Who would’ve thought it?
Back then I would never have believed it and would probably have said it was Science Fiction and stop messing me about!
In quiet moments my mind strays, and every now and then it takes a gentle stroll to days gone by. Today my time travelling thoughts have been occupied by technology, and not for the first time I marvel at the technical transformation and domestic evolution that I’ve been privileged to witness.
When the hubby and I were first married, it was common practice for people (especially young couples) to hire their white goods, though back then we didn’t have a collective name for them. Hubby and I hired a black and white television from ‘Radio Rentals’. We also hired a twin tub washing machine. The twin tub machine was a worthwhile and welcome addition to our home, especially when you consider what was available to my mother in her early married life.
Unusually for that era, we were a two car couple; very few women could drive and especially so within the working classes. Never one to be held back, by the time I reached my twenties I was already behind the wheel of my first car, a blue mini. Depite being a rust bucket the car was my pride and joy. I try to forget that I had to be rescued several times by the breakdown truck and that soon after buying it the driver’s door fell off! It was replaced in less than a year with a more reliable Wolseley Hornet (basically a mini) and was twotone grey just like the 60’s/70s style telephone below.
Moving on… VCRs (Video Cassette Recorder) and the like were unheard of, the mobile phone was still to be invented and the hard wired house phone was owned in only 35% of British households. (UK stats.com)
It was to be another four or five years before we bought our very own colour TV, we were overcome with excitement, the ‘Magic Roundabout’ in colour! The following year, as our fortunes improved and upon the birth of our second child, the hubby surprised me with the purchase of an automatic washing machine and a tumble dryer. Almost overnight my life was transformed, I had my own private launderette in my kitchen and from a female perspective there has been little else since that has had such an impact on our lives.
Fast forward a couple of years and we acquired our first video recorder. VCRs were a recent introduction to the UK and were used merely to record television programs. Many families hadn’t yet made the change to colour television and the newly introduced VCR was still out of reach to the masses, so we felt very fortunate to be ahead of the game.
Before long, video stores sprung up in towns and villages around the country, and we were able to borrow (for a fee) movies that had been released to the cinema just a year or so before. For our children this was a delight not to be missed, popcorn was purchased and my personal favourite ‘Poor Bens’, to be enjoyed during our very own family movie nights.
The next big change was the introduction of the home computer and whereas the children of our friends owned a machine; ours showed little interest, as did the hubby, though we all enjoyed playing on the Atari. Eventually, slightly later than others, our first computer was purchased, it was acquired for my personal use and thus began my love and fascination with computers and new technology.
Move on a few short years and we discovered the home camcorder, or to be more precise the video camera and a new found interest in filming our own videos began. We acquired the camera when our son was a baby, and I’m ashamed to say that most of our tapes are probably of him! These days, I’m unlikely to go anywhere without a digital camera in tow.
The next big thing (literally) to grace our home was the mobile phone; and I have to pass comment on how fascinating it’s been to observe how the handset has evolved into a very useful miniature piece of multimedia.
If I had to choose one machine over another which would it be? My PC, laptop, iPad or iPhone, each is used with equal measure, though that said, I think I would choose the laptop, mainly because of the software that I’m loath to live without and of course its portability when compared to the PC.
There have been countless changes to technology and the domestic front that are too numerous to mention here, though for those with a real interest, I’m sure there will be a published timeline somewhere in cyberspace!
Watching the future evolve has been remarkable, taking part has been an exciting process, and as I said at the start, it’s been a privilege to live my life during eras that saw not only the introduction of new technology and some of the biggest changes to it, but to a lifestyle that was unimaginable fifty years ago.