Older than dirt

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  #1  
Old 04-14-09, 05:58 PM
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Older than dirt

Got this a while back via email. BTW I scored a 21.

Older Than Dirt you need to read this:


'Someone asked the other day, 'What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?'

'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him.

'All the food was slow.'

'C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?'

'It was a place called 'at home,'' I explained. !

'Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.'

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it :

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis , set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card.

In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears & Roebuck.

Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).

We didn't have a television in our house until I was 19.

It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God; it came back on the air at about 6 a.m. and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people.

I was 21 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called 'pizza pie.'

When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.

I never had a telephone in my room.

The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers --my brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which he got to keep 2 cents. He had to get up at 6AM every morning.

On Saturday, he had to collect the 42 cents from his customers. His favorite customers were the ones who gave him 50 cents and told him to keep the change. His least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?

MEMORIES from a friend :

My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother's house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it.. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to 'sprinkle' clothes with because we didn't have steam irons. Man, I am old.

How many do you remember?

Head lights dimmer switches on the floor. Ignition switches on the dashboard. Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall. Real ice boxes. Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards. Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner. Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

Older Than Dirt Quiz :

Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about.

Ratings at the bottom..

1. Blackjack chewing gum
2.Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party lines on the telephone
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P.F. Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (there were only 3 channels [if you were fortunate])
12. Peashooters
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records
15. S& H greenstamps
16. Hi-fi's
17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19. Blue flashbulb
20. Packards
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age, If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!


I might be older than dirt but those memories are some of the best parts of my life. Don't forget to pass this along!! Especially to all your really OLD friends...
 
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  #2  
Old 04-14-09, 06:55 PM
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25

15. S& H greenstamps

we where in line at sweet bay Saturday and cashier asked the guy ahead of me if he needed stamps

I told my wife I thought she asked him if he wanted green stamps

 
  #3  
Old 04-14-09, 07:46 PM
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Older than dirt

If you have an active brain in your skull and are old enough, you can remember things like the Lone Ranger, Amos and Andy and Ma Perkins on the radio.

I had good hearing and now have memory to remember what I heard when I was just a kid playing on the floor with my Lincoln Logs and my Gilbert Erector set that started me into engineering/injunering career.

I even remember seeing Willie Mays just before he was brought up to the New York Giants while playing for the Minneapolis Millers. That team was the top minor league team for the Giants before they moved to SF. The across the river rivals were the top farm team for the St. Paul Saints, that were the top farm team for the Brooklyn Dodgers, that moved to L.A. they even moved the Minneapolis Lakers to L.A.

Dick
 
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Old 04-15-09, 05:37 AM
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I had forgotten about the green stamps. Toys were made of steel or wood and didn't take batteries. Gas wars were held on street corners - I remember my daddy buying gas for 10-12 cents a gallon.... and the pump went 'ding' everytime a gallon was pumped. I forget what the bubble at the top of the pump was for

More recently - 8-track tapes, you could choose your music while driving! no cable or satelite tv - just the 2 or 3 channels you could get with an antenna. When our daughter in-law moved into our rental trailer she told everyone that since there was no cable she had to use 'bunny ears' to watch tv
 
  #5  
Old 04-15-09, 08:01 AM
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WOW, I remembered all 25! There goes my credibility with the younger generation!

In Kansas, trading stamps like S&H weren't allowed, but every time we traveled out of state, we'd get them when we purchased something, and Mom would give them to us kids to play with. First TV was in 1963 and it was B&W of course, and got one channel. That was one more channel that Dad would have preferred. We listened to the radio on AM tube type radios that were probably built shortly after WWII. Dad always bought Oldsmobile 88 hardtops with the biggest V-8 they offered, and an automatic transmission and power steering for Mom's benefit, but that was it. Blackwall tires, no A/C, no power brakes, AM radio only. I listened to Mom's collection of 78 RPM records (big band/swing) she purchased before she and dad were married.

Pretty much everything in Tow Guy's posting was how I grew up. This was in the 50's and my parents grew up during the depression, so we kids were raised pretty much in the same manner as they were. Yes, some good times for sure, but then again, I don't think I'd want to go back to those days. I've gotten spoiled since I got out on my own!
 
  #6  
Old 04-15-09, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
I forget what the bubble at the top of the pump was for
I'm pretty sure that was as a visual check that there was actually gas flowing into your car.
 
