The prompt today made me think about other inventions or devices that younger people today have no experience with or memory of, a percolator included. I don’t recall my parents having one of those, but something I distinctly remember using was my grandmother’s rotary dial phone. I didn’t know anyone else who had one, and it was mounted on the wall in her kitchen, right next to the fridge. You had to use the eraser end of a pencil to spin the dial around, and I always thought our touch tone phone was boring compared to it. After she died, we cleaned out her apartment, and I don’t know what happened to that phone. I would love to have it, or at least get a rotary dial phone, just for memory’s sake…and to confuse the shit out of people that come to our house.
Another wonder of the past I don’t think young people, and by that I’m including teenagers and 20-somethings, have any experience with are typewriters. Not computers, not word processors…typewriters. You know, you put the sheet of paper in the top, you clack away on the keys, and when you get to the end of the line, you push the carriage back so you can start on the next line. When I was in grammar school, the school secretary still used a typewriter to type up bulletins, memos, notices, stuff like that, and one time she let me try it out. I hadn’t ever used a computer before by that point, and I didn’t know anyone who had one, much less had used one, so it took me about 10 minutes to type my name because I had to find all the letters. Now, I can type over 100 wpm, so typing my name takes less than a second. If I could splurge and buy any one thing just to have sitting around, it would be a typewriter. I love those things.