to remember when phones looked like this, as I was eight in 1968.

My mother was preparing meals for a family of nine throughout most of 1968 - that number changed to 10 when a sister was born in September of that year. Mom never had a stand mixer like the one shown above; might have made things easier for her. I've occasionally seen ones like this in thrift stores, but even though I like older things, I'm fine with my modern-day Kitchen Aid version.

Note that the mom above is wearing a dress and heeled shoes. I don't remember my mom dressing like this when she baked.

My mom sewed constantly, but I don't recall her sewing machine looking like this. Perhaps I just wasn't paying attention. Saw a sewing machine that looked a lot like this one at a thrift store a few days ago. They were asking 35 dollars for it, I think. Again, I'm happy with my current sewing machine, but as I spied the one at the thrift store, I couldn't help but wonder if it still sewed well. It certainly looked as durable as the one above looks!

We had a kiddie-size phonograph like this, plus a few records. I seem to recall one of recordings had a bunch of railroad-themed songs on it. I loved listening to those records!

More entertainment options of the era - on the left, a TV, complete with rabbit ears, and on the right, Mom's grooving to the sounds coming out of her transistor radio while at the beach. Transistor radios were a must-have back then. A few years after 1968 I received a pocket-sized one for Christmas - the perfect size for smuggling into bed unnoticed. One of my older sisters had a really cool model, a bright yellow Panasonic that was ball-shaped (except for its base, of course).

Many vacuum cleaners still look like the one above, but I wanted to show that once again, the lady of the house is shown wearing a dress and shoes with heels. I've seen chairs very similar to the floral-decked one at thrift store - in fact, that blue/green floral print seems to be rather common on thrift store furniture. 

Ah yes, I remember my dad and uncles using cameras like this, with the flashbulbs that had be changed and all that. We've come a long way with photography since then!

A typewriter - manual, no less. I got a bit of a jolt when I saw the typewriter eraser near it (the thin round object with a little brush on it). I haven't seen this kind of eraser around in ages! I suppose they became obsolete when Wite-Out and other typewriter correction fluids were invented.

I often see electric typewriters at thrift stores, and occasionally manual ones too. 

Toasters still work the same as the one seen above, but mine doesn't have that cute floral design on the side. It's not made of chrome either. 

I didn't take a picture of The Telephone Book's very last page, as it shows the still-typical scene of a young boy being tucked into bed by his mother. "When the clock says 7 o'clock I go to bed". 

Wow, 7 o'clock? The boy in the illustration looks to be around four or five. Do kids that age go to bed that early now? I don't recall our daughter doing so when she was that young. 

But in 1968, when I was eight - I swear, my bedtime was around 7:30. My parents insisted on an early bedtime for the longest of times! It was a way to get peace in their household of eight kids, I guess. 

Flashbacks of consumer goods from decades ago are always fun, but remember: 47 years from now, what will people think of the "THINGS WE USE" today?


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