November 17, 2014 AT 7:00 am

20 vintage gadgets from Scientific American readers


Scientific American has a fun slideshow over at their site showing some of their reader’s favorite vintage gadgets. Above is an Ohio Scientific Challenger 1P / Casio fx-2700P from 1982.

Last month Scientific American asked its readers to send in digital pictures of their favorite gadgets from bygone eras. You responded with dozens of photos and anecdotes revealing which devices you’ve held onto and why, and we’re grateful for each and every one.

Responses ran the gamut—calculators (lots of calculators); obscure personal computers (many of those, too); music recorders and players; digital storage devices; and a handheld arcade video game, to name a few. What’s more, many of these gadgets appear to still be in working order despite years and even decades of use. Narrowing down our list was no easy task but several interesting items—including a 1915 Victor Victrola, some slide rules and number of HP calculators—had to be excluded to make the slide show below more manageable.

See the full slideshow here.


The Rio was my first mp3 player, I had a friend in the store where they sold it and he let me buy it in 2 payments. It was my first taste of free music and you know what? I still like it.


An Osborne One computer from the 1980s.


I still use this. Its a good phone. I replaced the battery a couple years ago. The globe display works well. It kind of reminds me of having my own Lost in Space bubble headed booby in my work office. The caller ID display is easy to read. It has nice messages daily and seasonally.

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