A look at 18 vintage stuff we no longer use

Updated: 15 October, 2020 16:10 IST
  • Telegram

    Telegram: This was once the only source of quick and urgent communication in the country, which delivered many cheerful and gloomy news to people across India. From the birth of a child to the sudden demise of a relative - the telegram service has seen it all. But over the years, with the advent of modern technology, the service has been more or less forgotten by the masses.

  • Pendulum clock

    Pendulum clock: Much before its fancy successors, the simple pendulum clock adorned the walls of most houses. People devoted a certain amount of time just to watch the back and forth motion of the pendulum. Ironically, the lack of time is what spelt the death knell for these traditional time-telling machines since a decent amount of effort was needed to keep it in order. You can now spot the clock only in houses where occupants are happy to go 'back in time'.

  • Floppy disk

    Floppy disks: Long before pen drives with massive storage capacity and a little before CDs, we had to depend on floppy disks to save our data. While they played saviours on many occasions, these disks also had a tendency to get corrupt rather quickly, resulting in loss of crucial data.

  • Walkman

    Walkman: The predecessor to the IPad and IPod, the humble walkman, which played audio cassettes, entertained people for over two decades before the advent of ‘Discman’, MP3 players and other advanced technologies reduced its popularity drastically. Slowly, the walkman walked away from people’s lives.

  • Typewriter

    Typewriter: The invention of the computer gradually made the typewriter obsolete. They are still in vogue for folks who churn out legal documents day in and day out. There was a time though when offices could not function without a typewriter. The desk where your PC is placed might well have been occupied by a typewriter in the years gone by.

  • Video cassette

    Video cassette: In an earlier period, watching a movie meant going to the nearest video library guy and renting a video cassette, which was then played on the videocassette recorder (VCR). Now, we have DVDs, blu-rays and of course D2H. But, the fun of watching a movie on a video cassette with your entire family was something unmatchable.

  • Postcard

    Postcard: When was the last time you sent a postcard to you dear ones? If you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, chances are many years back. And if you were born in the ’90s, chances are never. With SMSes and emails bringing accessibility at your doorstep, postcards have been pretty much discarded.

  • Inland letter

    Inland letter: A pre-printed letter that can be folded and the sides glued together, this was once the most common mode of communication for long-distance written exchanges, especially between relatives. But, just like the postcard, it has become a rather redundant form meant to keep in touch with people. Pic/ AFP

  • Gramophone

    Gramophone: The first device for recording and replaying sound, the instrument, possibly last used in your family by your grandparents, now finds pride of place only in the homes of die-hard music aficionados and museums, where it is preserved for posterity.

  • Weighing machine at railway station

    Weighing machine at railway station: As a kid you loved inserting the one rupee coin into the weight machine with disc lights. You also waited eagerly to find out which Bollywood star’s image appeared on the weight card, more than your actual weight. That age of innocence is now a thing of the past.

  • Mobile phone with antenna

    Mobile phone with antenna: Yes, mobiles one came with antennas! They were sturdy, hardly looked attractive like the ones in the market today, but they did their job – that of connecting two people. Mobile phones today are used more for other purposes.

  • Audio cassette

    Audio cassette: There was so much to like about the audio cassette. They were cheap, long-lasting, and made listening to music a leisurely experience. Even when the tape inside got entangled in the cassette player, it was fun putting it back in order. These days no one has the time and patience to undergo the mechanic-like experience.

  • Rotary dial telephone

    Rotary dial telephone: Nowadays, we hardly use the landline even though technology has improved drastically, leading to the advent of digital telephones. On the contrary, there were generations who grew up using the rotary dial. A finger wheel had to be rotated with one finger from the position of each digit to a fixed stop position. And there were no redial options, so if you didn’t get through on the first try, you had to repeat the exercise all over again!

  • Transistor

    Transistor: There was a point in time when the only way you could know the cricket score was by keeping yourself hooked to the transistor! It was also the only source of entertainment in terms of listening to music. Yes, we are talking of a totally different era, one in which the idea of live cricket telecast and cable TV did not exist.

  • Radio

    Radio: A bulky instrument might be dusting in some corner of your house even today. A few decades back, it would have been your everyday companion, which stayed loyal to you even when the electricity ran out. Tuning the radio to your favourite station was quite a task though! With FM now incorporated in even the most basic of mobile phones, and the dearth of time people have, you might find an active radio only at the nearby chaiwala or hair-cutting saloon.

  • PCO

    PCO: The Public Call Office (PCO) exploited the power of one rupee to the hilt. It was all you needed to put into a telephone to connect to people. In case of emergencies, PCOs were the biggest source of aid to get in touch with the desired persons. Like many other humble inventions, the PCO has also failed to find favour with the mobile generation.

  • Pager

    Pager: It disappeared almost as soon as it emerged. A wireless telecommunications device that receives and displays numeric or text messages, they were popular for a while but could not withstand the competition from SMSes and MMSes, which were far superior.

  • Oxford dictionary

    Oxford dictionary: Remember the time in school when we used to study by keeping a dictionary besides us so as to check up on any tough spelling or the meaning of a word? It was a tedious task no doubt but entailed learning in the true sense. With Google and easy online alternatives available these days, wonder how many people actually have a dictionary at home!

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About The Gallery

With the advent of technology, other modes of communication and entertainment have fallen prey to the digital age. Here's a look at some of those. Relive the nostalgia!

First Published: 16 May, 2019 08:00 IST