9 Vintage Versions Of Modern Technology That Prove Humans Are Pretty Creative

As Millenials, we were lucky enough to be born in a time where we’re surrounded by technology. It makes us more efficient, doubles our productivity and makes the most difficult of tasks doable. Honestly, we’d be lost without it.
But have you ever stopped to think what the world was like before things happened at the touch of a button?

Here’s a little glance into the past.

1. Communication

Way before smartphones existed, there were Rotary dial phones. The first use of a dial phone was in 1892 in La Porte, Indiana based on an 1891 patent by Almon Brown Strowger, and it was the earliest mass-produced user controlled phone. They were popular until the 1980’s when the push-button phones were invented.

2. Personal Word Processing

A word processor is a device or a software application that composes, edits, formats, and prints documents. In the 1960s, it was a stand-alone office machine, combining the keyboard text-entry and printing functions of an electric typewriter with a recording unit.
But as the more versatile combination of personal computers and printers became common, word processors evolved dramatically as software programs.
Today, Microsoft Word is the most widely used word processing software.

3. Sewing

The design for the first American sewing machine was introduced in 1846 and could sew faster and more effectively than by hand. The first electronic sewing machine was the Singer Athena introduced in 1975.

4. Smartwatches

The world’s first smartwatch was the HP-01, made in 1977 by Hewlett-Packard. It had a timer, stopwatch, calendar, reminder, alarm clock, calculator, and daily planner. Users could only interact with it by clicking its 28 buttons with a stylus. In comparison, today’s smartwatches can perform a range of functions, allowing you to browse the internet, make calls, even keeping track of your fitness.

5. Automobiles

The year 1886 is regarded the year of birth of the modern automobile – with the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, by German inventor Carl Benz. The two-seater vehicle featured a compact high-speed single-cylinder four-stroke engine and a tubular steel frame with three wire-spoked wheels.
We’ve come a long way since then, with the automobile industry poised to launch vehicles with zero emission, and concrete attempts being made at developing flight enabled cars.

6. Television

The earliest ancestor of modern television was the Octagon. Made by General Electric in 1928, it used a rotating disc technology to display images on its three-inch screen. Over the decades, buttons have replaced knobs and dials, and the TV, besides getting slimmer, has also gotten smarter.

7. Music Streaming

In 1906, music was streamed over the telephone by the massive machine called the telharmonium, invented by Thaddeus Cahill. All listeners had to do was call their telephone switchboard operator and request a connection to the telharmonium station. Today, of course, things are much simpler, with a variety of digital music services offering us access to millions of songs at a single click.

8. Gaming

Back in the 1950s, to assure residents that their nuclear laboratory on Long Island, New York, was completely safe, the scientists organized a “Visitors’ Day” for people come in and see the facility. To make things more interesting, William Higinbotham (one of the lab’s nuclear scientists) connected a CRT screen called an oscilloscope to an old analog computer and added some controls and tweaks, creating the world’s first video game. He called it “Tennis for Two.”

9. Portable Computers

The first portable computer in the world was the Osborne 1 and was invented by Adam Osborne of in April 1981. It had a fully detachable keyboard, two disk drives, and a 5″ monitor. Weighing in at 11kg, it sold for $1,795 and was a huge success, despite lacking a built-in battery.

Guess I won’t be complaining about how heavy my laptop is again!

Design Credits: Nandini Naidu

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