8-Track Players, VCRs, Cassette Tapes + More – Gadgets That Changed the World But Are Now Relics
I was cleaning out my attic over this past weekend when I found an old VCR that I hadn’t seen in a long time. So, I plugged it in, and was surprised that it actually still worked. Then, the nostalgia bug hit me and I started thinking about other technology wonders and gadgets that I grew up on, but are now relics. See if you remember these.
The VCR, or video cassette recorder, came out in 1976 and immediately had an impact on how we watched movies. I remember when my parents brought one home for us and we thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. In it's peak years, late 80's and early 90's, the VCR was pretty expensive, but the price dropped as did the popularity when other electronic devices started taking over. In 2005, the very last major Hollywood release made it's way to VHS. And, in 2008, JVC, who was the last to produce the VCR, stopped production.
The cassette tape came out in the 60's but didn't reach it full popularity until the 80's. I had a pretty big collection of tapes that I bought as well as ones that I recorded my favorite music on from different radio stations. In fact, besides radio, it was the primary way people listened to their favorite music. I remember my mind getting blown when they changed the color of tapes from white to clear. We thought we were high tech then. The cassette tape was overshadowed by the introduction to CDs and in 2005, major music labels discontinued them.
With the use of computers, laptops and other devices for writing, the typewriter is not as prominent as it once was, but is still widely used in many parts of the world. However, that said, the last time I even touched a typewriter was back in the 80's.
Introduced to homes across America in 1966, the 8-track player became very popular in the 60's and 70's. In fact, in 1967, Ford started putting 8-tracks in their vehicles on request. By the late 70's and early 80's the popularity declined as the cassette tape was introduced. I remember having several 8-track tapes including Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller Band and more that my parents had given me. I always had to hold the tape in it's place though so it would play right.
Who doesn't remember the original Sony Walkman? I had many miles on mine as I would grab my tapes, and either or walk or ride around town listening to my favorite music. The prototype was built back in 1978 and marketed to the world in 1980. Since then, the Walkman has gone through many changes since it was first introduced as a portable cassette player to keep up with the technology of iPod or mp3 players. Even today, the Walkman still survives, but I'll never forget the way it helped me listen to my favorite cassette tapes.