Unsuccessful Inventions That Could Be Cool
The 1970s was a revolutionary time in modern human history. So many fads, innovations, and cultural transitions took place. For this list, we've decided to take a look at the different things that the '70s had given us. Prepare for a wild history lesson packed in with a whole lot of fun!
The Supremes were Motown's most successful singing acts during the 1960s. Moreover, they were one of history's best selling girl groups of all time. The group came to an end in 1970 when Diana Ross and the Supremes perform their last concert on January 14 in Las Vegas. After that, she began her solo career.
The music industry was also given a resounding knock on the head when the world's most influential rock band, The Beatles, announced their breakup. The news came via Paul McCartney's self-interview on April 10, 1970. This was just before the release of their last album, "Let It Be."
Star Wars: A New Hope premier on May 25, 1977. George Lucas' film gave the world a whole new film experience that they had never seen before. The iconic space opera introduced us to the world of the Jedi and the Sith, turning film viewers into instant fanboys. Little did we know that it would become the biggest film franchise ever.
If Star Wars was a revolutionary film experience, then Pong was the revolutionary game experience. It was a complete game-changer that came via the release of the Atari in 1972. You might think that this two-dimensional game is nothing to be blown away by, you're wrong. It was one of the first video games ever created and obviously, kids went mad over it!
If the '90s had the Macarena, then the '70s had the Hustle. Disco was on the way up, and there was one particular song, and its accompanying dance, that turned into a worldwide phenomenon. When Van McCoy's 1975 hit, the Hustle, hit clubs and radio stations around the world, people knew that they had no choice but to get down and boogie!
Shag carpets have definitely gone out of style since the '70s, but there was a time that almost every home that could afford it had them. Sure, they look hideous and feel like your walking all over a Big Bird and his friends, but shag carpets were immensely comfortable and cozy. The material felt so good on your skin that it would make you forget how terrible they looked.
The '70s also gave us the birth of Saturday Night Live. Can you believe it? This sketch comedy show that has given us comedic legends like Eddie Murphy, Dan Akroyd, Amy Poehler, and Will Ferrell started all the way back in 1975. The show has turned into the stepping stone of people hoping to become the next great thing.
There was a police officer, an Indian, a cowboy, a soldier, a biker, and an electrician, and they were one of the '70s most popular musical acts. Of course, we're talking about The Village people, and they gave us the ever-popular and seemingly never going away song, "YMCA." Don't lie to us, but there's no way you don't know this dance.
On September 20, 1976, The Muppet Show premiered in New York City. The iconic children show's first guest is Rita Moreno. A week after the show would make its premiere in Chicago and Los Angeles with guest star Sandy Duncan. Today, Kermit, Ms. Piggy, and the rest of the crew still continue to entertain kids through film and other media. Just like the next bunch.
If you didn't grow up watching The Muppets, then you were definitely brought up watching Sesame Streat. It can be argued that almost every kid has since the '70s has been exposed to the teachings of Sesame Street at least once in their life. Kids from the '70s were the first to meet Big Bird, Grover, Bert, and Ernie.
It's safe to say that the '70s had no shortage of educational shows for kids. Saturday mornings were full of cartoons from Schoolhouse Rock. With educational hits like "Conjunction Junction," "Three Is a Magic Number." Let's not forget the song that taught most kids during this time how laws were made with "I'm Just a Bill."
In the '70s, talking about feelings was a lot harder. So what did confused or repressed young people do back then? They wore mood rings to show people what they were feeling. Blue meant you were calm, amber meant you were nervous or anxious, and black meant you were angry.
Couch potatoes from the '70s will know that the name Aaron Spelling goes along way in Hollywood. He produced some of the most popular tv shows of the decade. From Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island to The Love Boat and Starsky & Hutch, SWAT, and The Mod Squad, there was hardly a hit tv show from back then that didn't have his mark.
Younger generations will recognize Teen Vogue or K-Zone as magazines catered to them when they were kids. However, back in the '70s, there was one media outlet that caught every youngster's eye, it was Tiger Beat Magazine. They sold copies to the youth with headlines like "Donny & Marie: Too Busy for Love?" and "Leif Garret: What you don't know about him!"
