The baby boomer generation has seen massive changes over their lifetime. Defined as the generation born roughly between 1946 and 1964, they witnessed a life before the internet took over the world. The baby boomer generation grew up without things that we can’t even imagine going a day without now. That makes it more fun to recall these 12 nostalgic things only the baby boomer generation will remember.
1. Using books instead of screens
It must be weird to imagine, but there was actually an entire generation who was stuck going through books and encyclopedias to write research papers. Unlike today, they didn’t have the option to get information with a few clicks in front of a screen.
2. The time before 24/7 TV
Forget binge watching, imagine not being able to watch TV through the night. Yes, the baby boomer generation witnessed a time when TV stations signed off at midnight until 6 a.m. Not just that, but a lot of people only had 3 channels on their TV and since remote controls weren’t very popular, they had to get up and switch the channel!
3. Licking and sticking S&H Green stamps
There were no rewards/ loyalty programs back in the day. Instead, customers were given S&H green stamps with every purchase they made, which could be redeemed later. Baby boomers will remember licking and sticking these stamps on their books. Fun fact here is, although these stamps peaked in the 60’s and were popular till the 80’s, S&H allowed stamps to be redeemed until 2019.
Before shopping malls and multinational retail stores, boomers did their shopping at the local and five-and-dime stores. The baby boomer generation will remember these stores for having mostly nickel and dime items. Woolworth’s is one of the most memorable one, where customers could also grab a bite at their lunch counters.
5. Tuning into ‘I Love Lucy’
While we can all watch ‘I Love Lucy’ today, the baby boomer generation will remember tuning into this classic sitcom in real-time. Dominating ratings from the start in 1951, it went on to become the most watched show in the US during four of its 6 seasons.
6. Sears before Amazon
It’s hard to imagine a world without 2 day shipping today. Baby boomers used the Sears catalog to place orders for everything from toys to clothing to any kind of tools. However, unlike Amazon, the shipping took weeks instead of days or hours.
7. Seeing the milkman everyday
Due to a lack of refrigeration, boomers will remember subscribing to milk delivery services and having fresh milk delivered at their doorstep everyday. By the mid 70’s, almost all households had modern refrigerators and since then, everyone had to start going to grocery stores and pick up their milk.
8. Jell-o…dessert or entree?
Baby boomers will remember a lot of weird jell-o dishes. People were using jell-o with everything – salads, ham, lamb, fruits, cheese and the list goes on. Thankfully, the trend faded by the 70’s.
9. Searching for a number in the phone book
Today, we have the ease and comfort of having access to thousands of contacts in our hand. Whether they had to make a personal or work call, the baby boomer generation will remember flipping through that fat phone book for a number.
10. When smoking got away with a lot
Baby boomers will remember the time smoking was allowed in airplanes. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? It wasn’t until the 1990’s that smoking was completely banned on flights. Apart from that, they might also remember seeing cigarette advertisements everywhere in the 60’s. Thankfully, the public became more aware of the dangers of smoking, and cigarette advertising was banned.
11. Talking to an operator
Later generations probably have no idea but boomers had to dial O and then talk to a real live operator who would direct their call.
12. Riding a banana seat bike
Most baby boomers will remember having this bike. It was designed to look like a chopper with the high handlebars, small wheels and that classic banana seat. A major trend was clipping baseball cards to the bike spokes, which made the most satisfying sound while riding down the street very fast.
People from later generations might be better risk takers, more creative and more productive. However, we cannot deny the fact that the baby boomer generation was not only tough and hard working but also went through some of the most amazing changes in the world.