These 11 hacks may sound mysterious and weird to younger adults and kids. But, older generations understand they made a huge difference in cutting costs, avoiding repairs, and making life easier.
Table of Contents
Bic Pen & Cassette
Younger generations may never know there was a relationship between these two. The pen was essential to rewinding the cassette tape.
Blow on the Video Game Cartridge
Most games are now downloadable or on CDs, but decades ago, games were only available in cartridge formats, which, most of the time, didn’t work. The solution? You’d blow the cartridge to remove dirt and dust. This trick works most of the time, but on very rare occasions, you’d end up ruining it because your saliva (or moisture) from blowing damaged the cartridge’s sensitive contacts.
Clean Nail Polish to Stop Pantyhose from “Running”
“Nearly every girl I knew had a bottle of clear nail polish in her purse when we were in high school,” notes a poster. The polish offered a quick fix to any snag in the pantyhose—all you needed to do was apply thin edges to each side of the run and let it dry.
Nowadays, girls rarely wear pantyhoses and wouldn’t know of this trick.
Aluminum Foil on TV Antennas
Thanks to advanced technology, younger generations only use aluminum foil for packaging. Unknown to them, Gen X and older adults wrapped it around TV antennas to boost the signal quality, and it always worked. Some users mention using beer cans to increase the antenna’s conductivity.
“Going outside to turn the antenna” so you could watch a particular show was also a thing.
Getting in the Trunk to Sneak into the Drive-In Theater
Being broke didn’t stop Gen Xers and senior adults from entering a drive-in theater. They would lie inside the truck, and once the coast was clear, they’d escape, go inside the car, and watch the movie without paying a dime!
Alter a Document Using Photocopier, Scissors, and Glue
This old-school hack was what came to be the easy copy, cut, and paste we have today. Older generations would use scissors, glue, and white-out to make invincible alterations to a document. Then, they’d photocopy the new, edited report.
Record Top Ten Songs at Night
A 50-something-year-old remembers how he’d wait for the top ten songs to play on the radio at night, then press record. Why at night? Well, it was the only time that there were no ads or a DJ’s voiceover. Fortunately for kids today, they don’t have to pull up an all-nighter to download a song.
Keeping Wet Clothes in the Fridge
“Before steam irons, people put damp clothes that required ironing straight from the washer into plastic bags. The damp, bagged clothes went into the fridge, not for days but overnight. Ironing the damp clothes created the steam effect,” shares a Gen X poster.
Leaving the Phone Off the Hook So You Could Pretend It Was in Use
Also, ignoring calls was easier back in the day. You only needed to leave the handheld speaker off the cradle or hook to prevent incoming calls. Sadly, younger generations will never understand this because they are always attached to their phones.
Ring Once, Then Hang Up and Call Back
Another old-school phone hack that helped many avoid charges was to call someone and let their phone ring once, then wait for them to notice the missed call and call you back.
Use Sharpie for Coloring in Black Shoes
Younger generations wouldn’t also understand that scuffs on black shoes were quickly remedied with Sharpie coloring and shoe polish.
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