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Old 04-15-09, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr:
I forget what the bubble at the top of the pump was for
A bit before my time but that was how gas was measured. It was marked in gallons increasing from top to bottom. It was pumped full then the gas drained out into the car. Remaining gas showed how much dispensed.

Given the number of gas stations getting caught fudging amount of gas pumped maybe we need that as a double check to what the digital readouts claim. Some stations have actually been caught using special chips that make it difficult to know the reading is false.
 
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Old 04-15-09, 10:53 AM
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I am 34 and remember 9 of those things # 1,2,3,4,14,16,17,18, and 21.
 
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Old 04-15-09, 11:08 AM
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Ray..I think you mean the real old pumps (pre-meter) with the big glass tank on top. You hand cranked it to fill the glass tank to the amount you thought you wanted, then gravity fed the gas to the vehicle. Remember those on some farms when I grew up. Like this

I think mark meant the little glass bubble with the balls or vanes in it. I always thought it was just to see that the gas was flowing and if it was clean, dirty, whatever. Matter of fact, weren't the different grades different colors? Maybe it was just to give you something to watch while you pumped?
 
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Old 04-15-09, 11:41 AM
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I remember the name "Blackjack chewing gum" but don't think we could afford it. But the other 24, my, my, my, am I getting old.
Hunting and fishing , because you had to eat.
Playing canasta or pinochle all night with my brother, mother, and father! And having a great time.
Watching I love Lucy, Red Skelton, The Honeymooners, with the family.
Patchwork quilts where you could remember wearing every square.
Crabapple jelly, canning vegetables, and washing dishes by hand.
One room school house, all eight grades. And having to wear shoes!
Crank telephones, and ice boxes.
Christmas came in September when you got your new school cloths.
Milk with the cream on top, mom's fresh blackberry pies, and homemade bread.
Kick the can, marbles, hide and seek, and playing sand lot baseball from dawn to dark.
Riding my first bicycle with one friend on the rear fender and another on the handlebars.
Saluting the flag and saying prayers in school.

Thanks ttg, I better quit.
Bud
 
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Old 04-15-09, 01:45 PM
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"I think mark meant the little glass bubble with the balls or vanes in it. I always thought it was just to see that the gas was flowing and if it was clean, dirty, whatever. Matter of fact, weren't the different grades different colors?"

Ya, I meant the little ball that bounced around. The pic of the pumps in gunguys post was a little before my time

If you remember leaded gas was always a reddish orange. Amoco had a lead free hightest, 100 octane that was often reffered to as 'white gas' because it didn't have that red/orange tint.

btw - I got 22 on TG's list

do you reckon candy cigs would be politically incorrect today
 
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Old 04-15-09, 02:00 PM
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No pizza parlors in Small Town Arkansas. First Pizza pie I ate came frozen from Safeway. Thought it was ugly tasting at first. Put most of it back in refrigerator (or Frigidaire as my parents called it despite being GE). Middle of the night my mind changed a bit and I finished it cold from the refrigerator. Eventually began to really like them. First restaurant Pizza was from Shakey's in Houston.
 
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Old 04-15-09, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Ray..I think you mean the real old pumps (pre-meter) with the big glass tank on top. You hand cranked it to fill the glass tank to the amount you thought you wanted, then gravity fed the gas to the vehicle. Remember those on some farms when I grew up. Like this
Yes, thats what I meant.
I think mark meant the little glass bubble with the balls or vanes in it.
Never saw those.
Matter of fact, weren't the different grades different colors?
There was white gas. We had a Montgomery Ward lawn mower that you were only supposed to use white gas in. The white was IIRC to identify they used a phosphate additive instead of lead to lubricate the valves.
 
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Old 04-15-09, 04:02 PM
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Found blackjack gum at a card store a few years back in
NE CT. I paid 50 cents for the pack since it was recomended in the Richard Bachman novel Rage. It was so strong my roommate smelled it from the opposite side of my 83 Dodge Pickup I had at the time and that cab was about 6 feet wide.
 
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Old 04-15-09, 06:45 PM
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I remember all 25, plus. Gee, we're getting old. Growing up in the 50's was great when you look back on it. Sucked while you were there, though. I remember going to downtown Atlanta to the Ponce de Leon ball park and watching the Atlanta Crackers baseball team. Remember the night Eddie Matthews hit a home run......not uncommon.....but not into his own car's windshield! Aaaah, the smell of stogie cigars and hot dogs!
 
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Old 04-16-09, 05:16 PM
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All but #25. If my mom had one, I will have to ask her.

