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18 April 2012

11 “Modern Antiques” Today’s Kids Have Probably Never Seen - and by "kids," we mean anyone in their 20s or younger. [More:]
This list actually makes me feel young, as I know of them, but they were from the generation(s) prior to mine.
I feel pretty much the same way as you do.

My second apartment was in a converted single-family home and I had a milk chute by my back door. And when I was young (somewhere around '85?) we used to have a milk man.
posted by youngergirl44 18 April | 14:24
I've seen the wall mounted bottle opener before, but I had no idea that's what it actually was. I always thought it was some old toilet paper holder thingymajig.

And the fotomat thing looks familiar until I realized that it's now a key making shack in the ghetto part of town. And probably isn't a real one, but it looks very similar.
posted by sperose 18 April | 14:30
I only ever encountered a tube tester in the back of a small franchised Radio Shack in a no-name town about 18 miles from where I grew up.
posted by Ardiril 18 April | 14:36
The last time I saw this in DC I had to tell several other tourists what it was.
posted by JanetLand 18 April | 15:13
I'm 32 and had never heard of a tube tester or the milk chute (although my parents do actually have an independent milkman still. He delivers in cartons, not the old glass bottles, but he also brings eggs). Things like skate keys and green stamps I just know from old TV shows and the old Peanuts comic collections that some neighbors gave me when I was a kid.

I do remember messing around with my dad's typewriter back in the day, but he used the tape strips for correction. I don't recall there being any stick erasers like the ones shown around.

I still see plenty of wall-mounted bottle openers around, but I think they're mostly attached to the railings of peoples' back decks for party-purposes. I find 'em handy. Why would a hotel mount one next to the toilet paper, though? That doesn't make much sense.

Also, my first car, a 1986 Bronco II, had the no-draft windows. I love those things. Made smoking while it was raining much easier.
posted by ufez 18 April | 15:37
The majority of my beach time was in the 70s. Neither I nor anyone I know ever cut our feet (or anything else) on a pop top from a can. Methinks the author exagerateth. As well the big holes in 45s also fit on a spindle that you could buy (or came with) your home stereo. You could stack a bunch of records on it and it would drop them one at a time.
posted by Splunge 18 April | 15:41
Another danger from pop tops (according to urban legend) was that some people, instead of dropping them on the ground, would drop them into the can, and then choke on them while drinking whatever it was.
posted by JanetLand 18 April | 15:44
Some brands of juice were packaged in big cans too. Never saw a tube tester; I had pre-brake roller skates, but can't remember if they needed a key.
posted by brujita 18 April | 16:19
Tube testers is going back a ways. I remember seeing them, but only when I was a kid. But are pull tabs all gone??? When did that happen?
posted by DarkForest 18 April | 16:27
Wow, mentalfloss is still around?
posted by Eideteker 18 April | 16:29
I remember all of these but then I'm almost 50.

When I was a kid,name brand soda always had detachable pull tabs but the cheap Shop-rite or A&P stuff had to be opened with a church key. I don't think that the "stay attached" pull tabs started until the mid-eighties or so. Heck I remember when plastic bottles for soda or milk were a big "living in the future" moment.
posted by octothorpe 18 April | 16:38
Many of these are US-only, I think. Here, 45 RPM records came with the proper-sized hole, you got out of your car to drop your films off and the milkman left your milk beside the letterbox. I've never heard of or seen a tube tester. But, yeah, the others are all from my lifetime. I still see the occasional wall-mounted bottle opener in country town motels.

