7 Things You’ll Only Remember If You Were Born Before 1975


Jillian Doughty / Getty Images, VintageRecipeCards.com


If you’ve ever had a pet rock or had to manually tune a transistor radio – then you’re going to feel an overwhelming amount of nostalgia looking back on these historic things that only folks born before 1975 will remember!

Have you ever felt like millennials just don’t understand how the world used to be? Well, if you can recognize anything on this list – then you know how life used to be!


For more than 20 years, America (and the world) experienced the massive growth and expansion that came from the generation of Baby Boomers, and to most of us – those were some of the best times.

Check out these 13 things that you will only remember if you were born before 1975 below – and share your favorite memory with us!

1. Metal Lunch Boxes


When I was a kid, we used to run home from school with our metal lunchbox (I had a Beatles “Yellow Submarine” one) and in the winter we’d latch them up and fling them down the icy street! We called it “lunchbox racing.”

Nowadays, everyone’s looking for a “BPA-Free” plastic lunchbox. Well, I have news, kiddos – my metal Beatles lunchbox was BPA-Free too!

2. Transistor Radio

A rare, 1961 Ekco portable battery transistor radio. (Twitter/Mullard Antiques)

This thing didn’t have Alexa built in and it couldn’t do anything but pull in those old-time scratchy radio waves that would play Hank, Willie, Waylon, and the boys. I distinctly remember sitting around the radio with my dad and listening to baseball games while we snacked and played cards.

Transistor radios were the only way many people got live news coverage or information back in the day and were much more popular than televisions for quite some time – mainly due to cost.

3. The Party-Line

Rotary phones and party line systems were a big part of connecting people across America. (Twitter/ShirleysGalaxy, Twitter/AmandaCTV)

These young whippersnappers don’t understand how difficult making a phone call used to be! Granted, some of them might remember having landlines in their homes, but they¬†never got to experience the PARTY LINE.

Wikimedia Commons

Yes, kids – this was a phone system so old that you shared a phone line with your neighbors. That meant that you had to be quiet when you picked up the receiver – just to be polite if the neighbor was already on the line.

But, beyond just that, each neighbor had their own distinct ring and you had to make sure you remembered which one was yours or you could be answering a phone call for the neighbors.

4. The Jell-O Craze That Raised Eyebrows


Can I see a raise of hands for anyone who remembers their mom making “Perfection Salad”?

If you haven’t ever had a bite of one of these oddly-popular Jell-O dishes, you definitely weren’t born before 1975! The gelatin craze was one that lasted for a long time. A really long time.

To be honest, some of the dishes weren’t half bad – like this wine-infused fruit dessert.


These dishes were called “molds” or when they used a meat broth and gelatin combined, they were called “aspics.” From the 1950s, these gained in popularity due, in part, to the status symbol they held. Many folks in the 50s couldn’t afford a refrigerator, so to be able to make a mold meant you were well-off.

For some reason, a recent millennial publication tried to make one of these – and the results are hilarious.

5. The Pet Rock

1970s original ‘Pet Rock’ kit with instructions. (Twitter/pid2010)

Originally released in 1975, this crazy fad only lasted six months but the guy who created these sold more than 1.5 million pet rocks at $4/each – meaning he made more in six months than most people today make in a year!

6. Howdy Doody

If Howdy Doody isn’t considered a kid’s classic from back in the day, then I don’t know what is. I can remember heading over to my grandparents’ house and being so excited that we got to watch the television – especially Howdy!

The show itself was a pioneer in early color television shows for NBC who was actually selling color tv sets back in the 50s. My grandparents had one – and we kids were obsessed!

7. Encyclopedia Sets


When I was growing up we didn’t use computers and Google or Wikipedia to look up information. Nope, we had to walk ourselves over to the bookshelf and pick the correct volume of the encyclopedia in order to do research and look up facts.

These were available in every single school, and nearly every single classroom. Often, our grandparents would give us a brand-new set (with updated information) for Christmas – and they were pretty expensive! My sister and I had to share because they cost so much.

You can still find encyclopedias available today, but they are becoming so rare – most companies aren’t even making them anymore!

How many of you remember hoofing it over to the bookshelf and looking up each part of the paper you were writing for science class in the encyclopedia?

If you were born before 1975 and enjoyed this little trip back in time, let us know! And for some extra nostalgia, be sure to check out The History Channel’s Baby Boomer video below.


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