Can You Identify This Vintage Technology From The 50s - 80s?

About this Quiz

The 20th century was a time of sweeping technological and social advancement. The world sped from mechanical to electrical and digital devices in the space of a few decades. Despite these advancements, some tech created 50 years ago are still used today... Others not so much! If we give you an image of these vintage objects, can you identify them? There's only one way to find out!

Start Quiz!
Resume Quiz

1. Not what you expected? This electronic appliance is actually a:

Ethan /
  1. T.V.
  2. Game Boy
  3. Microwave oven
  4. iPod
A microwave oven, commonly referred to as a microwave, is a type of electric oven. But you know that. What you might not know is that it uses heat to cook food by exposing the food to electromagnetic radiation. This process is known as dielectric heating.
scroll to continue

2. These items were originally called "packsets." Now they are:

Joe Haupt /
  1. Freezers
  2. Projectors
  3. Walkie-talkies
  4. Centrifuges
A walkie-talkie is a handheld, portable, two-way radio developed during the Second World War. Most walkie-talkies contain a built-in speaker, microphone, and antenna, making them resemble a telephone handset.
scroll to continue

3. This strange vehicle floated on an air cushion:

Archives New Zealand /
  1. Computer
  2. Transistor radio
  3. Hovercraft
  4. Submarine
Hovercrafts, also known as air-cushion vehicles (ACVs), are amphibious vehicles capable of traveling over land, water, and other surfaces. The SR.N1, created in 1958, was one of the first of its kind.
scroll to continue

4. The prototype of this popular device was called the "Pressman:"

Joe Haupt /
  1. Flashlight
  2. X-ray machine
  3. Sony Walkman
  4. Sewing machine
The Walkman is a type of portable media player, manufactured and released by Sony in 1979. By the time the 1980s arrived, it had become a household item.
scroll to continue

5. If it wasn't for this, many people would get lost:

Humberto Möckel /
  1. VCR player
  2. Handheld calculator
  3. GPS
  4. Atari console
GPS (Global Positioning System) is a satellite-based radio navigation system that provides geolocation and time information to receivers anywhere in the world. First launched in 1978, this system is currently owned and operated by the United States Air Force.
scroll to continue

6. These devices have since gone wireless:

ProhibitOnions /
  1. Rotary telephone
  2. Typewriter
  3. Camcorder
  4. Pager
You're looking at a rotary phone. Rotary phones first became popular during the early 20th century. It wasn't until the mid-1960s that they were replaced by push-button variations.
scroll to continue

7. This is a life-saving medical device:

Jörg Schulze /
  1. Cell phone
  2. Heart-lung machine
  3. Oven
  4. Thinkpad
A heart-lung machine is a device able to temporarily take over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery. It keeps the patient alive while their heart has stopped or has been removed from their body.
scroll to continue

8. Nintendo released this hit item in the late 1980s:

William Warby /
  1. Answering machine
  2. Polaroid camera
  3. Amazon Kindle
  4. Game Boy
The Game Boy is a handheld game console manufactured by Nintendo. It was first released in 1989 with hit games like Super Mario Land and Tetris.
scroll to continue

9. Listening to music was never the same after this was invented:

Hans Haase /
  1. Wii
  2. Compact cassette
  3. 2D printer
  4. Cable box
The compact cassette is also called a cassette tape. The electronics company, Philips, developed the novelty in 1963, offering an easy and affordable way to record and play back your favorite songs or own music.
scroll to continue

10. You can thank this device for radio on-the-go:

Joe Haupt /
  1. VR headset
  2. Fitbit
  3. Laptop
  4. Transistor radio
First marketed in 1954, a transistor radio is a portable radio receiver. It uses transistor circuitry as its base. Since the first transistor radio was commercialized in the mid-50s, billions have been sold.
scroll to continue

11. This item was extremely popular in the 1960s and 1970s:

Dean Hochman /
  1. Raspberry Pi
  2. Lava lamp
  3. Segway
  4. Drone
In 1963, Edward Walker invented the lava lamp, also called an astro lamp. The hit household items consist of boluses of colored wax mixtures inside a glass vessel containing clear or translucent liquid.
scroll to continue

12. Apple, Samsung, and Google now create sleeker versions of this device:

Rosenfeld Media /
  1. Digital piano
  2. Joystick
  3. Handheld mobile phone
  4. Portable radio
The mobile phone, also known as a cell phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive calls. Motorola created the first handheld mobile phone in 1973. It weighed almost 5 lbs.
scroll to continue

