Posts Tagged ‘technology’
Kid of the 80s

mr-microphone

Mr. Microphone made us a star. With the low-powered FM transmitter microphone, we could sing along with our music and play DJ.

Introduced in the late 70s, Mr. Microphone became one of Ronco’s biggest successes and continued to sell in large numbers well into the mid-80s. Ronco followed up with Mr. Microphone II, which included an AM radio and a 12′ connecting cable.

Kid of the 80s

price-tag

Do you remember when price tags were on everything? No UPC scanners or barcodes required.

In June of 1974, the first UPC scanner was installed at a Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The first product to have a bar code scanned was a pack of Wrigley’s Gum. It just happened to be the first product picked by the shopper for checkout, and it is still preserved at the Smithsonian Nation Museum of the American History.

Kid of the 80s

lego-brick-separator

If you played with Legos before 1988, you may remember prying the blocks apart with your teeth. The Lego Brick Separator was introduced in 1988.

The eternal struggle of stuck Legos came to an end as the Danish toy manufacturer spared us the trouble of flinging our creations at the wall in order to separate the plastic blocks.

Kid of the 80s

ibm-charlie-chaplin

The IBM Personal Computer was introduced August 1981. Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp character was used in a series of popular ads.

In 1981 pricing on the IBM Personal Computer started at $1,565. Because IBM had no retail experience, the retail chains ComputerLand and Sears Roebuck became the main outlets for the new product. More than 190 Computerland stores already existed, while Sears was in the process of creating a handful of in-store computer centers.

The generic term “personal computer” was in use before 1981. However, because of the success of the IBM Personal Computer, the term PC came to mean more specifically a desktop microcomputer compatible with IBM’s PC products.

Kid of the 80s

discman2

The Sony Discman was released in 1984. The first model, the D-50, did not have its own power source and required a large battery-pack case.

The first Discman sold for $350. The unit successfully sparked public interest in CDs, boosting their popularity, and within a 18 months the D-50 became profitable.

In the early 90s, Sony renamed the Discman to the CD Walkman.