Must-Have Gadgets From The 1980s No One Uses Anymore

By Jack Ripley | February 26, 2024

Fax Machine

Get your DeLorean up to 88mph and travel back in time to get a sweet hit of technological nostalgia with these relics from the 1980s, where innovation once defined the cutting edge. From the iconic Sony Walkman to the quirky convenience of The Clapper, these items were must-haves that shaped the way we interacted with technology and entertainment.

Remember the days of cable TV and the ritual of recording mixtapes on cassette tapes? While some of our readers may have fond memories of using these devices in their youth, others may be discovering these artifacts for the first time, offering a glimpse into a bygone era they never knew. Join us on a journey through the technological landscape of the 1980s, and continue reading to uncover more about these obsolete marvels that once defined an era.

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The fax machine, once hailed as a revolutionary tool for instant document transmission, saw widespread adoption and was deemed indispensable for businesses and individuals alike. However, with the advent of digital communication technologies, particularly email and scanning services, the fax machine's relevance declined sharply. Its limitations, such as low resolution, susceptibility to paper jams, and the requirement for dedicated phone lines, rendered it cumbersome and inefficient compared to modern alternatives. Additionally, the fax machine's reliance on physical paper transmission clashed with the growing emphasis on sustainability and digital document management. As a result, the fax machine has largely faded into obsolescence, with its once-ubiquitous presence replaced by more versatile and environmentally friendly communication methods.


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In the 1980s, the pager emerged as a revolutionary piece of technology, becoming a must-have for professionals and individuals alike. Its ability to receive short messages and alerts made it indispensable for communication on the go. However, with the rapid advancement of mobile phones and the internet, pagers quickly became obsolete. The limited functionality of pagers, restricted to one-way communication and alphanumeric messages, couldn't compete with the versatility and convenience offered by smartphones. As a result, the pager faded into obscurity, overshadowed by more advanced and feature-rich communication devices. Today, the pager is largely forgotten, a relic of a bygone era, as virtually everyone has access to more sophisticated means of communication.