40 New Things That Weren’t Around 4 Decades Ago

Published: Oct 23, 2023

We take technology for granted nowadays, yet it wasn’t that long ago when we couldn’t imagine our lives without it. 

Email, for example, was only invented in 1972, but has now become an integral part of our daily lives. The same is true for countless products and services we now depend on. Technology is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity.

Capturing Memories for the Future with Selfies 

Selfies have been around forever, but never has it been so easy to take hundreds of self-portraits. With smartphones in everyone’s pocket, it’s now easier than ever to take a picture of yourself, wherever and whenever you want. 


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Imagine how funny it will be in the near future when adults look back at photos of their younger selves taken using their arm’s length. Selfies offer a unique and interesting way to capture memories for the future, giving us a glimpse of how we used to look and how life used to be.


Ready-to-Eat Sandwiches: Your Parents' Stress-Free Mornings! 

Say goodbye to stressful mornings! Ready-to-eat sandwiches are here to make life easier for your parents. These thaw-and-eat sandwiches were introduced in 2000, offering a delicious and convenient way to prepare a lunchbox or lunch bag. 


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No more rushing to make sandwiches in the morning, no more worrying about having to prepare lunch for your kids before they go to school. Ready-to-eat sandwiches make it easier and more enjoyable for your parents to get your lunches ready. Free up your parents’ mornings, and get them some ready-to-eat sandwiches today!

Applesauce Revolution: How We Evolved in the '70s 

Gone are the days when kids could only dream of snacking on something as delicious as applesauce. Thanks to the revolutionary changes of the ’70s, children are now able to enjoy a variety of pureed fruits and vegetables – a mouth-watering snack that their parents could only have imagined in their wildest dreams! 


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From smooth and creamy applesauce to vibrant veggie purees, kids everywhere are munching away on these healthy treats with a smile on their faces. The Applesauce Revolution has been a real game-changer for generations to come!

Miracle Odor Eliminator - Febreze 

Say Goodbye to Unpleasant Odors with Febreze! The revolutionary odor eliminator was introduced in 1998 and since then it has been nothing short of a miracle for those who want to get rid of unpleasant odors. 


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Febreze provides an easy and effective way to get rid of bad smells and leave your home smelling fresh and clean. With a few sprays of Febreze, you can get rid of even the toughest odors, leaving behind a pleasant scent. Don’t let bad odors ruin your day, trust Febreze to take care of them!

Goodbye Mopping, Hello Swiffer!

Say goodbye to those heavy mops and buckets of water, and say hello to the revolutionary Swiffer! In 1999, the Swiffer was introduced, and it changed the way we clean floors forever. 

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No more spending hours of backbreaking labor mopping, now you can just quickly and easily Swiffer your way to a clean home. Not to mention all the time and energy you’re saving! So, if you’re tired of mopping, let the Swiffer take the lead and make cleaning your floors a breeze.


Discover the Magic of Diaper Disposal Systems 

Modern parenting is made easier with the invention of diaper disposal systems. No longer do we have to worry about unpleasant odors filling the nursery, as these systems keep dirty diapers locked away, out of sight and out of smell. 

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While their exact origins remain a bit of a mystery (believed to have been created sometime in the 1990s), we can’t imagine a nursery without one. Say goodbye to the mess and say hello to the convenience of diaper disposal systems!


Reviving the Art of Fidgeting! 

Fidgeting has been around since the dawn of time, but now it has been revolutionized with the introduction of fidget spinners. These nifty gadgets allow you to express your excess energy in a fun and creative way and drive your teachers and parents up the wall! 

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From tapping your pencil to throwing a wad of paper, fidget spinners have brought back the excitement of annoying your elders in a new, modern way. So, why not give it a spin and relive those nostalgia-filled fidgeting days?


Unleash Your Inner Princess with Disney Store Dresses! 

Do you want to unleash the inner princess in you? Then you will want to head to the Disney Store! Since 1987, their famous Disney princess dresses have been making their mark in malls everywhere. From Cinderella to Snow White, these dresses make it possible to bring your favorite Disney character to life. 

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With so many styles and colors to choose from, you can create the perfect dress for your special occasion. Make your dreams come true and make a statement with Disney Store dresses!


A New Way to Create Magical Moments: The Disney Reveal 

The wonders of modern technology have brought us many exciting things, such as unboxing videos, but the latest craze is the “Disney Reveal.” This is where parents get to surprise their kids with the news that they are going on a Disney vacation and capture their priceless reactions on camera. 

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With this creative and heartwarming twist, families can create magical moments and share them with the world. So, why not give the Disney Reveal a try and make some unforgettable memories?


Say Hello to the Delicious World of Chipotle! 

