What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

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WhippingPost
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What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by WhippingPost » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:33 am

Or maybe better asked, what products do you think our timeless designs that you've found no reason to look for better products over the years? For me, the most common areas are:
-Kitchen tools (cast iron, Microplane graters, Marcato pasta makers, etc)
-Gardening tools (Felco pruners, Sneerboor tools, etc)
-Hand tools (Estwing hammers, Gransfor Bruks, etc)

Housedoc
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Housedoc » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:40 am

Put my vote down for 30+ YO Craftsman power tools. Old cast iron table saw and jointer were great.

megabad
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by megabad » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:10 am

staplers (they use to make them out of metal and they never jammed)

computer mice (microsoft intellimouse original)

iphones with a headphone jack (why apple?)

footwear (buy a new pair of timberlands/duckboots/etc and put them next to my 20 year old pair in 20 years)

car interiors (nothing like a bunch of cheap plastic on my $50k brand new car)

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El Greco
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by El Greco » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:59 pm

The Weller 8200 soldering gun. It's still being made, but being made like crap. I buy my Weller 8200 guns on Ebay. The old ones made in Easton, Pa.

Dottie57
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:12 pm

megabad wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:10 am
iphones with a headphone jack (why apple
Agree about the headphone jack.

John Doe 123
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by John Doe 123 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:14 pm

Bench Vises.

bhsince87
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by bhsince87 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:15 pm

Quite a few types of clothing, like jeans and shoes. Newer ones wear out way too fast.

Fuel cans.

Some types of books.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

Wakefield1
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Wakefield1 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:40 pm

Bonney brand tools
Older Mac breaker bar (hinge handle)
Some mechanics seen to like the Snap On tools from the recent past as compared to the currently available ones (different script on them)

daheld
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by daheld » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:46 pm

Clothes washers (i.e. washing machines).

Wakefield1
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Wakefield1 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:48 pm

daheld wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:46 pm
Clothes washers (i.e. washing machines).
Old Maytag with simple twist controls?

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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:52 pm

Craftsman lifetime guaranteed hand tools made in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
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Wakefield1
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Wakefield1 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:55 pm

Made in USA Armstrong tools and their Craftsman equivalents

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linuxology
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by linuxology » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:04 pm

Panasonic Electric Pencil Sharpener

daheld
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by daheld » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:04 pm

Wakefield1 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:48 pm
daheld wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:46 pm
Clothes washers (i.e. washing machines).
Old Maytag with simple twist controls?
Approximately 25 year old Amana set with simple twist controls. I have an extra set in the basement that the seller of our home left when we bought it. They're about the same age and either Maytag or Kenmore. I figure I should be set for the next 30 years or so. I had to replace an inlet valve on the set that we use a few years ago and other than that they've worked flawlessly.

anon_investor
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by anon_investor » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:05 pm

Gas cans apparently... :twisted:
viewtopic.php?p=4740732

RetiredArtist
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by RetiredArtist » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:33 pm

Wedgewood gas stoves

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Elsebet
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Elsebet » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:23 pm

Doc Marten's boots. I did buy a "Made in England" pair last year so will report how well those hold up compared to the originals.
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Woodshark
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Woodshark » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:25 pm

Pre WWII Stanley hand planes. They were well made back when people and industry needed and used them. After everyone switched to power tools, the quality took a nose-dive.

jharkin
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by jharkin » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:46 pm

All of them.
/thread

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ResearchMed
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:44 pm

bhsince87 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:15 pm
Quite a few types of clothing, like jeans and shoes. Newer ones wear out way too fast.

Fuel cans.

Some types of books.
MANY types of clothing!

The fabrics were better...
The stitching was better...
The design and tailoring was better (e.g., not the "cheapest way to use the least amount of fabric)...
The fit was better (not so tight under armpits, for example - look for the little insert piece of fabric there, in some types of clothing)...

I would mind having "outgrown" many of my clothes (ahem) much less if I could replace some/many of them with similar quality.
Oh, and the styling wasn't "so trendy as to be out of fashion by the time one got home from the store"! I used to be able to wear business clothing for years and years. And years.
(Female here, so it's not just "a classic business suit" thing.)

