10 Forgotten Gadgets From The 1970s That Kids Won’t Recognize Today

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The 70s gave rise to some of the coolest stuff of all time. The decade created the modern blockbuster with jaws I War of the galaxies and the latter franchise is still in force. The slasher hit of the decade, Halloween, also just finished his saga. But not all creations of the groovy 10 years are so long-lived.

There were many pieces of technology that were huge hits back then that have since disappeared. Although not as famous for gadgets as the 1980s, the computer revolution had still begun. These vintage creations may be unknown to most younger eyes, but they are still interesting to ponder and have since paved the way for other related gadgets.


Pong Home console

The ball flies across a blue screen in the Atari Pong game

Today, the phrase “video game console” can mean “home media center.” Many game consoles also act as smart TVs, which also allow users to connect to storefronts, watch streaming services, and even browse the Internet. In the 1970s, however, the first consoles couldn’t even play video games. They could play the video game, singular.

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In 1975, a console with two dials that allow the player to play Pong and only Pong was released The game had been a hit in arcades at the time, but this was the first way to play the Atari game at home. All it offered was the basic table tennis mode, but it still sold very well. In fact, future gaming giant Nintendo would launch its own imitator, Color TV game 15as contraband.

Popeil Pocket Fisherman

An orange compact fishing rod from Ronco.

Perhaps no company was more synonymous with gadgets in the 1970s than Ronco. Also known as Popeil, this company was known for their “As Seen On TV” appliances. They are best known today for their popularization of the “O-Matic” suffix. One of his most famous first gadgets was the Popeil Pocket Fisherman.

Supposedly designed by the father of Ronco’s founder, this fishing rod was much more compact than most models. It can be easily carried in your pocket. This also made it much easier to store. Most anglers prefer longer poles, but this fishing rod was a game changer for some.

A series of bright lights on a small screen next to a screen.

Long before the era of modern soccer video games, gadgets and toys were used to simulate the sport. In 1977, Mattel Electronic Football debuted, allowing players to simulate the game in portable form. While most modern football games are spoiled for choice, this one only had two modes.

Perhaps “modes” is a generous term, as both have similar gameplay. The player must move his LED soccer player from one end of the screen to the other without being attacked by the opposing team. Both modes only change the configuration of the opposing team. While it’s limited by today’s standards, it was a mind-blowing piece of equipment back in the day.

Commodore PET

The Commodore PET personal computer has a pyramid design.

When you think of the first personal computers, you mainly think of the Apple II. But the Apple II it was just one of three computers at the time collectively referred to as the “trinity of 1977”. The Commodore PET should not be overlooked as it was still quite unique.

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Early models of the computer contained a cassette deck, but most came with ROM and a microprocessor, which was not standard for the time. Unfortunately, when the PET went on the market, the Apple II I was already sending due to a delay. Still, for many consumers, this Commodore product was as reliable as PET how could they get


An advertisement for the TRS-80 microcomputer.

This computer system was the end of the “1977 trilogy” mentioned above. Perhaps it is the most forgotten nowadays, although its creators are remembered, who stand out in its full name “Tandy Radio Shack.” The TRS-80 it was revolutionary as one of the first commercially available microcomputers. The original 80 is also called the Model I because of other models that were created later.

Today it’s hard to imagine computers without QWERTY keyboards, but the included QWERTY was a big selling point for this model. Also important was its four floppy disk drives, another technology Gen Z may not have known about. This thing was the trinity’s biggest seller, at first, but it eventually went dark Apple II’success s.

Centronics 101 dot matrix printer

The Centronics 101 dot matrix printer.

Printers, in general, are going out of fashion. What was once a staple of home electronics has been partially rendered obsolete by handheld and laptop computers. That said, the most popular printers of the 90s were inkjets, and they had a predecessor. The dot matrix printer was very popular, and the Core 101 was one of the most popular printers of this variety

It was introduced at the beginning of the decade in 1970. It could print one hundred and 65 characters per second and weighed over 150 pounds. It was also sold at a low price, making it the go-to printer for office environments. As a result, the offices of the era are synonymous with the “preeow” sound effect of the printer.

Odyssey Magnavox

The Magnavox Odyssey next to its switches and box.

In 1972, the first commercial video game console was released after five years of extensive development. The Odyssey Magnavox it was a major innovation, capable of displaying up to three points on a screen and a vertical line. With these fantastic graphics, the system could play more than twenty unique games.

RELATED: 10 Best Modern Games Made for Old Consoles

The system had no sound and the controller is more like a TV remote control. Players would put an overlay on the controller vaguely themed to the game they were playing. The most popular of the games offered was a version of Ping pong. That would continue to inspire Pongwhich had its own console, which led to a lawsuit between Magnavox and Atari.

Philips N1500

An early silver VCR called the Phillips N1500.

The format wars were one of the most important battles in media history, and began with the introduction of the Philips N1500. The original 1972 VCR was the standard for commercial recording and playback equipment. It standardized the “piano key”-like design that would become popular in most multimedia devices. It also allowed the user to sync their TV remote with it.

It also featured a tuner that allowed users to make their own recordings. The built-in clock used a timer that allowed people to record even when they weren’t there. All these features made VCR win the Format Wars. Unfortunately, it didn’t win the war with time, and most kids probably can’t recognize this old classic.

Pocket Instamatic 110

A Kodak camera lying in front of a box.

Today, kids walk around with a camera in their pocket that’s also a phone and a computer. They can’t really appreciate the plethora of gadgets like Kodak’s Pocket Instamatic 110 were This was the cheapest of Kodak’s line of Instamatic cameras. Although they had “insta” in the name, they didn’t actually develop films instantly. The name referred to the fact that they were instant cameras that could take pictures quickly.

Its small size made it easy to transport, but it had a major flaw. The magicube used to create the flash was too powerful for the camera. Photographs taken often had red-eye and glare. While these are technically flaws, so many photos were taken with the now-obscure Instamatic cameras that the entire decade now feels like it has these imperfections.


Blue and silver Sony Walkman with headphones connected

The Sony Walkman is one of the most famous inventions in the history of scouting. It may not initially seem like a “forgotten invention” that children don’t recognize. However, it is mostly associated with the 80s rather than the 70s. Many people forget that this first classic media player debuted in the late 70s.

After a stellar launch, Sony would bring the device to other regions. These would have a bunch of alternate names, like stowaway, freestyle, i sound-about. These alternative names can be a big reason why many don’t consider the walkman an icon of the 70s, as she was more famous under a different name. However, it is and remains an iconic piece of technology from the decade, albeit a forgotten one.

MORE: 10 Forgotten Gadgets From The 1980s That Kids Today Won’t Recognize

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