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Old 02-13-2014, 07:17 AM   #61
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Slide rules, drafting boards and blueprints.

Most everyone who took high school chemistry before 1975 or so will remember learning to use the slide rule. Engineers older than that would remember having to use one regularly for their work.

By the time I was in college the students had an (expensive) handheld calculator that we toted to class. But I remember an old-school professor for my calculation-intensive structural engineering class standing at the blackboard with chalk in one hand and his old bamboo slide rule in the other (blackboard...there's another one!) He could whip through the formulas at twice the speed we could manage pushing little buttons.

When I went to work in the early 80's, computer-aided drafting didn't exist. I remember taking weeks to convert handwritten surveyor notes to ready-to-bid construction drawings for a detention pond. We calculated the excavation and fill quantities using the polar planimeter, tracing the area of multiple cross-sections we had prepared on the drafting board. Once we had the areas figured, a hand calculation extrapolated the various areas into cubic yards.



I get a bit nostalgic thinking about those. but certainly not the smell of ammonia filling up an office when a batch of blueprints was being produced.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:28 PM   #62
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Baseball bats are made of wood, so are gunstocks. What happened to that?
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:14 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by jerome len View Post
Let's see how many of these many of you remember!
1. head light dimmer switches on the floor
2. candy cigarettes
3. coffee shops with tableside juke boxes.
4. home milk delivery in glass bottles.
5. party lines on the telephone.
6. newsreels before the movie.
7. Desoto cars
8. TV test patterns that came on at night and off in the morning.
9. Peashooters
10. Howdy Doody Time.
11. 45 RPM records.
12. HI FI's
13. blue flashbulbs.
14. cork popguns.
15. meal ice trays with lever.
16. Studebakers.
17. wash tub wringers.
If you remember more then 11-17, you're getting a little older.....if you remember all of them, you're a lot older! I got the list from my father in law.....and knew most of them.
I remember everything except #7, #9, and #16.

Anyone remember keypunch machines? I learned how to use them in high school.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:35 PM   #64
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I remember keypuncher machines. Learned about them in HS and that vacuum tube computer system I mentioned previously made use of them.

I also remember my father's 1957 Studebaker Silverhawk and a '64 Studebaker Lark-8 he had.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:42 PM   #65
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Slide rules, drafting boards and blueprints.
I imagine large-scale physical models of facilities are also a thing of the past?
My dad was an engineer, he designed oil refineries. It was >amazing< to go to his office and see the model of a refinery--pipes, valves, pumps, vessels, cooling towers, access walks and ladders--every major part was there. The thing was huge,and all the parts had to be custom fitted just like the real thing.

I'm sure a digital representation offers utility far beyond what a physical model can provide, but it just seems more real when you can touch it.
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:33 AM   #66
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Slide rules, drafting boards and blueprints.

Most everyone who took high school chemistry before 1975 or so will remember learning to use the slide rule. Engineers older than that would remember having to use one regularly for their work.

By the time I was in college the students had an (expensive) handheld calculator that we toted to class. But I remember an old-school professor for my calculation-intensive structural engineering class standing at the blackboard with chalk in one hand and his old bamboo slide rule in the other (blackboard...there's another one!) He could whip through the formulas at twice the speed we could manage pushing little buttons.

When I went to work in the early 80's, computer-aided drafting didn't exist. I remember taking weeks to convert handwritten surveyor notes to ready-to-bid construction drawings for a detention pond. We calculated the excavation and fill quantities using the polar planimeter, tracing the area of multiple cross-sections we had prepared on the drafting board. Once we had the areas figured, a hand calculation extrapolated the various areas into cubic yards.



I get a bit nostalgic thinking about those. but certainly not the smell of ammonia filling up an office when a batch of blueprints was being produced.
Ah yes, I remember the old slide rule days, the drafting tables, the planimeter, and the nauseating ammonia blueprints. And using these surveying instruments that now are some of the relics displayed in the office
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:03 AM   #67
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Wartime... maybe 1939 to 1945. Dad and mom both working long hours at the mill. She during the day, and dad was a night worker. ... Gas rationing... just a few gallons a week, based on the coupon allocation. Dad and mom walked to the Lorraine mill, about a mile away. The car didn't matter too much, because ALL tires were bald and the tubes had dozens of patches. We did have electric trolleys (Rhode Island) to go downtown, but most of our "stuff" came to us. No such thing as a Mall. Department stores were basically clothing stores. No pots and pans, sporting goods, tools, household goods, furniture and like that... just clothes and shoes. Hmmm. and only about 20 people had phones. We didn't, until 1944. We'd go to Johnny MacQueens house and listen in on the party lines, and sometimes call the drug store and ask if they had Prince Albert--- in a can. Then, "well, let him out".

