Vintage moments in history I’m thankful for
Nov 21, 2018 | by Becky Oeltjenbruns
This week I’ve been battling an old-fashioned cold. The only cure: rest and plenty of hot tea with honey. This simple regimen left plenty of time for lounging, journaling, and napping. (So tired of napping!) But all this rest and fatigue left no time for supply runs. During this self-imposed apartment exile I realized how fortunate I am to have the technological assistance of delivery services and, as we’re in the Thanksgiving season, I’d like to share the vintage moments in history I’m thankful for. To me, these are the key developments that allowed a voice-less, exhausted weenie dog mom to get fresh orange juice dropped at her door within the hour! While I hope this feature finds you all feeling in top-top shape, please let me know what vintage moments you’re most thankful for in the comments…
While the future of Sears is uncertain, there is no doubt Richard Sears paved the way for the retail world we experience today. The Sears Catalog (and the supply chain system that supported it) forever altered the entire industry landscape. With their trusty catalog in hand, a consumer in the 1800s was no longer restricted by geography – it was the democratization of purchasing power. In my view, today’s services such as Grubhub or Amazon Prime Now stand on the shoulders of this publication. Today’s solution is much more streamlined, without question, but we can thank Richard Sears for training us to be “remote” shoppers.
Cooking is definitely one of my favorite hobbies. For me there’s nothing quite like putting on some fun tunes, chopping vegetables, and trying a new recipe. If I’m not up for spending some time in the kitchen, then I know something is amiss. The thought of making, let alone eating, food didn’t thrill me this week. But once my taste buds returned, I wanted my favorite enchiladas asap. These yummy treats hail from my local restaurant and I count on them to be delightful each and every time. Why? Well, definitely because the chefs are amazing and also because of Fanny Farmer. Her iconic cookbook introduced the world to standardized measurements, meaning I can enjoy the same tasty enchiladas day in and day out.
While the first two vintage historical moments are vital to today’s retail ecosystem, nothing would exist without technological underpinnings. When pressed to list innovators in the computer realm, the names Steve Jobs or Bill Gates might roll right off your tongue, but I’d like to offer up a different name for consideration: Hedy Lamarr. Yep, that siren of screen was an undercover inventor. (To learn the full and fascinating story I highly recommend checking out the documentary, Bombshell, on Netflix.) Hedy, in collaboration with George Antheil, invented frequency hopping. While this technology was intended to help the war effort, it went on to become the foundation for advancements such as WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth. The magnitude of the invention isn’t the only headline – this discovery just as easily could have been abandoned had it not been for Hedy’s fortitude in the face of opposition. Her mixture of curiosity and tenacity is something I really admire and Hedy’s sacrifices paved the way for nearly endless advancements (the least of which is being able to enjoy beloved enchiladas when you’re housebound).
As I type, I can feel the fog lifting and the cold easing its grip. I’m very thankful to turn this corner before the holiday season gets under way (you could say it happened in the St. Nick of time!). Questionable holiday humor aside… Dear reader, may your Thanksgiving week be a time of family, fun, and food. And may we all take a moment to reflect not just on our current blessings, but the vintage moments in history that helped make our modern lives more connected, enjoyable, and fun!