Tuesday, February 22, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy History: Technology

This is week eight of 52 wees of Personal Genealogy History and I'm only writing my 2nd post on the subject!  Some subjects are just harder for me to write on - and my memory of my childhood is very limited.  But being at 'tech geek' I can remember a lot on how it has changed over the years....I remember mostly the old dial up telephones with 'party lines', the first time I watched TV in our home, and mom's old wringer washing machine.

The telephone I remember from my teen years - we used to have a 'party line' which is a phone line shared with another in the neighborhood.  They were much like a 2nd phone in the house but it wasn't.  Each phone had it's own phone number - our first phone number (before I became a teenager) was PL 42100...PL stood for PLymouth.  Our next phone number which came after we moved from Los Angeles to Pomona CA was an LY prefix (LY = LYcoming). I don't remember what the numbers were that went with it.  In later years the prefix letters were changed to numbers and then area codes were added on before the number.

I got into deep trouble once when a girl friend (who shared our party line) and I were speaking on the phone.  I was not at home but was at someone else's house babysitting.  My friend and I were chatting on the phone, talking about what teens talk about, not knowing my mother was listening in via the party line - OOPS.

Another item of technology that changed over the years was the washing machine.  I don't have a long story to tell about this because all I do is remember we had an old wringer one in the laundry room off the kitchen.  My mom's diaries tell how happy she was to finally get the newer, updated, non-wringer type of machine when they came out.

I remember too our first TV or television.  It was black and white and we kids were excited to have it in our home.  It was about 1948-1949 I believe.  I think we were one of the last in the neighborhood to get one. The first program I remember watching on it was a car coming straight to my front room!  It scared the daylights out of me and I remember screaming.  It was probably some kind of police show.  I remember there was nothing on the TV after certain hours because there was no 'signal'...the TV looked much like the one on the left.  There was no cable or satellite in those days and everyone had TV antennas on their roofs or used 'rabbit ears' inside, on top of the TV to get good reception.

Mary Post Warren
© copyright 2011, all rights reserved, Mary Post Warren


  1. Thanks for sharing your memories!

  2. Fun memories! I still have that black, hardwired, dial phone on my desk, right next to my computer and iPod! Anyone younger than 25 can't figure out how to use it. Always good for a laugh when they try to push the numbers instead of dialing.

  3. Mary, you don't have to write about each topic every week. Just enjoy the ones you want. I give you a free pass!