REAL old timers would laugh at that list though. They'd probably say all that stuff was pretty modern. They'd mention even olderstuff. Like horses and outhouses. No indoor plumbing. Gas lights in the house.

You can go ahead and add to my list.
 
  #17  
Old 04-16-09, 09:02 PM
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I counted 12.

Hey.......what about the soda machine that dispensed the the cup then the ice and then the syrup and sometimes the cup wouldn't come down but the ice and the syrup did......

As kids we would try to see how long it would take before the dot disappeared from the TV tube after shuting it off (black and white of course).

More things..........

Reel to reel tape recorders......
Stores stayed closed on Sundays......
Leaded gasoline.......
Crank up car windows.......
Metal ash trays in the arm rests......(with chewed gum in the bottom)
Bias ply tires with white walls.......
Deli's with wood planked floors and wooden pickle barrells.....
Rotory phones.......
Steel beer and soda cans with pull tabs that pulled off.....
Being home before the street lights came on.....
When grocery items had price stickers......
Manual cash registers that didn't compute your change automatically or use bar codes......
 
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Old 04-16-09, 10:45 PM
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I only counted 12. But we were pretty poor so maybe I just didn't have exposure to all those things. I'm 53

My first phone number when I moved out was 949-9990. I thought that was great until I had to call my own number. Try dialing that from a rotary dial phone and in 1974 most phones were rotary dial! It took 5 minutes to dial my number

For years I had a couple old rotary phones. It was great fun to get the kids to make a call on them. They poke their fingers in the holes and listen for tones. Kids (under thirty) have no idea how they work.

Cell phones and TV remotes are the greatest inventions ever.

I won't even watch TV if the remote doesn't work.
 
  #19  
Old 04-17-09, 04:48 AM
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How about a coal stoker for your furnace--didn't have to get up at night
to feed the beast....................

We upgraded to oil -- then to gas.
I hope whoever owns it today has a new furnace--those 24
burners were hard on the wallet................
 

Last edited by j HOWARD; 04-17-09 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 04-17-09, 05:08 PM
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mjd2k,

How could you only remember 12 of them if you are 53? I'm only about a couple-few years older, and remember all but one? And I mean I actually remember -as in - had it, did it, etc. - not just told about it. Maybe you could ask a similar aged relative(s) or friend(s), to see if they remember?

Or, are you -or were you in early years - Canadien?
 
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Old 04-17-09, 06:07 PM
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Mackey: you gotta remember when Cokes went from 5 cents to 6 cents. The machine had a big lever on it to rotate a drum to bring your drink in view of the door. You had to put in your penny first, then your nickel, or it wouldn't work.
 
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Old 04-18-09, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Mackey: you gotta remember when Cokes went from 5 cents to 6 cents. The machine had a big lever on it to rotate a drum to bring your drink in view of the door. You had to put in your penny first, then your nickel, or it wouldn't work.

Wait, wait, wait a minute Chandler......how old do you think I am.
I'm only 46 but I don't ever remember Cokes even being .06 cents however, I could go to the grocery store and buy a can of house brand soda off the shelf for .08 cents in the early 70's.....that was cool.

More on old phones......remember when your number had letters.......like OR1 for Orchard 1 or if you lived near a hospital is was HO. "HOSPITAL1-3456"
 
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Old 04-18-09, 02:55 PM
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I don't remember the price of soda but the bottle deposit was 1 cent, 4 of them would get me a 3 musketeers candy bar

Our phone # started with glen dale - I don't remember the numbers that followed...... and it was a party line.

How about penny post cards?
 
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Old 04-18-09, 04:17 PM
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Sorry, Mackey, the kids forum is down the street. JK Yeah, I remember phone numbers. Not the format, the phone number. Our first one was in metro Atlanta...3784, then 7-3784, then GLendale 7-3784.
 
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Old 04-18-09, 04:33 PM
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The youngsters probably don't remember how you use to make a long distance phone call. You called the operator, told her the number you wanted and then hung up. The operator called you back when the call was connected. No, that wasn't before dial telephones just before area codes. There was just no way for you to dial outside you local area.

That was the days of four foot long phone cords. You could get a six foot one but there was an extra monthly charge. If you wanted a second phone on you line that was an extra monthly charge. No I don't mean another line just another phone on the same line. The phone company was strict about that. I grew up with being told never answer the phone on the first ring. I doubt most people knew the reason for that bit of wisdom. I didn't know till I was an adult. The single ring was the phone company checking the REN to see if you had more then one phone (ringer).

