Friday, June 17, 2016

72. Forties Technology

Recently, a friend grumbled about technology and how much time her young children spend entertaining themselves on their smartphones.  Her complaint prompted Nancy and me to recall the technology available to us when we were growing up in Gettysburg in the Forties.

For example, we had one telephone in each home, and neither was push button or dial up.  We simply picked up the receiver from the cradle  and an operator asked, “Number please.” If I were calling Nancy, I would say,“29W.”  We couldn’t take, send or receive a picture with the phone, we couldn’t ask Siri questions, and we couldn’t walk around with the phone, because it was connected to the wall by a wire.

Another miracle of technology in the Forties was the jukebox. One of our favorite places to dance was Woodlawn where they had a colorful and sophisticated Wurlitzer jukebox that played 78 rpm records. We can still remember  dancing to all the popular music of the day by Frank, Bing, Dinah, Perry or Tex Beneke and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Two other entertainment technologies we enjoyed were the movies and the radio.  As I write today, my radio is playing music of the Forties, and I am reminded that radio still remains a favorite after all these years. 

Readers of our blog will recall that we promised to report on Gettysburg High School football in 1946. After we lost the first game to Delone 13-6, Coach Forney told us we would win games that season. We didn’t have to wait long, because we beat York Catholic in the next game 19-0. The victory broke a 12 game losing streak that extended back to 1944. Big Joe Hess was responsible for all the points. The win was particularly sweet for a team that was victory starved for three seasons.

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