Tech Products From The ’60s And ’70s Everyone Had To Have

The ’60s and ’70s were an exciting time for anyone obsessed with technology. As countries raced to land a man first, advancements in technology soared higher than ever before.. While the ’60s had a fair share of cool technological products, the ’70s brought high tech toys and consumer computers to the market for the first time. If you want to see what these decades brought us, take a stroll down memory lane and see the coolest tech from the ’60s and ’70s.

The ’70s – Atari 2600

2600
Oliver Berg/picture alliance via Getty Images
Oliver Berg/picture alliance via Getty Images

Before the Atari 2600 came along in 1977, gamers had it tough. We say that because each game required its own console to play it. That would be like today if you bought a new video game, and also had to purchase a new $400 system to play it every time.

Thankfully, the Atari 2600 changed that by adding a small computer into the system. That’s how it became the first interchangeable video game system. All you had to do was switch cartridges.

The ’60s – Pocket Transistor Radio

young girl
Karl Schnörrer/picture alliance via Getty Images
Karl Schnörrer/picture alliance via Getty Images

The ’60s were a wonderful time to be alive if you were young and enjoyed listening to the radio. Teenagers went crazy over the pocket transistor radios, similarly to how they go wild over smartphones today.

The quality might have been low, but it provided the news and music on the go, so some muffled sound was an okay sacrifice. The space-age styling also made it an irresistible grab among the youth and even the adults.

The ’70s – Apple II computer

close up
SSPL/Getty Images
SSPL/Getty Images

Much like any company that’s had success for multiple decades, Apple’s improvement over the years is immaculate. As they keep up with the times and help guide us into the future, one can’t forget how it used to be.

While we might have Apple Watches and noise-canceling Airpods now, they wouldn’t have existed without the success of the Apple II computer. It was an 8-bit thing of beauty that came out in 1977. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was the man behind the design.

The ’60s – Philips Tape Recorder

a classic
Pinot Dita/flickr
Pinot Dita/flickr

The Phillips E3300 cassette tape recorder was the world’s first cassette tape recorder. That made it one of the coolest pieces of tech by default, but the added microphone it came with so you could record your voice made it even better.

It was very high quality but also very expensive. Some people still use them today and even suggest that others should consider picking one up. They might not look like much today but back then was cutting edge technology.

The ’70s – Pulsar P1

watch
sluxi/Pinterest
sluxi/Pinterest

It might not be a smartwatch or a Rolex, but it was the first of its kind. In 1972, the Pulsar P1 released and latched onto many wealthy wrists. And there was one distinct thing that made it special.

The Pulsar P1 was the first digital watch encased with 18-karat gold. If you had one of these you were quite popular as it’s price tag was pretty steep. It would set you back $2,100 when it first came out.

The ’60s – Easy-Bake Oven

oven
eBay.com
eBay.com

It might’ve been for the kids, but even adults drew interest in this product. The Easy-Bake Oven is a product that’s stood the test of time, but its initial release in 1963 saw the biggest reaction.

This device allowed aspiring young chefs to bake up some cakes and biscuits with ease. Back then, they used incandescent lightbulbs to provide the heat, but today they’ve added real heating elements. They would sell millions by the end of the decade.

The ’70s – The Dustbuster

dust buster
StanleyBlkDeckr/Twitter
StanleyBlkDeckr/Twitter

Did you know that Honey Nut Cheerios and Tostitos first hit the shelves of grocery markets in 1979? How fitting is it the DustBuster first came out that year as well?

There was no better way to clean up your crumbs than with The DustBuster. It was small, portable, and efficient. While it was released in ’79, it would really become a staple of the ’80s. It even made an appearance in Back to the Future II as an antique.

The ’60s – Dansette Record Player

record player
Express Newspapers/Getty Images
Express Newspapers/Getty Images

The ’60s helped usher a new way for music lovers to enjoy how they consume their tunes with the Dansette Record Player. There were stories of people lining up outside of the warehouse just to get their orders made.

With the pop music scene starting to explode, these record players became in high demand. They were around the size of a suitcase and had a handle, enabling them to be quite portable. Thanks to technology getting better by the end of the ’60s (stereo, hi-fi) they fell from grace but they were still a hot ticket before then.

The ’70s – Panasonic TR-001 IC TV

portable TV
Pinterest
Pinterest

Decades before our smart devices included Netflix, there was the Panasonic TR-001 IC TV. That’s right, people could watch TV on the move dating back to 1970 thanks to Panasonic.

This was the world’s first pocket TV, so we’re glad things eventually upgraded, but in the ’70s this was a great technological advancement. It had an obscure shape with a square, tiny screen. It resembled a video recorder more than anything else. The best part is that it could fit in your pocket.

