Monday, April 7, 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 26 Technology

I am participating in Julie Goucher's activity:

This week's prompt is - Technology

What technology changes did your ancestors see?
What technology changes have you seen?
Did your family own one of those early changes? - such as television
Do you like or dislike technology?
What do you think has been the best technological change in your lifetime and historically?

My grandparents witnessed the advent of cars, planes, telephones, radios, and refrigerators.  Unfortunately they were all deceased before the inventions from the 1960's forward.  My dad's father was an early proponent of the automobile.   As part of his work the family traveled around the United States fairly regularly in the 1910's and 1920's.  I don't remember ever seeing my mother's father with or in a car but I an sure he also was enamored by automobiles.  All of his children went to boarding schools and I am sure it was the means of visiting the children.

Hansen Road Trip circa 1913
(photo owned by Denis Murray)

One of the wedding gifts my parents received was a floor model combination radio and record player.  One of it's features was the ability to make your own recordings!  

This looks like the radio I remember.
(photo credit google images)
Often my parents would have get-togethers with their parents and siblings.  These gatherings were recorded with my father acting as moderator.  The recordings have been moved from the steel discs they were on to cassette and now to cds.  It is amazing to me that I can still listen to the voice of grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles long gone.  My youngest brother was only 2 1/2 years old when dad died and didn't remember his voice.  I was a special treat to share these recordings with him and my other siblings.

I grew up with television, stereo. and hi-fi.  Transistor radios, brownie cameras, and 45 records were popular.  Most of these are gone now replaced by streaming video, mp3 players and cell phone cameras.  TVs remain but now they are flat screens, frequently wall mounted, and much larger than the 13 - 19 inch ones popular in the 1960's and 70's.

Remember these from game shows?
Google images
In the 1960s computers were entering the work place and one of my jobs was as a key punch operator.  I also learned how to wire a board for a card sorter.  I have been working with computers in various ways ever since.  Since my husband also repaired computers in his work, I have always been around them.

I vividly remember the first microwave oven I saw in use.  I was on 20 July 1969, the day we landed men on the moon.  My husband and I went to visit a friend on the way to going to an airshow in Sandwich, Illinois.  We were very excited because Bob Hope would be doing a show there.  Our friend invited us into the kitchen to see his wonderful new toy.  He dished up ice cream and poured chocolate sauce over the ice cream.  He put the dish into the microwave and set the timer for 10 seconds.  When the time was up he took out the dish and the sauce was hot but the ice cream was still frozen!  We were amazed.  I think we also cooked hot dogs that day too.

I love technology!  It allows us to do so much more exploring and learning.  I love making the "cousin" connections I can through the use of blogging and social media.  I love the technology that produced all of the labor saving devices that we enjoy today, it allows us the time to do so many other things.  But really the most important technological invention ever was the invention of the Gutenberg Press which allowed the education of the common man.