10 vintage electronics that aren't used much today

Were you ever the person with a boombox on your shoulder or a walkman on your hip?

Technology has come a long way. With iPhones, Smart TVs, bluetooth headphones and more, it's hard to image what life was like before these items existed. 

Let's go back in time and look at 10 vintage electronics that many of us used religiously. How many of these items did you have or still have?

1. Boombox Portable Music Player


These systems came during the mid-'70s. The concept was simple: take your music on the go, anywhere and at anytime. It wasn't uncommon to see boomboxes slung over the shoulders of people of all ages. Whether it was a beach day, a dance battle, a sporting event or a holiday, it seemed as though everyone had a boombox. Even celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen got behind the boombox craze. 

The most popular brands included: JVC, Sanyo, General Electric, Panasonic, Sony and Sharp. 

Boomboxes are less common today thanks to other smaller stereo systems, iPhones and portable bluetooth speakers. Did you have a boombox and what did you use it for?

2. The Clock Radio


What's better than waking up bright and early to the sound of your favorite muscian? The clock radio served two purpsoses. It was an alarm clock and a radio that was apparently "doctor approved."

GE released the clock radio in 1979 and many households rushed to get one. 

Today the clock radio has mainly been taken over by iPhones and smart phones with the same capabilities. But who doesn't remember waking up with a clock radio next to the bed and having to flip a switch for AM/FM radio?

3. Walkman Cassette Players


Walkman Cassette Players are a form of portable audio players. A less chunky and less loud option of the portable Boombox. It seemed as though everyone had a Walkman, and why wouldn't you? You could listen to all your favorite musicians on the go. 

The Sony Walkman was an essential part of culture. 

What were you listening to on repeat on your Walkman?

4. Magnavox Color TV


TVs used to be a lot more boxy... and lower to the ground it seems. It's hard to imagine watching your favorite shows or sports on anything but an HD flat screen these days, but we all did it.

Who still remembers their parents telling you not to sit close to the TV because it will damage your eyes? 

TVs sure have come a long way and we are thankful for that.

5. The Cordless Phone


When the first cordless phone came out it was life-changing for many. It was the first big step into what would become the age of cellphones and smart phones, although we didn't know that then. 

From parents talking on the phone while doing chores around the house to kids, tweens and teens staying up late talking to friends, cordless phones changed the game of how we communicate. 

While some households still have cordless phones, many have made the switch to exclusively cell phones. 

6. Answering Machines


Who remembers coming home after a long day and the first thing you do is check for missed calls and messages?

Now with everything in the palm of our hands, it's hard to imagine having no anxiety about missing messages and not checking it the second it comes in.

But what about urgent calls? Well, they had to wait too! (At least, unless you also had a pager...)

7. Vintage Turntables


There is something so nostalgic about owning and playing a record on a turntable. 

The first turntable that sold millions came out in 1965 and the turntable kept evolving. There's been a resurgence in record players in recent years as records have been making a comeback and the vintage turntables sometimes sell for a lot of money. Which records were you spinning?

8. Vintage Camcorders


Our poor shoulders! A camcorder weighing 15 pounds... and that was bragged about as the world's lightest!

The camcorder became popular in the mid-to-late '80s. With the rise of the camcorder came popular shows such as America's Funniest Home Videos. Camcorders were at first mostly available for professional use only but households started to make it as essential as cameras as years went on.

Thanks to the camcorder we can relive memories from different eras. 

9. AM/FM Pocket Radio


The AM/FM Pocket Radio is a compact and typically light-weight portable radio. Although it's called the pocket radio, most people who owned one had to have some deep pockets for it to fit.

It was great for people who wanted to listen to the radio on the go. Whether you wanted to go for a bike ride, go to the gym or take it to work, you could listen to the radio whenever you wanted. 

Did you ever own one of these?

10. Texas Instruments Home Computer


Texas Instruments is best known for their calculators. There is no feeling that compares to coming home the first day of school and having to ask your parents to run out and get you a TI-84. But do you remember when they also made an at-home computer in 1980?

It was a computer with educational features that helped kids and adults alike.  

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JDnHuntsvilleAL 22 months ago
"GE released the clock radio in 1979" - WHAT? Do the MeTV Millennials really think that was the start of clock radios?

