17 Household Items All Moms Used in the ‘70s That Are Now Gone

Moms in the 1970s had very different ways of doing things than moms today. No longer are moms tied to the house phone to catch up on neighborhood news while the kids play outside until the sun goes down. These 17 items were staples for moms in the ‘70s but are hard or impossible to find now.

Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper

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The Stir Crazy was an electric popcorn popper introduced in 1978 by West Bend. It used a motorized rod to stir the kernels as they popped. While popular for years, sales declined in the 1990s with the rise of microwave popcorn.

Underalls Pantyhose

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Hanes introduced Underalls in 1976, marketing them as an alternative to wearing pantyhose with underwear. The pantyhose had a cotton panty sewn in. While a hit initially, sales declined over time, and Underalls were discontinued.

Paregoric (tincture of opium)

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Britannica claims it was used to treat diarrhea and as a cough suppressant in children. Paregoric was reclassified in 1970 under stricter regulations due to its opium content, significantly limiting its over-the-counter availability. Today’s over-the-counter medication options are safer for children’s usage and even offer holistic options.

Rotary Dial Telephones

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With its time-consuming dialing process, the rotary dial telephone was a fixture in ’70s households. Teenagers and their moms would be tethered to walls while catching up with the latest gossip. The convenience of cell phones has taken communication on the go instead of in the kitchen with all of the family listening.

Tupperware Jell-O Molds

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Tupperware Jell-O molds were a must-have for any ’70s mom looking to create the perfect gelatin dessert. Jell-O, in particular, was able to capitalize on the low prices of their products and the nostalgia women felt toward the aspics prepared by their grandmothers in the Victorian era. These molds have largely disappeared from today’s kitchens.

Carpet Sweepers

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When carpets in homes first became popular, people took their rugs outside and beat them to clean them. In 1876, Melville R. Bissell and his wife owned a shop in Michigan, and when they kept having to clean sawdust off the carpet, he invented carpet sweepers to make the chore easier. They became the go-to tool for cleaning floors until vacuum cleaners arrived. These manual devices are now a rare sight.

Electric Percolators

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Electric percolators were once the standard for brewing coffee at home. A coffee percolator is a type of pot used for brewing coffee by continually cycling the boiling or nearly boiling brew through the grounds using gravity until the required strength is reached. Modern coffee makers and single-serve machines have largely replaced them.

Swanson TV Dinners

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The iconic foil-trayed Swanson TV dinners were a symbol of convenience. While frozen meals are still prevalent, the original TV dinner trays are no longer around. Smithsonian even notes that TV dinners were part of the ‘70s diet culture, stating, “TV dinners had found another niche audience in dieters, who were glad for the built-in portion control.”


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The Teasmade was a popular 1970s appliance that automatically made tea and turned on a bedside light at a preset time. It allowed moms to wake up to a fresh, hot cup of tea without leaving their beds. 

Salton Peanut Butter Machine

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The Salton Peanut Butter Machine allowed 1970s moms to make smooth or chunky peanut butter at home for just $24.99. The New York Times wrote at the time, “Peanut butter is indeed an excellent source of protein, delivering roughly 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance with each two‐tablespoon serving,” making it an excellent choice for moms to feed their kids. 

Wear-Ever Super Shooter

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No 1970s dinner party was complete without deviled eggs, and the Super Shooter helped moms prepare them quickly. This gadget could squirt the filling into the egg halves, though at $24.49, moms had to make a lot of deviled eggs to justify the expense.

Presto Hot Dogger

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The Presto Hot Dogger promised to “cook six hot dogs in 60 seconds!” Not only did it speed-heat the franks, but the skewers held the hot dogs by the ends to give them a curled shape. Straight hot dogs were apparently too boring for the 1970s.

Harvest Gold Appliances

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Forget modern stainless steel—1970s moms filled their kitchens with appliances in “harvest gold,” a ubiquitous color at the time, along with avocado green. The earthy yellow hue was found on everything from dishwashers and refrigerators to blenders and stand mixers.

Sears Wish Book

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Before online shopping, moms searched the Sears Wish Book catalog to find toys, clothes, appliances, and more for their families. The 1970s editions featured now iconic items like the Lite-Brite, Atari, and Stretch Armstrong.

Polaroid Cameras

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Moms captured family memories with Polaroid instant cameras in the 1970s. The SX-70 model, introduced in 1972, used innovative self-developing film and inspired generations of imitators. While Polaroids faded in popularity, they’ve recently made a nostalgic comeback.

Clairol Kindness Rollers

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Many 1970s moms achieved the decade’s signature voluminous, bouncy hairstyles with Clairol’s Kindness heated rollers. The flocked rollers came in a case that doubled as a warming tray to heat them. Innovations like steam and ceramic coatings have since replaced this classic styling tool.

Love’s Baby Soft

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Love’s Baby Soft was an iconic 1970s fragrance with a controversial ad campaign featuring slogans like “because innocence is sexier than you think.” Despite criticism of its marketing, the powdery scent was a coming-of-age favorite. While discontinued in 1999, it maintains a cult following.

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