Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesdays With Rita: Embracing New Technology

Things in the communication world change so quickly these days. I can't keep up with the names let alone owning or learning all this new technology. I have a plain flip phone and no real desire to move on to whatever is available now.

Today as I was on my way to lunch with a friend I saw a billboard announcing "Qwest is now..." something or other. Oh boy. More changes. As companies change or are bought out not only do we have to deal with new technology but new policies and probably higher rates.

This picture is my great grandmother, Nellie Keith Martin, running one of the first switchboards in Southwestern Kansas. She was a young single mother trying to make her way in the world. Can you believe that chair? Oh, how her back must have hurt at the end of the day.

 The back of the photo shows it was once in a black Victorian style album. The writing is my grandmothers: "Nellie Martin" and then mine "Fowler Meade, 1914" The penciled part I can't make out except for the date of Dec. 24, 1930 or 1936.

What wonders we have seen in our life time. Computers, cell phones, microwaves. We seem to take technology and new things for granted...our society accepts and even demands a constant array of new stuff.

I try to imagine what it was like to get the first telephone in your area. Or the first stove. Or sewing machine. Or electricity. We hear stories of people who wouldn't accept these "new-fangled contraptions" just like some of us don't have the latest iPod or tablet or mobile device or whatever...

Do you know any stories of your family embracing or ignoring new things?


  1. Well, this story will "age" me but In do remember our family being one of the early owners of TV's when they became popular. In fact, my dad jumped on the bandwagon and decided to learn to repair them for people. He opened a TV repair shop, in fact! Of course it was black and white then. Wish I still had photos of ours back then. I was very young, so don't remember it specifically.

    The funny thing was, he wouldn't let us get a colored TV when they first came out because the technology wasn't "good enough" yet, according to him!

    I remember being glued to the TV at a very young age watching shows like Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, Howdy Doody, and The Lone Ranger, to name a few. I remember good family times around watching those shows together.

  2. Rita - her corset was so stiff she didn't need a chair back to lean on. And yes I would imagine backaches were common among other unimaginable indignities to endure. I am eternally grateful to be a woman in this day and age. Whew, coulda been worse. Lori W at Art Camp for Women

  3. The photo of your great grandmother is great. I'd love to see that room - want to know the color of the wall paper, the feel of that dress, and the sounds of that machine.

    My parents have embraced technology in order to keep in touch with their family. It started when I went out of state to college; they quickly learned to use AOL for emailing. 10 years later - they are both Skyping with their daughter in Africa, using Macs, and texting me in abbreviations I often can't decipher!

  4. What a great photo it`s a treasure! I remember my dad bringing the first color tv to our home when we were little and it was a big deal, I agree that there is too much now, I am happy with simple things and so I don`t rush up for the new stuff but my friends do and they even carry to many things and so they can`t take care of all of them and keep on losing them! It`s a consumer sicknes!

    Love your blog! :D

  5. My dad, too worked on tvs back when I was growing up. He loved any new technology to arrive. If he could only see what we have now! I'm guessing though the technology where his is now - is all he'll ever need~

  6. I always learn something from your blogs. I think about them after I read them! And the photos are always interesting.

  7. I count on my teenagers to keep me up-to-date with the ever changing world of "gadgets," but they are getting older. What will I do when they grow up and move out? (besides dance on my coffee table and eat brownies for breakfast)

  8. I can't remember who said it, but someone said television would never catch on. Ha ha!

    I'll go ahead and admit I'm a gadget geek. I can't go anywhere without my electronic doodads, but its nice to turn them off every once in a while.


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