Before copy machines, there was only a couple of ways to make copies of important papers. You could use carbon paper, which was placed between two sheets of typing paper and then typed on a typewriter. Correcting mistakes was a real problem. You could use white correction fluid, which had to be left to dry but still left a mark on the paper. Then there is a mimeograph, from which you could make multiple copies.
People were very conscious about saving everything and/or using items more than once. For instance baths were taken only once per week, on Saturday night. Water was heated in a large wash pan, on the wood cook stove and placed near the stove in order to keep warm while bathing. The youngest child got to use the bath water first, then each child according to age, then finally the mother, and lastly the father. The water was then thrown outside on top of plants or small trees that needed watering. While taking the bath you would turn off the lights and turn up the radio to listen to the Saturday Night Hit Parade (songs that were popular that week).
As the years went by electric washing machines were invented for washing the dirty clothes that had been collected over the week. The water stayed in the machine after each washing of clothes that were divided by color whites first, colored next, overalls last. There were wringer-rolls that wrung out the clothes and emptied them into the rinse water. Then after thoroughly dousing the clothes up and down to rinse out the soap water the wringer could be moved to wring out the rinsed clothes and deposit them into a basket, which was carried outside where the clothes were hung on a clothesline.
Now, these automatic ringers were a fascination to young children who sometimes, even though they had been warned not to do so, ended up putting their hands through the wringer. There was a big red release lever that Mom could hit in order to free the little hands. No child ever suffered a broken bone from this experience just a hurt hand and a strong scolding.
Radio was the main companion and source of entertainment. The radio itself had become smaller and could easily be moved from room to room by simply unplugging it and carrying it under your arm to the next location. "The Romance of Helen Trent" and "Our Gal Sunday" were religiously listened to each day to hear what exciting turn of events were taking place.
"Time sharing" meant togetherness, not computers or condominiums. "Made in Japan" meant junk, and the term hardware meant hardware, and software wasn't even a word. "Making out" referred to how you did on your exam. McDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of. There were 5-cent stores and dime stores. Dairy Queens sold ice cream cones for a nickel or a dime. For one nickel you could ride a streetcar, make a phone call, purchase a Pepsi or enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards. Gasoline was 11 cents per gallon. Cigarette smoking was fashionable, grass was mowed, coke was a cold drink, and pot was something you cooked your food in. Rock music was a grandma's lullaby, and AIDS were helpers in the principal's office. You chewed Black Jack gum and used butch wax (not on your car but) to stiffen your flat-top haircut so it would stand up. You reached a decision by (not asking your mom but) going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo."
The good old days are gone, but they will never be forgotten!