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My, how things have changed

When Royal Swimming Pools started in the last century (late 1980’s), cell phones weighed 10 lbs and forget about getting service in a rural area. You would just have to deal with no phone service if your customer wasn’t at home or drive to the nearest pay phone**. Using a pay phone wasn’t that bad. You had to have a dime unless you were making a long distance call. If you were in a rural area, more than likely it was a long distance call. That is when everybody emptied their pockets for change.

If we wanted to show pictures of our work we would have to load a camera with film (cross fingers that the film didn’t get too hot) and then drive up to a little bitty building and hand over the film to a Fox Photo* employee. The photos would be ready in a few days. The result always had a few blurry pictures and some that didn’t come out. In other words, the picture was non-existent.  But you always had the 24 pieces of photo paper.

Voice mail was in the form of an ‘answering machine’ and it recorded messages on a small reel to reel tape. To ‘erase’ the message, you had to rewind it and it would just record over the old messages. Later, we upgraded to an answering machine that would take you directly to your new messages. Man that was a great invention!

If we needed to send a quote to you by mail or send  you an invoice it was written on a typewriter***.  Luckily, we did buy an electric one. Like a copy machine it used ink. The ink was on a ribbon and costly. To save money we would reuse the ribbon. The next set of correspondence would always be lighter. When typing  you had to be careful because there was no erasing with the backspace button.  We used quite a bit of White Out**** to correct our typing mistakes.

Everybody who was anybody had a Boombox*****. Ours was covered in dirt from the construction crew taking it out to job sites. It was like taking the party with you!

Today, all these things can be done from an I-Pad that weighs less than our first cell phone or from a smart phone. If you enjoyed visiting our first years, read below for a few short facts about technology.

*If you never saw one yourself, you can see one in the first Back To The Future movie. It was that little building that the Libyans ran into.

**Invented in the century before the last century, the first pay phones were ‘manned’ by phone company’s employees. You would pay the employee to make the call for you. No push buttons or dial!

***Early versions of the typewriter started in 1800’s. It was slower to type than it was to write, but it gave a blind person a way to write.

****White Out, rather, Liquid Paper was invented by a single mom who was trying to cover her typing mistakes. Other typists asked her for this great wonder. She mixed it up in a blender at home and put a label on it that said ‘Mistake Out’. Her new career was launched when she was fired from her job and it gave her more time to work on her invention.

*****In the 50’s, to listen to music on the go you would carry a transistor radio. It was a little larger than a deck of cards. Someone decided that the music needed to be louder so enter the boombox. I found this image of LL Cool J.  When I think of the BoomBox from the 1980’s, this is what I see.

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One Comment

  1. John Smith says:

    Nice article… a good flashback.

    John Smith

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