Relics of Technology Makes Me Miss My Childhood


With all the iPhones, iPads and Androids devices that we use today, it is pretty hard to deduct the functions of a device from the way it looks. This was not always the case. Consider the Gramophone.

It was pretty easy to understand the function of each component of this gadget. This part turns, this part senses the music and this part outputs the voice. Can you do this with a Smartphone? I don’t think so. This is why I miss those old gadgets so much.

Photographer Jim Golden must share similar feelings. His series Relics of Technology is a  collection of technology from past times, when you could still understand what a device does just by looking at it.

Jim picks thrift stores finding his relics, and then poses them in a most appetizing ways.

The seeds for the Relics of Technology project started when I found a brick cell phone at a thrift store in rural Oregon. Since finding it, similar bits and pieces of old technology and media kept grabbing my attention. The fascination was equal parts nostalgia for the forms, and curiosity as to what had become of them. One thing led to another and I was on the hunt for groups of media and key pieces of technology, most of which have now been downsized to fit in the palm of our hand. These photos are reminders that progress has a price and our efforts have an expiration date

How many of those technologies have you owned? How many can you identify?

Relics-of-Technology-Punched-Card Relics-of-Technology-8-inch-floppy Relics-of-Technology-3-inch-Floppy Relics_of_Technology_Zip_Discs Relics_of_Technology_Viewmaster Relics_of_Technology_VHS Relics_of_Technology_SyQuest Relics_of_Technology_ROM Relics_of_Technology_Microcassette Relics_of_Technology_Jaz_Disk Relics_of_Technology_Betamax Relics_of_Technology_Atari_Joystick Relics_of_Technology_45s Relics_of_Technology_35mm_Slide_Caddy Relics_of_Technology_5-Diskette Relics-of-Technology-Brick-Phone Relics_of_Technology_Typewriter Relics_of_Technology_Slide_Projector Relics_of_Technology_Rotary_Phone Relics_of_Technology_Film_Projector

While the photos are ©Jim Golden 2014, you can buy individual prints at his online gallery.

[Relics of Technology | Jim Golden]

  • Rob

    Man! I must be old. I’ve owned or used every one of these!
    I even used the punch cards when I was learning “Computer programming” in the early-80’s

  • Nathan Taylor

    Beautiful work.

  • Wil Fry

    Some cool photos…

    There are definitely some things I miss about each thing: never had to run a virus/spyware scan on my typewriter (but my fingers hurt from using it), could fast-forward through previews with VHS and it would remember where I left off (but quality was often amazingly low)…

    Most of the time, I choose instead to remember why we moved on from each piece of technology, such as the fragility and low storage capacity of floppy diskettes, how audio cassettes would occasionally mangle themselves in my tape deck, how camera film was expensive to buy/process (over time) and how easy it was to accidentally expose it, how my telephone was attached to the kitchen wall so I couldn’t have a private conversation, how bad the audio sounded from my 45 records (my family still has them; they still sound horrible).

    It is nice to have the pleasant memories surface when seeing these relics though. :-)

  • Jon Peckham

    How funny! I have owned and used everyone of those technologies.

  • Sean

    He hast floppy’s in there twice. :) And what? NO 8-track’s or cassettes?

  • jason bourne

    Wow, I recognized all of those… I guess that dates myself.

  • ken

    You can still get new viewmasters.