In January 2010, the 1990s officially became vintage. . . This is according to the people who deem things vintage and of course magazines such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan. Even Selfridge’s vintage department in London recognized the occasion. Vintage is usually associated more with fashion, but let’s not forget the funky gadgets. All you have to do is watch a few episodes of Full House to feel reacquainted with the 90s and laugh at the decor, fashion, music and gadgets that were used.
I feel lucky to have grown up in the 90s, the decade of grunge clothing, pop music and basic technology that lead to the advanced fast-paced society we live in now. It was the last true decade of the “American Dream”, before the great recession. It was a time when things were more simple, a time when actresses wore less makeup and wore normal dress sizes; It was a time when wallpaper was cool.
The 90s was a Hollywood record breaker with unforgettable classics released that blew our minds, movies such as Pulp Fiction, Titanic, Pretty Woman and Forest Gump. Pop music and grunge bands such as the Spicegirls, Backstreet boys, No Doubt, Pearl Jam and Nirvana dominated the charts. It was a time when one TV network could dominate the 90s world of children. Yes, I am talking about Nickelodeon!
The technological advances in the 90s were pretty incredible, however silly they look now, these inventions of the 90s are the reason we have some of the things we do now. It was a strange decade with the final year in fear of the biggest technology myth of all time – Y2K! The fear that computer malfunctions would ruin the world! Well of course, just like the world didn’t end in 2012, we entered the millennium with no such problem as the Y2K!
The 90s really were a fantastic spin-off from the 80s, a decade to be proud of! Therefore, I have made my list of 5 so called “Vintage” Gadgets that I feel made a lasting impression on the decade:
#1. The Polaroid Camera. This brilliant little invention, now a vintage piece, printed pictures in minutes, a truly unbelievable process that caught the 90s by storm. To be honest, this concept is still really great and has become a ‘hipster’ must-have in the past year with stores such as Urban Outfitters and online stores such as Etsy selling this funky camera. Even though most of us own a digital camera now, we don’t develop pictures like we used to. Perhaps we should start Polaroiding again!
#2. Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Released to North America in 1991, there is no wonder why the 90s has become vintage. This video game system was state of the art at the time. Does anyone else remember having to blow on the game to make it work properly? If only everything else worked that way now. I remember my parents kicking us off of the Super Nintendo, putting us to bed, only so they could stay up all night playing Mario Kart. It’s when video games were uncomplicated and less violent; when the hottest girl was Peachy from Super Mario. Oh the simplicity of the 90s!
#3. The Walkman. The photo below should be re-vised as it wasn’t only those ‘born’ in the 90s who listened to their music via a Walkman. Pretty much everyone listen to their music this way in the 90s. This will be the decade credited for changing music forever. This was the time of Napster’s initial release in 1999 and the MP3 player. People could now download music for free, burn it to disc and walk around with their Walkmans listening to whatever their hearts desired. It was the IPod of the 90s!
#4. The PAGER. Before there were text messages on our smart phones, there were pagers also known as beepers! I personally didn’t own one but I remember every teenager having one and my parents. Beepers were officially the birth of texting, but it was a one-way receiver, you could only message several digits at a time. Even though pagers were invented at an earlier date, it wasn’t really until the 90s that these devices took off, until the popular use of mobile phones.
#5. Talkboy. A portable variable speed cassette player and record player. Originally, this was just a non-working prop for the film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) used by Macaulay Culkin’s character. However, in 1993, Tiger Electronics made it a reality, due to a massive letter-writing campaign by a myriad of fans of the film.
Please feel free to share some of your favorite gadgets of the 90s as there are tons!