The removable pull-tabs were phased out here because of littering and also because of people (not wanting to litter) dropping the tab into the can, then choking on it. Also, they don;t mention that those cans were steel, not aluminium.
posted by dg 18 April | 17:15
It used to be that crushing a soda or beer can was a big feat of strength since they were all steel and strong enough to stand on.
posted by octothorpe 18 April | 17:31
I'm 50, and I remember all of those except the tube tester and the milk chute (we had a nonfunctional dumbwaiter in the Bronx, maybe this was a suburban thing.) I remember making long chains out of pop tops, although they were not very flattering to wear. (Also, gum wrapper chains.)
posted by wens 18 April | 17:32
45 and I remember all of it except the milk chute and skate keys (I knew about skate keys growing up, but didn't have that kind of skate; mine looked like a pair of tennies). The mister had a milk chute when growing up in northern Ontario.
posted by deborah 19 April | 00:40
50 and I remember all of these. We didn't have a milk chute but I saw a lot of them as my dad was a milkman for a few years. I remember my dad pulling all the tubes from the TV so we could go to a nearby book store to use the tube tester and replace the defective one.

I cut my foot on a pop tab at the beach. They also had pop cans that had two push buttons to open. A big one and a small one.
posted by arse_hat 19 April | 01:17
There is a table lamp in my house that my parents got with S&H green stamps when I was a kid.
posted by BoringPostcards 19 April | 06:54
I remember getting a Webber grill with Green Stamps somewhere in the early eighties.
posted by octothorpe 19 April | 06:56
My parents have a wall-mounted bottle-opener. The non-screw-cap kind of bottle cap is still the standard type here, and I carry a little bottle-opener in my handbag.

Never heard of the milk chute, that must be a North American thing. Here, the milkman would leave it on your doorstep and in some parts of the country you might have metal discs he could put over the foil lids to prevent the birds pecking through them to get the cream...
posted by altolinguistic 19 April | 07:35
Sadly, I'm old enough to remember each and every one of these. We had both S&H Green Stamps and the yellow Top Value Stamps in our area. You had to fill a mountain of stamp books to get anything worthwhile from their catalogs. There was actually a Green Stamp redemption store near our home.

I can't recall anyone ever cutting their foot on a pop-top either. My friends and I would take the pop-top and rotate the ring around until it was pointing in the same direction as the "tongue", then wedge the thing back onto the skinny end of the opening on the can. It held there securely and stayed with the can. No pop-tops on the ground!
posted by Thorzdad 19 April | 07:43
I think the milk chute was a cold climate thing so the milk would not freeze. It also seemed to show up mostly in homes built in the 50s to about mid 60s.
posted by arse_hat 19 April | 13:56
We never had a milk chute. Just the good old milk box by the front door.
posted by Thorzdad 19 April | 15:42
I still have a church key. In fact, I used it a couple of weeks ago.
posted by gaspode 19 April | 15:57
I'm 32 and most were at least somewyat familar to me, but I never knew that openers were called church keys. It makes me look at the "church key" surf song a little differently.
posted by drezdn 19 April | 18:30
Yes, I never heard it called a church key either. Those were bottle openers.
posted by JanetLand 19 April | 21:06
Use my church key all the time.

In addition to opening beers, they were what you needed to open the can of Hershey's syrup - two holes, not one, otherwise it wouldn't pour. Early physics lesson.

The majority of my beach time was in the 70s. Neither I nor anyone I know ever cut our feet (or anything else) on a pop top from a can.

I certainly have cut my hands on pop-tops as a kid. I got a pretty bad gash on the heel of my hand from one once. Those were quite sharp. Dropping them into the can sucked. Also, we saved the pop-tops and made chains out of them. I had a bunch of hippie-crafts books and some showed projects you could make, like an "awesome" pop-top belt. Seemed fascinating.

Those were bottle openers.

That is their official name - "church key" was a colloquialism, a little bit ironic because churchgoing and alcohol drinking used to be, in theory and in some communities, antitheses.

My dad was an engineer and always rebuilding stuff, so I have seen a tube tester, at the electric parts stores he used to drag us to which smelled of oil and iron.

posted by Miko 19 April | 21:24
My dad's uncle was a retired TV repairman so he had a tube tester at home. I remember my dad pulling all the tubes out of the back of the TV and taking them over to check them out.
posted by octothorpe 20 April | 07:23
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