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Teague
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Teague » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:26 pm

Cast iron frying pans.
Gas cans (explored in another thread.)
Old Ford tractors, at least in terms of longevity.
Can openers, particularly the Can-O-mat wall mount units.
Washing machines.
Nuclear weapons, thankfully. The RDS-220 Tsar Bomba, now that was a bomb.
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Traveller
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Traveller » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:52 pm

Dishwasher detergent. Man do I miss the phosphates...

Nicolas
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Nicolas » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:33 pm

Coinage— coins used to be made of silver and gold, now they’re a sort of zinc base metal sandwich.

Gasoline— I can’t buy pure gasoline anymore, it must be cut with ethanol as per govt. mandate.
Last edited by Nicolas on Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Speckles
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Speckles » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:03 am

Recipes. Old recipes used ingredients I recognized. Also, those old recipes had a millions ways to make flour, milk, eggs, salt and pepper into a million tasty meals.

s8r
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by s8r » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:05 am

Typing with a cellphone.

Touch screens are just not meant for typing. Typing with them is slower and you make more typos. And you basically can't type while walking. Remember when we could type even without looking at the phone? That's impossible now. :D

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:36 am

Traveller wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:52 pm
Dishwasher detergent. Man do I miss the phosphates...
I think the rise of dishwasher detergent pods were a way to get around the restrictions. Have you tried them?
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

DoubleBogey1
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by DoubleBogey1 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:38 am

The US dollar - use to get more bang for your buck

brianH
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by brianH » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:23 am

Traveller wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:52 pm
Dishwasher detergent. Man do I miss the phosphates...
One can always buy a box of trisodium phosphate from Home Depot or a painting store (it's used as surface prep for painting) and add about a 1/2 teaspoon of it to the detergent cup.

I've found that a very recent dishwasher combined with a water softener does a great job with modern dishwashing pods, but TSP worked quite well to allow my older dishwasher to limp along until I replaced it.

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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by fru-gal » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:04 am

bhsince87 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:15 pm
Quite a few types of clothing, like jeans and shoes. Newer ones wear out way too fast.
Plus the seams unravel. At least those can be sewn back up, though.

Fashion has become idiotic. Who decided that women's jeans had to have waistbands at the hips instead of the waist. High fashion designers like Chanel used to produce beautiful clothes, now stuff gets turned out that no one would wear, shown by anorexic, sullen teenagers.

A lot of older tools were made of metal, not breakable, ill fitting together, environmentally bad plastic. I have almost all hand tools, not power tools. Ebay is a good source of those.

Eureka Mighty Mite vacuums used to be made of metal and were long lasting, now they're cheap badly made of plastic.

GE appliances used to last for decades. Good luck now getting to several years. The GE Answer Center was great, now it's useless.

fru-gal
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by fru-gal » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:06 am

RetiredArtist wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:33 pm
Wedgewood gas stoves
Oh, I love old gas stoves. I wish I were not too old and cheap to build a new house from scratch, I'd have an old fashioned kitchen.

fru-gal
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by fru-gal » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:09 am

Fabric. It used to be that you could get around the lousily made clothes problem by sewing them yourself, but then the fabric available in fabric stores became shoddy.

28fe6
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by 28fe6 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:13 am

I started to reply, but then I realized the real answer: nearly everything has gotten worse.

My personal anti-favorites are hand files. Good hand files for metalworking are practically obsolete technology. What's available now are file-shaped objects.

It would be easier to list the exceptions. What actually hasn't got worse? I can only think of cars and SOME electronics, although I agree with the headphone jack observation. Even the iPhone has peaked.

unstartable
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by unstartable » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:16 am

Watermelons. The ones "without seeds" don't seem to taste as sweet.

Spatulas. It's tough to beat an old metal one with a flat front.

Plug-in power tools, circular saws and Sawzall especially.