Get this, in 1975, an advertising executive named Gary Dahl came up with the brilliant idea of selling rocks as pets. Yes sir! These smooth stones came specifically from Mexico's Rosarito Beach. They were even marketed like live pets, with googly eyes. These pets even came in boxes with holes cut out of them so they could 'breath' and were sold for $4 a pop.
In 1975, Steven Spielberg gave people around the world a reason to be afraid of going to the beach and stepping into the ocean. Because of Jaws, a newfound fear in the deep blue sea and great white sharks. Let's not forget the unforgettable stalking score from the film. da-dum, da-dum, da-dum... Oh, and always remember to have a big enough boat when you're out at sea!
Back in the '70s, it was widely believed that wearing tube socks would make someone look more athletic. Kids in gym class would step into class wearing tube socks or not step into class at all. Celebs were also into the trend, with popular '70s icons like Farrah Fawcett and Kareem Abdul Jabbar sporting the look.
In the '70s, there was one sitcom that ruled the world of television. It was called Happy Days, it was the show that made Ron Howard a star, and eventually the great director that he is today. It was also the show that inspired kids to be as cool as they can be because of one specific character, Fonzie. The undisputed dean of cool, Fonzie's thumbs up and saying "Ayyyy" was etched into every '70s kids' mind. Gotta love that Henry Winkler inflection.
Tupperware has definitely gotten more creative and inventive since the '70s. However, back then Tupperware was a thing of pride in someone's home. Homemakers in the '70s were extremely proud of the Tupperware they had at home. They came in several sets and bold colors. People also held Tupperware parties, so yeah, very '70s.
8-track tapes weren't really things that people found cool back in the '70s, they were just the technology available during that time. It was the only thing you could use in the '70s for recording and listening to music. They were pretty complicated to use toom with for programs and complicated ways to switch from program to program.
Although this would be something that went on even up until the '90s, most if not all television channels actually signed off at the end of every day back then. That's right, 24/7 programming wasn't a thing yet. Moreover, just like radio stations television channels would sign off by playing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before leaving the infamous color test card.
When you hear the words "The Most Magical Place on Earth," what pops into your head? Of course, we're talking about Disney World! On October 1, 1971, Disney's Walt Disney World officially opened - to the delight of Disney fans from all over the world. When it opened, the resort included The Magic Kingdom, Disney's Contemporary Resort, and Disney's Fort Wilderness and Campground.
If kids were wowed by the wonderful world of Disney gave kids a theme park to enjoy, then 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory gave them a world of pure imagination. Gene Wilder's film came out on June 30th, and kids around the globe wished so much to be one of those kids who won that golden ticket. A factory full of candy? Who wouldn't?
The '70s was a great time to be a rock and roll fan. One specific band went from being an obscure fringe band to becoming one of the biggest bands ever. On November 8, Led Zeppelin released an untitled album that would later be called Led Zepplin IV. One of the songs in the album would go on to be one of the greatest rock songs ever, Stairway to Heaven.
The 1970s also gave us one of the greatest film franchises to ever grace the theaters. On March 15, 1972, Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather premiered. The film would go on to be nominated for eleven Academy Awards and take home three, as well as winning five Golden Globes. It remains one of the best films ever made.
From talking about films to talking about tv shows. The seventies were dominated by M*A*S*H which premiered on September 17, 1972. It would go on to run for eleven seasons, earn three Golden Globes. Moreover, it's the series finale, in 1983, would-for a time, have the largest TV audience ever.
One of the most dominant television channels ever has been Home Box Office or HBO. TV's first premium cable channel premiered on November 8, 1972. Since its premiere, the channel has given us unforgettable events such as Robin Williams' Off The Wall HBO special in 1978, The Sopranos, and of course, Game of Thrones.
Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, is a man that holds many records and an important place in music's history. On January 14, 1973, Elvis became the first entertainer to conduct a live broadcast from Hawaii. His Aloha from Hawaii concert endeared him to the people of Hawaii and was even viewed by more people than the moon landing.
The '70s was a great time to be a music lover. From rock to R&B, dozens upon dozens of amazing and groundbreaking albums were released by various artists. However, there was one particular year that trumps every other year. In 1973, the following albums were released: Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, and Queen and Aerosmith's self-titled albums.