Chipotle came into our lives nearly three decades ago and revolutionized the way we enjoy our meals. When it first arrived, there were a few kid-friendly restaurant chains and fast-food options, but Chipotle was something entirely new – it let us turn lunch or dinner into an exciting choose-your-own-adventure of burritos or tacos! 

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With its delicious flavors and quality ingredients, Chipotle quickly became one of the most beloved restaurant chains in the world. So why not try it out and see what the fuss is all about?


A 'Smash' Hit for any Occasion 

Once upon a time, getting your hands stuck in a cake was not seen as something to be celebrated. Not in your day! What a difference a few decades make. Nowadays, ‘smash cake’ photo shoots have become the new trend for celebrating special occasions. 

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Whether it’s a first birthday or stepping into toddlerhood, nothing captures the moment better than a sweet treat and a bright smile. So, why not make a ‘smash’ hit out of your next celebration?


Telling Tales with Bento Boxes: How Lunchtime Has Evolved

Gone are the days of lunch boxes made from simple plastic. Now, kids are carrying the latest and greatest in lunch containers: the bento box! These durable and stylish bento boxes can be found just about anywhere, and they make packing lunch an exciting adventure. 

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With their bright colors and unique design, these bento boxes are sure to make all the other kids in the cafeteria turn green with envy. So, say goodbye to traditional plastic boxes and say hello to the new, modern bento box!


The Power of Wikipedia: A Blessing for Today's Kids

Gone are the days of lugging around heavy encyclopedias for school reports. Modern kids are fortunate to have access to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia founded in 2001. With a few clicks of the mouse, they can get a wealth of information on any given topic. 

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Although it’s not always seen as an academic source, it’s an invaluable resource that students can take advantage of. No more struggling to locate the right book in the library; all the answers are just a few clicks away!


Step Up Your Fitness with a Garmin Vivofit JR. 

Gym class and recess were once enough for kids to stay fit, but what about now? With the Garmin vivofit JR., kids can track their daily activity and get the physical activity they need. This fitness tracker allows kids to set step goals and monitor their progress. 

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Plus, it comes with a free mobile app that helps motivate them to stay active. With the Garmin vivofit JR., kids can stay in shape and have fun while doing it. Get your kids moving with the Garmin vivofit JR. and step up their fitness today!


Keep in Touch with Loved Ones No Matter the Distance! 

Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate with our family and friends, no matter where in the world they may be. Skype and Google Hangouts allow us to have face-to-face conversations as if we were in the same room. 

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Imagine when you were a child, being able to visit your far-off grandparents and other relatives without ever having to leave your living room – something that would have been unimaginable! Now, with just a few clicks, we can stay connected with our loved ones no matter the distance.


The Evolution of Music: From MP3 to Streaming Services 

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the MP3, patented in Germany in 1989. Without it, modern streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, and Amazon Music could not exist. Think back to the days of Napster in 1999, when downloading music was the only way to access it. 

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But in 2001, iTunes changed the game, allowing users to purchase and download their music. Now, we can enjoy our favorite tunes without having to download a single file. Thanks to MP3, the evolution of music has been incredible.


Control Your Own BB-8 Droid With Your Smartphone!

Discover a galaxy far, far away without ever leaving your home! With the latest advancements in technology, you can now control your very own BB-8 droid using only your smartphone. Star Wars fans everywhere can now enjoy their favorite characters in a whole new way. 

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This sassy little droid is ready to be your loyal companion, and you can use your smartphone to take it on all sorts of adventures. So what are you waiting for? Get the latest tech and experience the world of Star Wars firsthand!


Netflix and Chill: Goodbye Watch Parties, Hello Streaming 

Gone are the days of waiting a week for the next episode of our favourite show, or waiting for a movie to be released at Blockbuster. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, we can now watch whatever we want, whenever we want. 

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But something else has changed too – watch parties with our friends have been replaced with us huddled in front of our own screens all weekend. So, let’s say goodbye to watch parties and hello to streaming!


Modern-Day Parenting: Say Goodbye to Coppertone! 

Gone are the days when a coat of Coppertone was your only line of defense against the sun’s powerful rays. Nowadays, modern-day parents go above and beyond to protect their little ones. They invest in pop-up tents, UV-blocker clothes, and hats with wide brims. 

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All of these are essential to ensure their children stay safe and healthy at the beach. So, if you’re a modern-day parent, say goodbye to Coppertone and hello to a world of sun protection options!


YOLO Color - Express Yourself with Wild Hair Colors! 

Ready to step up your hair game? Look no further! Today, there are plenty of options to experiment with wild hair colors without the commitment of permanent dye. From vibrant purples to electric blues, you can now express yourself with bold, statement-making hues. 

