Special Report

Modern Inventions We No Longer Use

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6. Pager

Before cell phones, people used pagers, also called “beepers,” when they needed to reach someone right away. The paging system forwarded incoming calls or emails to the pager in the form of a number to call or text message. Pagers remain one of the most reliable forms of communication available, and some doctors still use them. There is no delay in delivery, the network doesn’t get overloaded, and there are no dead zones.

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7. Discman

Those who liked to listen to music on the go had a discman. Portable CD players were first invented in 1984 by Sony, and they really took off in the mid-1990s. Compared to what’s available today, some may think Discman players were too limited because because they could only play one CD at a time and required carrying more CDs for more music variety.

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8. Floppy Disk

Way before the cloud, thumb drives, and other portable memory devices, there was the floppy disk drive. Now basically an antique, it was popular in the 1980s and 1990s. As is the case with most personal computing devices, the memory has increased with time. In 1991, for example, floppy disks could hold up to 2.8 MB — enough for the simple text files of the time, but today barely enough for one or two photo attachments.

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9. Gramophone

You may know the gramophone by another name — the phonograph. Created in 1877, this was Thomas Edison’s favorite invention. It was the first kind of a recording and playback device. Edison used tinfoil-coated cylinders to record sound. A century later, the gramophone was replaced by the much lighter record player.

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10. VHS

The Video Home System, or VHS, was an invaluable part of every household’s living room when people realized they can actually finally record video. VHS could record up to six hours and users could fast-forward and rewind — unheard of features until then. The first home video recorder came out in 1965. The Sony VCR used a reel-to-reel format and could record only in black and white.