Friday, January 21, 2011

Flashback Friday: When Old Was New

Mocha with Linda has done it again, she's come up with another great prompt! How does she do this on a weekly basis? Those of us who are trying to research and remember our childhood days are very grateful.
What new inventions or technology came out when you were growing up that you remember being amazed at? Were your parents "early adopters"--did they get the "latest and greatest" pretty quickly or did they stick with the "tried and true"? What are some things that you remember being a big deal when your family got them? (These may be items like stereos or kitchen equipment or bigger things such as carpet.) Were your folks prone to updating their furniture periodically or did they keep their old furniture forever? How was the way they were raised impact the way you were raised? And how did your upbringing influence the way you are today?
 I began by googling the inventions of the fifties. Though I was born in the forties, my memory and awareness probably go back to the 50s. I thought. However, as I looked at the images, I realized that the things our family had in Argentina were a decade or two behind the times.

For example, phones.
In 1950, "Telephone Answering Machine created by Bell Laboratories and Western Electric." No way. Not for us, not even a phone. The waiting list was long. When we finally got one we were among the privileged few in the neighborhood. We did not use the phone often, it was more for emergencies. I remember three things: it hung on the wall, you had to crank it, dial and yell! It was on the left wall as soon as you walked in the house at the bottom of the stairs. This is the closest image I could find.

"TV color broadcasting began in 1953." Are you kidding? We never had a television throughout all of my growing up years.

For the longest time we had a Maytag wringer washer.

When my parents tried to import a washer and dryer, it was held in customs forever. The agents were waiting/hinting/expecting a bribe. My father's conscience would not allow him to go that route, so we never recovered those appliances.
Many expatriates now consider bribing a cultural necessity. What do you think?

Do any of you have one of these egg beaters in your kitchen?

I don't any more. But this old photo proves my mother had one back then when I was very small.

Among the 'oldies' I found a photo of my father in the print shop they ran when serving in the Bible Institute in later years after I had left for college. I wondered how the equipment they used back then would compare to today's.

 My father was always a handyman. He could build or fix most anything. So, no matter what the age or condition of his tools, I know he would have been resourceful enough to make them work.

He built much of our furniture, so no, they were not prone to updating their home decor often.
Both of my parents were raised to be thrifty and hard working. Mother was a preacher's kid in a family of six brothers and sisters. Dad had nine siblings. The family was very poor, yet remarkably all, or most of them, went on to higher education.

My missionary upbringing has definitely influenced the way I live: I don't waste anything and can make do and be creatively a fault.


Mocha with Linda said...

Things are invented years before they actually become commonplace in the general market. So lots of things sound like they are older than any of us remember.

My mom had one of those egg beaters. I almost kept it but it just took up too much room. I remember her doing egg whites with it for meringue and also my dad whipping the whipped cream on Thanksgiving and Christmas with it. When my mom got her hand mixer, it whipped the cream so fast! I'm glad you reminded me of that!

Cotehele said...

it is fun to remember life way back when . . We had a wringer washer. Mom told stories about a women who wrung more than she intended. Ouch! The egg beater, yep we had one, too. I don't remember using a crank telephone, but I have one from my childhood hanging on the wall in our house.

Kathy said...

I'd forgotten about those egg beaters. I haven't seen one in years!

rita said...

Interesting comment left by our former pastor on my FB note:
"Jerry Cline During our days in Indonesia, we came to understand the 'bribe' was part of the cultural warp and woof of life there. The 'extra' money we paid for visas, driver's licenses, immigration cards, went into an office drawer and the needs of the people in the office were met in part by what was in the drawer. It was so much of life there, even the government paid really low salaries because officials knew of the 'safety net' in the drawer."

Oldfangled said...

Rita, would you believe that my mom used a ringer washer when I was little? Up until the mid- to late-eighties, I remember her putting Dad's work clothes through that thing.

Jim said...

Hi Rita, it is nice to know you. Thank you for peeking in on me and for leaving your nice comment.

We had a phone like that still when I left home. Eventually the phone co. brought something newer with a dial. Dad had the wall phone displayed in his office. A customer, he knew who, took it home with him.

Mom had an older wringer machine than the one you showed at first. It was powered by a Maytag gasoline engine. We got electricity in 1938 and a little later Mom got her a new one like in your picture.

Country life in Nebraska in the 30's, 40's, and 50's was about like yours. Perhaps eight to ten years ahead.

bp said...

Thanks for visiting me.
I enjoyed the pictures your posted of your week, getting rid of the land line! And reading about your childhood memories of inventions.

Susan said...

Hey I remember those egg beaters! Wish I still had one its a far cry from a manual whisk. And believe me I recall the washer too, only because mom would tell us to not go near it before we hurt ourselves. I forgot about those!

Lhoyt said...

Somewhere there is a picture of our brother Aldo running clothes through the ringer.
I believe color TV was set up in Argentina in time for the World Cup, 1978 or 1982.