Dottie57
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:45 am

fru-gal wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:09 am
Fabric. It used to be that you could get around the lousily made clothes problem by sewing them yourself, but then the fabric available in fabric stores became shoddy.
So agree. I used to sew a lot in my youth. The quality of fabric has gone way down. Minneapolis used to have a lovely fabric store called Amluxsens. It was fabulous.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:10 pm

Coca-Cola.

Fortunately (?) I gave up soft drinks quite a few years ago, so that no longer impacts me, but I sure did miss them for quite a while.

tea_pirate
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by tea_pirate » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:21 pm

Razors. I'll take a safety razor over whatever quintuple-bladed marketing gimmick that Gillette has come up with any day.

GibsonL6s
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by GibsonL6s » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:45 pm

Cars before they became iphones with wheels :D

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bengal22
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by bengal22 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:52 pm

Coleco and Nintendo NES gaming systems
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PVW
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by PVW » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:23 pm

Many things, but a few that I really miss:
Hewlett Packard calculators
Washing machines - just like financial management, washing clothes is not as complex as they want you to believe

Another is fast food - the quality has greatly decreased in the past few decades, but even the olden stuff wasn't that good.

You didn't ask, but a modern convenience that I really like are cordless tools, and the Captain Obvious response is the internet.

psteinx
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by psteinx » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:16 pm

Get off my lawn, you kids!!!!!

I realize the demo of this forum likely skews old, and maybe grumpy, but man...

Physically made products, in 2019, are almost always equal to or superior to stuff from the past, generally at lower cost. Where that's not the case, it's mainly because consumers as a whole are willing to accept lesser materials for a reduction in cost (plastic instead of metal or wood). Yes, YOU might like the all-metal version, but consumers as a whole probably don't, once you factor in cost.

Also, a lot of this older stuff is still available, if you really want it. Safety razors? available. Metal spatulas? I assume these are still available.

Clothing is made in various fabrics - you can pay up for better made stuff or buy stuff that's cheaper made, and cheaper priced. By and large, I think clothing is MUCH cheaper than it was ~30 years ago, once you adjust for inflation. How many mothers sew patches on their kids' clothes today, versus 30-60 years ago?

GeraniumLover
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by GeraniumLover » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:28 pm

Andrew Duhon has a nice song about this topic: https://youtu.be/VZFrZNKAs40
Last edited by GeraniumLover on Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bikechuck
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by bikechuck » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:30 pm

Post slide rules

rj342
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by rj342 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:04 pm

Wakefield1 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:40 pm
Bonney brand tools
Older Mac breaker bar (hinge handle)
Some mechanics seen to like the Snap On tools from the recent past as compared to the currently available ones (different script on them)
Nah, the mechanics misunderstood.
They thought you were asking about the old '90s era Snap-On Tools girlie shop calendars :P

rj342
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by rj342 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:09 pm

PVW wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:23 pm
Many things, but a few that I really miss:
Hewlett Packard calculators
Washing machines - just like financial management, washing clothes is not as complex as they want you to believe

Another is fast food - the quality has greatly decreased in the past few decades, but even the olden stuff wasn't that good.

You didn't ask, but a modern convenience that I really like are cordless tools, and the Captain Obvious response is the internet.
Still have my RPN engineering HP-15C from the late 80s college by my desk at work. Only replaced the batteries in it 3 times over all those years.
Only blemish is some bozo I loaned it to bumped it and knocked off the little HP badge at upper right.

Crazy --this "Limited Edition" throwback build they did awhile back goes for $849 on Amazon.
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iamlucky13
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:34 pm

Clocks.

They used to be aligned to the solar meridian to within a reasonable number of degrees, but now most of them spend about half the year with an additional 15 degrees error that nobody seems to cares about. In my area, it sounds like they are going to relax the standards so that error will likely occur year round.

Also, anecdotally, I'd say data cables. Based on the rate of complaints, it seems USB must be far inferior parallel cables.

I just don't seem to remember people complaining about needing a screw driver to fasten a parallel cable in place, much less about the fact that you couldn't insert it upside down, or that the peripheral needed a separate power cable, and you needed to manually tell the OS to talk to it.