13. This groundbreaking arcade game was called:

Four_Arcade_Games /
  1. Pong
  2. Wii
  3. Cable box
  4. Amazon Kindle
Pong is a sports game, similar to table tennis, which features a simple two-dimensional graphic. The game was created by Atari and released in 1972, making it one of the earliest arcade video games.
scroll to continue

14. This inspired apps like Skype and FaceTime:

Richard Diehl /
  1. Picturephone
  2. Pocket computer
  3. Digital watch
  4. Karaoke machine
A picturephone is one of the earliest forms of videophones. It was introduced in 1963, but it wasn’t until 1971 that the public began using them. How big was its screen? Only 5.5 x 5 inches!
scroll to continue

15. Marketed as a children's toy, these items are beloved by all ages:

Etcha /
  1. Aerosol spray
  2. Color television
  3. Programmable computer
  4. Etch A Sketch
Etch A Sketch is a mechanical drawing toy with a gray screen, red frame, aluminum powder body, and two drawing knobs. This popular toy was introduced in 1960.
scroll to continue

16. It's called "CD" for short:

Marius lordache /
  1. Creative disc
  2. Dialysis machine
  3. Compact disc
  4. Aqualung
A compact disc is a digital form of data storage developed by Sony and Philips and released in 1982. The standard CD has a diameter of 4.7 inches and can hold up to 80 minutes of uncompressed audio.
scroll to continue

17. There are now "smart" models of this electronic device:

makamuki0 /
  1. Lawn mower
  2. Color television
  3. Jukebox
  4. Toaster oven
Televisions, available in experimental form in the late 1920s, were improved upon after World War II. Color broadcasting, however, wasn’t introduced in the U.S. until the 1960s.
scroll to continue

18. This item allowed for better telecommunications and networking:

Hustvedt /
  1. Stereoscope
  2. Chainsaw
  3. Fiber optics
  4. Pocket recorder
Fiber optics contain a series of thin optical fibers. These are flexible, transparent, and typically made of silica or plastic. They are commonly used as a medium for telecommunications, including internet, cable, and telephones.
scroll to continue

19. Introduced in 1979, this first sold for $150:

Evan-Amos /
  1. Record player
  2. Laser
  3. Portable cassette player
  4. Slinky
A portable cassette player is a personal mobile device that allows its user to listen to recorded audio files while on-the-move. You can listen to most with the help of earphones, but there are also some with built-in loud speakers.
scroll to continue

20. These were used to store information from computers:

George Chernilevsky /
  1. Binoculars
  2. Floppy disk
  3. Pyrometer
  4. Wrist watch
A floppy disk is a type of storage device comprised of a flexible magnetic storage medium housed in a rectangular plastic enclosure. Commercial floppy discs were developed in the late 1960s. For almost 40 years, they were one of our principal storage mediums.
scroll to continue

21. Smile for the:

Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker /
  1. ATM
  2. Digital camera
  3. Calculator
  4. Coffee maker
A digital camera records and stores digital images. The design-base for the digital camera is the MOS field-effect transistor in 1959. Today, it is the most common type of camera produced.
scroll to continue

22. This allowed users to record and play back videos:

gunnar_maas /
  1. Videotape recorder
  2. Hearing aid
  3. Keyboard
  4. Pager
A videotape recorder is a recorder designed to record and play back different types of audio and video material. The earliest types of VTRs were open-reel. They were commonly used in television studios.
scroll to continue

23. Believe it or not, this life-saving item was the first:

Karon Flage/
  1. Electronic toothbrush
  2. Alarm clock
  3. Artificial heart
  4. Hand dryer
An artificial heart is a device that can either bridge the time to heart transplantation or permanently replace the heart in situations where transplantation isn't possible. Its precursor was built in 1949. It wasn’t until 1983, however, that one was successfully implanted into a human.
scroll to continue

24. This device, with a distinctive dial-up tone, transmits data over television and cable lines:

Bortzmeyer /
  1. Wireless stereo
  2. Flash drive
  3. Headphones
  4. Modem
Modems are hardware devices that act as digital translators. They convert data into signals so that it can be sent or received over a phone line, satellite, or cable connection. Perhaps you remember some of the earliest modems? They came with famously annoying dial-up tones.
scroll to continue

