A bygone era; things rarely present in homes anymore

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Ever walk into a house and see something that reminded you of your childhood, but suddenly realize that little amenity or object is no longer present in today’s homes? Like the niche in a 1940s hallway wall meant to contain “the telephone?”

While these features can evoke a warm sense of nostalgia, we know that the world has moved on from them or found better ways to get through life without them.

Hot107.9’s Chris Reed offers a list that may remind you of your parents’ or grandparents’ homes, saying not all of them are missed, but many are remembered nonetheless.

A set of encyclopedias once showed visitors that a family cared about knowledge. Parents looked things up in them either out of curiosity or for “teaching moments.” And kids used them for school papers and projects. Just about every house in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s had a collection of Britannica, World Book, or Funk & Wagnall on a shelf somewhere. Once the internet became more accessible (remember when we had one huge family computer we all fought over using?), these books were left on the shelves to collect dust. And now, they've either been removed or replaced.

Remember how excited we once were to get a roll of film developed? Reed says that as a kid he had a drawer of film to be developed at his house. “Not only that, we also had drawers of shiny, paper-backed photos that had been developed. In the digital age, those things are long gone and nowhere to be found in homes. And to be honest, I sort of miss these.”

How about a globe? Globes, big or small, were not just a piece of the decor in many American homes. They were a sign that there lived a family that was curious about the world. Parents could point out just how far Australia was (and why their winter was our summer) and kids spun them, perhaps dreaming about traveling to places unknown.

Landline telephones are all but gone. Until caller ID and voicemail, you didn't know who was on the other end of the line until you picked up the phone. And if you didn’t pick up at all, the caller assumed no one was home. A simple equation. With mobile phones and internet access, these phones are like dinosaurs — ancient and often seen only in movies.

Reed recalls thinking as a kid that if someone had a piano in their home, they were rich. “Now, you can buy used pianos online for like $100.” Reed admits that back in the day even if no one had musical talent, pianos made great statement pieces and that while they still do exist in homes today, they aren't as prevalent. There was a time, however, that parents would sacrifice to make sure their children learned to play the piano. And many of today’s virtuoso musicians say that if it weren’t for their mothers’ nagging that they continue lessons, they’d have no careers. Think Billy Joel.

Many folks have ditched DVD players and VCRs, but not all, just as vinyl record players are still around. “With streaming services today, every movie is out there somewhere, thus you don't have to collect DVDs or tapes that just collect dust and take up space,” says Reed. We had a DVD player in storage and recently we got rid of it without even blinking an eye. They're useless now.”

Ashtrays. Everywhere. Some were actually beautiful decor pieces. Remember when people actually smoked in their homes? “I can still smell it today,” says Reed. “Fewer and fewer people smoke now, and those who do take the habit outside.”

While fake flowers are still around, it’s rare to see fake fruit except in a model home. In the 80s and 90s many used fake fruit, in a basket, as a form of decor. “All that this did was collect dust and have kids reaching for them,” says Reed. “I'll never forget throwing out fake fruit years ago and seeing the amount of dust on it. Gross.”

Because religion is no longer as big a priority as it once was, it’s rare that you’ll see many religious figures scattered throughout a house — items like a huge last supper photo or the picture of Jesus standing at a cottage door looking sideways. They were statements about the importance of faith for many families, but showing it off is no longer in style these days.

Remember that huge clock that hung over your grandparents’ mantle? Like other things already mentioned here, this too has been replaced with technology. Smaller more sophisticated clocks are found in homes, while large wooden clocks have been pushed aside.

Home features decor and amenities have, admittedly, changed a lot. For instance doorknobs are now rare, having been usurped by levers. Top loading washers and dryers are still made, but are out of favor. Step-down sunken living rooms are not built into floor plans much any more, probably due to hundreds of broken ankles. Breakfast nooks have been eclipsed by huge kitchen islands with bar stools. Builders know no one wants to bang their heads on dangling ceiling-hung kitchen cabinets over a peninsula, and entire walls between rooms are now often non-existent. “Sight lines” are all the rage but are practical as well. Who wants to be cut off from activities happening in living areas just because they’re preparing dinner?

Still, it’s fun to remember those simpler times in our parents’ or grandparents’ homes, where reminders of their era were everywhere. In some small way, some of these outdated amenities became part of us. And that’s not all bad.

Hot107.9, TBWS


All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

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Brian Voytko

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The Mortgage Whiz

Company NMLS: 338923

Cell: 215-407-3832

Email: BVoytko@PRMG.net

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Brian Voytko

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Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

Cell: 215-407-3832


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