Many of my childhood memories posts feature a memory of a place, or a thing. My Pinterest board about growing up in the ’60s and ’70s is about visual memories. But recently I read an article about sound memories — specifically, sounds that we don’t hear much anymore. Sounds that today’s kids may not even be familiar with.
How many do you remember?
- Rotary phone dialing — and getting away from the sounds, other rotary phone memories: getting tangled up in the cord. Seeing how far you could get with the cord. Trying to work kinks out of the cord. Loving phone numbers with lots of low digits because they didn’t take as long to dial …
- Manual typewriter — sure, computer keyboards make noise too. But who could forget the sound of that carriage return, or the warning “ding” when you reached near the end of a line? (remember trying/hoping you could fit just one or two more words on that line??)
- Flash cubes — remember the click as they turned?
- TV channel changing knob — again, before remote controls, remember the way you actually had to click on the TV and click through to the channel you wanted? And didn’t the TV even have to ‘warm up’ a bit before the picture appeared? We also had an outdoor antenna for the … um … uhf?? vhf?? channels? and that involved more clicks as the antenna turned to the proper position.
- Record changer — ah, the sound when a record began playing, before the music started. Then the “white noise” at the end too. I remember when we got a record player that would play several records in a row. I thought it was so cool watching the records drop down. And of course, who can forget hearing a record get stuck? Then maybe jumping nearby and hoping that would “unstick” it.
- TV sign-offs — TV stations weren’t always 24/7. Remember the days when the programming ended with the National Anthem and then you got the color striped test pattern for the rest of the night?
- Movie projector — anyone who went to school in the 1970s is quite familiar with this sound. Remember when the film would break sometimes? Or when the teacher had a problem and couldn’t get it started? Even worse than movies were filmstrips, remember? They didn’t have sound, and often the teacher would just read the (usually very dry) script that came along with the strip.
What are some other sound memories that you have?