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Technology

The gadgets and machines of the past 150 years

From homes to farms to mines - to the moon. These are the everyday gadgets, utensils, and machines that we've used in daily life plus their inventors and the people who used them.

I know of at least one Boomer (me) who still has trouble remembering that you don't have to go to the library or find an encyclopedia to get answers to your questions. We no longer need to go down to the river, or turn a crank, to wash our clothes. We don't have to hang our laundry on the line to dry it. We don't have to walk 2 miles to school, carry groceries home, or spend days to travel to see relatives. We don't have to peer at a small, blurry, black and white television screen, listen to the radio and imagine our favorite characters, or churn butter. We don't need CDs or records to listen to a music; memorize a phone number; peer at the small print in a phone book; do arithmetic in our heads; look at clock hands; keep boxes of photos; figure out the VCR; cut articles out of the newspaper; use a phone booth; write a letter; or keep our old checks. Even in the past 2 decades life has changed for most of us - due to technology.

In the past 50 years, these are just some of the technologies that have changed our lives:

  • TV remote controls - leading to remotes for almost everything.
  • Jet airliners - making travel faster, cheaper, and (sometimes) more comfortable.
  • Microwave ovens - making heating and cooking easier and faster.
  • Cordless tools - no longer tethered to an outlet!
  • Communications satellites - allowing the world to connect.
  • The calculator - well, you know!
  • The LED - used in almost everything.
  • The ATM - just get your bank business done and you're out.
  • The computer and the mouse - and email and computer games!
  • The internet - how you can read this.
  • Cordless phones . . . and then the cellphone!
  • GPS

There have always been people who fear new technology and those who embrace it. When electricity was first introduced, people were scared of being electrocuted in their own homes! And yet, we adapt and thrive. These are the photos of how we used to do things and of new technologies (at the time) that changed our lives. Such changes in such a short span of human history!

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A photo of Fae Smith
Shared on Jun 10, 2015 by
A photo of Lilian Catherine (Rae) Aitchison
Shared on Dec 9, 2014 by
Albert William Webb with his steamroller: Albert was the husband of my great... more
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Shared on Sep 20, 2014 by
Taken in El Paso, El Paso County, TX.
A photo of Pascual Martel Jr.
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Shared on Aug 24, 2014 by
Taken at Berger Paints., Rhodes, NSW Australia in .
A photo of Fay Patricia (Hope) Byrnes
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Shared on Jul 25, 2014 by
Taken .
Dorothy Harris' Aunts: Typical wash day, about 1905-10...not sure who is who... more
Shared on Apr 2, 2014 by
Taken in SK Canada.
My Aunt June Hickey (Lilly's - Lillian Maude Smith's granddaughter) used to... more
Shared on Jan 19, 2014 by
A photo of Nicholas J Keller
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Shared on May 22, 2013 by
Taken at Edison Estate, FL United States of America.
Taken by Harry W. Van Noy, at the Edison Estate. Thomas Alva Edison (1847 -... more
Shared on Feb 27, 2013 by
Taken in Lakeland, Polk County, Florida in .
Frances Crawford, Lakeland Florida, USA. 1938
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Taken in Lakeland, FL United States of America in .
Elizabeth Persons, Lakeland Florida, USA. 1939
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Shared on Dec 8, 2012 by
Taken in Athens, OH United States of America in .
Norman Kuegler, Athens Ohio, USA. 1938
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Shared on Nov 21, 2012 by
A photo of Roy Bigcrane, Flowing Waters
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Shared on Jul 20 by
Taken at Graceland, Memphis, Shelby County, TN in .
This photo is of the tv room, one of Elvis Presley’s favorite rooms in... more
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Taken in St Albans, Hertfordshire County, England United Kingdom in .
A photo of Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde on their wedding day, 1965. Stephen... more
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Taken in .
A photo of the founders of Intel in 1968 - the year that Intel was formed.... more
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A photo of Elbert Julian
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Shared on Dec 18, 2017 by
Taken in .
A photo for that new convenience - the electric stove! A standalone unit, it... more
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Taken in .
A photo of the G.E. Monitor Top refrigerator from the 1930's. It was... more
Shared on Oct 4, 2017 by
Taken in San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA in .
I’ve “rescued” an old photograph identified as that of Benjamin E.... more
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A photo of Alva Kyle Phillips
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Thomas Milsom is in this photo. Sorry, I do not have anymore details.
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Shared on Jan 22, 2017 by
Taken in .
A photo of the computing staff at Harvard University's astronomy department... more
Shared on Jan 12, 2017 by
A photo of Mary (Winston) Jackson, a mathematician and engineer at NASA.
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A photo of Mabel Roy Mouton who was Assistant Chief of Research Programs at... more
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A photo of Katherine Johnson who worked for NASA and was responsible for... more
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A photo of Dorothy Vaughan. Dorothy was the acting head of the West Area... more
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Taken in .
A photo of a flu mask touted by Popular Science Magazine during the 1918... more
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Taken in Fulton County, PA in .
My Grandfather, John Mort is the person to the left of the person on the... more
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A photo of Edward W Prendergast and Albert Einstein
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