Had friends in a small town not far away that had to count the long and short rings to know if a call was for them. More people on a party line then available ringer frequencies so they had to code the rings. Of course the whole etiquette, frustration, and even legal issues involved with using a party line most of the younger reader probably can barely guess at. Yes legal issues too. I was a violation of state law to refuse to relinquish a party line in an emergency.

Having grown up waiting 20 or 30 minuets till the line wasn't busy I wonder how some of these people with surgically attached cell phones could survive. Last place I worked cell phones were against the rules but everyone used them any way. For someone who grew up using a phone for 10 minuets or less maybe as much as once or twice a week I am baffled how they can stay on a cell phone for a whole 8 hour shift. What is that important? What is so complex it takes that long to discuss?
 

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Old 04-18-09, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post

mjd2k,

Or, are you -or were you in early years - Canadien?
LOL, non, I speaka da englais

I remember things like 17 cent draft beer.

I was a telephone districtman taking care of those party lines for many years. Worked with the old "open wire" phone lines.
 
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Old 04-19-09, 08:45 AM
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Hey Ray, you forgot having to pay "rent" every month for the phone from Ma Bell.
 
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Old 04-19-09, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Sorry, Mackey, the kids forum is down the street. JK Yeah, I remember phone numbers. Not the format, the phone number. Our first one was in metro Atlanta...3784, then 7-3784, then GLendale 7-3784.
LOL........good one Chandler........
 
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Old 04-19-09, 09:36 AM
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I have one of my grandparent's license plates from the early 1960's. Does anyone else remember the metal pieces you got to put over the date to show you renewed the plate? I started driving in '93 so I never did that on one of my own cars.
 
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Old 04-19-09, 10:40 AM
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1. Blackjack chewing gum
yep, loved it
2.Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
absolutely

4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
does anybody remember the dispensers with chilled water?

5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes
check
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
Not sure about the cardboard stoppers but for some reason, there is no familial resemblance between me and my "father"

7. Party lines on the telephone
Ah, my first experiences at eavesdropping


8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P.F. Flyers
of course

10. Butch wax
My brother used it on his flat top. I had a "princeton" courtesy of my mom.


11. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (there were only 3 channels [if you were fortunate])
the sound, Oh my God, that irritating sound when you woke up at 3 in the morning after falling asleep with the TV on.
12. Peashooters
check

13. Howdy Doody
everybody should

14. 45 RPM records
How about 78's?
15. S& H greenstamps
there was another company as well. Can't remember the name though.


16. Hi-fi's
Mono?
17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19. Blue flashbulb
yep


20. Packards
as I look back, yes. Too young to care when me and they shared time.


21. Roller skate keys
sis had one

22. Cork popguns
not fun if you are looking into the thing with brother on the trigger

23. Drive-ins
first it was with the family and then it was with anybody but the family and then it was....well... a gentleman doesn't kiss and tell.
24. Studebakers
at the drive in even


25. Wash tub wringers
brother nearly lost a finger to one. Real ugly incident.
 
  #31  
Old 04-19-09, 11:46 AM
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Ran across this article about crap cars of the seventies.Seemed appropriate for the thread.

'70s Cars We'd Just As Soon Forget | Autopia from Wired.com
 
  #32  
Old 04-19-09, 11:52 AM
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1. Blackjack chewing gum(Yes but never tried it)
2.Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water (Yes)
3. Candy cigarettes (Yes)
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles (Yes)
5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes (Yes)
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers (I don't remember the caps but yes on milk delivery)
7. Party lines on the telephone (Yes)
8. Newsreels before the movie(No)
9. P.F. Flyers (Yes)
10. Butch wax (No)
11. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (there were only 3 channels [if you were fortunate])(Yes and the National Anthem)
12. Peashooters (Spitballs)
13. Howdy Doody (No)
14. 45 RPM records (Yes)
15. S& H greenstamps (Yes)
16. Hi-fi's (Yes)
17. Metal ice trays with lever (Yes)
18. Mimeograph paper (Yes)
19. Blue flashbulb (Yes)
20. Packards (No)
21. Roller skate keys (No)
22. Cork popguns(No but yes to blackpowder caps)
23. Drive-ins (No)
24. Studebakers (Yes)
25. Wash tub wringers (No)
 
  #33  
Old 04-19-09, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nightowlpunk View Post
Does anyone else remember the metal pieces you got to put over the date to show you renewed the plate?

