Andrew Parker

25 Things Only Those Born Between 1946 and 1964 Will Remember

For those of us who grew up in the middle of the 20th century, the world has changed in ways that we could’ve hardly imagined. But for every new invention, there are plenty more that we left behind. Here are 25 things that only those born between 1940 and 1970 will ever remember.

Dial-Up Internet

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Ah, the good old days of dial-up internet. Waiting for that connection to kick in, with all its beeps and static, was a huge test of our patience. Even getting online was a big deal back then. But now? We hardly live a second disconnected, and we use the internet without giving it a second thought, though some people still use dial-up today.

Rotary Phones

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Using a rotary phone was a whole workout session for our fingers. It took some elbow grease to spin that dial for each number and then some patience for it to roll back. We didn’t have any speed dial or contacts lists, just good old-fashioned memory and a bit of muscle. Honestly, we miss the simplicity a bit.

TV Timeout

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It’s weird to think that, back in the day, TV stations just used to call it quits after the late show and the anthem. You’d get nothing but static until the morning, and those sign-offs were our unofficial signal to go to sleep because there was no such thing as a Netflix binge. It was a time when screens didn’t rule our nights.

TV Guide

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Speaking of TV, we used to plan our TV watching for the week with a TV guide. You’d circle your favorites and make sure you didn’t miss the good stuff on Saturday night while also trying to keep everyone else in the house happy. If you missed an episode, then that was it unless there was a rerun.

VHS vs Betamax

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Once upon a time, you had to pick a side in the battle between VHS and Betamax. Yes, VHS eventually came out on top, but at the time, it felt like a real struggle, and choosing a video format was a commitment. Whichever side you were on, you defended it at the video store and in the living room like it was your favorite sports team.

Manual Typewriters

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Each key press on a typewriter felt much more real than typing today, and there was something so satisfying about hearing that clack and ding. And let’s not forget the arm strength it took to return the carriage. Digital texts might be more convenient, but they’ll never compare to the sense of satisfaction we received from creating something on a typewriter.

Developing Film

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It used to be a gamble taking photos because you had a limited number of shots and you wouldn’t see how they turned out until you developed the film. Every photo felt precious, and flipping through the final photos was the moment of truth. Was your thumb over the lens? Did you get that birthday surprise just right? Only time would tell.

Cassette Tapes

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It was hard to make a cassette tape mixtape, but it was worth it. You’d record songs off the radio and hit pause just right, then hand the tape to someone special to show them you cared. And when someone made one for you? That was a big-time romance, and Spotify playlists just can’t compare.

Drive-In Movies

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Drive-in movie theaters were the best, weren’t they? Piling into the car with snacks and watching a flick under the stars made it feel like an experience, unlike the quick and easy movie theaters today. There was something truly magical about watching a story on that big screen under the night sky.

Floppy Disks

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Floppy disks seem pretty outdated nowadays, but there was a time when we thought they were cutting-edge. They were a sign of the digital age to come and helped us carry around our schoolwork or even personal projects. Of course, they couldn’t even hold a single MP3 file today.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

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Saturday mornings were the highlight of the week because, if you woke up early enough, you’d catch your favorite cartoons. You had no other choice because reruns and streaming weren’t a thing. It was a time when cartoons were a special event, which meant you’d also have a ritual to match that often included pajamas and a big bowl of cereal.


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The arrival of the Walkman meant you could carry your music anywhere as long as the batteries would last. It was a whole new way to experience music, and it felt like a true moment in history. Today, listening to songs as you walk down the street seems so normal, but back then, it was revolutionary.

Early Cable TV

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Getting cable TV also opened up our TV world to more than just a few basic stations. So many channels, so much to watch. Suddenly, we had access to movies and shows from all over the planet, which was a little overwhelming at first. It made TV feel truly limitless and a step forward into the future.

Record Stores

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Yes, we bought music at record stores, but they were so much more important than that. You’d go there to hang out and talk to people with similar musical tastes or argue with those who didn’t. It was easy to spend hours lost in the records, flipping through records, and these places were the heart of the music scene.

Filmstrip Projector

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When the teacher rolled out the filmstrip projector, you knew class was about to get interesting because watching those images flicker by was truly magical. It was a welcome break from the usual routine that would make everyone sit up a little straighter with their eyes glued to the screen. It was educational, but it felt more like movie time.

Microwave Ovens

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When microwave ovens first came out, it felt like something from Star Trek. They changed kitchens everywhere by making cooking faster and easier than ever. Yes, they were big and bulky, but they made reheating leftovers a breeze. Now, it’s hard to imagine a kitchen without one.

Color TV

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We all remember that moment in The Wizard of Oz when it switches from black-and-white to color TV, and some of us remember it happening in real life, too. The invention of color TV made everything on the screen pop and brought shows to life in a whole new way. It was one of those wow moments that made the grass greener, and watching your favorite show in color changed it completely.

Personal Computer

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Learning to use a personal computer for the first time was difficult, but it also made us feel like part of the future. Eventually, we’d get the hang of it, and PCs would give us endless possibilities for work and play. But even then, we knew it was the start of a new technological era. 

Credit Cards

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Credit cards have come a pretty long way, and they’ve made buying things a lot easier. But they’ve also changed how we think about money, especially since swiping a card is second nature now. It all started with those early credit cards that began as a convenience. Now, they’re pretty much an extra limb.

Air Travel

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Before everything went digital, flying was a different experience because physical tickets and check-ins were much more personal. Yes, travel was much more expensive, but that made it feel more like an event. Honestly, while we’re grateful for the ease of travel today, there was something so exciting about it in the past, and we miss it.

Pocket Cameras With Flash Cues

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Remember when taking a picture at night wasn’t just a click away? We had those pocket cameras, and you needed to put a flash cube on top if you wanted a shot in the dark. You’d only get four flashes before you needed to put on a new one, so you had to time your photos exactly right. After all, those flash cubes weren’t cheap.

Roller Skating Rinks

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Roller skating rinks were the only place to be on Friday nights if you wanted to hang out with your friends. If you were lucky enough, you would get to hold hands with your crush during the couple’s skate. You’d get the latest gossip and the latest hits, all while rolling around under the disco ball.

Green Stamps

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Shopping used to come with a little extra in the form of Green Stamps. They’d give them at the checkout based on how much you spent, and when you had enough, you could trade them for all sorts of items for a special catalog. It was like an early form of a reward system, and reports show that there were $900 million worth of them during their peak years.

TV Channel Knobs

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Before anyone even thought about remote controls, changing the channel on the TV meant getting up and turning a knob. Instead of just pressing a button, you had to cycle through all the channels to find what you wanted. But it wasn’t all bad. Sometimes, you’d land on a random show, and it would become one of your favorites.


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Back in the day, we’d carry around change just in case we needed to use a payphone to call for a ride or check in with home. There was no endless scrolling or texting, so you’d have to be quick with the call. Now, we’ve all got phones in our pockets or our wrists, and the idea of paying cash for a phone in the street seems crazy.

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