Here are a few more albums that prove that 1973 was a great year for music! Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John, Wake of the Flood by the Grateful Dead, Aladdin Sane by David Bowie, Desperado by the Eagles, Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye, Half-Breed by Cher, and finally, Piano Man by Billie Joel. Most of these albums are worth thousands of dollars too.
Do you know the history of the barcode? We do! It's actually called the Universal Product Code (UPC). It was first put to use and scanned on June 26, 1924. Can you guess what kind of package was scanned? Interestingly, it was a pack of Wrigley's gum. I wonder how much that pack of gum cost back in the '70s.
Are you a fan of horror movies and books? If you are, then you have to thank the '70s for one of the genre's greatest contributors, Stephen King. The legendary author's first novel, Carrie, was published on April 5, 1974. Two years later, the book would become a bestseller that inspires the 1976 movie starring Sissy Spacek. Among his other works are the famed Salem's Lot, The Shining, The Stand.
Do you know anything about baseball? Well, one of the sport's timeless heroes is Babe Ruth. Between the 1910s and mid-1930s, he accumulated 714 home runs. It was a league record until Henry "Hank" Aaron hits his 715th home run on April 8, 1974. Doing this made him pass Babe Ruth as the player with the most home runs in MLB History.
Have you ever seen a persons walk the tightrope? Was it in a circus? How high up were they? We're sure it's nothing compared to what Philippe Petit did on August 7, 1974. He walked a tightrope that crossed between the iconic Twin Towers, thousands of feet up the air. He was promptly arrested afterward, but boy was it a sight to have beheld.
1974 was also the same year an iconic rock and roll band came together. They were originally called "Angel and the Snake." but you know them better as Blondie. The Ramones also had an important milestone in their band's history. The iconic Ramones first performed at CBGB's.
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Do you know who said that? It was the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali. October 1, 1975, gave us Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier's thrid and iconic fight. It was called the "Thrilla In Manila," as it was held in Manila, Philippines. Ali ended up victorious, as Frazier threw in the towel before the last round.
The 1970s also saw an iconic comic book character go from the pages of a comic book to the silver screen. Armed with super strength, the Lasso of Truth, and an invisible plane, the world fell in love with Wonder Woman. She was played on the television by none other than Lynda Carter.
By the time 1976 came rolling in, David Bowie was already an international sensation. This year, David Bowie decided to change things up as he introduced his 10th studio album, Station to Station. On January 23, Bowie debut his new alter ego, "Thin White Duke" to the astonishment of fans from all over the world.
In 1977, the world would change with the debut of a revolutionary piece of technology. All thanks to the men from Apple Computer, Inc., Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne - the world was introduced to the Apple II. The personal computer would change the game, and make computers a household thing.
In 1976, the world of television was rocked as we were introduced to a trio of beautiful, talented, and extremely deadly super spies in Charlie's Angels. The tv show starring Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, and Kate Jackson premiered on September 26 and would change the way women are viewed.
Deriving its name from the discotheque, the name for the type of dance-oriented nightclub that first appeared in the 1960s, a new type of sound was taking over the music scene. It was called disco, and thanks to DJs at underground clubs, songs like Gloria Gaynor’s “Never Can Say Goodbye” became an immense hit! Disco also had something that boosted its rep.
1977 saw the validation of how disco had taken over pop culture in the '70s. John Travolta starred in Saturday Night Fever, a film that sees a young boy looking for a way out of poverty, and decided to do so by dominating the dance floor at the local disco. It was a box office success and was even nominated for an Oscar.
Day-time soap operas aren't a new thing. They've been around for as long as people started having TVs in their living rooms. However, in the late 1970s, a new daytime drama took over the scene. It was Dallas, the show that featured J.R. Ewing, a Texas oil baron, and the struggle for power his life had to endure.
Although waterbeds were invented in the late '60s, waterbeds became popular in the '70s and became a novelty item. Imagine a king-sized, water-filled, velvet pouch on a giant bed frame. There's nothing more seventies than the groovy sight of a waterbed in full motion.
Which of these relics from the 1970s have you experienced first hand? Which of them do you wish you could've seen yourself? Let us know in the comment section. If you had a fun time reading about the things the '70s gave us, you might enjoy having a look at all the other stories we write about on Amomedia.