The 1970s were a time of innovation and new comfort in the world. And no place better exemplified the changing times than the United States. There were many products that ended up becoming commonplace in every household. But if you were to look in someone’s house nowadays, you probably wouldn’t find any of these products. Here are some of the products that everyone had in the 70s, but no one has nowadays.
8-track tape players used to be sold by the big tech companies for around $30. They were really popular between the mid-60s to early 80s thanks to Ford. In 1965, they introduced 8-tracks that could be installed into your car, allowing you to listen to music on the go. Home players were introduced a year later. However, they were rendered completely obsolete by the creation of the CD.
The TV dinner was once a regularly consumed meal, popular throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. They were sold by a variety of different stores and were easy to prepare. They were pre-prepared, one just needed to microwave the tray. People still eat frozen dinners to this day, but not these commonly-known TV dinners. Nowadays, everyone’s aware of the food’s poor nutritional value.
Sunken Living Rooms
Also known as conversation pits, these recessed common areas first came into prominence in the 1960s. They were good for kicking back with the family and entertaining guests. The slightly sunken area in the room just made it seem so cool. Some designers actually want to try to bring this trend back. Others, on the other hand, would prefer to leave it in the past.
The Ball Chair was first sold in 1963, considered a great example of taking Space Age design and incorporating it into your home. It quickly became a classic piece of Finnish design. If you could afford the original ball chair, however, there were plenty of different copycats. They were a staple of the 1970s, but eventually fell out of favor.
Atari Video Games Console
You may still see a few Ataris at a friend’s house, but it’s likely just being kept as a collector’s item. The Atari was actually responsible for popularizing video games, with every kid wanting one for Christmas in 1977. While it did well in the 70s and 80s, it began to lose traction amid its competition. A series of bad-production decisions ended up causing the company to go bankrupt.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a home phone in somebody’s place, let alone a wall phone. Although a wall phone isn’t nearly as sleek as today’s modern phones, they were still revolutionary for the time. They were a great step in allowing people to communicate across large distances. Nowadays, wall phones have been rendered completely obsolete by the portable smart phone.
The View-Master is a pretty old told, having been introduced in 1939. It had the cool trait of being able to show people 3D images by looking into the camera. The 1970s even had the Talking View-Master, which had audio technology in addition to the photo reels. Eventually, there was even the View-Master Rear Screen Projector that allowed you to project the images onto a screen. They’re not nearly as popular anymore, but the toy’s rarity also allows you to resell one you may own for around $50 to $100.
The transistor radio was a small, portable receiver that used, as one might expect, transistor technology. It was invented in the 1940s and became more popular in the 60s and 70s. During those decades, they were the most used communications device in the world. Nowadays, they’re dated, but still fully functional. But if you don’t want to use it, they can be resold between $50 to $90, depending on the make and model.
Clackers were super popular in the 60s and 70s. They were simple toys, where you would swing two tethered balls and would produce a satisfying “thunk” when they hit each other. However, they also had the potential to be pretty dangerous. The original version of the toy was even banned in 1968 because the balls shattered on impact. They managed to have a resurgence in 2017 in Egypt, but were confiscated by police for being considered offensive.
Original Sony Walkmans
The Walkman became an incredible recognizable, portable audio player. Its name even became synonymous with portable audio players. However, while everyone may know what a Walkman is now, not everyone owns them. Production of new Walkmans stopped in 2010. They original sold for $150, but an original Walkman from 1979, unused and in pristine condition, can be resold for $800 to collectors.
Despite coming out in the 1950s, Tang didn’t become a popular drink until NASA sent it on a space flight with John Glenn in 1962. While the publicity stunt did wonders for the drink, even the astronauts admitted they didn’t like the flavor that much. That’s probably why you don’t see around that often as an available beverage.
