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October 1, 1962: Carson Takes Over The Tonight Show

Retro Staff |  2 Comments

Originally titled Tonight, NBC’s late-night talk show was a counterpart to the Today show, which aired early morning. Originating in 1953, Steve Allen was the first host of this experimental show which became quite a success. Allen left the show in 1957, and Jack Paar took over. It was Johnny Carson’s success on Who Do

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The Edsel Show

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By the mid- to late-1950s television was dominating the American living room. Sponsorship was a networks’ key form of programming support, and there were plenty of big companies willing to spend the money to get their names out there. Texaco, Colgate, Kraft, and many other corporations, sponsored entire programs that came with naming rights. Texaco

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CompuServe: The First Major Online Service Kicked Off in ’79

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Nowadays, an early adopter jumps to download new software or buy new gadgets within days of release. When it came to connecting online at home, though, that title was granted to pretty much anyone who sent email or chatted across the globe pre-1990. That was when CompuServe dominated the field, long before America OnLine (AOL)

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Filed under: Remember When, Retro Memories Tagged with: computers, retro tech

Old-School Businessman Takes Risks, Employees Reap Rewards

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We couldn’t help but share this fantastic story about a car dealer who took big risks, built an enterprise, protected his employees’ jobs then gave them a hefty bonus. Howard Cooper opened his card dealership – Howard Cooper Import Center – in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1965. At first he sold Volkswagens, then added Audis

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Happy Toilet Paper Day!

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A recent quest on squidoo left us hunting for a unique “national” day that also had a rich, retro history. That’s how we found out that August 26th is “Toilet Paper Day”! We discovered quite a few interesting things about this day-to-day necessity, including that someone obtained a patent on the stuff with an accompanying

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Filed under: Remember When Tagged with: holidays, unique history

Blonde and Sweet for My Dunker, Please

Retro Staff |  1  Comment

In traditional diners, coffee shops and shorter-order restaurants, unique terms are used to describe food and drink. At one time, some of these terms were pretty universal. Today, however, many young servers will give confused looks when you order a burger and say, “Eighty-six the onions”. Frequent diners picked up on some jargon, and would

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Caine’s Arcade Reminds Us of Past Childhoods

Retro Staff |  2 Comments

Remember when our imaginations were the driving force behind our fun days? Having to hop across living room furniture to avoid the lava… Operating imaginary cash registers to run a store… Couple the “see the bigger picture” with the traditional lemonade stand and you get Caine’s Arcade, a 9-year-old Los Angeles boy’s Do-It-Yourself (DIY) business. The

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Public Telephone History

Retro Staff |  2 Comments

Most people know that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876. But did you know that the first public phone was installed in 1878? And it came with a little something extra—an attendant! This was necessary because early pay telephones were not able to accept coins. How it worked was the attendant initiated the

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