How soon we forget


This photo topped the list in one of those “things from th past” email messages. it was accompanied by another photo, reinforcing the idea that it was used for lettering. Perhaps it was, sometimes, but it had a very specific use that appears to have been forgotten. Anyone remember what it is?

Noxema skin cream, Vicks VapoRub, a dustpan and a tray of watercolours were on the same list … even though all are still common on stores shelves today. The listmaker must live a sheltered life.

Still, these lists are fun and good reminders of how quickly technologies have changed. The ashtrays show our progress. Many other items are still in my basement. Time to let go.

I saw an ad on Craigslist a couple of years ago: Antique graphic arts supplies. Pictured were the exacto knives, wax rollers, rubber cement bottles, T squares and cutting matts that I used everyday for years, before desktop publishing made “assembly” unnecessary. Remember the phrase “desktop publishing”? 

2 thoughts on “How soon we forget

  1. Back in the days of blackboards, followed by greenboards., when chalk was the writing instrument of choice for teachers . . .this was a chalk holder that could scribe five horizontal lines with a single stroke . . Stunning development used by music teachers everywhere. The treble clefts were still hand made however.

  2. Right on, Lloyd. And we remembered the names of the lines as EGBDF by reciting Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. (Some not-so-good boys recited variations.)

    The spaces between the lines were easy … FACE.

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