Some inventions are so genius they become ingrained in society even to the point where the origin story is obscured by its commonplaceness. Other items, however, are not so lucky—many great tools and techniques are lost in the pages of history. However, once in a while, the best ideas and trends come back around. Even now, awesome vintage household goods are making a comeback with new audiences.
Retro Audio Media
For those of us who grew up with the raw, high-fidelity sound of analog technology, it probably seems like a no-brainer that people are realizing the difference. While digital audio is a lot better than it was back in the early ‘90s, there’s something special about the soft rasp of a crisp needle touching the first threads of a new record. Or for the boombox-on-the-go connoisseur, the rattle and clack of a tape sliding into the deck, the clap of the door shutting, and the kerchunk of the play button lends a beautiful nostalgia.
Something is very natural and appealing about appreciating a tangible aspect of a great album. Besides that, a really good stereo system beats out digitally reproduced recordings regarding sound depth and quality just about every time. Just don’t give these kids any ideas about eight-tracks, Eddison machines, or Victrolas.
Scented Drawer Liners
For anyone who’s ever used some kind of contact paper, it probably seems odd to imagine there was a period when most people didn’t take advantage of them. Drawer liners are terrific vintage household goods that are making a comeback—because they never should have left! These easy-to-apply paper (or vinyl) sheets line the interior of cabinets, shelves, and drawers.
Once commonplace in the ‘50s and even further back, many antique dressers still can be found in resale shops with old liners intact. Modern manufacturers likely never forgot how useful drawer liners are, and as a result, they are even reproducing vintage patterns and scents.
Generation X parents are likely blinking in confusion at the sight of their kids and grandkids getting excited over reproduction Polaroid cameras. What was essentially the only way to get relatively inexpensive prints has quite suddenly become a prized (and expensive) commodity. Now, they’re a sometimes-pricey (albeit awesome) way to get retro-looking prints. Essentially, the same things that awed everyone in the ’70s are happening all over again with another generation. We just can’t get enough of cameras that produce real old-school film prints in a matter of minutes.
Scrapbookers and memory collectors get a kick out of these cameras, and some companies are responding by making specialty film and decorative trim. For the hardcore camera enthusiasts, don’t judge too quickly—there are even impressive high-definition models with custom lenses. Here’s hoping instant pocket-size printers and sticker makers come back next!