8 Formerly Common Household Items That are Almost Extinct

Touch computing, smart phones, GPS systems, and tablets are among the top tech trends for 2012. Over the years, as technological advancements continue to popularize certain gadgets, others fall into obscurity, eventually becoming items of a bygone era. We’ve gotten used to having the ability to stay connected and access an unfathomable amount of information via the World Wide Web at our fingertips in a matter of seconds. These processes have made certain common household goods that were once considered social mainstays now obsolete items. From old school gaming systems to record players, we count down eight household items that are well on their way to becoming extinct- no mater where you live: Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee.

  1. Yellow Pages books

    Even though some phone books are still being sent to homes locally, they aren’t used frequently anymore. If we need to look something up, why flip through a couple hundred pages when we could look it up on our phone or laptop? The younger generation probably has never even touched a yellow book. Although marketers of the yellow pages boast that their publication is still relevant (49% of American adults still refer to it), it’s hard to believe. Not only are yellow pages finding their way to into the trash, but printed media such as classifieds and newspapers are slowly becoming digitized too.

  2. Land line phones & answering machines

    Many people have given up on their old telephone land lines. Although many others still have their land line phones, they attribute most of their communicative services to their cell phones, and only keep their home land line because it came free with their internet packages. Landlines also provide a great back up alternative to when cell phones lose service range or for whatever reason, are not tethered to one’s side at all times. The answering machine has evolved over the years, since it was first invented in 1898. According to USA Today, the number of households that only used cellphones jumped a whopping 159% from 2004 and 2007, so it’s only logical that answering machine use, also decline. Since many people claim that it’s annoying to check their voicemails on their cell phones as it is, answering machines connected to land lines surely will have a bleak future as a common household item.

  3. VCRs

    Videocassette recorders have found their way into the gadget graveyard in the years since DVD players and Blu-ray players have been popularized. The VHS format is probably only utilized by families who still have tapes in VHS format of their kids, or people who hang on to the nostalgic value of VCR players. Either way, most people have resigned to the mass upgrade of blu-ray players and DVR systems. Nowadays, we rent everything on DVD, access movies from our Netflix account, or stream videos online. Rest in peace, VHS tapes, you did have a good run.

  4. HAM radios

    The internet definitely has contributed to the decline of the HAM radio device. Amateur radio operators found pleasure in communicating with others world wide in previous decades, whether as a hobby or during emergencies, but now, people who have active HAM radio licenses have dropped by the masses. Nowadays when everything is about portability and connectivity, all the tubes and wires of HAM radios seem like characteristics of an era long gone.

  5. Cassette players

    Cassette players have been on the list of out-of-date technology for a while now. Nowadays, iPod docks are all the rage, which means even mp3 players and CD players are becoming less relevant. As it’s becoming easier to download songs off the internet or stream music online, less people are putting music on portable handheld devices.

  6. Window fans

    Before centralized air-conditioning became the norm, people resorted to window air-conditioning fans. Remember those old fans that made noises and produced only slightly less hot air from the outside? Yeah, it’s hard to remember now that we have the privilege of central A/C.

  7. Phonographs and record players

    Aside from being nifty relics, or upgraded cool devices, record players are now nearly extinct. Music records revolutionized the music industry starting in the 1940s and while vinyl records have that vintage hipster feel, they have long been ousted by the digital revolution, which offers better sound quality, increased storage capacity, and portability.

  8. Analog TV and TV antennas

    It’s a strange concept to think that the young generation will not remember what it’s like to rearrange those rabbit ear antennas, so prevalent when analog TV sets were popular. The universal switch to digital TV has resulted in countless analog TV sets being thrown out. Nowadays we enjoy high definition TV and crystal clear resolution screens. With 3D television sets on the rise, the analog spectrum is truly on its way to extinction.


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