I can't believe it's Week 13 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Follow along each Sunday as we write and sometimes share, our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be so thankful that you did!
This week's topic is about change - changes in technology. Recently I was thinking about my father and his love of records - the old 33s - show tunes and Irish drinking songs mostly. We didn't have a record player until I was about 9 or 10 years old. Then my dad bought a huge stereo in one of those big cabinets - you know the kind there the top lifted up and you put the record on from above. Remember the little adaptors to put in the middle of the turntable so you could play 78s?
Our telephone was used only for emergencies. We occasionally phoned a friend to say we wanted to visit but we sure didn't chat for long! Phones were black with a rotary dial and you picked it up, waited for the local operator and gave her the number you were calling. I wish I could remember ours, but phone numbers back then were names followed by a number. Eventually the operators were no longer in use, and you just picked up and dialed normally (on a rotary dial, not push button!)
I remember that placing a long distance call was a very big deal. Every Christmas my mother and her sister would give my grandmother (their mom) as a Christmas gift - a long distance call to England to talk to her sister. It was a very big and exciting event and was always held in our house. We would sit in the living room waiting anxiously and eagerly for the long distance operator to call us to say our call was ready to go through. Grandma would always yell once she was on the phone because after all, England was a long way from Canada!
Computers? No such thing for homes although I did work with some at the age of 19. I was a data processor (briefly) and worked in a room where the entire wall was huge computers with big reels of data whizzing along!
Pay phones were everywhere - no cell phones back then. Pay phones were in the old red boxes and I seem to recall paying a dime to make a call. Hah!
I know television was available but we didn't have one. When I was about 10, maybe 11, we got a small tv. Black and white of course, no such thing as a colour tv then and shows were only broadcast in black and white. My dad watched the Ed Sullivan Show and Liberace. On the rare occasion I was allowed to watch something, it was a western. They were very popular and the one I remember was Rawhide.
My mother used some strange contraption for a calculator. It was almost like an abacus! It was metal and small, about the size of a small paperback book but thin. There was a little pointer which she inserted into small numbered holes to slide something across or to choose what numbers she was working with. I was quite fascinated by it but never did get to use it so am not describing it very well. I'd love to know what it was.
What has changed since you were young? I'm racking my brain to remember other changes during my life!