How do you communicate with your friends or family? What do you do for entertainment? How are your foods prepared? How do you get from place to place? Everything around you and everything you come into contact with on a day-to-day basis have something to do with technology. But it wasn’t always like that. Just 50 years ago, it was a very different world. I want to take you back to 1970 and a simpler time. Back to a time before smartphones, personal computers or even microwave ovens. Back to Fountaindale’s founding.

In the 70’s most people woke up in the morning to an alarm clock with two bells on the top. For me, it was always my best friend calling me on the telephone, telling me to get out of bed. She was always anxious to get going in the morning for an adventure. Coffee was made in a percolator, so you could not steal a quick cup before it was finished. You had to wait until it finished percolating. I can still hear the sound it would make. All cooking was done on the stove. No microwaves. I remember my mom making popcorn using either a large pot on the stovetop or with an electric popper similar to this one.

It is truly amazing that we were able to do so many things without modern technology. Like going from one place to another without a GPS. Dealing with a flat tire or other breakdowns without the benefit of a phone to get help. Being able to figure out what to wear for the day without a weather app. Or what about leftovers without a microwave? When I was a kid, there was no cable TV, only local stations that you would get over the airwaves from an antenna mounted to your roof. Or using “rabbit ear” antennas like this one.

I even remember my Uncle Mike’s TV was hooked up to an antenna on his roof with a Channel Master power rotator on it. When you wanted to go to a new channel, you first physically turned a dial on the TV set. Then you would turn the dial on the rotator, and it would go “Click…Click…Click…Click” until the picture would come into focus. Some days the signal would be so bad you could barely make out what was on the screen. And there were only about six channels to begin with. They also would only be on from about 6 a.m. to around midnight. That’s when they would play the National Anthem before they would go off the air.

You see, many things have changed since technology has become more advanced. Some for good, but others not so good. Like the number of cords everywhere. Or the amount of electricity we use. Our reliance on technology has made it difficult for us when the power goes out. Today, some kids don’t know what to do if they don’t have a computer or TV to watch. But there are many good things too, like medical advancements and modern conveniences for an improved way of living.

I have put together a challenge for kids, based on these old technologies. See if your child can figure out what these items are or were used for. You only need to get ten correct answers to win a prize. Have fun with your child reminiscing and learning about old technologies in this Retro Tech Challenge. Please pick up your prize at the Children’s Services Desk until Wednesday, September 30, while supplies last.

Good Luck & Have Fun!

Try the Retro Tech Challenge now!