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And if you’re ever short on inspiration, there’s always Pinterest – the go-to source for creative and on-trend hairstyle ideas for moms. So go ahead and unleash your inner artist – YOLO color is the way to go!


A Fresh Look for Santa's Elves - Get Trendy in 2005! 

Say goodbye to the old-fashioned uniforms of Santa’s elves! Since 2005, they’ve been able to get their hands on the latest trends and stay up-to-date. Whether it’s for a special occasion or just a change of pace, these on-trend little outfits will give them a fresh look and a much-needed boost of confidence. 

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Plus, with Santa always watching, why not make sure his team looks their best? So go ahead and give your elves a wardrobe makeover – they deserve it!


Say Goodbye to Metal Braces with Invisalign 

Gone are the days of metal braces! If you’re looking for an easier, more comfortable teeth straightening option, Invisalign is the answer. This revolutionary clear aligner system has been helping people since 1999 and is now the go-to choice for teens and preteens who want to improve their smiles without sacrificing their style. 

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Invisalign is the perfect way to get a straight, beautiful smile without the hassle of traditional braces. So say goodbye to metal braces, and hello to Invisalign!


Introducing the Revolutionary Cubroid Coding Blocks: Power-up Your LEGO Creations!

Are you a fan of building towers with your LEGO blocks? Well, get ready to take your creations to the next level! Thanks to Cubroid coding blocks, a Kickstarter-funded project, kids can now power up their various creations with ease. 

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From airplanes to dinosaurs, Cubroid coding blocks make it possible for children to take their LEGO-building skills to a whole new level! So what are you waiting for? Unleash your creativity and get your hands on this revolutionary product now.


Treat Yourself to a Modern Movie Experience 

Are you looking for a modern movie experience? Look no further than the theaters of today! From the indie favorite Alamo Drafthouse to the luxurious iPic theaters and AMC Dine-In, you can kick back in reclining chairs, enjoy food and cocktails, and have a unique movie-going experience. 

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Alamo Drafthouse first opened its doors in 1997, iPic in 2006, and AMC Dine-In in 2008, so you can be sure you’re getting the best of the best. Treat yourself to a modern movie experience today!


Welcome to the Brave New World of Playgrounds! 

The playgrounds of our youth may have been a little precarious, with their hot metal slides, rickety seesaws, and jungle gyms, but the playgrounds of today are a far cry from that! 

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With their super-springy ride-ons and their much lower risk of injury, it’s no wonder why a trip to the playground is a favorite activity for kids of all ages. So come join us in this brave new world of playgrounds, where fun and safety go hand in hand!


Reading to Therapy Dogs: A New Way to Ease Anxiety 

Do you ever feel anxious while learning? Many schools are now introducing a delightful way to help ease those worries – therapy dogs! From reading to playing fetch, these furry friends provide a comforting presence while students take on challenging tasks. 

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In fact, the dogs themselves seem to love the extra attention they get while being read to. What a wonderful way to provide support and build confidence! So why not give it a try? Reading to therapy dogs is a unique and exciting way to reduce anxiety while learning.


Discover the Gender of Your Baby in a Unique Way! 

Are you expecting a baby? Then why not make the gender reveal an unforgettable experience for you and your loved ones? A gender reveal cake is the perfect way to make the big announcement! 

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Gather your closest friends and family, and make the grand reveal by slicing into a delicious cake to reveal a blue or pink interior. It’s a fun, unique, and exciting way to announce your baby’s gender. So, why wait? Get your gender reveal cake today and make your baby announcement an event to remember!


Unforgettable Shopping Experiences at Costco 

Have you ever wondered how we used to shop before the advent of Costco? The store offers everything from a gallon of fine olive oil, to designer shoes, to hot dog lunches under $2, all in one place. Costco has been our favorite since it opened its doors in 1983. 

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From shopping for groceries to finding the latest fashion trends, Costco offers its customers a memorable shopping experience every time. With its unbeatable prices and quality products, it’s no wonder why Costco has been a beloved shopping destination for decades.


The Phenomenal Rise of Tickle Me Elmo 

It all started with Sesame Street’s lovable toddler in 1984. Little did the world know that in 1996, the iconic toy, Tickle Me Elmo, would take the world by storm! This revolutionary toy was the first of its kind and set records for the highest selling toy of the year. 

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With its endearing features and a touch-activated giggle, Tickle Me Elmo quickly became a favorite among children and adults alike. To this day, it remains one of the most beloved toys of all time.


Life Before Google: A World of Limited Knowledge 

Life before Google was a world of limited knowledge. We relied on books and word of mouth to find the answers to our questions. We trusted outdated information and struggled to make sense of the world around us. 

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But then Google arrived on the scene in 1998, and everything changed. With the press of a button, we could now access a wealth of information in a matter of seconds. Google revolutionized the way we access information, forever transforming the way we learn, work, and play.


