A fond look at once essential everyday items now fading away

Some everyday items have been disappearing from modern society. The ‘Shoe-fitting fluoroscopes,’ also called ‘X-ray Show Fitters,’ used to be in shoe stores from the 1920s to the 1970s, and they were used to help fit shoes for children during that era.

The cigarette machine was a vending machine that took money in exchange for a pack of cigs. Modern machines required an I.D. card, and most devices don’t exist anymore because of the chance of underage smoking.

Another vending machine that no longer occupies street corners is the newspaper vending machine. These devices were responsible for 46% of newspaper sales in 1996 but have dropped in popularity ever since.

A payphone is another everyday item that has disappeared. Thanks to the advent of the cell phone, Coin-operated machines are no longer needed. Another phone-related item that vanished is the telephone directory. The phone book would have white pages with all the local residents’ phone numbers and yellow pages for businesses to advertise their numbers and location.

A jukebox was a partially-automated music device that was coin-operated. It allowed patrons at diners, restaurants, and bars to select songs they wanted to be played by pushing buttons. Besides music changes, cash has changed too. Fewer and fewer good ol’ fashioned George Washington bills are going around these days as people turn to paying by check card or phone apps.

And forget about coins! They still have value, but you’d be hard-pressed to find people using them. In offices, the ‘Rolodex’ was the Holy Grail of contact cards. You could scroll through all your contacts in one shot by spinning the device. But, the internet, spreadsheets, and cell phones removed the need for this vanished item.

Other items that disappeared are the ‘T.V. Guide,’ which told viewers which shows were on daily. Film is also being replaced in movie theaters by digital formats. Even the trusty typewriter has bid us farewell due to the invention of word processors and laptop computers.