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10 gadgets that changed our world forever

Posted on 15 January 2016

When technology changed our world forever

It was all change in the 50s and 60s. As well as the excitement of welcoming a new queen to the throne, we were getting to grips with all sorts of new technology. Back then, most mothers stayed at home to keep house and raise the family - and it was certainly a full time job. Then thanks to some amazing new labour saving devices, they were able to cast off their frilly aprons and enjoy a bit more leisure time.

Meanwhile, we were gathering around our neighbour’s new TV set or tuning into the latest show on our transistor radios. Of course, we take all these things for granted today, but back in the 50s and 60s this new technology really did change the way we lived forever.

Refrigerator

At last, a place to keep food cold! Before, everything just went in the pantry on shelves covered in old newspaper, or if you were really posh, wallpaper. Still, nothing ever seemed to be wasted.

1950s-woman-demonstrating-new-refrigerator

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

 

Television

Some lucky homes got a TV - and the whole neighbourhood turned up to watch it! The BBC broadcast the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and by the end of the 60s we were all glued to the box.

1950s-family-watching-television-together-at-home

Source: www.flickr.com

 

Food mixer

No more aching arms as you whisked frantically to create the perfect sponge. The Kenwood mixer made it easier to turn out the sort of cakes Fanny Craddock would have been proud of. And you still got to lick the bowl!

Original-Kenwood-mixer

Source: © Frank C Müller commons.wikimedia.org

 

Rechargeable torch

Torches had been around for a while but most had huge batteries that leaked all over the place. This little beauty could be charged through a shaver socket. For thirty shillings, you’d be the envy of everyone.

Pifco-rechargeable-torch-and-box

Source: www.retrowow.co.uk

 

The Dansette

We all fell in love with this portable(ish!) record player. For the first time we could play records in our bedrooms or even outdoors! Can you remember the thrill of giving the latest Buddy Holly or Beatles vinyl a spin?

Dansette-record-player

Source: www.thevinylfactory.com

 

Washing machine

Most people started with a twin tub. You had to lift the washing from the boiler to the spin dryer with wooden tongs, while a curly plastic hose hung over the sink ready to drain all the water away.

Woman-demonstrating-a-twin-tub

Source: www.tarncourt.co.uk

 

Electric fires

No central heating and ice on the inside of the bedroom windows but we didn’t complain. If it got really cold, we’d all huddle around the glowing bars of the electric fire.

Portable-electric-fire

Source: Courtesy of The Memory Store www.historic-uk.com

 

Pocket transistor radio

Every teenager had one in the 60s. It was small enough to listen to music wherever you went and you could tune into Radio Caroline under the bed covers without your parents ever knowing.

A-Sears-Silvertone-pocket-transistor-radio
Source: www.flickr.com

 

Goblin teasmade

It was the height of luxury to be woken up to the sounds of bubbling and gurgling and a fresh cup of tea. It was just a shame if you forgot to bring up the milk and sugar the night before.

1960-Goblin-Teasmade

Source: www.teasmade.info

 

Trimphone

Everyone went crazy over the angular, space age look and the illuminated dial. If you paid extra and got one from the GPO, you could choose the colour and even put it on the wall! Anyone know what TRIM stood for?

1964-Trimphone

Source: www.flickr.com

 

Our homes are now filled with all sorts of gadgets and devices but just the sight of some of these classics is enough to bring your youth flooding back. We’d love to know if you’ve still got any of these tucked away in the loft, or hear your memories of getting your first TV or record player.

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