While I did not exactly grow up in the horse and buggy era, I have witnessed many
innovations in my lifetime that absolutely thrill me. You have to have gone without to appreciate what we now have.
I love the instant communication that is available through email. I’m not denigrating
the U.S. Postal Service. Think of being able to mail first class letters for 3 cents. THREE CENTS!
And let’s not forget the penny postcards! V-mail during WWII was how we wrote to our military in distant lands.
Take cars, for example. I remember a time when cars did not include heaters. You had to specify that option and pay extra for it.
No turn signals. I don’t know about other parts of the U.S., but in Minnesota, a driver would open the door on his left to signal a left turn. Too cold to crank down the window and the operative word is “crank.” No push button to open one.
Of course no air conditioning either and we’d open all the windows to catch a breeze. You can picture what it did to a woman’s hairdo!
One also purchased seat covers to protect the front seat so it would remain in pristine
condition when it was traded in.
I am horrified today when I think of how parents transported their toddlers in cars without seat
belts. The little ones stood on the front seat beside the driver and if a sudden stop was necessary, the driver’s right arm shot out to keep them from falling forward.
In the pre-computer era, when I learned to type, the keyboard had no letters so we had to memorize the locations. No self-correcting ribbon, no spell check, no electricity.
No Dictaphones. Secretaries took the letters down in shorthand, thus wasting two people’s time.
Long distance phone calls were handled by a telephone operator. In my working days, direct dialing came into being, at first, by the telephone operator. I recall working for a lumber broker and placed a call for my boss to a mill on the West Coast and he was amazed at the speed at which he was connected.
Now, we not only place the call but also can see the person to whom we are speaking.
These are only a few examples we take for granted.
Yesteryear’s luxuries have become today’s necessities.