70s lifestyle

15 Things from the ‘70s That No Longer Exist

By: Matt

The ’70s were a special time. It was the era of free love, unbridled artistic expression and fierce counterculture movements! Many who were alive during that beautiful time long for bygone years, but even younger generations can’t help but wonder what it was like to live during that magical decade.

A lot has changed in the five decades since, but we’re starting to see many callbacks from the ’70s appear in fashion, art, interior design and more. While we all love modern tech and the Internet, many long-forgotten things from the ’70s deserve a triumphant return to the limelight! Here are 15 that defined the decade but are difficult to get your hands on today.

1. Sunken Conversation Pits

Sunken Conversation Pit

Seriously, this is a trend we need to bring back! Sunken conversation pits were a mainstay in homes from the 1950s to the 1970s. Instead of today’s TV-focused living rooms, families had these sunken areas with couches for conversation, game-playing and more.

Finding a home with an intact conversation pit from the ’70s is like striking gold! Most of them went out of favor in the ’80s and beyond. While some prefer these unique interior design elements stay in the past, seeing a functional conversation pit today makes us green with envy!

2. Lava Lamps

Lava Lamps from the 70a

Lava lamps are still available today, but they’re nowhere near as popular as they were in the ’70s. Back then, every child, teen and adult had a lava lamp adorning various rooms in the house. Nothing was better than falling asleep while watching those wax globules dance in colored light.

These lamps did present some safety hazards, so it’s not hard to see why they’re not so widespread today. But still, lava lamps personify 1970s living.

3. Electric Typewriters

Electric Typewriter from the 70s

Computers, tablets and smartphones make typing things much easier. But that doesn’t mean people don’t miss that signature “clack” of a typewriter. Electric typewriters were huge in the ’70s, replacing the older manual models. They blew peoples’ minds, but today, they’re largely obsolete, thanks to modern computers!

4. Wallpapered Ceilings

Wallpapered Ceiling 70s

Wallpaper used to be something that dated homes built in the 1970s. However, it’s recently made a resurgence in interior design circles. You can easily find great wallpaper in any design under the sun. But one thing you don’t see as often is wallpaper on the ceilings.

That’s right! In the ’70s, many homes had wacky patterned wallpaper extending to the ceiling! It often made rooms busier and claustrophobic, but it’s a cool ’70s touch nonetheless.

5. Roller Discos

Roller Discos

Disco is a genre that defined the 1970s, and roller disco parties played a huge part in making that happen. Watch any movie from the era, and you’re bound to see women in perfectly coiffed Farrah Fawcett hair and bellbottoms rolling along while dancing with some dude in short shorts and a stache!

They were great fun and full of fantastic music, iconic fashion and generally good times. Roller skating is coming back, so we can only hope that roller disco parties are just around the corner!

6. Road Trips

Road Trips

Road trips are still a thing today. However, thanks to mobile technology, sky-high inflation and more convenient modes of transportation, they’re much rarer. In the ’70s, parents would pack the entire family into the car for a weekend trip.

Because there were no cell phones or handheld gaming systems, families had to get creative to pass the time. That included road trip games, singing songs and other activities. Today, most trips are short and accompanied by smartphones and tablets, so they’re not as memorable or special as the trips of the ’70s.

7. Wood-Trimmed Station Wagons

Wood-Trimmed Station Wagon 70s

Speaking of road trips, does anyone remember those wood-clad station wagons? They were everywhere!

Why automakers thought putting wood on the exterior of a vehicle was a good idea is anyone’s guess, but these rides were a sign of the times. Station wagons, as a whole, are a lost breed. In the ’70s, they offered tons of room, making traveling with the family far more comfortable.

8. Sweet Polaroids

Sweet Polaroids

Instant film and the Polaroid brand are becoming more popular today, but the experience just isn’t the same. For one, a true polaroid costs an arm and a leg. Modern film is so expensive that it’s starting to be a fixture for the affluent!

That wasn’t the case in the ’70s. Many families had Polaroid cameras, including iconic models like the cool SX-70 Land Camera. Back then, people shook their Polaroids to speed up development, a movement kids from that time will never forget.

9. Smallpox Vaccine Scars

Smallpox Vaccine Scars

Look at the arm of any child of the ’70s, and you’ll likely see a small circular scar. Those scars were from the two-pronged Smallpox vaccines that were ever-so aggressively stapled into the arms of scared children everywhere!

Routine Smallpox vaccines in the United States stopped in 1972, making those scars a thing of the past and an instant identifier of kids growing up in the ’70s.

10. Saturday Morning Cartoons

Saturday Morning Cartoons

For kids in the ’70s, Saturdays were for sugary cereal and time in front of the TV watching great cartoons!

Scooby Doo, Pink Panther, Schoolhouse Rock, Josie and the Pussy Cats, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids and more were all on Saturday, and kids relaxed in front of the TV and dealt with commercials to enjoy them. While many shows still play on Saturday mornings today, does anyone watch anything other than streaming these days?

11. Pet Rocks

Pet Rock

Talking about pet rocks today sounds silly. Who would pay money for a rock with googly eyes on it? Believe it or not, that was a thing in the ’70s, and it was huge!

Owning a real pet was a big commitment back then, so many youngsters had to settle for an inanimate rock. Hey, we’re not judging. Kids had to let their imaginations run wild!

12. Rabbit Ear Antennas

Rabbit Ear Antenna

Over-the-air entertainment was much more limited in the ’70s. VHS players emerged during this decade, but most people had old tube TVs and TV reception as their sole entertainment choice.

Connectivity wasn’t great, so families often had to deal with fuzziness and zigzag lines. When they did, they usually sent the kids to fiddle with the rabbit-ear antennas!

13. Childhood Innocence

kid on street at night

This one takes a bit of a dark turn, but any child of the ’70s will tell you that they had a lot more freedom back then than kids do today. Back then, “stranger danger” wasn’t a huge thing. As a result, kids came and left as they pleased, only returning home when the street lights turned on.

It was a simpler time when parents were less worried, and kids could spend tons of time being free. Considering the fact that many of history’s most notorious serial killers were active in the ’70s, we can’t help but think, “What were parents thinking?”

14. Crocheted Blankets

Crocheted Blankets

Crocheting was a huge hobby during the 1970s. Many spent their days creating blankets, clothing and other household accessories from scratch. Crocheted blankets, often called “Afghans,” were widespread then. While many still make blankets today, there’s something nostalgic about seeing a crocheted masterpiece draped over a sofa or feeling that signature itchy when it touched your skin.

15. Clackers


We can’t forget about clackers! These simple toys feature a rope and acrylic balls. Kids would spend hours swinging them to produce those signature clacker sounds. They were simple but surprisingly fascinating!

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for clackers to start breaking, sending pieces of acrylic all over the place like shrapnel. As a result, toy makers pulled them from the shelves, leaving clackers as a distant memory. 

What Things from the ’70s Deserve a Vintage Resurgence?

Those are just 15 nostalgic things from the ’70s that don’t exist today. Trust us: There are plenty more!

As the world moved onto the ’80s and ’90s, many staples from the 1970s fell by the wayside. In most cases, aspects of life in the ’70s rightly belong in the past. However, many are nostalgic for those simpler times.

The generation was well-defined by the products we used and how we lived our lives, and it’s those memories that keep people looking back on the ’70s with nothing but admiration. So, which one of these things do you remember?