Most things came to us. About 40 houses on our street... Just 10 cars, and we had one of them.
-Milk and cream from Hood's Dairy step van. The bubble topped bottles,with cream at the top, and which always "popped open" in the winter.
-Ice for the ice box from Mr. Hickey's truck, and stove oil from his other truck.
-Coal from Blackstone Valley Coal and Gas. Toted to the cellar window over the coal bin.. in big canvas sacks. Blue coal when we could afford it, coke when times were tough.
-Pot and pan repair (couldn't buy new pots because of war effort) from the Tinker/Scissor sharpener guy who worked out of a horse pulled wagon, and had a lighted forge on top (to repair pots), and a big grinding wheel on back for knives and scissors.
-The vegetable man... also with horse and wagon, until he graduated to an ancient school type bus... crank started. A walk in vegetable market.
-The Arnold's bread man. We were one of the first stops, so the fresh baked bread smell would fill the neighborhood in summer.
-Mr Watson-- The fish man... a 1937 Chrysler coupe with the trunk removed and replaced with a big woodencontainer. Lift up the lid, and a hundred pounds of crushed ice with fresh fish on top. Kids gathered around for slivers of ice... great marketing tool. All kinds of fish... It was "poor people" food, so we always had fish... mostly haddock and cod, but on special occasions, maybe shark. He only came on Thursdays to catch the Catholic trade.
-The Sunday paper man (we had a daily paper boy but the Sunday New York News was dad's indulgence). I couldn't wait to read the "Teenie Weenies" (Google that!). He also delivered the Providence Journal... You could hear him call... from two streets away ... a long drawn out " Sunndayyy Mournin Proveedince Jurnallll Paaaaaper". Color comics... (subject for another thread some day.)
-Peter Palagi Ice cream man... a fleet of 1928 Ford Trucks that lasted until the 1960's. Dozens of them to cover Pawtucket. We couldn't afford ice cream every day but would pool our pennies, and buy and share a double popsicle.
-The Rag Man... another horse drawn wagon... The ragman had a great voice... from a mile away, you could hear... "EEEE-RAAY-UGG-Usss.
The junk man... another horse and wagon enterprise.

...and the people who would walk to us. Covered all of our 2 sq. mile neighborhood:

-Max Kaplan... A walking Household Goods Store... He carried two big leather brief cases, filled with catalogs of "goods". You bought on "Time", and he came by every other week to collect the payments probably $.50 to $.75. . Never bothered him to carry us for a few weeks when times were tough... Mom bought her Singer, Hoover, and some hand mixers and things like that. When Max came, we'd all sit around the kitrchen table for a half hour, talking the war or weather, while we went through the wish books.
-Mr. Gordon... The insurance man. An old grey haired man who came every week to collect on insurance policies. What insurance?... the only one I remember was my Gerber Policy...for $500... for which we paid $.10 week. Mr. Gordon usually stayed for about a half hour... I think he liked to talk to my mom.
-Almost forgot... The garbage man. We never had much trash... burned what was burnable in the wire basket in the back yard. The hard stuff went to the dump in the valley on the next street... It was a left over from the ill fated Grand Trunk Railroad that was dug in the 1800's but never finished. That dump, that serviced about 1000 families and never filled up. People just didn't throw things away, and when they did, dump pickers and us kids would dig around and bring half of the junk back home. Always had a soap box racer... 12 inch baby carriage wheels in back, four inch toy teactor wheels in front.

Oops... back to the garbage man... You didn't throw away any kind of food, fruit peels or anything organic... no matter how bad or stinky.... It went into the garbage. Out in the back yard, hanging on a hook on the corner of the garage was a 20 gallon "garbage pail"... galvanized with a tight fitting galvanized top. Every family had one. Weekly, the garbage man came by with a big open truck. (You knew he was coming a half hour before he got to your house). He was a monster of a man, who wore a big leather shoulder apron, and carried a 30 gallon bucket on his back. It all went to the pig farm, somewhere up in Lincoln. We never knew, never asked.

So... some of the missing links... between then, and now.

Yeah... overdone... Got started and forgot to stop...
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:08 AM   #68
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R. E. S. P. E. C. T.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:18 AM   #69
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REally love the memories.................anyone remember the TV show, "I remember Mama" that I watched when I was a really little guy?
That was a favorite of my family's. Boy that was a long time ago...

Classic TV Shows - I Remember Mama
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:38 AM   #70
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back to the model planes... made many of these: baby R.O.G.'s
carving the propellor... hardest part for a 7 year old.
http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/b...ionarticle.pdf
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:12 AM   #71
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Imoldernu, thank you for the WWII timeframe post. I wasn't born yet, there are things from that era that have meaning to me.

Mom's older Sister, whenever we visited there, popcorn was a treat. They had the best popcorn ever. I remember asking Mom, what my Aunt did to make it so special. Her response well she made it like we did in the war. No cooking oil, just bacon grease. Her Sister never went back to cooking oil after it was available again.

