18 Things Our Parents Had That Are Rare Finds Today 

Growing up, we all remember the homes our parents and grandparents as well as the fun and interesting things they had. Many of these items are now hard to find and are even considered vintage. Let’s take a look at 18 of these items.

Console Televisions

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Some of the biggest televisions included in many homes from our childhood were the huge console televisions that were part of the furniture. These big and bulky items made for some graceful home décor and were built with the most advanced technologies of the 1970s. They were not just a piece of electronic but part of the home aesthetic.

Rotary Phones

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One of the items that used to be a staple in many of our parent’s houses was the rotary phone. They had a circular dial with a mechanical sound, which was somewhat satisfying to some. Now, you would only find them in vintage stores, and they have been replaced by smartphones and digital options.

Vinyl Record Players

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The warm, rich sound of music played on a vinyl record player is unmatched. Though vinyl has seen a resurgence, the players themselves, especially the vintage models, are now considered collector’s items.

Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT) Televisions

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Discovered in the 19th century, the Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT) television came out before the introduction of flat screens. Back in the day, they were the centerpiece of every home’s living room. These CRT TV technologies were also used in the monitors, as mentioned by the University of Oxford, Department of Physics.

Manual Typewriters

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If anyone remembers typewriters, they would also relate it to their distinct sound. These manual technologies have disappeared among 21st-century digital computers and laptops. Only enthusiasts and most collectors now have these only because of their mechanical precision and aesthetic values.

Film Cameras

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When film cameras existed in the 1970s, they took a lot of skill and patience to operate. These have now been replaced by smartphones and more advanced digital cameras, which are much quicker and easier to use. However, old-school film cameras are still a beloved item for many photography purists.

VHS Tapes and VCRs

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VHS tapes and VCRs became a very popular and exciting trend during the 80s and 90s. When the rise of DVDs took over, these steadily started to disappear, and stores like Blockbuster had to replace these bulky tapes with DVDs and CDs instead. There used to be dozens of different formats, as Each Moment identified.

Encyclopedia Sets

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Growing up, most kids had an entire set of encyclopedias—physical book sets that were the primary or at least the go-to source of knowledge and information, much like the phone directory was for phone numbers and contact details. Today, the internet has become our main source of knowledge and easily accessible information on all things.

Station Wagons

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The other rare find that our parents used to have was the station wagon cars. You could still find some being driven around in a few states, but they are few and far between. Popular during the 60s and 70s, these had a distinctive shape and style, and the interiors were roomy enough to fit an entire family comfortably. Nowadays, minivans or SUVs do the trick.

Floppy Disks

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When it came to storing data, there was no better way of doing this than using the floppy disk in most homes and offices. As a primary means of storing data, they were a bit flimsy and could get damaged easily. As expected, they have now been replaced by more spacious and reliable digital solutions, such as built-in hard drives or externals.

Milk Delivery Services

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The nostalgic memory of the milk delivery van coming up to your front porch to deliver your fresh milk glass bottles in the morning is hard to forget as a kid who lived during the 1960s. These were delivered either daily or weekly and are a cherished memory. In the modern era, we conveniently buy our milk from convenience stores and supermarkets.

Analog Clocks

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Another reminiscent item that was popular in our parents’ homes was the analog clock. Although still found in some spaces; various versions of digital display clocks have taken over. These are now not only for timekeeping but also include various other features to make our lives more convenient.

Carbon Paper

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When typewriters and bulky printers existed back in the day, they would use a form of carbon paper to make instant copies of texts, which provided the ink for these machines. Although it was a messy process, as mentioned in the New York Times, they did the job. Now an artifact of the past, digital copiers and printers have taken over.

Ashtrays in Homes

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Ashtrays were also a very common item in our parent’s houses, not only for use but also as a fashionable item of décor for guests to use. However, due to the extensive research done on the health risks involved as well as the smoking ban in most states, this is now not that common, and the habit has become less prevalent in many households.

Percolator Coffee Pots

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Espresso machines and drip coffee makers are seen in almost all homes nowadays. This wasn’t the case back in the day, and our parents used to rely on the percolator as a standard means of brewing coffee. This was a celebrated item, especially because it brought out the robust flavors of most coffees.

Wall-Mounted Bottle Openers

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If you remember your dad opening a bottle of beer or soda using a wall-mounted bottle opener, then you must be a kid of the early 1900s. These branded bottle openers were one way for companies to promote their brands and various beverages. Often used in the kitchen and on porches, these are now a rare item and have been replaced by multi-functional openers or handheld bottle openers.

Ice Boxes

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Before the technology of refrigeration became widespread, many families had large ice boxes to store their drinks and food items to keep them cool. They also took the smaller versions on picnics and road trips. However, these did require regular ice block deliveries.

Console Stereo Systems

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One of the best things in many homes was the inclusion of the stereo system, which often brought joy to any gathering. These multi-component stereo systems were a proud item in many parents’ homes, and as kids, we always hung around them in our living rooms. They had everything from radio to vinyl, and some even had a television function, all in one single item.

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