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Changing perspectives

Sorry for the slightly Off Topic post, but…

I was just reading a post here about trouble with a 2002 car. I thought, “He shouldn’t have that problem with so new a car.” Then I realized, “Wait a minute! That car is 11 years old!” Oof! I’m still reliving things I did on my '66 Valiant … and many of you guys have been fooling with cars a lot longer than I have.

Have a good day, and thanks to all for the help and education (and entertainment) you provide here.

Too true. Folks will sometimes ask questions about, say, a '65 Mustang. Hard to remember that car is now 48 years old. That would be like somebody driving a '26 Ford into the gas station I worked at in the mid-'70s. We would have called it an ‘antique’…

My step-grandmother died today at age 105.
She would talk about when a car of any kind was a novelty.

In my mind, any automobile made after WW II is a modern car. From February of 1942 through August of 1945, no cars were manufactured because of the war. My parents were driving a 1939 Chevrolet during the war and for several years after that. I remember at age five going with my dad in the summer of 1946 to see the new 1947 Studebaker. I had never seen a car like this. We also looked at a new Oldsmobile that didn’t have a clutch pedal. I had never seen a car before with an automatic transmission.

I do remember when my dad traded the 1939 Chevrolet in 1950 for a used 1947 Dodge. The Dodge did have some neat features the Chevrolet didn’t have–the starter was a button on the dashboard instead of a pedal on the floor. The Dodge had a defroster. On the other hand, the Dodge lacked some features that the Chevrolet had–there was no hand choke. I wondered how one could start that car when it was cold. It also didn’t have an emergency crank. I had seen my dad use the crank to start the engine. The Dodge also lacked louvers along the hood that the 1939 Chevrolet had. I wondered what cooled the engine in the Dodge.

Sorry for your loss circuitsmith.

+1 with keith.
My condolences.

That is a long life. She musta had an interesting perspective.

@circuitsmith–My condolences on the loss of your step-grandmother.

I was thinking about developments in the first half of her life and then in the second half. She must have been born about 1907, so the first half of her life would have been from 1907-1960 and the second half from 1960 to the present.

Thinking about the period from 1907-1960:

  1. The nation was electrified
  2. The telephone system spanned the nation
  3. The computer had been developed
  4. Automobiles became a necessity. By 1960, automatic transmissions were commonplace, air conditioning was an option, and the development of the interstate highway system had begun
  5. Air conditioning became common in businesses and was beginning to become used in homes.
  6. The transistor had been developed at Bell Labs and solid state electronics were being marketed.
  7. Commercial radio broadcasting was developed
  8. Commercial television broadcasting was developed and color televisions were beginning to be sold as color tv broadcasting had begun.
  9. Household refrigerators came into being
  10. Automatic clothes washers, clothes dryers and dishwashers were developed for household use and became common.
  11. Commercial airlines came into being as did the airplane.

From 1960-present:

  1. Automobiles have become refined. The carburetor and distributor have disappeared, although Chevrolet and Pontiac offered fuel injection in 1957.
  2. Many of us receive our television signal through either cable or satellite dish for which we pay a monthly fee, while the signal was free in the other time period. Interestingly, many of the tv shows available today are rebroadcast of shows produced in the 1950s.
  3. We do have the internet today, but computers were being interconnected before 1960.
  4. Automobiles have improved since 1960, although most sedans before 1960 were truly 6 passenger while few cars today are 6 passenger.
  5. We do have more franchised places to eat today, although I was taking my high school dates to McDonald’s in 1958
  6. Household appliances are more refined. However, we are going back to the front loading automatic washing machines that Bendix was selling before WW II.

In my opinion, today’s technology is mostly of refinement of a previous time period.

Trying to tie in our mechanic could not buy a brakelne from the dealer for a 99 1 ton, It does not seem to old to not be able to get parts for, but like computers that was windows ME, or 98 or NT, now pretty much obsolete and unserviceable, The wave of the future?

Yes @circuitsmith my condolences too. Mine was 100 when she died. I don’t know if she really knew who I was anymore when I would visit her in the nursing home but she always acted like she did. Many memories of her.

Yeah what everyone else said about trying to stay current. Time goes so fast.

Thank you Bing, Tridaq, RemcoW and Keith.

Some of the old things she and my grandfather had included a refrigerator that ran on natural gas, antique fans (I held on to the 1927 GE table fan), a 1962 Chevy II that could make it from Wash. DC to Fredricksburg VA and back on $1 of gas.

Speaking about putting things in perspective and old age; when my mom was 94, I will always remember her saying…"It’s terrible being so old with all the aches and pains. I felt so much better when I was 90. "

“Getting old is not for sissies”

  • Bette Davis

As I get older I too find it hard to believe that 1999, the year of the Matrix (to me, the quintessential modern day vibe movie) was now more than a decade ago.

@Tridaq, I’m not sure I agree that the Internet is a refinement of earlier things any more than point 1 and 2 were - we had electricity in the form of batteries earlier, and the telephone isn’t more different than postal service than Video conferencing is from the telephone.

I suppose modern cell phones are a refinement of walkie talkies, phones, and computers in a sense, but they are really more than that…

At which point does some change become a difference in kind rather than degree? Cars are, after all, “horseless carriages”.

Back in the days of simplicity and lack of technologies we were wishing for the technologies to do many things.

Yet now that we have an abundance of technologies, we find ourselves wanting some simplicity back.

I take new technology as it suits me. I don’t need an iPad, but use a regular cellphone frequently. The office in my home has broadband internet, printers, scanner, 2 computers, etc.

I have 3 older sisters who don’t use computers, and seem to get along OK. Betwen the post office and the telephone we keep in touch.

There is no harm in having a lot of technology available, as long as the banks, the government and others don’t try to push it on you. You can still mail a hand written income tax return and pay your city taxes by check or cash at city hall.

Singapore is the world’s most wired and techi nation. You can even get a Wedding License over the Internet.

" You can even get a Wedding License over the Internet. "

That would be convenient, especially with an imaginary cyber girlfriend, a new trend.


“That would be convenient, especially with an imaginary cyber girlfriend, a new trend.”

I just got an email from a woman (I guess) looking for a husband. How convenient! I don’t think my wife would approve. I must admit, I’m kinda skeptical, too. Was putting “her” on my blocked sender list too harsh? Will she ever recover from the trauma? Alas, I’ll never know…