Special Report

Modern Inventions We No Longer Use

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21. Calculator Watch

People have been trying to make the watch more than just a watch for decades. Before it was a phone, it was a calculator in the 1980s. It was a very popular device among tech savvy people. Even Marty McFly from “Back to the Future” wore one.

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22. LaserDisc Player

Until the DVD was created, people who had the money used a LaserDisc Player, or DiscoVision as it was named in 1978. It was an optical disc with a 12” diameter that contained analog audio and video. LaserDiscs were created with the intention to sell movies at a cheap price for people to watch at home.

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23. Reel-to-Reel Tape

Until digital recording format came along, sound professionals used reel-to-reel tapes. Audio was recorded on a magnetic tape held on a reel. There may be a revival in the works for both quality and nostalgic reasons. A German company introduced on a new reel-to-reel tape machine, but it costs about $12,000.

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24. Transistor Radio

You could see them everywhere in the 1970s. People used transistor radios to listen to music and the radio on the go. As Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, had once said: “My first transistor radio… I loved what it could do, it brought me music, it opened my world up.”

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25. Sketchpad Program

Invented in the early 1960s by Ivan Sutherland, the Sketchpad was a revolutionary computer program that changed the way humans interacted with computers. The program used a graphical user interface, which was not common at the time. Sutherland is now referred to as the father of computer graphics.

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26. Telegraph

The telegraph is the forerunner to fax machines. It was the first device of its kind that made long-distance communication possible. It worked by transmitting electrical signals over a wire stretched between stations. The telegraph was the foundation of later communication inventions such as the telephone and even the internet.