The Sweetest Way to Get Your Vitamins: Hero Nutritionals Gummies 

In 1997, Hero Nutritionals revolutionized the vitamin market with their candy-inspired gummies. No longer did kids have to suffer through the taste of chalky tablets or bitter liquids to get their daily dose of vitamins. 

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These fruity gummies were an instant hit, quickly becoming every child’s favorite way to get their vitamins. Before Hero Nutritionals, the Flintstones chewable vitamins (released in 1968) were the only candy-inspired vitamins available. Today, Hero Nutritionals continues to be the leader in creating innovative and delicious ways to get your vitamins.


The Iconic McNugget: A McDonald's Staple Since 1983

For those who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, it’s hard to imagine the fast food landscape without the iconic McNugget. In 1983, McDonald’s revolutionized the fast food industry by introducing the tasty, bite-sized chicken pieces that we all know and love today. 

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The McNugget quickly became a fan favorite, and it has remained a McDonald’s staple ever since. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite on the go or an indulgent treat, the McNugget is sure to hit the spot!


The Revolutionary Nintendo64 Unleashed its Magic in 1996 

In 1996, the world of gaming was taken to a whole new level with the release of the revolutionary Nintendo64. It sparked a wave of excitement and wonder as gamers got their hands on the console for its then-amazing graphics. 

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Nintendo and SuperNintendo had already made their mark, but Nintendo64 blew everyone’s mind. The 3D graphics and immersive gaming experience changed the way we thought about video games. Nintendo64 ushered in a new era of gaming that continues to this day.


Prozac: Pharmaceutical Breakthrough of the 80s and 90s 

The pharmaceutical industry experienced tremendous advances during the ’80s and ’90s, one of the most notable being the introduction of Prozac in 1987. The development of this revolutionary antidepressant was a true game-changer, revolutionizing the way depression was treated and providing hope to millions of people around the world. 

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Prozac quickly rose to prominence, becoming the go-to medication for treating depression and anxiety. Its impact is still felt today, marking it as one of the most significant pharmaceutical breakthroughs of the era.


The Ups and Downs of the Space Shuttle Program 

The Space Shuttle Program was a pivotal moment in the history of space exploration. Announced by President Nixon in 1972, the program was a source of immense pride and anticipation for the American people. 

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After years of hard work and dedication, the first shuttle mission was launched in 1981. Despite its success, the program came to an abrupt end in 2011, making it one of the shortest-lived space missions of all time. Its legacy, however, will remain forever etched in the history books.


The Fascinating History of Text Messaging 

Text messaging has come a long way since its inception. Believe it or not, the concept of text messaging was first explored in 1984, and the first message was sent in 1992. Today, text messaging is a vital part of our daily lives, with over 7.5 trillion messages sent per year. 

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It’s astounding to think of the immense progress made in such a short amount of time. From its humble beginnings to its current ubiquity, text messaging has made our lives simpler, faster, and more connected.


100 Years of Contact Lenses: From 1887 to 1987 

The history of contact lenses dates back to 1887 when the first pair was invented. Since then, there have been many modifications to the product that have allowed us to enjoy improved comfort and convenience. One of the most significant developments was the introduction of disposable contacts in 1987 – a full century later. 

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These lenses revolutionized the contact lens industry and revolutionized the way people saw the world. Now, contact lenses are more comfortable, hygienic and affordable than ever before, making it easier to enjoy clear vision without glasses.


Trendy Kids Furniture for the Modern Age 

Kids’ furniture has come a long way since the days of your childhood! The brands PB Kids (1998) and The Land of Nod (1996) revolutionized the industry by introducing trendier designs that were more design-savvy than anything else available. 

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Now, you can find kids furniture that is on-trend and straight out of the pages of interior design magazines, such as this luxe rose gold crib. With modern, chic designs like these, you can give your little one the perfect space to grow in style.


The Social Platforms That Have Changed Our Lives 

It’s hard to believe that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have all been around for less than two decades! In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, and in the following two years, Twitter and Instagram were created, transforming our daily lives. 

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We now rely on these platforms for news, entertainment, and of course, connecting with friends and family. They have enabled us to communicate, collaborate, and innovate in ways that were unimaginable a generation ago. Our lives have been irreversibly changed, and it’s all thanks to these social media giants.


From Military to Maps: The Evolution of GPS 

GPS- Global Positioning System- has come a long way! From being a technology exclusive to the military and government, it is now an integral part of cars, phones and even fitness watches. Online mapping services like Google Maps and MapQuest were revolutionary, making navigation much easier. 

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Even though the advancements in GPS technology are impressive, many of us still keep an old-fashioned paper map in the car – just in case! So, let’s take a journey through the evolution of GPS – from military to maps.