25. This device is capable of transmitting electrical impulses to the heart:

Andria /
  1. Pacemaker
  2. Sling box
  3. Hair dryer
  4. GPS
A pacemaker is a small device that is placed in the chest or abdomen to help regulate abnormal heart rhythms. In 1950, John Hopps, a Canadian electrical engineer, built the first external pacemaker. This tech was the basis for the first transcutaneous device, which appeared less than two years later.
scroll to continue

26. Many people used this to make their own movies:

David162se /
  1. Vacuum cleaner
  2. Camcorder
  3. Blender
  4. TV remote
A camcorder (first released by Sony in 1983) is an electrical device that essentially combines the functions of a video camera and a videocassette recorder. It was originally designed for television broadcast.
scroll to continue

27. Although we use these every day, we rarely get to see one up-close:

National Museum of United States Airforce /
  1. Communications satellite
  2. Microwave oven
  3. Hovercraft
  4. Soccer ball
A communications satellite is an artificial satellite used to relay and amplify telecommunications signals via a transponder. It thereby creates a channel of communication between a transmitter and a receiver.
scroll to continue

28. This cleans up your house:

Joe Haupt /
  1. iPhone
  2. Solar cell
  3. Vacuum cleaner
  4. DVD player
A vacuum cleaner is an electrical device that uses suction to remove dirt and debris from floors, drapes, and other surfaces. Handheld versions weren't manufactured until the latter-half of the 20th century.
scroll to continue

29. Which device is shown below?

Todd Neinkern /
  1. Microcomputer
  2. Joystick
  3. Drone
  4. Record player
A microcomputer is a small computer consisting of a microprocessor as its central processing unit. The first microcomputer was developed in the early 1970s. Because of its affordable price, it soon became a household staple.
scroll to continue

30. What medical procedure is shown below?

Encyclopedia Britannica Films /
  1. MRI
  2. Digital camera recording
  3. 3D organ printing
  4. Genetic modification
MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a medical imaging technique used to map out images of the anatomy of the body. It can also be used to examine certain physiological processes. Since its development in 1971, it is one of the most commonly used techniques in medical diagnostics.
scroll to continue

31. This was the "smart watch" of the 1980s:

Joe Haupt /
  1. Record player
  2. Digital wristwatch
  3. VR headset
  4. Tivo
A digital watch is a type of watch that shows the time as a digital number (as opposed to the hands pointing toward the numbers, like on a standard clock.) The first digital electronic watch was developed by Hamilton Watch Company in 1970.
scroll to continue

32. The first of these only used black ink:

German /
  1. Centrifuge
  2. Aqualung
  3. Compact disc
  4. Printer
A printer is a machine used to print text or images, usually on paper. The first electronic printer was invented by Epson in 1968. By the early 1980s, low-cost printers were available to the masses.
scroll to continue

33. This device, pictured below in its modern manifestation, was invented in the 1950s:

Thomas Kohler /
  1. Sony Walkman
  2. Solar cell
  3. Trinitron
  4. DVD player
A solar cell is also called a photovoltaic cell. It's an electrical device used to convert light energy directly into electricity. How? The photovoltaic effect, of course. In 1954, the first practical cell was publicly demonstrated.
scroll to continue

34. This gives clues about the cause of a plane crash:

  1. Black box
  2. Handheld calculator
  3. GPS
  4. Typewriter
A black box, also known as a flight data recorder, is an instrument that records all the activities on an airplane during its flight. They were invented in the early 1950s due to an increasing number of air accidents.
scroll to continue

35. Before computers, these were popular:

Martini /
  1. Pagers
  2. Cell phones
  3. Typewriters
  4. Thinkpads
The IBM typewriter was a line of electric typewriters introduced in 1961. Unlike the basket (responsible for the swing up) seen in other types of typewriters, these ones contained something called an “element” that rotated its position before striking.
scroll to continue

36. This image shows a:

Christian Horvat /
  1. Answering machine
  2. Laptop
  3. Cordless telephone
  4. Compact cassette
A cordless phone, also known as a portable phone, is a type of phone which has a portable handset and communicates with the main body via radio. The base station was connected via the telephone line to the telephone network.
scroll to continue

37. Modern medicine would not be the same without this:

Rama /
  1. PlayStation
  2. DVD player
  3. Tivo
  4. Scanning tunnel microscope
A scanning tunneling microscope is a scientific instrument used to look at surfaces at an atomic level. Its inventors won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986.
scroll to continue