Baseball Card Collections
Baseball cards are still in production, but their popularity has gone down in recent years. You used to be able to find them anywhere; toy stores, hobby shops, or even in cereal boxes. Some of these cards are incredibly rare and wildly expensive. But most big collections are only held by collectors, not necessarily big fans of the sport.
Rattan is an Old World climbing palm, basically a vine. They’ve been used to construct a verity of different types of furniture over the years, becoming particularly popular in the 1970s. While it fell out of favor for a while, rattan’s apparently expected to make a resurgence soon. Although, designer rattan furniture can be pretty expensive. It can cost between $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the style, brand, and age.
Corelle dishes were popular in the 1970s because they were sturdy. They used a three-layer glass laminate, the same type used for TV screens during World War II. However, any Corelle dishes made before the 1970s often had lead in them. Otherwise, it was reasonably priced, and is still pretty affordable today. Although that imbedded lead has made people more wary of buying any that isn’t brand new.
Crocheting was a popular hobby in the 1970s. As such, there were a lot of crocheted blankets. Crocheting is still done in the present, but larger blankets aren’t as likely to be seen around the average household. Many are still homemade, but you can also get one at a department store for $15 to $30.
Everyone knows what lava lamps are. And every kid and many adults still think they’re cool and fun to look at. Millions of them were sold in the 60s and early 70s. However, by the end of the 70s, sales had plummeted. Other than being a fun gimmick, they didn’t have much else to them.
People still set alarms to wake them early in the morning, but having dedicated alarm clocks is a rare occurrence nowadays. Especially when your phone has its own alarm setting. You can even set your alarm to play nice music as opposed to a siren. However, back in the 70s, there wasn’t much luxury of choice. You can still get a vintage alarm clock now, but you probably wouldn’t get it for its original function.
It was rare to find a house with these long, pendant lights back in the 70s. They were just one bulb and placed in a bubbled or curved lamp shade. Although, the pendant light style is out of style nowadays. They’re still in some use, but are rarely used as the primary light source in a room.
If you visit your grandmother’s house, you may recognize the brown floral pattern on her couch. You may also think that it’s a very ugly color. It was a popular design choice in the 1970s, but the same can’t be said in the present. It’s certainly a “vintage” design choice when it comes to interior design.
The 1970s were sort of a “Golden Age” for the audiophile. Stereo systems rose to prominence during this decade, able to blast one’s music throughout their house. People still use similar systems in the present, but they’re not quite as widely used as they used to be. Most people don’t feel the need to worry about blasting their music throughout their house anymore, especially if they have headphones. That’s mostly just for parties.
Shag carpeting and wood-paneling are hallmarks of the 1970s overall design. People still use carpeted floors, but if you’re trying to flip a house you’re better off tearing up that shag carpeting and putting something else down. These types of rugs were actually popular in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Turkey, being used to decorate palaces. In comparison, the shag carpet in America became associated with hippies.
Peanut Butter Maker
People don’t really buy peanut butter makers anymore because they’d rather just go to store and buy peanut butter. According to the packaging, a peanut butter maker would give you “rich, fresh” peanut butter that was truly homemade. Just poor the peanuts into the machine and rotate the crank. Of course, it still took a while and the peanut butter wasn’t exactly smooth.
Most people don’t really even use wallpaper all that much, instead opting to paint the home. While it’s fallen out of style since the 70s, it seems to be making a resurgence. It’s more reversible than a paint job after all. But the patterns are completely different. Sequined designs, chevron stripes, and other designs gave an overall psychedelic feel.
Before people could type on a computer, people still used typewriters. And the electric typewriter blew people’s minds when it first came out. It was a must-have for offices and homes. People actually thought that they’d be typing on typewriters forever. Of course, these are no fully obsolete.
Wallpaper may be having a resurgence, but it’s hard to same thing about wallpaper on the ceiling. In the 70s, a wallpapered ceiling was a sign of dedication decoration. However, it’s now a sign of outdated interior design. The overall effect can be claustrophobia-inducing, having you surrounded on all sides by the wackiest patterns.