Ya, I remember them. Back then the plates themselves had to be replaced every 4yrs [I think] because they didn't want anyone driving around in rusted out tags that couldn't be read


btw - I have 3 glass milk bottles on a shelf in my office - 1/2 pint, pint and quart. IMO the milk tasted a lot better when it came in glass bottles but returning the empties was a little bit of a pain.
 
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Old 04-19-09, 01:24 PM
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No problem with the glass milk bottles. Just sit them on the back porch with a note stuck in one to tell the milk man you also needed a pound of butter.

I remember my dad filling up at a gravity pump in Canada when we were on vacation.

I also remember Kaisers, Frazers and the Hudson Hornet, among other cars.

Wonder how many here ever saw an Allstate - sold by Sears in the fifty's. It was a Hudson Jet with an outline of the United States as it's emblem.

I could fill the tank on my Whizzer motorbike for about 12 cents. Probably got 80 MPG but in those days, who cared.
 
  #35  
Old 04-19-09, 05:29 PM
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We use to have an insullated aluminum box with a hinged lid on our stoop and held about 9 glass milk bottles sealed with a foil cap. I think they must have been pint bottles.

When you were empty you just put bottles back in the box and once a week the milk man would exchange the empties for fresh milk.

That disappeared sometime in the early / mid seventies.

I remember being about six years old and my friends and I would stand on the milk box then jump down off the box by-passing the four cement steps...........that was great!

My grandmom had in her basement an old clothes washer that had a scrub board and wringer rollers attached to it.
To me it was the oddest looking thing.
It was basically a large round white tub sitting on four legs with the scrubber board and rollers.
She also had one of those rotory blade hand push grass cutters.

I loved exploring around in the basement at grandmom's.
How many of your grandparents had a door knob in there house with about 100 rubberbands hanging from it..........(depression era people).
 

Last edited by Mackey; 04-19-09 at 05:45 PM.
  #36  
Old 04-19-09, 05:41 PM
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My Great Grandma's house (Milwaukee) had a milk box that opened through, so the milkman put the milk in from the outside and she could get it from the kitchen. Our bottles were just set on the back porch. My older brother and I would argue over who got the "glugs" when Dad poured from a fresh bottle.

Loved the car link, sp; my wife drove a '79 Chevette when we got married. Tranny crapped at 1500 miles on the ticker Labor Day weekend as we were driving to my family's place for her to meet the folks. As soon as it was fixed (under warranty) we sold it and bought a '76 Corolla.

My Grandma was using a ringer-style washer long after everyone had the more modern stuff. She once got her hand caught while wringing out some things and wound up with a broken arm [didn't hit the panic bar fast enough].
 
  #37  
Old 04-20-09, 03:36 AM
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My parents had one of those insulated milk boxes but when I left home, I had to go to the store to get my milk. They also had an egg man that dropped off eggs once a week. When I was real little, they had a potato chip deliverly man. The biggest thing I remember about that was the metal container the chips came in - I stored my lincoln logs in one of them
 
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Old 04-20-09, 07:14 AM
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Charles Chips...remember them well....
 
  #39  
Old 04-20-09, 04:09 PM
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Does anyone else remember the pushbotton light switches? My grandmother's house had a few of these. Other than Tom& Jerry cartoons, this was the only place I ever saw them. It looked a little like a normal switchplate with one putton at the top and one at the bottom. To turn on a light you pushed one button on that switch, the other to turn it off. When I was a kid, I thought that was just about the coolest thing.

By the way, cool link on the 70's cars. I owned one vehicle from the 70's myself, a 71 Chevy Stepside pickup with the 350 engine, 4 barrel carb and a 4 speed tranny with a granny gear. That vehicle was the only time I ever sold a vehicle for more than I paid for it. I almost bought a 78 F-100 pickup with the 300 inch 6 and C6 tranny. It had a camo front end and a woodstake bed. That sure would have made me an unpopular person in my neighborhood.
 
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Old 04-20-09, 04:41 PM
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"Does anyone else remember the pushbotton light switches? My grandmother's house had a few of these"

Didn't everyone's grandparents have those type switches in their houses?
When you pushed in the top button [to turn on the light] it pushed out the bottom which you would push in when you turned the light out.

Remember the glass or porcelain door knobs? and of course the front door took a skeleton key
 
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