Good Lord, this makes me feel old . . .

The Feral Irishman has posted a long series of photographs of “old-time” goods, equipment, and technology.  Here are just a few examples.

A hard-boiled egg slicer.  I used those as a kid to help Mom in the kitchen . . . and sliced my thumb on the sharp wires more than once!  (Hint:  shell the egg first.  What’s more, if you slip a regular egg in among the hard-boiled ones, and your sister tries to shell it, and gets egg all over herself and the counter, your mother will not be amused . . . and your backside will smart!)

Liquid glue for school projects.  The rubber caps seldom stayed intact.  They got brittle with age, and cracked, letting the contents leak all over the place (unless you managed to pry one loose first, in which case the glue turned up in all sorts of . . . interesting places!

My second car – a 1971 Chevrolet Firenza, bought used in the early 1980’s – had two keys that looked exactly like those;  one for the door, one for the ignition.  Why they couldn’t have made them use the same lock, I’ll never know . . .

Oh, heck, yes!  Mom used to wrap our sandwiches in wax paper if their filling was sufficiently gooey that it might leak all over the other things in our school lunch boxes.  I must have used up miles of the stuff.

My mom’s washing machine was the spitting image of this beast when I was a young child.  Every week, the outside “laundry room” would reek of steam and Sunlight green laundry soap, shaved into it from great big bars.  (Believe it or not, even in an age of modern detergents, you can still buy Sunlight laundry bars in South Africa.  Old habits die hard, I guess!)  The tub would be filled from a hose attached to a nearby hot-water tap.  Clothes would be agitated in the soapy water, then fed through the mangle rollers above the tub to press out as much liquid as possible.  The tub would be drained (pumping out its contents through an exhaust hose into a sink), then refilled with cold water.  The laundry was tumbled in the fresh water, to rinse it, and re-mangled:  then it was hung on a series of drying lines tied across the back yard.  You could play wonderful games, stalking each other up and down the lines of laundry . . . provided you didn’t get them dirty in the process.  If you did, your backside smarted!

Candy cigarettes!  I wish I had a dollar for every one of those things I “smoked” . . . I could retire!

Lots and lots of memories in those photographs.  Click over to Irish’s place and look at the rest for yourself.  I recognized each and every one of them.  Am I an old fart, or what?



  1. My grandma had the Maytag, too! She had two #2 washtubs to catch the soapy water in, then would reuse it. If the clothes were really dirty, they would wash for hours out there on the porch.

    I have a percolator sitting on the stove right now. Putting the coffee thru the gounds over and over takes the bitter out. At least to me.

    Ford had the single key for years, I bet that's why Chevy didn't…. My '91 Suburban has those same keys….

    Thanks for the memories!!

  2. How many of us have gotten our fingers caught in the wringer rollers? Just the tips of mine, but DAMN, it hurt!
    My first car, a '69 Sport Satellite–round-headed key was the trunk (& doors, IIRC), pentagram-headed was ignition (& I think the glove box).
    I still wrap my lunch in wax paper a lot.
    I once held a mucilage bottle that wasn't sticky; the teacher had just broken out a new one. Only once.
    "I'm 37, I'm not OLD!" Well, 15 years past that, but I'm not that old. I do have an egg-slicer, as well as a tea strainer.
    –Tennessee Budd

  3. I believe it was only GM that had the two-key thing going on. It was actually useful in places like Minnesota, where the temperature gets down to levels that make the surface of Pluto seem toasty. You wanted to let your car warm up for a while while you ate breakfast/had coffee/wrote the Next Great American Novel, but didn't want someone to abscond with it–one key to start the car, one to lock it.

  4. I'm a genXer and I not only remember many of those things I still use them. My vehicles all take two keys. The newest is a 97 which just this am rolled over 280,000 miles. Before I married my friends used to tease me that the girls I dated were younger than the vehicle I picked them up in. Up until quite recently I owned my mother's old wringer washer. I used it for greasy shop rags and coveralls. I still keep a couple washtubs, washboards and cast iron boiling kettles just in case. My mom usually used plastic sandwich bags when I was a kid but I find myself using wax paper because it fits odd shaped home made breads better.

  5. Ah yes, the remembrances of us old farts thinking back to the days of our youth… Boy am I glad that part of life is behind me!!! I was a right B@$t@rd. Only my guardian angel knows the truth and nothing but the truth. The glory days are still ahead! We're only as old as our aching joints force us to be.

    I remember all of those quite well. Although my first car, a '63 VW Bug only had one key I believe. We didn't lock our cars back in the 70's where we lived. Fun stuff. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  6. I recognized everything on the list – had or used them all at one time or another. I bought one of those egg slicers a few years ago. Broke it trying to slice a mushroom – I hadn't realized the slicer wasn't tough enough to deal with them.

  7. Ford went to the two key system in the early 80's, when they also went to the double edged key. Squareish head for the ignition, and round for the door.
    Hmm, might have been the late 70's. There was also a different offset for each of them, so they couldn't be inserted into the wrong lock.

    One of the neat things you could do was have a key cut for two different vehicles, since the lock only used one side of the key to function. You could notch or mark one side of the head to give you the orientation for which vehicle you were using.

  8. You can still buy hard boiled egg slicers, we did not too long ago. There are a lot of memories there..

  9. I wish we could get two keys. I used to keep one in the wallet so I could unlock the car in case I got into a rush and locked the ignition key in it.

  10. I have had all the above at one time. Still use my egg slicer. My favorite thing though, was the wringer washer I kept on my front porch for years, as a kind of hillbilly joke. I bought it from a fed-up homesteading woman who'd gotten a modern washer/dryer, after having leaned over the wringer and gotten her boob smashed in the rollers.
    After her cautionary tale, I used the washer to store cold drinks….

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