38. This is a:

DRs Kulturarvsprojekt /
  1. Lava lamp
  2. Fitbit
  3. VCR
  4. Portable radio
A videocassette recorder (VCR) or video recorder is an electronic device that records audio and video from broadcast television or other sources to be played back at a more convenient time. In 1963, the tech company Philips introduced a model aimed at small businesses and household users.
scroll to continue

39. This machine allowed callers to leave messages when no one was at home:

Norbert Schnitzler /
  1. Karaoke machine
  2. Lawn mower
  3. Answering machine
  4. Stereo
An answering machine, also called a telephone messaging machine, is a device used for answering telephones as well as recording the callers’ messages. It differs from voicemail in that it is set up in the user’s home.
scroll to continue

40. This medical device is a:

aktuell /
  1. Cochlear Implant
  2. iPad
  3. Brownie camera
  4. Magic wand
A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that can help to partially restore hearing. It picks up sound with a microphone, processes it, and transmits it to the inner ear where it stimulates the cochlear nerve.
scroll to continue

41. You're looking at a diagram of a:

Apollo Fire Detectors Limited /
  1. Pyrometer
  2. Smoke detector
  3. Etch A Sketch
  4. Programmable computer
A smoke detector is a fire protection device able to detect the presence of smoke and issue a warning of its presence. According to the US National Fire Protection Association, the risk of dying from a home fire is cut in half in homes with these alarms.
scroll to continue

42. These are still in use today, although they look a bit different now:

ITU Pictures /
  1. Stethoscope
  2. Microwave oven
  3. Compact disc
  4. Fax machine
A fax machine is a device used to send documents electronically over a telephone network from one machine to another. The first fax machine to use telephone transmission did so in 1964.
scroll to continue

43. Long before these were wireless, they looked like this:

Marekich /
  1. Fiber optics
  2. Record player
  3. Pocket recorder
  4. Computer mouse
A computer mouse is an electronic, handheld pointing device that controls a cursor on a computer. The mouse is able to move and select text, icons, and more. The first demonstration of a mouse occurred in 1968.
scroll to continue

44. This device is still used to crunch numbers:

Seth Morabito /
  1. Wristwatch
  2. Electronic calculator
  3. Electronic toothbrush
  4. Toaster oven
An electronic calculator is a device used to perform various calculations, which range from basic arithmetic to more complex mathematics. The first calculator was created in the early 1960s. By the 1970s, pocket-sized varieties were available.
scroll to continue

45. With one of these on every corner, there's no need to stop by the bank.

Nandithag569s /
  1. Binoculars
  2. Keyboard
  3. Projector
  4. ATM
An ATM, or automated teller machine, is an electronic telecommunications device that allows customers of financial institutions to perform various financial transactions. The first ATM was created in 1966. At the time, it was referred to as a “computer loan machine.”
scroll to continue

46. This electronic device was also known as a "beeper." What is its original name?

Jakez /
  1. Headphones
  2. Vacuum cleaner
  3. CD
  4. Pager
A pager, also known as a beeper, is a wireless telecommunications device that receives and displays alphanumeric and/or voice messages. Pagers were developed in the 1960s, but became extremely popular in the 1970s and 1980s.
scroll to continue

47. This device was often attached to the ear.:

Joe Haupt /
  1. Flash drive
  2. Wireless stereo
  3. Pacemaker
  4. Hearing aid
A hearing aid is an electronic device that was designed to improve hearing by making sounds more audible to a person suffering from hearing loss. The first digital aids were released in the 1970s.
scroll to continue

48. This item was commonly seen at radio stations and broadcast events:

Jbaylis /
  1. Shotgun microphone
  2. Flashlight
  3. Laser
  4. X-ray machine
A microphone is a device that converts sound waves into electrical energy which can either be amplified, recorded, or transmitted. The shotgun microphone (pictured here) was created in 1963.
scroll to continue

49. These devices were slowly replaced by DVDs:

wongpear /
  1. Sewing machine
  2. VHS
  3. Sony Walkman
  4. Slinky
A VHS (video home system) is a magnetic tape used for recording audio and video data. They were developed by JVC in the early 1970s and were released in the United States in 1977.
scroll to continue

50. This game console was named after its color:

Philip Steffan /
  1. Brown Box
  2. Electronic scale
  3. Jukebox
  4. Air fryer
The Brown Box, also known as the Magnavox Odyssey, was the first commercial home video game console system. It was released in 1972 in the United States and spread overseas in the following years.
scroll to continue

Just a sec, we're calculating your result!