I didn't realize how good we used to have it until a younger coworker went on a 5+ minute rant about how terrible the USB A and B connector designs are.
anon_investor wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:05 pm
Gas cans apparently... :twisted:
viewtopic.php?p=4740732
It's true. My wife hunted down a convicted criminal just out of jail to rescue a pre-2009 gas can at one point.

(We knew him before he was arrested. He got clean in jail. We were glad to help him out with a few gallons of gas, but we still wanted the can back).
DoubleBogey1 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:38 am
The US dollar - use to get more bang for your buck
And like many of the other products being brought up in this thread, also used to be made out of metal.

I actually just came across one my dad gave me a few years ago that I'd forgotten I had. It definitely feels a lot more durable in hand than the new versions.

In fact, it's made out of such high quality materials that I found out people are paying 10 times or more the original MSRP to buy them now.

Tortoisesque
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Tortoisesque » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:45 pm

Houses and furniture.

123
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by 123 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:41 pm

PVW wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:23 pm
...Another is fast food - the quality has greatly decreased in the past few decades, but even the olden stuff wasn't that good...
My favorite fast food item is the classic McDonald's hamburger, and of course their french fries. I would rather have those than any other fast food item that has been developed since.

I also like classic Coors beer. There have been a lot of other beers that have come along since but none that have appealed to be more. I hate the IPA stuff and those fancy lemon and cucumber beers (etc).

Crest paste toothpaste can't be beat.

Oh how I wish I could still get a classic Ace rubber comb, the plastic ones are fragile and break.

Tap water is pretty good in my book, adding anything to it isn't improving it (except Coors beer).
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:56 pm

123 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:41 pm
PVW wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:23 pm
...Another is fast food - the quality has greatly decreased in the past few decades, but even the olden stuff wasn't that good...
My favorite fast food item is the classic McDonald's hamburger, and of course their french fries. I would rather have those than any other fast food item that has been developed since.

I also like classic Coors beer. There have been a lot of other beers that have come along since but none that have appealed to be more. I hate the IPA stuff and those fancy lemon and cucumber beers (etc).

Crest paste toothpaste can't be beat.

Oh how I wish I could still get a classic Ace rubber comb, the plastic ones are fragile and break.

Tap water is pretty good in my book, adding anything to it isn't improving it (except Coors beer).
I have a metal comb that my mother got me before I went off to college >50 years ago. I quit taking it traveling with me about 30 years ago, but other than that I have used it practically every day since I got it. Amazing that I never lost it.

PoppyA
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by PoppyA » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:59 pm

Fast food sizes used to be more moderate. What is a small now, was an extra large in the past.

Shoes used to have arch support.

In the past you could fit your hand in a pocket. Not so much anymore.

LP music v. Digital.

ReadyOrNot
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Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

Post by ReadyOrNot » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:47 am

A lot of cheap but good versions of things have been replaced by cheaper lower quality crap. Dr Scholl's walking shoes were comfortable cheap shoes until they replaced the flexible breathable leather tongue with unbearable vinyl. But I suppose you can still get expensive substitutes.
Kaopectate made of attapulgite was milder than the bismuth salicylic based version.
I think plain Cheerios used to have much less or no sugar added. I think there were a few other cereals without added sugar; now only shredded wheat or oatmeal.
Older powerful flush toilets worked well.
Dover paperback books had sewn signatures.
Pyrex was made of borosilicate glass with low thermal expansion; now it can be anything the brand owner wants to put the brand on.
I have always been able to get new cars with manual crank windows. I don't know if they are still available.
Small cars had spare tires and good quality tires were cheaper than the tire pressure sensors are now.
Corning ware was available which could be used on a stovetop.
Hotshot boiling water dispensers with all-stainless-steel interiors could boil 2 cups of water faster than a microwave.
Some interesting and useful Polaroid specialty films and cameras were available.
Cheap holograms were once popular -- they must have gone out of style.
Bic stick pens with metal tips were more reliable.
Milk and orange juice in glass bottles tasted better.
Potatoes in mesh bags didn't get moldy or rot as they do in plastic bags.

Locked