Due to technological advancements, social changes, and major historical events, life looks a lot different now than it did 50, 30, or even 10 years ago. All of the pictures on this list feature objects that have become relics of the past. Keep reading to get a visual reminder of just how far we come in what feels like a blink of an eye.
It’s time to take a trip down memory lane. Do you remember what thermometers used to look like?
Remember Paper Maps?
Before Google Maps and Waze and GPS navigation, people walked around with physical paper maps if they needed to figure out how to get from point A to point B.
What A Driver’s License Used To Look Like
This is a driver’s license issued in Boston, Massachusetts in 1963. Back then, you didn’t have to have an ugly photo of yourself on your license. Those photos are never flattering.
A Note From The Builder
During a renovation, these homeowners found a bricklayer’s signature from 1897 in their chimney. This little pattern shows the plan for the chimney structure. A lot of builders still leave little drawings like this one on bricks today.
A Watch From The ’80s
This watch is from the 1980s when Transformers was a huge hit. It’s pretty cool to have a watch that transforms into a robot, but it’s not the most practical thing in the world.
This Computer Has A Turbo Button
If you aren’t old enough to remember what a “turbo” button does, let us enlighten you. Disengaging that button actually made your desktop run slower so it could be compatible with older software.
This little Polaroid camera was all the rage back in the day. It was popular because it was small enough to fit in your pocket or handbag. It doesn’t look like much now, but it does have a certain vintage charm.
Floppy Disk Pocket
Floppy disks were kind of like CD ROMS, but square and thick. CD ROMS were kind of like flash drives, but round and thin. Have we actually come full circle?
Remember These Remotes?
This Sony remote comes from a time when TVs only had 13 channels. There’s no guide button, no menu, no settings or button to go straight to the “on demand” channel.
Do You Think They’ll Still Accept It?
This McDonald’s coupon was issued in the 1960s in St. Louis. This thing definitely isn’t valid anymore, although there’s no expiry date, so it might be worth a try. You can see what McDonald’s restaurants used to look like in the little drawing on the coupon.
This Futuristic Trapper Portfolio
This Trapper portfolio came out in 1993. It presents an image of what people in the early ’90s thought 2020 would look like. They weren’t even close. This just looks like the ’90s with some strange thin glasses.
All Those Telephone Lines
Before the internet and mobile phones, landlines were the only way to connect with your loved ones. That’s why there are so many of them in this picture taken in Stockholm, Sweden, in the late 19th century.
How People Used To Take Their Temperature
Nowadays, when kids have a fever, their parents take their temperature with an in-ear thermometer, an under-the-armpit thermometer, or a laser thermometer. This kids’ strip thermometer was placed on the child’s forehead to get a reading.
The Old Pull Tabs
It’s strange that something as simple as a pop tab could look so different just half a century ago. It seems like these things are a lot easier to pull open now.
This cube is what was inside the computer that was on board the Apollo 11 Moon landing mission. It can hold a mighty 14 kilobytes of memory. That’s a lot of memory!
How Keyboards Used To Be
Back in the day, people used to use their keyboards to connect to the internet. That’s why this keyboard has a “connect” button on it. We prefer our smaller modern keyboards.
A Fancy Pocket Notebook
These white tags may not look like much to you, but this contraption was actually a super fancy day planner from the 19th century. The tiles are made out of ivory and are meant to be written on in pencil.
This Monopoly board is over 70 years old. It looks very similar to the Monopoly we’re used to today. There’s a battleship game piece instead of a race car, but the rest is remarkably similar.
A Teacher’s Contract
This teachers’ contract is close to 100 years old. This is the kind of document teachers would be expected to sign before beginning a new job. Seventy-five dollars per month went a long way back then.
A Needlework Manual
This fancy needlework manual from the 19th century came with an example of the finished product on the right-hand pages. This was way before those useful YouTube tutorials came about.
A Computer Parade
This photo was taken in 1987 in East Berlin. Back then, computers were so new that the Germans decided to hold a parade for them. Everybody came out of their houses to see this novel technology.
The Result Of Hyperinflation
This is a photo of a 50 million mark note from the days in which Germany was dealing with hyperinflation.
The 1920s were a surreal time in Germany. In January 1923, a loaf of bread cost 250 marks, but by November, it cost 200 trillion marks.
How The French Settle Fights
This photo was taken in 1967 when two French politicians went at it each other over an insult delivered in Parliament. Luckily for them, they did not fight to the death.
A Friendly Face
These gas masks were made to look like Mickey Mouse and were issued in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. These masks were supposed to be less alarming for children. Thankfully, they never needed to be used.
A Magnetic TV
If you grew up a CRT TV, you might still be afraid of bringing magnets anywhere near your new digital screens. Magnets could do some serious damage to a CRT TV.
How People Listened To Music On The Go
Before we had satellite radio and aux cables and Bluetooth in our cars, if people wanted to listen to music on the go, they had to put record players their cars.
An Early Aircraft Warning System
Before radar was invented, this is how soldiers knew if there was an enemy aircraft approaching overhead. It doesn’t look like the most comfortable job in the world. Can’t he get a chair?
An Old Copper Pot
This strange-looking copper pot had a very particular purpose. To sterilize bottles and flasks, the pot would be filled with water and boiled, while the bottle or flask stand supported by a ring of the appropriate size.
The Inside Of A Passenger Plane
This is what the inside of a passenger plane looked like in the 1930s. It’s basically a bunch of lawn chairs lined up in two rows. There isn’t much legroom on this plane.
The Original Coors
Beer used to be sold in hefty cans like this one. There was no pull tab to open it easily. You had to use a knife or a can opener to get to the beer inside.
Reddit user AmericanLocomotive posted this picture of an ID card online with the caption “My Great-Grandfather’s social security card was made out of metal, not paper.” These cards must have been super durable.