Technology moves fast, so fast that the phone in your pocket is millions of times more powerful than all of NASA’s combined computing in 1969 that helped land two astronauts on the Moon.
As we continue to make breakthroughs, more gadgets become relics of the past. In this article, we list ten old gadgets you no longer need. Let’s see who replaced them and why.
Typewriters are antique keyboards that print directly on paper. Before typewriters, all official documents and letters were written by hand or printed on a printing press, which was quite expensive. The typewriter was invented in 1868 by Christopher Latham Sholes as an economical alternative.
The first typewriters consisted of mechanical keys with raised letters and letters on metal surfaces such as levers. When you press a key, an inked ribbon is sandwiched between the paper and metal surfaces to print on the paper.
It was a revolutionary invention as it changed the way businesses functioned and the way people shared information. By the mid-1800s, they became indispensable in offices. They ruled for almost a century and were eventually replaced by computers. But even today, many people prefer the tactile feel of typewriters, especially poets and novelists, so they’re not completely dead yet.
Before the advent of mobile phones, communication via payphones was the norm. Users can make calls through these public landlines and pay through coins, debit cards or credit cards. Payphones were often installed inside booths (kiosks) to provide privacy for the user, which modern phones had to trade for mobility.
The first pay phones were installed in 1881, and by the 1900s, they were commonly seen on busy streets, railway stations, and other public places. But in the mid-2000s, telecom giants AT&T and Verizon sold their payphones as they began to decline.
3. Photographic Films
Now is the era of instant photography, where it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to click a picture and share it. Before this, people used stationary cameras that used photographic films; The latter was invented in 1885.
Earlier, photography was available only to the wealthy, but the invention of films led to the commercialization of photography. These light-sensitive photographic films were exposed to light to capture images of objects and then chemically developed to produce visible images.
This was a time-consuming and costly process, which led to the introduction of digital cameras in the 1990s. And by the end of the 20th century, photographic films and film cameras had become obsolete.
4. Answering Machines
An answering machine does the same thing as the voice mail system on your phone. The only difference is that an answering machine stores caller messages locally on storage mediums such as cassettes, whereas a voice mail system stores them in a centralized computer server.
The first answering machine was invented in the 1930s, but only gained popularity in the 1980s. And in the early 2000s, voicemail replaced answering machines, as it allowed users to access recorded messages anywhere.
Before the invention of the mobile phone, people only had landlines, and no way to send an emergency message to anyone. Solving this problem, Alfred J. Gross invented pagers in 1949 for use in hospitals. These were radio communication devices with unique numbers similar to telephones.
So here’s how the pager works: Anyone who knows your pager number can send a message (telephone number or short text) to your pager via telephone. And when you receive the message, your pager displays it on the LCD screen.
While one-way pagers could only receive messages, two-way pagers and response pagers could also send them. As mobile phones became popular, pagers began to die out. However, they are still used (though rarely) for emergency services such as health care and fire protection.
6. Cassette Tape
Although people, especially audiophiles, love vinyl records, they are chunky and fragile to carry around. To solve this problem, Philips invented the compact cassette tape in 1962. These were initially used for audio recording and playback. But later, as the VHS standard came, cassettes started supporting video as well.
Cassettes were a hit in the music industry and changed the way people listened to music. With cassettes, people could take their music wherever they wanted. They remained relevant throughout the 70s and 80s, but in 1991 CDs replaced cassettes.