The Cassette Player
A cassette player is a chunky device people in the 90’s would carry around to play their music on. They would hook their earphones into it and play a cassette that contained different types of audio. People would have to rewind the tape and guess where to stop if they wanted to listen to a song again.
Dubbed the original text messenger, the beeper, otherwise known as a pager was a small battery powered device that would send small and concise messages to a recipient. There were one way pagers where people could only receive messages and a two-way pager which could be used to send and receive notifications.
A device similar to email that was used by many companies and households to send and receive images and text through the use of electronic signals and phone lines. once one Fax machine would receive the signal it would immediately print out the compressed data. This finished product was called a Fax.
A now obsolete item that has been replaced by applications like the Cloud and built in storage space on your computers and phones, the Floppy disk was a smaller, more affordable storage medium that was used throughout the 1990’s. It was a thin magnetic disk enclosed in plastic and helped people backup their computer for decades.
Before Mobile Phones were a staple product amongst pretty much everyone, landlines were a household essential and would be the only form of communication throughout the 90’s. Many homes would have these huge immobile contraptions that would be strapped into the wall. Imagine one phone you had to share with your entire family. Also if you were using the phone no one in the house could use the internet.
Now replaced by answering machines and automated messages, phone line companies would rely on Telephone operators to guide calls to their required departments. This job is now non-existent and the younger generations will never have to talk to one of these people again. You think you have to wait long now, imagine the wait time when this system was in place.
In the 90’s, applications like Netflix and amazon prime did not exist, so people would have to go to a local blockbuster video to rent any specific movie they wanted to watch. They would then need to return it if they didn’t want to incur further costs. Like a library for movies, well, no one uses libraries anymore either. Now franchises like Blockbuster videos have almost gone extinct which is a massive statement seeing how it was once a million dollar company with thousands of stores all across America.
Before the Sat Nav was invented, people would have to extensively plan out their journeys and use massive paper maps to navigate cross country trips. One wrong turn would result in hours added onto your journey and it wasn’t uncommon as many maps had small print and were hard to read.
I don’t know about you but I love to binge watch a series on Netflix and now a days its easy and quick with just a touch of your remote you can get all your favourite shows online. However, in the 90’s this wasn’t possible for the standard Joe as you would literally have to record every episode on a bunch of VHS tapes before you could sit down and watch them. Otherwise you would have to make sure you don’t miss the episode when it aired.
In today’s era everything from ‘how to do’s’ to stupid questions can be searched into google and within seconds you get the answer to your question. However in the 90’s this concept was none existent and you would have to physically go to a library and search for hours to get one question answered. University was all physical so if you missed a lecture that’s it, it’s gone and if you wanted to learn anything you would have to interact with a human to do so. It was a world without instant knowledge and must have been difficult for 90’s babies.
It’s common practice to take a quick picture on your phones and see how it turned out. But in the 90’s you would practically take a picture blind and have to wait for the outcome once it’s printed.
A big portable music player that was powered by batteries and had two massive speakers for outdoor use. This contraption was extremely popular throughout the 90’s with many teens carrying it on their shoulders as they went to the beach or hung out on the streets. It has been superseded by smaller more compact Bluetooth speakers that give the same effect.
Nintendo Game Boy
The first amongst a long line of revolutionary Nintendo products, the Gameboy took the world by storm because of its amazing gaming capabilities. Kids and adults alike would load up game cartridges into its back and enjoy long rides entertained by games like Tetris, Pokémon and Super Mario.
The yellow pages was an advertisement magazine of sorts where people would leave phone numbers and advertisements to recruit people for jobs. The saying ‘you better hit the yellow pages’ was very popular in the 90’s and was meant as a way to say get up of your backside and find a job already. After more than 5 decades the telephone directory of business stopped printing back in 2019.
Although radios are still a standard accessory in your car, many people in the 90’s would carry around portable radios as their only form of entertainment. They would spend time looking for the right frequency and for many it was the only way to keep up with news and current trends. 90’s children were probably the last people to witness the radio era as soon after, the mobile phone was invented and these handy pieces of equipment got discarded as relics of the past.
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