25 Facts From The Past That Might Stun The Present Generations

Published 2 months ago

The vast expanse of the internet, particularly platforms like Reddit, serves as an invaluable space for the exchange of knowledge and experiences.

Recently, a Reddit user initiated a captivating discussion, asking older adults to share their favorite “pieces of trivia” that may be familiar to their generation but not as well-known among younger cohorts. The responses poured in, offering a delightful array of insights into the unique knowledge that has stood the test of time.

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Image source: AlexMango44, Annie Spratt

That it was normal for an entire household to share a single phone number.


Image source: ethottly, Kenny Eliason

Phone numbers were memorized, and there was no speed dial, caller ID, or voicemail. I still remember my home # and my best friend’s # from 50+ years ago.


Image source: robot_pirate, YoItsCapture

The world was way more colorful.

Cars were cool colors, not just gray, white or black. Like, a mall parking lot would look spectacular.

Now it seems like everywhere is just a ubiquitous, low profile, architecturally acceptable sea of blah.


Image source: BreakfastBeerz, Aleks Dorohovich

That when you watched TV you had to watch what was on and if you wanted to watch something in particular, you had to wait for it to come on.


Image source: LeeAnnLongsocks, notavailable_name

We used to make our Christmas or birthday wish list from looking in a Sears & Roebuck (or other store’s) catalog. You could actually order and pay for things via snail mail, and it was safe to do so.


Image source: oldcatsarecute, Markus Spiske

Ashtrays everywhere. Homes, businesses, restaurants, hospitals, malls, schools (designated area), etc. Even if you didn’t smoke you had ashtrays, at least on your coffee table, for guests.


Image source: mr_roborto, Kelly Sikkema

My boss blew my young co-workers mind the other day when she explained that there is a special kind of black paper, that you can put between two regular pieces of paper, and when you write on the top one, it shows up on the bottom one!


Image source: LCCR_2028, Matthew Turner

Not that long ago, but you no security screening at airports. You could literally walk the person to the boarding area and watch them board the plane.


MTV was all music.

Image source: TKERaider


Image source: PawzzClawzz, cottonbro studio

There were telephones EVERYWHERE. Streets, shops, sidewalk corners, etc., etc.

You paid for calls with COINS.


Image source: LosBrad, mautkananganach

When the internet first came out, you couldn’t talk on the phone and be online at the same time.


Image source: Logybayer, Pixabay

There was a room called the “coal room” in the basement of our house. We’d shovel coal from that room into a coal furnace to heat our house. The coal was delivered by a truck that had a coal chute that was inserted through a basement window in the coal room.


Image source: Heavy-Week5518, Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas

At one time, Top 40 radio was comprised of real musicians and singers.


Image source: Nightmare_Gerbil, Michael Brennan

When you went to a concert, you made sure to take a lighter — even if you didn’t smoke.


Image source: shavemejesus, Denelson83

Tv stations used to just go off at midnight. They would play a test pattern and a tone until resuming broadcasting around 6am.


Image source: mrxexon, Annie Spratt

Houses in the same area had to share a telephone “party line”. And you could listen in to their conversations.

Unless you sneezed or something…


Image source: Linzcro, Pascal Borener

I’m just old enough to remember smoking on planes. It still blows my mind that that was a thing!


Every year I teach my students about Y2K and they think it’s hilarious.

Image source: pupsnpogonas


Image source: walkawaysux, No Revisions

Milk was delivered to your house every week in a gallon glass bottle.


Image source: littlemissnoname-, Dominika Roseclay

My 20 yo son liked this one:

When driving to anywhere new, you had to get directions or stop at the gas station and ask for them…

Or you could buy a map/atlas.


Image source: jmac94wp, CardMapr.nl

My adult children and all their friends didn’t believe me when I first told them that married women weren’t allowed to have a credit card in their own name until 1974. Before that, they could only have one through their husband.


Image source: GshNAttck, Min An

There used to be a phone number you could call to get the time. It would update every 10 seconds. “At the tone the time will be…”


Image source: No_Worldliness_6803, Arz

Cigarette machines pretty much everywhere, as long as you put the money in you could get a pack of smokes no matter what age you were


No ATM or debit cards. You would have to withdraw enough cash to cover you for the weekend, since the banks were closed.

Image source: renushka


Image source: shkilo, Sam Barber

Leaving kids in the car to run into a store was no big deal.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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