Busy doing stuff, so you get old stuff…

Who remembers???

And how many remember playing with one of them on car trips?

And rotary dials… or earlier…

And what ‘odor’ do you associate with it??? πŸ™‚


TBT… — 41 Comments

  1. Hey Old NFO;

    Jeez you had to bring things associated with you adulthood. And the last pic is related to your prior post πŸ˜€

  2. *Your Adulthood* didn’t catch it until I hit the “enter” key and realized “Oh Crap”

  3. I recall the first and used it thus.
    I recall and did the second.
    I am at least aware of the third, though I do not recall using such myself.

  4. I used to dig the pliers out of the drawer and unwind the string off the last item. Every kid needed a ring of keys to be like the custodian at school, right?? When mom saw the straightened out strip she about popped…. I guess it was sharp…. But I was careful…..

    As to the second, I never had a need to use it for long distance. Although I did get to talk to grandma on it once right at bedtime….

  5. I think I smell sardines.

    I heard the words, “slide rule” a little bit ago and countered with “vernier caliper.”

    OMG we are old!

    • Wait till you meet someone who calls a slide rule a “slip stick.”

      Last time I used a slide rule was in 1995. Was about to board a 3hr plane trip to do a customer presentation on a 23 stage stamp & form die set, and I called to make sure they’d be ready to pick me up.
      THEN the guy says “Oh wait, they’ve changed the material thickness from .008″ to .0095″ – can you update the design?”
      GRRR! Lots of things get get multiplied by thickness cubed divided by thickness squared. I was burning through new numbers on a trusty HP 32E calculator, RPN and all, when “We are descending through 10,000 feet please put away your electronics” happened.
      YES, I had a slide rule with me (carried one of them and an abacus with me into the PE exam, JUST in case ALL batteries failed,) and I finished the math just as the tires squealed on the runway.
      When I got off the plane and had a chance to re-check my work, I was within 1%. I still have that slide rule today, though my 32E got stolen on a job site.

      There are a LOT of bridges people are driving over today, and not too few pairs of wings keeping passengers aloft that were designed by slide rule.

    • Wiz wheel. Made my flight students use one. “But Miss Red, we have these,” they waved electronic flight computers.

      Evil grin. “Your batteries just ran out a quarter of the way to the destination.”

      Student: “Gulp.”

  6. Heck, I might still have one of those somewhere. Also that metal shaving bearded guy with magnetic pen, sort of like etch a sketch.

    I don’t recall long distance rate price break, but since I didn’t pay the bill, no surprise. I only occasionally was asked to “say hi but be quick !”. Long distance was required for medical emergencies and/or family birthday wishes. Otherwise, it was USPS delivered letters. Grandma corresponded with her relatives EVERY day, had beautiful handwriting.

    I associate the last item with SPAM, but recall there was WWII .45ACP ammunition cans which used the same method opening. About the size of a lunchbox, olive green with a handle on the side for carrying.

  7. Yes, yes, and Spam key. As I recall sardine cans had a pull tab. A hundred years ago on my first ship, as a hot running SN of first division, it was always β€œfun” to tell the green members of the crew that I had the β€œremedy” for seasickness. Opening up a fresh can of sardines in mustard sauce was quite entertaining.

    • You are right about the sardines, and it’s just another example of failing memory. Sigh.

    • I can recall sardine cans that used a very similar key, though eventually pull tabs took over the market.

  8. It’s amazing how much has changed during our lifetimes, Old NFO.

  9. Of course I remember all that stuff. The number puzzle that was great fun to smuggle into church service to help me stay awake.

    The telephone, ours had no dial until I was in high school, all we did was lift the receiver, a lady would say “Number Please” and I would give her a number, two, three or four digits, our house was 858 and then she would ring us on through. Long distance calls could be placed station to station or person to person with the operator, then there was often a delay while the call was set up so the operator would tell you she would ring back once the call was in place.

    As for the key, my memories go back to the wonderful smell of opening up a brand new can of coffee and the noise it made as the seal was broken.

  10. Bob- LOL, I’m not THAT old…

    Orvan- You’re not old enough for the third one… πŸ™‚

    STx- LOL, yeah, I think we ALL did that ‘once’…

    John- Yep! πŸ™‚ And I still have a slip stick around here somewhere, and a vernier caliper (my grandpas) in a trunk.

    Guy- Wow! And yes, slipsticks worked quickly. Great story!

    TXRed- LOL, EA-6B ALWAYS works…

    jrg- I remember those! And yes, ham, Spam, ammo cans, sardines and a LOT of other ‘tins’ used those keys.

    B- πŸ™‚

    SCPO- LOL, I used to do that to my students on the P-3 in rough air… :-p

    LL- That it has, but nothing compared to my parents or grandparents. from mules to the moon in one generation… Amazing.

    Jim/Sabre- I have 2 of them in the kitchen drawer… LOL

    Old- Party lines and, in town, operators… I had forgotten, but coffee did have a key also. Thanks!

  11. Yes but I never had the patience to solve it.
    Yes, party lines and “number please” as well.
    Favorite was canned corn beef.
    Re: “slip sticks” AKA “guessing sticks” I transitioned to an HP 45 about ca 1975 in engineering school. About 1979 I traveled to a distant town to take my first ham radio exam. I forgot my calculator and figured I’d pick up a cheap slide rule in case there was a question on resonant frequency. Went to the back of the local university’s book store, blew off the dust on a box of slide rules and I got my pick for a buck. The only question using math on the exam was to find the current through a ten ohm resistor with a ten volt potential.

