My wife and I were watching 90 Minutes in Heaven, a true story about how Don Piper, a minister, died in a car wreck in 1989, and spent 90 minutes in Heaven, before returning to life.
Related: How high is your farm equipment IQ?
In one scene, his wife is calling someone on the phone. Suddenly I noticed it was a real phone – with a handset and a rotary dial. Most kids watching think it's some sort of antique. And folks, that story is set only in 1989, not 1949!
I didn't get my first bag phone until about three years later so my wife could reach me in the car. And I still vividly remember the first time I saw someone with a phone, an ancient relative of a smart phone, in their pocket at a farm sale – nearly 20 years ago.
Let's see just how old you are, or how good your memory is. How many of these six things can you identify from a simple description?
1. It's small, plastic and fits in your hand. Shove it in a small device and it plays music or you can hear voices.
Answer: A cassette tape. I still have a box of Captain Stubby cassette tapes my father loved to listen to in his car- which was made in the '90's and came new with a cassette player!
2. One end fits onto a water spigot. The other end of the hose connects to a small device small enough to fit in your hand. Place it on a tank and it controls water level.
Answer: Simple, it's a livestock float! Unless they use them to shut off water to a spray tank, most people under 30 have no clue what they are even if they see one!
3. It has a plug which connects to a small cylinder, with two wires circling about a foot in diameter out from the cylinder and back.
Answer: If you said a heater for a livestock tank, you're right. There's still one in my shed, covered up with junk for the past 20 years.
4. This item is green, made of steel and looks sort of like the letter 'F'.
Answer: Yes, it's a special wrench used to work on clutches in John Deere two-cylinder tractors. If you see one today it's probably in an antique shop.
5. This implement had only one purpose – to put a crimp in hay so it would dry faster.
Answer: If you said hay conditioner, you're right. Several companies made them, most in the late 1950s or early '60s. The hope was that hay cut by a mowing machine would dry faster. Most soon wound up in the back of sheds, as farmers opted for machines that could cut and condition hay for faster drying at the same time.
6. This large wooden box resembled a piece of furniture. It had a door, a big compartment often lined with tin, and it was usually placed in the kitchen.
Answer: Yes, of course, it was an ice box. A delivery man literally brought a block of ice. You placed the ice in it and kept things cool. When I grew up in the 1960s, mom still called the refrigerator the "ice box," and I didn't know any different. Try that on a teenager today – "Please go get me a soda from the ice box." They might look at you funny.
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