The 1970s was a time of immense cultural and societal change, ushering in a new era of music, film, fashion, and technology. Whether you grew up in the United States or abroad, there was something special about this time that many people fondly remember. From extraordinary fashion trends to iconic music, here are 15 things that only people who lived in the 1970s will remember.
Atari Video Game Console
The Atari Video Game Console was one of the first home game consoles to become widely popular. It was released in 1977 and quickly became a hit among kids and adults, offering simple yet addicting games like Space Invaders and Pong. The console helped kickstart the modern gaming industry.
Roller Disco Parties
Roller disco was all the rage in the 70s, with roller rinks nationwide. People would gather to show off their moves on skates and enjoy music from iconic bands like ABBA and The Bee Gees. Roller Disco Parties were an excellent way for people of all ages to have fun.
Lines for Gas
During the 1970s, the world experienced multiple oil crises, leading to extensive queues at gas stations as people patiently waited for fuel. Witnessing lines of vehicles stretching for hours to secure a full tank was a common sight. Although the situation eventually stabilized, it left a lasting impression on those who endured it, forever etching the memory in their minds.
Super 8 Movies
Super 8 was a film cartridge containing 8mm film, used in small, handheld cameras. People could easily record their movies or capture family events using Super 8 cameras. The Super 8 film format was user-friendly, and its compact size made it convenient for casual filmmakers to shoot home videos and personal projects.
After recording their footage, people could send the film for development, and then they could watch their movies on a projector screen at home or with family and friends.
One of the most iconic aspects of the 1970s was its music. Artists like Donna Summer, Kool & The Gang, and Chic dominated the radio airwaves with their upbeat tunes and groovy basslines, leading to a new phenomenon known as Disco music. Disco clubs became popular hotspots for people to dress in flashy costumes and show off their dance moves. Songs like “Stayin’ Alive” and “We Are Family” became staples of the genre.
The 70s marked a revolutionary period for photography with the advent of instant cameras like the iconic Polaroid. People could take pictures and have them developed instantly without waiting for a film to be processed. The Polaroid camera was also known for its distinct aesthetic that made photos look more vibrant and alive.
8 Track Tapes
8-track tapes were the successors of vinyl records and became a popular medium for listening to music in the 70s. These tapes contained two-inch wide magnetic tape, which could store audio recordings and be easily inserted into a player, providing up to 20 minutes of music per side. At the time, 8-track tapes were seen as innovative technology and provided an easier way for people to enjoy their favorite songs on the go.
Waiting for Others to Hang up the Phone
Most households in the 1970s had only one rotary or push-button landline phone. People had to wait for someone else to finish their conversation before calling. This communication style vastly differed from today’s world, where you can connect multiple smartphones to the same line.
Cartoons on Saturday Mornings
Cartoon shows like The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, and Super Friends were a source of joy and entertainment for many children in the 70s. However, these cartoons aired only on Saturday mornings since most TV stations chose to air other programs during the weekdays. As a result, kids had to patiently wait for Saturdays so they could watch their favorite cartoon shows.
Color-Changing Mood Ring
Mood rings were popular accessories in the 70s. These rings contained thermotropic liquid crystals, which changed color based on the wearer’s body temperature. People believed these color changes corresponded to their emotions and used them as a type of emotional barometer, although no scientific evidence supports this claim.
Metal Lunch Boxes
Metal lunch boxes, sometimes with cartoon characters, were the highlight of many kids’ days. The metal construction made these boxes durable and long-lasting; one could reuse them yearly. Filled with sandwiches or snacks, they were a convenient way for children to carry their lunch to school.
Wearing Wide-Collar Shirts
Fashion in the 70s was all about being bold and expressing yourself. One of the most popular trends was wearing wide-collar shirts with unique patterns, colors, and designs. These wild styles were a hit among teenagers who wanted to stand out.
Watching Movies at Drive-In Theaters
Going to the movies was a popular pastime and drive-in theaters offered an exciting and unique movie-watching experience. In the 1970s, people would come together and watch movies outdoors from the comfort of their cars or while sitting on blankets in front of large outdoor screens. This style of movie watching became especially popular during summer.
Shorts and Socks
During the 1970s, the fashion trend for men revolved around the combination of shorts and socks. Men would confidently sport short shorts paired with athletic socks that stretched up to their knees, creating a unique style that captured the era’s essence. This fashion statement gained immense popularity in various settings, from the vibrant atmosphere of roller rinks to the dazzling lights of disco clubs, where individuals embraced this trend for casual outings or lively nights on the town.
Owning a Pet Stone
The 70s was the era of pet rocks. This peculiar concept involved buying a rock and decorating and caring for these small pebbles, treating them like real animals by giving them names and talking to them. Although this trend may seem bizarre, it allowed people to own a unique pet.
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