Years later DW and I went through the Truman museum with my parents. The museum was great. My favorite part was having Mom and Dad tell of rationing and the sacrifices everyone had made for the effort.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:18 AM   #72
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Imoldernu - Thanks for posting that. Great read!
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:36 AM   #73
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Here's a 'soon to be' missing link:

I think we are all familiar with the stories of the younger generation not knowing what to do with an old-style dial telephone. But I just learned of an update to that.

One of the kids at the school DW works at had to call home. So she hands him the handset of her office desk phone (and hits the #8 or #9 or whatever for the outside line, as the kids have no awareness of that). The kid holds the handset up to his face and looks perplexed. He probably figured the cord was on there to keep people from stealing the phone, llike you see in some stores. But he just kept staring blankly at the handset, with it turned towards his face.

That's when DW realized this kid has never held a phone (cell phone or cordless) that didn't have the buttons in the handset! He was looking for the buttons. Why the heck would they put the buttons on a box way over there?

The things we take for granted!

The next generation will be wondering - buttons? What are buttons for? Why not just use the voice recognition, or brain wave interceptor function to call the person you want? So in the future, the line "I was thinking of calling you" won't make sense anymore. If you were thinking of calling someone, you would have!


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Old 02-14-2014, 12:09 PM   #74
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-Milk and cream from Hood's Dairy step van. The bubble topped bottles,with cream at the top, and which always "popped open" in the winter.

-Coal from Blackstone Valley Coal and Gas. Toted to the cellar window over the coal bin.. in big canvas sacks. Blue coal when we could afford it, coke when times were tough.

-Pot and pan repair (couldn't buy new pots because of war effort) from the Tinker/Scissor sharpener guy who worked out of a horse pulled wagon, and had a lighted forge on top (to repair pots), and a big grinding wheel on back for knives and scissors.

-The vegetable man... also with horse and wagon, until he graduated to an ancient school type bus... crank started. A walk in vegetable market.
It surprises people, but these are among my memories of the 1950s in Brooklyn, NY.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:53 PM   #75
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It surprises people, but these are among my memories of the 1950s in Brooklyn, NY.
A 'scissors man' was still plying his trade on the NW side of Chicago in the 1970's (and far beyond, I think a younger relative took over).

Milkmen have come back in vogue, some 'boutique' dairies deliver to (mostly) yuppies or old hippies.

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Old 02-14-2014, 03:07 PM   #76
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In the 50s there was still a traveling salesman on the back roads around Pembina County. He was Syrian and everyone knew him as Boomarod, at least that was as close to his real name as people could pronounce. He traveled in a wagon with a team of horses and had pots, pans, cloth and God only knows what else in his wagon. He would stop at farm houses to sell goods and sharpen knives if needed. If it was late in the day people would give him a place to stay for the night. He passed away in the mid 70s at 90 years old.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:46 PM   #77
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I imagine large-scale physical models of facilities are also a thing of the past?
My dad was an engineer, he designed oil refineries. It was >amazing< to go to his office and see the model of a refinery--pipes, valves, pumps, vessels, cooling towers, access walks and ladders--every major part was there. The thing was huge,and all the parts had to be custom fitted just like the real thing.

I'm sure a digital representation offers utility far beyond what a physical model can provide, but it just seems more real when you can touch it.
Physical models are still built from time-to-time, but not nearly as much as in the past. Here's one that was put together last year.

Zoo Interchange model on display at courthouse | TrafficWatch 12 - WISN Home

You are correct about the utility of a digital renderings. Under the hood of the 3-D animation software that produced this video, the number of cars and their movements would have been loaded into a computer model that calculates vehicle speed, volume and density by road segment. The digital output of that model is mashed with the physical road and bridge data produced from CADD drawings to produce an animation. It not only shows the physical layout but also the way the roadway will operate.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a model provides a few thousand and a 3-D animation is worth several thousand.

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Old 02-14-2014, 06:28 PM   #78
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back to the model planes... made many of these: baby R.O.G.'s
carving the propellor... hardest part for a 7 year old.
http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/b...ionarticle.pdf
Thanks for that. I built several of the Guillow's balsa-and-tissue models of WW-11 fighters: they didn't look great, but they looked better than they flew! I would have been better off building a simpler plane.
Carving a prop as a 7 year old--that will teach a guy perseverance!
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:52 PM   #79
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Library card catalog

(which we still have a few of in our university library, but not for public use, just used by a few departments as a historical record. Solid maple, heavy as heck even when empty)
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:25 PM   #80
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Library card catalog

(which we still have a few of in our university library, but not for public use, just used by a few departments as a historical record. Solid maple, heavy as heck even when empty)
One of the many part-time jobs I had while working my way through college was filing cards in those old maple card catalogs. When I first heard our local library was getting rid of the card catalogs and moving all the records online I felt sad. End of an era.
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