There’s a 1980s Sears “LXI” TV in the music room that has not been used for several years. I plugged it in Friday to see if it still works like new. It does. I picked up one of those digital signal converters three years ago, but have not installed it because I just don’t use the teevee to watch programs. So I floated the idea of selling or giving away the old set.
I asked the Goodwill Store if they accepted tube-type televisions anymore. They don’t but they suggested I ask the Salvation Army. They don’t but suggested that I ask Goodwill. I tried the exchange forum on Facebook. Nobody even nibbled. So, I’m stuck with a heavy, bulky tube-type teevee. I can give away the digital converter. Also, there’s a VCR that hasn’t been plugged in for several years. Thrift stores still accept those.
So I sat in the old glider recliner (which is probably obsolete, too) and pondered the situation. The favorite item used by economics instructors to teach about obsolescence is the buggy whip holder. With the advent of the automobile and the decline of the horse-drawn buggy, manufacturers of buggy whip holders no longer had a market for their products. The makers had to adapt or go broke.
Out of curiosity, I reached for the tablet PC (which is also probably obsolete) and searched eBay for buggy whip holders. The category features 20 results for that item. Some of the offerings are for buggy whip holder retail displays. That means a person could possibly still purchase not only a buggy whip holder, but you could also own a buggy whip holder holder. To be fair, as of Friday, more than half of the eBay results are not for antique buggy whip holders. They are modern devices for electronics connectors or flagpole brackets.
I read an article a few weeks ago about the demise of the Compact Disc. Do you remember in the 1980s when pundits predicted the CD would cause the obsolescence of vinyl LP records? Well, who would have predicted that LPs would return a few years ago and that CDs would later fall out of favor? It probably won’t be too much longer that LPs will again decline in popularity. It’s too bad that there are still several dozens of CDs and LPs gathering cobwebs in my house. The same goes for the cassette tapes and a few 8-Track cartridges.
There are few instances that I need to dig out an old LP, CD, or tape. If I’m in the mood for a song, I can find it instantly on the Web. Even the most obscure music is more conveniently available from Internet sources, than from my personal, physical collection.
There’s an old Panasonic all-in-one shelf size stereo that sounds quite nice. It’s getting a bit fussy about which CDs it will play, though. However, the cassette and radio modes work like new. In addition, an old Polaroid tablet PC has been neglected because it’s slower than molasses. That tablet is now a dedicated Internet radio/podcast receiver. It is patched into the “aux” function of the old Panasonic stereo. This frees my other devices whenever I want to listen to an Internet radio station or a podcast at home.
I realized that I have reached the final category of Art Linkletter’s “four stages of man”–infancy, childhood, adolescence, and obsolescence. I still have a landline, my mobile is an old flip-phone, and I enjoy wearing a watch. The ol’ Camry still runs like new and saves me a ton of cash doing so. There are a few more obsolete items around the house that
are still very useful. Maybe I’ll hang onto that old tube-type teevee a little while longer.