  12. As to telephones, I fondly remember answering the phone like this, “Major Name’s house, how may I help you sir or ma’am?”

    Which always got me good scores in the business world when I answered phones, slightly modified, of course.

    Sir or Ma’am, not as age but out of courtesy or respect. Sigh. I miss the past.

    And, also, as to phones, limiting the personal calls to 3 minutes because the line is for business. I still, to this day, can’t just sit on the phone and yack away.

    I even remember connecting to a long-distance operator for long-distance calls.

    Kids these days, got it soo easy, so why are they so easily butt-hurt?

    • “Kids these days, got it soo easy, so why are they so easily butt-hurt?”
      Answer – because they have it so damn easy. We as parents and a society have done it to ourselves.

      • Yep, about 5 seconds after I posted, I had a “Duhhhh” moment.

  13. I had several cheap plastic number puzzles in my youth – in the late Seventies and early Eighties they were fairly common as dirt as party favors and swag, and as one of the cheapest of toys in the tiny toy aisle found at most drug stores and supermarkets.

    I very much remember the cheaper night rates for long distance calls, because my grandmothers and half my aunts and uncles were long distance calls. Most calls to and from were evening, and I can remember Mom and Dad going to call them, realizing it was too early yet, and waiting until after the cheaper rates took effect. IIRC, by the late Eighties it wasn’t nearly so big deal anymore, likely due to increased competition and my parents’ improved financial circumstance.

    The key, on the other hand, I’ve only ever seen, and not on products my parents or I every purchased.

  14. Yes
    Yes, on a party line

    Slide Rules – I went through 7 years of engineering school with my slide rule. The term “slide rule accuracy” was a real thing. Several years ago I was visiting Boston and MIT Museum had a slide rule exhibit. I taught a couple of Japanese tourists how to use one. Slide rules are now dead. No body teaches logarithms anymore and the tooling dies to make them have been destroyed.

    • Ah yes, slide rule accuracy. One of my pet peeves is the guy that reads an instrument that at best is good for two significant digits, plugs the number into a calculator, and reports the result to eight digits ’cause thats what the calculator barfs out. At least with slide rules we had to think about the results and see if they made sense.

      • Yep. I don’t remember much about using the slide rule, but I do remember a bunch about scientific notation, and the general guidance of, “Beyond three decimal places you can’t usually measure it.”

    • Working with my dad’s slide rule in high school really helped me on a chemistry quiz. The prof set the problems up so that calculated straight, they would exceed the capacity of a 1984 capacity calculator. The real math was simple, but you had to do the order of magnitude in your head.

  15. We had a wooden wall phone you had to crank to get the operator.
    I was too small to use it, (Mom was glad for that).Party lines were cool until someone broke in and needed to use the line.
    Modernized to a A-300 then a nicer A-500.

    Used a slip stick in college.

    Church keys and spam keys are still in a junk drawer I think…sigh.

    i was

  16. I remember and used all of them.
    Moved to a small phone exchange in the early 80s, they were still using a rotary exchange. A friend had a modern phone with the buttons, but before digital. If they dialed too fast the exchange would drop the call.
    We had keys from corned beef and ham. We always had a couple in the junk drawer in case the can didn’t have one. Sardines and spam didn’t grace our home. Dad was a WWII Navy Vet.
    Slide Rules – learned to use them in High School.
    Still have a couple of the number slide puzzles in the toy box.

  17. First phone I can recall (age 5 or 6) was a black party-line phone. Folks got a private line (# was 4682)from a girls’ dorm (college town). Boys were weirded out when my dad answered the phone.
    I think I may still have my bamboo slipstick in storage; I do have my plastic one with me.
    In ’75, I moved to rural Missouri. Was surprised I didn’t have long-distance direct-dialing.

  18. Got them all. In fact, we still have a rotary dial ‘phone in the house — with the original telephone number on it from when dial service came our way (1954). And it still works just fine, thank you (and yes, my family’s lived here a while — since 1872, in fact).

  19. All- Thanks for the comments, and I never had corned beef, so I didn’t know it had a key! And no, I have NO idea why the new generation is so butthurt…

    Posted from my iPhone.

  20. 1. Yes but only played with it between “travel books.”

    2. Oh yes — most of the family was in either CA or IL and we’re were stationed in San Antone…

    3. Just found my stash of those in the garage not all that long ago … and promptly tossed them in the recycle. Except one. Never know when you’re going to need a spammerkey! And, no, I’m not that old… just a smidge over a half-century. πŸ™‚

    • OR Dad’s . . . we’re all USAF vets (Yes, my mom wore combat boots!) and we all have ‘hoarder” tendencies. Clearly. πŸ™‚

  21. Aye. My though on the third was ‘sardines’ and that more from old cartoons than anything.

    “That’s before my time.”
    “Before mine, too. So what?”

  22. I remember spending summers in a house that had a party line. I wasn’t old enough to have phone privileges, but I heard it spoken of.

    I remember – just barely – milk delivered in glass bottles. I believe that they were ‘cream top’, but can’t say for sure.

    I remember when 56k was a lot of memory.

    My first ‘stereo’ had tubes. And a turntable that could play 78s.

  23. #1: Yes, although I remember electronic versions as well.

    #2: Yep. Still, glad that long distance charges have faded away.

    #3: I showed this image to four of my friends, and they ID’d it as a paint-can opener. I ID’d it as the key used to open C-ration tins (and the only reason I did that was because of Steve1989’s channel).