Saturday, April 18, 2015

A to Z - P

For my A to Z Challenge theme I will be posting items that are no longer with us or are close to becoming extinct.

These are great items to use if you are trying to set a time period in your story or to stay away from if you want your story to be timeless.

Party lines were phone company telephone lines that were shared among multiple households. In the 1800s they were introduced to serve rural areas and to offer a discount to customers,  In rural areas and during times of war this was often the only option available. These lines offered little privacy and spread a lot of gossip.  If you want to see a movie about party lines I recommend "Pillow Talk" with Doris Day and Rock Hudson.

Some other phone related items that are practically gone: phone books and pay phones.

Pneumatic tubes. As a kid I loved going to the  department stores and to the drive up bank tellers because they had pneumatic tubes. These magical devices that would suck up the little cylinder and transport the paperwork inside to where it needed to go. I loved it when my mom would let me put the cylinder in the tube and it would sucked right out of my hand.

Ford Pinto

SuperStock / getty
The 1971 model was the first released and may be one of the worst cars  due to the fact/belief that the car could literally explode when involved in a rear-end collision.  In 1978 they recalled the cars due to the lawsuits. A later study proved the cars were as safe as others. Which I found surprising because I think Pinto I think exploding gas tank. Some bad press continues forever.

Pan Am- Pan American World Airways with the iconic logo began business in 1927 and declared bankruptcy in 1991. was a textbook example of dot-com flame-out, going from IPO to liquidation in nine short months.   All I remember is the puppet on the commercials.
Since I have a plethora of P's here are a few that will get perfunctory mention:

Polaroid Photos
Parachute Pants- so glad these are gone. Hideous!
Punch cards for computers
The Pullman Co.
Image: Pullman locomotive
Getty images
Happy Writing!


  1. Pintos! and Polaroids... are they really gone? maybe I am in the last century.
    Maui Jungalow

  2. The Husband had a Pinoto when he first got out of college. Couldn't stand the thing, but it was the only car his dad would co-sign a loan to. I think the Husband said the car went kaput when it got rearended.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder
    Take 25 to Hollister

  3. Hi Kat - so many things I know . .but being a Brit our 'things' be different slightly! Cheers Hilary

  4. My bank still has pneumatic tubes. I love to go to the drive-up and watch it get sucked up. I'm still a kid at heart I guess! Those parachute pants, wow! I still have a pair that I wear when I'm doing the most menial of tasks. They hold up well!