I was talking with a few friends yesterday and we were trying to think of products that our grandfathers would have used regularly that are fading away or are no longer existant today. We came up with newspapers and wet shaving kits and that was about it. Can anyone else come up with anything? I'm sure there is plenty more.
I wasn't lucky enough to know my grandfather, he passed away a few years before I was born. However, I do know from heirlooms and stories from my father that he rolled his own Prince Albert tobacco . He was also an old time woodsman, and used a double bit axe, peavey ( an old style hook/clamp device on the end of a pole, if you're not from a lumbering area), and paddled a bateau boat with supplies for the lumber camps. I'm not sure of the exact titles of the manufacturers, but they were all made in Maine, by companies long since faded away.
Tube tester - My grandfather owned his own TV/Radio repair shop. Back in the day, you needed good tubes.
Ice buckets/Ice picks
Still need good tubes. And good tube testers (and the knowledge of how to use the readouts) are getting harder to come by.
Fountain, dip pens and ink blotters. Still have several packages of steel nibs for the pens.
My grandpa sold men's attire in Chicago before going into the navy after Pearl Harbor. So, I betcha he used one of these:
In addition to the things already listed, a rotary phone, stationary, and address book. I know the last two are still in use, but most of my friends do almost everything digitally and keep their info stored on phones or other devices.
My grandfather usually took up new technology--he bought a computer when they first hit the market for home use, so if he were still alive he would be one of those old men who buys an iPad so he can read his favorite magazines on it since more publishers are abandoning print editions.
My Pop always wears nice, professional looking hats everywhere he goes.
The definition of a nice, professional hat, and rules to wearing them have been lost!
(To be honest, I don't even know them!)
My grandfather passed when I was six, but I do remember some things about him.
1. Old Spice-He always wore Old Spice. I did too, until I developed an aversion to certain scents; Old Spice now makes me sick, but I still love the smell.
2. Camel-He always smoked Camel non-filters. I used to smoke Camel as well, but now it's Pall Mall.
3. Brylcreem-He loved this stuff, and I know why. It's awesome
4. Imperial-He had several pocketknives, but his main one was an Imperial Scout Knife with a deer etched on the handle. I have it now, but it's put away. I carry an Opinel.
5. Ford-My grandfather loved Ford tractors. The one he used was from 1966, and I learned how to drive it before I learned to drive a car
Pocket Watch, handkerchief, pen knife, suspenders, notebook with important phone numbers, addresses, quotes, appointments, etc. He had a hanging calendar that he actually used. He always wore an American Flag pin on whatever suit he wore. He also had something that not many people have today, which has a happy life and a loving family. This seems to be something that is fading away pretty rapidly nowadays.
I never knew my grandfather (either of them; they both passed before i was born. From what i have heard of them, i think it a blessing in thin disguise). However, from my paternal grandfather, i was given his shaving brush and tobacco pipe. I don't use the brush, since years of disuse have made the bristles brittle, although i do smoke the pipe on rare occasions. Somewhat independently, i started using brylcreem without knowing that they both used it (i don't any more, since my warm-weather haircut is so short). My paternal grandfather was a barber in Greece, and i found his personal aftershave recipe while cleaning out my parents' basement. I use it myself now, although i substitute rubbing alcohol for raki, since it's expensive stateside (if you can find it at all)