The ’60s – Kodak Instamatic Camera

Taking Pic
ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images
ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

The first taste of Instagram came about in the ’60s thanks tot he Kodak Instamatic Camera. Many people experienced the wonderful world of photography when Kodak released this precious piece of tech.

They weren’t expensive and you could load up 126 cartridges of film quite easy. What’s even better is that they had a print service built into the camera. The Instamatic 50 first released in February of ’63 and they saw success almost immediately. People love taking pictures!

The ’70s – Pong Game Console

console
INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images
INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Forget about modern video games and break out the Pong! One of the most simple, yet satisfying games to date, Pong started the wave of home video games. Atari released a Pong console in 1975 that would only play Pong varieties.

You didn’t need a cartridge for it and you could buy it through the Sears catalog. Knock-offs quickly came out after it, but it remained the hottest thing on the market until the Atari of 1977.

The ’60s – Philishave Battery Shaver

shaver
eBay
eBay

Men who loved donning the fresh baby face had a field day when this thing came out. The Philishave Battery Shaver was released in 1967 and had a sleek look that could pass even today.

The rotating heads on this machine highly resembled the air intakes of jet engines. That surely made men want to own one even more. Not only that, but they were perfect to throw in your carry-on luggage thanks to being so compact.

The ’70s – Sony Walkman

prototype
YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Walkman was a game-changer in the world of audio. To be able to walk around and listen to quality sounding music to everyone’s ears. In 1978, Sony blessed everyone with their first Sony Walkman.

The story behind this thing is pretty funny. The company only made this for the co-chairman Masaru Ibuka for a special reason. He wanted it so that he could enjoy opera music while flying overseas. That’s a smart man.

The ’60s – Trimphone

up close and personal
SSPL/Getty Images
SSPL/Getty Images

No, there weren’t any mobile phones in the sixties, but there was something that could be the next best thing. The trimphone had a stretchable curly cord and a long cable so you could easily carry it around the house.

This was the first phone that didn’t have a ringer but had an electronic warble imitated by birds for the ring tone. At the time, it was modern and very stylish, coming in multiple color styles (grey/green, two-tone blue, or grey/white).

The ’70s – Commodore PET

personal computer
Bernd Thissen/picture alliance via Getty Images
Bernd Thissen/picture alliance via Getty Images

Businesses like to play tricky games, which is why they don’t trust each other often. Six months after seeing the prototype to the Apple II (featured earlier), the Commodore Pet came out to the public.

Steve Jobs even offered to sell the Apple II to the company, but they turned that offer down. Instead, they made this, which was the first all-in-one PET. This is equivalent to copying off of your friend’s homework but trying to make it look a bit different so you don’t get caught.

The ’60s – Polaroid Swinger

the photography
Wassilios Aswestopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Wassilios Aswestopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images

You can’t include tech from the ’60s and ’70s without including one of the most iconic pieces of tech ever, the Polaroid. The Polaroid Swinger was another picture-taking device that provided its users with instant pictures.

It first hit the market in the UK in 1966. When the Polaroid Swinger came out, TV was in black and white so the pictures were as well. That didn’t stop it from being a huge hit as a gift.

The ’70s – Motorola DynaTAC

a cellular device
Wikipedia/Rico Shen
Wikipedia/Rico Shen

We’ve for sure come a long way since the ’70s when it comes to cellular devices. There are some that are about the size of your palm that work even better than the kind from the early 2000s.

The first cell phone ever to go on sale to the public was the Motorola DynaTAC. If you thought the iPhone was expensive, imagine forking over $3,995 back then. Who would’ve thought we’d come this far?

The ’60s – Lava Lamp

woman with lamp
Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

If you wanted to have a groovy house in the ’60s, then there had better be a lava lamp in there. Of course, you could have a beanbag chair or a hand chair, but nothing set things off quite like the lava lamp did.

Not only were they all the rage, but they were very giftable. No matter the age, if you opened one up as a present, happiness would invade you and make everything seem better.

The ’70s – Walkie Talkies

walkie talkie
Pinterest
Pinterest

What cooler way to communicate with your friends than via static-filled conversation from distance? These were far away from the quality of today’s, but they got the job done well enough. You could find them at Sears.

While they weren’t cellphones, they were a nice alternative for the kids to enjoy. If you had two kids, they could enjoy each other’s companies from different rooms of the house or play a fun and creative game. Walkie-talkies are still fun today.

The ’60s – Binoculars

testing them out
Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images
Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images

Carl Zeiss made the number one binoculars in the ’60s and it wasn’t even close. Years after World War II ended, Eastern Germany and Western Germany battled to make the best product, but it would be the west who came out on top.

This is because the east used old tech, while their rival updated. Soon enough, the Zeiss Binoculars became the choice of the rich and famous. Hard to pass up a product with the premium optics.