Starting when vintage portable radios were finally small enough to be carried in the 1950s, through when they got almost too big to carry in the ’80s, here’s a little sound history of AM & FM radios from the days of transistors onward.
Vintage inventions & discoveries
Who invented television? Unfortunately for anyone looking for a quick answer, the first TV sets weren’t made by one single person — there were several inventors who were incredibly important to its creation and evolution. Here’s a look!
When you look back at how people talked about and used computers in the 1960s, it’s easy to get a feel for how exciting the technological advances were at the time. It was a whole new wild frontier.
Here’s the original press release that a small company called Apple released back in 1984, announcing the launch of their new Macintosh personal computer – the first mass-market PC with both a graphical user interface and a mouse.
Check out some of the vintage Cessna propeller planes you could buy back in the fifties, sixties and seventies. They were popular for business use, but were also owned by celebrities and hobbyists.
Find out about the famous B-17 Flying Fortress planes from WWII – how they were invented, built, tested and used – and what happened to them after the war was finally over.
ternational long-distance phone calls for ‘only’ $12 for the first three minutes? And this old ad said that price was low. See more about what it took to dial abroad back in the sixties here!
United States astronauts who go to the moon may wear headgear designed and produced by a ladies’ milliner.
Back in 1920, lots of people – including media and leading scientists – thought there was an active society on Mars, and that the Martians wanted to talk to us. Find out why they believe that here.
When the old Victrola record players were first introduced, those turntables were some cutting-edge tech. Here’s a look at the history of the famous Victor Talking Machines!
These vintage personal computers from the ’80s weren’t just expensive, but some had hard drives so small that just one of these old PC ad images would have maxed them out.
The 1970s personal computer revolution began as those ingenious devices that put men on the moon, revolutionized science, and perplexed millions were finding their way into the home.
Edward Jenner, the discoverer of vaccination – including the smallpox vaccine – and one of the greatest benefactors of the human race, performed his first test experiment in 1796.
The dance music of the Edison Phonograph is irresistible. It offers the most fascinating waltzes and spirited two-steps of the world’s, great composers as well as the popular dance music of the hour.
What was vintage ’80s tech like? The Good Guys were a big consumer electronics specialty retailer selling brand-name audio and video gear. See the hottest retro TVs, stereos and more from 1987!
Whether plain or fancy, antique kerosene lamps like these were more than home decor – they made it possible for people to work and play late into the night. Find out more here!
Did Coca-Cola once have cocaine in it? Amazingly, yes. Originally marketed as a health drink when it debuted in the 1880s, Coca-Cola was said to cure everything from a migraine (aka “sick headache”) to physical exhaustion to depression.
When these vintage Zenith ‘Space Command’ TV remote controls first came out, they were revolutionary tech – and everyone wanted one.
Here’s a little guide from the thirties to teach people how to make art using their vintage manual typewriters – pretty much old-fashioned ascii art and old-school smileys!
What’s the history of golf balls? The first ones were made of leather of untanned bull’s hide – but golf balls have changed a lot over the years. Here’s a look!
These retro cash registers were big news because they showed the prices, item types, total purchased, tax (if any), money or check given checker, and exact change due.
Winchester rifles for all kinds of hunting (1905) Winchester rifles are not the choice of any one special class, but of all intelligent sportsmen who go to the
Lennie’s Story: How Hub Prodigy, Bernstein, became “Nation’s No. 1 Musician.” What kind of man, husband and father is Boston’s musical genius, Leonard Bernstein? When
When color TV was first invented, people wondered if you could convert a black & white TV to color, and which shows would appear in color – and when. Here are some of the answers they were given.
The measles vaccine was invented because it was a common but dangerous disease that could cause inflammation of the brain – and could also be fatal.
Known as the speaking clock or POPCORN, calling the phone company for the time was a handy service helped people reset clocks years ago.
Inventor Thomas Edison’s mansion home in New Jersey housed both new inventions and priceless antiques – and was where his children were born, and where he died.
Imagine being able to call someone when you *weren’t at home*! It was a big deal back in the day. See the history of vintage payphones & phonebooths here!
For years, curious kids have loved experimenting with vintage chemistry sets and science kits like these with countless things to explore!
Back in 1961, a little 37-pound chimpanzee named Ham helped pave the way for human astronauts to launch into space.
If you grew up in the age of film, you will know the excitement that came from vintage instant cameras, like these ones from Polaroid and Kodak.
Nikola Tesla’s life story is notable, as he saw the world of the covered wagon turn into today’s world of electricity & electronics – and he was a big part of how that happened.
Albert Einstein was a man whose life, philosophies, discoveries and theories changed the way we looked at the world, and at life itself. Find out about him here.
While demonstrating a prototype of the Boeing 707 passenger jet, the pilot decided to show just how remarkable the plane was… and flew it upside down. Twice.
Remember that little toy from the 70s where you pressed on the back with your finger and it changed colors? Find out about Space Fidgits here.
Cash register history goes back to the Victorian era, and were used to both streamline accounting, and to keep cashiers from stealing money. Find out more here!
This new, revolutionary wall-mounted refrigerator and freezer that hangs from the wall is a completely new and advanced concept of modern living. Truly, it is the most convenient and magnificent refrigerator-freezer ever produced!
Imagine getting paid to think up the wildest retro-futuristic space-age inventions. Back in the ’50s-’60s, that’s what commercial artist Arthur Radebaugh got to do.
Watches are popular gift items, and as many as seven out of every 10 digital watches are bought by customers as gifts for someone else. Prices begin as low as about $10 and run up into the hundreds of dollars for either of two different types of digital watches.
Back in the late ’80s we were happy for some of the first laptop computers, despite being big and heavy with tiny hard drives and huge price tags.
Swatch was a quartz watch introduced in 1983 that had bold colors and zappy graphics, and became one of the hottest trends of the 1980s.
Clyde Tombaugh, a Kansas farmer, loved astronomy, and cemented his name in history by discovering Pluto. Here’s how he found it.
Find out how X-rays were discovered, see the earliest X-rays, learn where the name came from, and meet Wilhelm Röntgen – the man behind the innovation.
Jack Swigert, the emergency substitute member of the Apollo 13 crew, is a swinging bachelor with a playboy-type pad — but he would rather fly than play.
If you need a book, you used to need to look for the most important item in the library — the vintage card catalog.
What was the Canon Cat? They called it a Work Processor. It could help write and edit, communicate and calculate. It would even dial a phone.
They weren’t cheap, but these vintage Kodak home movie cameras were really popular, and helped people save moving-picture memories.
This popular fast food chain started small in the ’50s, but grew the business & kept the menu small. Look back at vintage Taco Bell restaurants & food here!
Vintage cordless phones were the essential step between wired pushbutton phones and today’s modern cell phones. Here’s a look back at the telephone tech from the ’80s!
What did the future look like from the ’60s? See some modernist-style retro futuristic home concepts that captured the midcentury era’s sleek style and space-age optimism.
The invention of the dishwasher was a kitchen game-changer, and cleanly earned its inventor, Josephine Garis Cochrane, a spot-free finish in history.
Have you ever wondered where products like Formula 409, 7-Up, WD-40 and Preparation H got those famous vintage brand names? Find out here.