"There were a couple models of full-sized console radios with Telechron timer movements that could turn them on but they weren't sold as alarm clock radios. Musalarm was small enough for the night stand and sold as a clock radio and is evidently the first of that type. Announced in November, 1945, the 8H59 hit the shelves in 1946."
ETristanBooth 23 months ago
I still use a clock radio which has both radio and buzzer alarm functions. In order to use the phone I would have to leave the sound on, and I don't want it to ring or ping when I'm trying to sleep.
Are you sure? I know on my iPhone I can flip the "sound switch" which stops the rings and pings but the alarm still goes off.
WilliamJorns 24 months ago
Your comments about the clock radio need some fact-checking. The first clock radios were introduced a lot earlier than 1979. My parents had a clock radio in their bedroom as far back as the 1960's, because my father used to turn it on to listen to an all-night radio show until he fell asleep. That radio had a "sleep" function that switched it off after a while. My mother used that same radio to wake her up in the mornings so she could get me and my brothers out of bed, then dressed and fed before we went to school. Come on, Me-TV, do your research and get your facts straight, OK?
AnnieM WilliamJorns 23 months ago
Even more hilariously wrong is that ad CLEARLY predates 1979 by probably 2 decades! 😆
bnichols23 WilliamJorns 23 months ago
Agreed. Clock radios have been around since at LEAST the late '40s/early '50s, & some say even before then. I'm betting what happened was somebody was in a rush, did a too-quick google search, & found a digital clock radio marketed by GE in '79. I know for an absolute *fact* that the things existed before then since my sister & I both had clock radios in the 60s.
timothys71 24 months ago
I still use my AM/FM pocket radio (incidentally, it's a Walkman brand) all the time! I still have an old boombox that I use occasionally, and an answering machine (which I still use some, but I tend to shut it off for a while when it picks up annoying robocalls).
RichLorn 24 months ago
I still have a clock radio, a cordless phone, an answering machine, and a turntable.
You might call me old fashioned, but I prefer to think of myself as loyal.
rayma 24 months ago
I had a pocket 📻📻 l also had a bombox
GuitarLust72 24 months ago
I remember 82'ish when Mom came home with a Fisher Top-Loader VCR ( she claimed the front-loader's were bad for some reason ) for a whopping $799.99!! That badboy even had a plugin remote control you can totally trip on... bringin' the oh-so overpriced and heavy VHS player to ground.
The 80's and Mom taught me at a young age to save that dang reciept!
Michael GuitarLust72 24 months ago
Afriendgot a VCR in Nov 1980, thefirst one Isaw. Very heavy, and yes, the wired remote.

It was a big step up, previously he'd recorded tv shows, just the audio, to cassette.

He complained about the cost of blank video tapes. And he never considered buying a prerecorded movie for a long time. They were expensive, the studios thinking like nothing ha dchanged.
JHP GuitarLust72 22 months ago
that wire for the remote had to be at least 20 ft long:)
LynnieJ64 24 months ago
Somebody missed the news about the vinyl comeback. Doh!
neilio 24 months ago
I have 3 turntables, several minidisc Walkmans, a Walkman am/fm radio, 3 vcrs, 3 home stereo cassette decks, a Nakamichi car cassette deck, I've been searching for a Pioneer boombox for a while...i love the retro electronics!
327053 24 months ago
Only two I use today is boom box and turn table. Love my REO Speedwagon
and Eagles records!😁
jvf 24 months ago
I'm 58 years old and still use a clock radio alarm. Also, still have a landline and a digital answering machine with two cordless phones.
327053 jvf 24 months ago
Amazing 😄
AnnieM jvf 23 months ago
Same age, similar setup here, but a couple more cordless phones. And, we even have a CORDED phone in our kitchen. 🤣
Coldnorth jvf 23 months ago
I’m a little older but have the same things plus more of the older things. That just shows the older things lasted longer. Now stuff is disposable. No fix it shops. I have a drone and something’s wrong with the update. Can’t find anyone who can fix it.
Snowman1 24 months ago
I had some of these. Walkman, turntables, boomboxes, cordless phones.
327053 Snowman1 24 months ago
Yup same here 😊
TheDavBow3 24 months ago
I love that "portable" camcorder 😅! I bought one @ 17 years ago shortly after my son was born. At least it was hand-held in 2005. It recorded video right on to mini DVDs. It's great and I still use it from time to time.
DanDo77 24 months ago
Clock radios, (tabletop vacuum tube models) came out in the late 1950's, not 1979. I downloaded and zoomed into the photo and it looks like a model that came out in the late 1950's or early 1960's.

327053 DanDo77 24 months ago
Very true, that advertisement looks like vintage 50s.
DanDo77 24 months ago
I had most of these. I think there is a mistake, the clock radio came out (vacuum tube version) by the late 1950's. We only had a black and white TV when I grew up. I had a camcorder when they came with the smaller size tapes (8mm). I still have a vintage turn table, boombox, and a VHS VCR. I don't think they work any more. My brother got a Bluetooth turn table and it works great and you can record the music to digital. My first computer was a Commodore 64. I eventually gave it away to the Goodwill.
MichaelFields 24 months ago
I Had or used pretty much all of these, in School "film" class we had the HUGE cameras, which if you think about it now was pretty funny, the camera had to be attached to the bag you carried. And the BoomBox, it would take about 8 batteries and last a couple hours, so you were always buying huge amounts of batteries just think of all the waste that was
GeorgeKolter 24 months ago
also see them on American pickers when they go out and pick.
retired2019 GeorgeKolter 24 months ago
I LOVE American Pickers!
GeorgeKolter 24 months ago
I still use VHS been using it since the early 1980s have it with and DVD recorder as well not very hard to find these try facebook market place also have vhss camcorder and turntable since vinyls comeback. still use old fashion alarm clock. I've seen these on classic tv from the 70s and 80s. still groovy to me to use.
coffeecup 24 months ago
I had several of these gadget and it is sad that if have any cassettes, records, VHS tapes, you still need to hang on to the gadget for they don't make any new versions of the item. I sometime think does anyone have a photo album book? Now everything I guess is on a phone.
Jeffrey 24 months ago
My family also had a big console stereo system with AM/FM Radio, 8-Track player/recorder and Cassette Recorder Player. Floor model, couldn't carry it around. In a wooden cabinet with built in speakers, and cloth covered grille, & top opening lid.
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