Recently, my sister texted me a photo, saying: "Maybe you could do a blog about phones...(this one) obviously does not work."

Before the cell phone, the pay phone was the only way to "reach out, reach out and touch someone" when you were "on the road."

Pay phones used to be everywhere.

My Dad on a bike trip...with a phone booth in the background. (Craig Allen photo archives)

Now, they might as well be in museums.

That got me thinking...why stop there?

Jersey phone book. Its gotten smaller, if you can find one. (Craig Allen photo)

Remember the phone book? They used to be in every home and business, and were updated every year. Yellow Pages, anyone? "Let your fingers do the walking."

It's "only" 13 years old.  Now, it's a paperweight. (Craig Allen photo)

The flip phone? This was my first cell phone, in summer 2008.

"Landline." Not very mobile. (Craig Allen photo)

Til then, above, was the only way to reach me. Now, it's the "last" way. Have you "cut the cord?"

Check out this ANCIENT rotary dial phone. (Craig Allen photo)

It's not just many other Jersey "essentials" have disappeared from every day use.

Instant gratification is still a relatively new thing, when it comes to photos.

Unused black & white, and color  film. (Craig Allen photo)

Remember going to the "photo hut" or drug store...and, by the late '80s, you visited "Dusty Lenscap" at pick up your pictures?

An envelope of color negatives...where are the prints? (Craig Allen photo)

I processed my own black and white film...

Behind my camera. They've changed, too. (Craig Allen photo archives)

...and printed black and white photos "back in the day."

This sticker is all that remains of my father's cellar "dark room." (Craig Allen photo)

Or, maybe, you took "slides."

Both are obsolete, and taking up space in the garage. (Craig Allen photo)

This is a two-in-one photo...note the tray of slides, and my typewriter. Yes, it's electric.

Replaced by a series of p.c.'s, and now by my laptop. (Craig Allen photo)

And, no, that two-in-one photo wasn't "staged" for the article. Just a happy (?) coincidence.

Turntable on the left, AM/FM tuner on the right. (Craig Allen photo)

Remember when you listened to the the radio, and played records (read: music downloads) on the "family stereo?" It was a prized piece of "fine furniture."

Then, it morphed into this...

My grandfather's...circa 1979...and it WORKS. (Craig Allen photo)

...complete with 8-track. Grandpa B was not an ELO fan...that one is all mine.

Of course, one could buy blank 8-tracks. As a kid, I bought pre-recorded (old) 8-tracks at garage sales for a quarter, and recorded my own music (and the radio) on them.

Personally, I preferred the cassette over the 8-track...who didn't?

Def Lep.  ROCKS. (Craig Allen photo)

How many "mix tapes" did you make for friends?

Unopened. It's waiting for special project. (Craig Allen photo).

Sadly, it's been a few years since I could walk into any store...

The end of my supply of blank cassettes. (Craig Allen photo)

...and buy blank tape.

Boxed reel to reel recording tape. (Craig Allen photo)

Forget "reel to reel" tape stock, that's beyond obsolete.

Tape in the box. (Craig Allen photo)

Then there's Jersey sight and sound, together:

This 1960's TV is (obviously) headed for the trash. Obsolete. (Craig Allen photo)

Yes, your TV was furniture, too. A big tube. IN COLOR (please).

It's not flashing 12:00. A miracle. (Craig Allen photo).

Let's not forget the VHS video cassette recorder (which made the Beta video recorder obsolete). Recording programs, so you could watch later, was...awesome.

Driving around the "Garden State?" Planning a "road trip?"

Who could forget paper maps?

This map has been traveling with me since 1995. (Craig Allen photo)

Made obsolete by "New Jersey Traffic North & South," online-directions, and GPS. I look back on all these things that were not planned for obsolescence, it occurs to me that ALL of them have been replaced by the capabilities of the SMART PHONE. letters (e-mails and texts)...enjoying music and TV (downloads or live streaming)...recording of live sound/action...and driving directions/GPS.

The article goes full-circle. Phone

I have lots more "obsolete" to add...but, I'm handing it off to you.

What would you add?

Hand crank pencil sharpener? Obsolete. (Craig Allen photo)

Let's revisit this idea in the not-so-distant future. Together.

In our fast-paced, technology-based world, everything becomes obsolete...eventually.

Except this idea.

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