Saturday, 30 June 2012

#291: Innovations That Changed My Life (Part 1)

That itty bitty black and white photograph yesterday reminded me how excited I was seeing my first coloured snapshot, probably sometime in the fifties.  It was like a little miracle.

When you think of it, our pre-boomer generation has had a whale of a good time experiencing a lot of neat innovations—probably more than our parents or grandparents, although they had the fun of discovering some real game changers -- automobliles, airplanes, electric washing machines, movie theatres.... 

Because I like making lists, I’ve been amusing myself, as a sort of holiday entertainment (it is our national day here in The Great White North) recalling the innovations that came along and excited me through the years. Mind you, I am a bit dismayed to discover that the things I have most appreciated seem rather trivial compared to atomic power -- but that doesn’t mean that I liked them any less.

Fifty years ago, I was over the moon to have discovered:
  1. PEZ candy dispensers -- What can I say?  Revolutionary!
  2. Cheese Whiz--It was the fifties and I was about 10.  What did I know?
  3. Cake Mixes -- a kid could make a cake.  Cool.
  4. Hula Hoops--Fun, fun, fun!  We all had one.
  5. Hair Rollers -- Goodbye bobby pins!
  6. Panty hose -- Whoever invented these deserves a medal.
  7. Snow boots --I can't believe that for most of my childhood I wore rubber boots over shoes in the depths of a prairie winter.
  8. Polyester fabric -- a dream to sew.  I didn't realize it was ugly until much later.
  9. Swanson Frozen TV dinners -- Oven ready (and I don't mean Microwave)
  10. Television -- it took a long time to get to Alberta.  We didn't own one until 1956.
You try this. I bet your faves includes a few of these must-have items, too.  Anyone can play, of course, but the older you are, the better the list!


  1. this list is so good! i never KNEW you liked pez dispensers. now i know what to give you for Christmas.

  2. Moon-landing technology - amazing!
    CDs - they don't warp like records or stretch like tapes!
    The internet - it started off with awesome government documents and now it has everything!
    Digital cameras - it costs the same to take a million pictures as to take one!
    Roth IRAs - once the money's in there, no more taxes!
    I-bonds - inflation protection!
    LEDs - flashlight batteries last longer!
    Indiglo watches - you can see the time when it's dark!
    Dishwashers that actually work!
    Recycled paper - a lot of times they like to make things with recycled paper prettier, too; my first recycled paper spiral notebook from the sixties had a picture of a foggy forest on the cover
    Airbags and anti-lock brakes
    Ultimate frisbee

  3. Frisbees! Right up there with hula hoops and longer lasting!