Posted by: Calmseas (Mike) | August 5, 2008

History Of The World, Part I

A couple of months ago (when I began the draft of this blog entry), my local newspaper was doing a retrospective about a devastating windstorm that hit our area ten years ago this past spring. They put out a call for photos related to this storm. My first thought was that there are no photos of this storm because it happened before the age of photography. Then I corrected my thinking. This was a time before “digital” photography, or at least before those of us card-carrying members of the masses had general access to it.

This got me thinking about how much the world has changed in my 51 years, and whether these changes have been for the better or for the worse. For you older readers, walk with me down memory lane a bit; for you younger folks, let’s look at a bit of history from a time before your time.

–In 1956, the year of my birth, there were no man-made space objects circling the Earth. The launch of the Russian Sputnik satellite was still nearly 10 months away.  I would be 12 years old before man first stepped on the moon.

–My earliest memories of television are of having two over-the-air local stations from which to choose. All programming was in black in white. Cigarette commercials were standard fare on TV back then—do you remember the Marlboro Man? What a thrill it was to get our first color TV somewhere in the mid 1960’s, even though most programming was still in black and white; however, we lived for the commercials which were the first “programming” to be broadcast in color.

–I have an extensive collection of classical music on vinyl that was amassed mainly in the 1970’s. All of these old “records” now sit on shelves in my basement. I don’t even own a turntable at this point, so I would have no way to play them. I thought 8-track tape was the greatest thing back in the late 1970’s. And cassettes were the ultimate in technology and compactness. Surely, nothing would ever replace cassette tapes. When compact disks came out in the mid 80’s, I thought they would never catch on.

–I remember the first time that I saw a calculator.  A kid brought one to school one day back during my high school years, probably around 1973 or 74.  The calculator was maybe 6″ x 8″ and about 3″ or 4″ thick.  It could add, subtract, multiply, and divide.  I don’t think there was a memory function on it.  It sold for around $75.00.  In those days, slide rules were still considered high tech.

–Growing up, there were no such things as microwave ovens.  As a young married fellow, I can remember buying our first microwave oven.  It was an Amana “radar range” with a stainless steel interior.  It cost around $450.00, which was about the going price for microwaves back in the early 1980’s.  Its great claim to fame was that you could put metal pans, aluminum foil, and the like into it with no adverse reactions.  They don’t make ’em like this anymore.  It was repaired once or twice over the years, but I still have it—and it still works perfectly!  We keep it on hand for those times when we need extra microwave capacity—family gatherings and so forth.  Anyone want to buy it?

–Would anyone today consider striking out on a vacation or business trip, or even a run over to the next town, without carrying a cell phone?  Back in the day, of course, there were no such things as cell phones, or even car phones (those big “bag” phones that people carried around in their cars; they needed antennas on their rear windshields to use these phones).  And when did a “car” phone become a “cell” phone?  My mobile phone is still a car phone.  It stays in my car unless I am expecting to use it for a specific purpose away from my car.  I can remember many times getting a flat tire and setting out on a mile or two trek to the nearest exit hoping that a restaurant or service station would be there so I could call for help.  Most of the time, I would get picked up by a helpful motorist and taken to a place that had a phone.  Those were the days.

Well, this is beginning to get a little long.  I actually didn’t think that my memory was this good.  Ask me some trivia about Dick Nixon.  Go ahead . . . Ask!  But what did I have for dinner last night?  Now that is a challenge.  We’ll continue this later.



  1. Do you remember this one:

    It’s funny that I remember it after all these years…but it was a really cute commercial IN COLOR in T.V.

    Shedd’s Peanut Butter Commerical in the 50’s…kinda RAP style.

    To set the stage for this commercial…the peanut is relaxing by the pool with his mom and dad.
    At the end…he dives into the pool of Peanut Butter [Shedd’s of course]

    Here goes:

    When I was just a little nut
    My mother said Sam
    When you grown up
    to be a big peanut man

    Just follow in the footsteps
    Of Bill your big brother
    He made his way into a jar
    Of Shedd’s peanut butter.

    Dad said Moms right son
    Between you and me
    Shedd’s peanut butter
    Is where I’d like to be

    So you just mind your P’s and Q’s
    And do the things you should
    Because to get in Shedds
    A Peanut really must be good.

    Drink lots of good fresh water
    Get all the sun you can
    Because to get in Shedds
    A Peanut really must be grand.

    Well…I really must be going
    Please don’t think me rude
    But I can’t wait to get into
    This great shabarish food.

    Well….I’ll be seeing you.

  2. Well, I do remember most of this. Seems like we always had a color set, just not everything was broadcast in color.

    I remember when mom got her first microwave. She asked Dad, “why do I need that”.

    Also, may want to check your spelling on the 4th to the last word of paragraph 7

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