Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

Design Icons

I normally wake up on a Sunday thinking about something profound. On occasion, there might be a memory, or an idea. This morning, it was something completely different. I woke up thinking about those things that were the style icons of my youth. In most cases, their appeal has endured for me, and I can still see the attraction.

Citroen DS.
This French car was not only futuristic when it was launched, it still looks that same way now, a long time after it has stopped being made. The transport of so many different people, from Presidents to film stars; it was used as an ambulance, available as a luxury convertible, and also a mainstay of the French commuter during the 1970s. I love it!

The Trimphone
Hard to believe in the age of smartphones and tiny portable home phones, but the Trimphone was the absolute bee’s knees at one time. When my parents replaced our old clunky house phone with one just like this, I thought we had really arrived!

Dansette Record Player
The portable record player was freedom for a teenager in the 1960s. No need to have to ask to use your parents’ large gramophone unit anymore. These could easily be carried too, so you could turn up at a friend’s house with your player, and a box of records in the other hand. Half a dozen 45s could be stacked to play in sequence, and they also played full size 33 rpm albums, and even old 78 rpm records from the wartime years. Nobody cared about the tinny sound from the built-in speaker either!

Vespa Scooter
This was the ultimate in cool transport. I was too young to be able to ride one, but wanted so desperately to be able to. They featured in all the films of the day, and often had attractive stars perched on them for photo opportunities. Used as everyday transport for many Italians, their appeal stretched all over Europe, with the Mod youth movement in The UK adopting them as their own.

What were the iconic objects of your youth? What did you have, or desire to own, back in the day?

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88 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

  1. Dear Pete
    I have been the proud owner of that Citroen DS once. It was a great car when it was driving without problems, but unfortunately, this wasn’t often the case. Mine either started all right but its valves worked very noisily at high speed or the valves worked fine but it didn’t start. From the day I bought this car, it started to rust. The metal was eaten away at a horrible speed.
    But nevertheless, I loved it. Mine had this brown colour that was very special at those times.
    Thank you very much for reminding me of one of my first cars. It was the ideal car for picking up girls ๐Ÿ˜‰
    With lots of love from rainy Cley
    The Fab Four of Cley

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your memories, KB. I know they were expensive to maintain, and also tended to rust. (I had a GS with the same issues) But when they were good, they were oh-so cool! I also remember when brown was considered to be a good colour for a car. What were we thinking? ๐Ÿ™‚
      Love from Beetley, Pete and Ollie. X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know of 1 and 4 above, Pete, but 2 and 3 are completely new to me. I used to listen to my Mom’s records on her old record player [I still do] but we had battery operated cassette players with earphones and roller skates, the old clunky ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie. My roller skates were called ‘Jacko Skates’. (Or Jaco)
      They fitted over your shoes, and had rubber toe brakes. If you skated too fast, they had a tendency to become loose, and fall off your feet!

      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great Post Pete!๐Ÿ˜Š I love learning about previous generations of products! I have never heard of a Trimphone before and this is a neat list you posted Pete!๐Ÿ˜ These were before my time but I am always interested to learn things new. Which reminds me I need to add that camel lighter to my Amazon wishlist! Lol. I always look forward to reviewing your posts, Pete! Xoxoxoxo ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, memories!

    I was a telephone engineer in the 70s and remember the Trimphone well. It certainly looked the part, but it had some flaws as a phone.

    All phones at the time would occasionally get noisy; the microphone was full of carbon granules and they would eventually stop working. In ordinary phones, it was a 2 minute job to change the microphone, but Trimphones not only failed more often, but were harder to change.

    Very much a triumph of form over function!

    Phones were rented at the time, and Trimphones were more expensive, as I recall, but the demand for them was huge. As soon as anyone found out I was a telephone engineer, the first question would always be, “Can you get me a Trimphone?”

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  5. The Hutchinsons, who live at the end of the road, bought the Citroen new and they were the first to have a trim phone that I knew of, not to mention a VCR and pretty much anything on the scene at the time. As you can imagine I was best friends with Philip, John and Miles, the three lads whose dad was minted ๐Ÿ™‚
    The suspension on the car was a marvel, with multiple settings for different types of road, you could even drive with three wheels (just in case you had a puncture, or lost a wheel!) But given all that I think the 2CV6 would be my choice, if only I could find one now.
    I had the record player as a hand me down from my sisters, although it was soon replaced by the tape recorder that any budding IT nerd had for recording programs off the telly to load onto my ZX81, which would most definitely have to go on my list.
    I even owned a Vespa, or should I say bought a cheap one for Gosia about 10 years ago, I wish we had of kept hold of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trad Jazz was just before my time, Julie. But it was still around and popular by the time I was buying records. There is a local Trad Jazz band here, and they play at fetes and fairs every summer.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  6. I got a record player for my 12th birthday, not sure if it was a Dansette, but you could load it with 10 singles or EPs at a time. And several years later I had a boyfriend who rode a scooter and wore the ubiquitous Parka ๐Ÿ™‚ But my favourite thing of all was being allowed to buy a jumper with a zip on which hung a tiny brass bell – my part of the summer of love 1967 ๐Ÿ˜€

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  7. I’ve never ridden a Vespa, but back in 1975, when I was a student in Nice, France, I rented a Mobylette and explored a bit of the interior of the Alpes-Maritimes… I also am a big fan of the Citroรซn DS, and brought home a metal model of it, as well as the 2CV, back in the early 1970’s. I still have them.

    When I was a kid, I got a Pogo stick for Christmas one year. I hopped around the neighborhood when I wasn’t out in the woods working with my axe and scythe, making paths…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I wanted but never got a Princess phone.(What’s the matter with our phone?) Too funny about the Dansette. Today I am listening to a great new book by Rachel Joyce called “The Music Store” and she just mentioned the Dansette and I didn’t know what it was. So thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We used to have those record players too! But my 18th Birthday present was a portable Olivetti typewriter. I used to type my essays in triplicate with Carbon paper- we really have it easy now with word processing! But I was in love with my Olivetti ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I worked for Citroen and loved how innovative their designs were. The whole attitude of the company was “let’s try it and see what happens”. Unfortunately it rarely worked but when it did (DS, 2CV etc.) they absolutely nailed it.

    My partner always wanted a Jaguar XJS as it was the car of his childhood dreams – he went to “look” at one then phoned me to tell me he’d bought it! The bloody thing is massive and fills the garage but it is fun to go out in.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. My Dad rode a Lambretta. I have a large photo of him and his best mate astride ones, dressed smart in Italian style casual wear – they looked it but werenโ€™t actual Mods. Then one day he went out, passed his driving test and came home with a new Ford Cortina Mk I. Iโ€™m sure it had a bench seat up front for two passengers plus the driver.

    The Trimphone reminds me of The Golden Shot. Contestants used to phone in to play in round one, and the studio phone was a Trimphone, probably the first I ever saw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, BF. The early Cortina had a front bench seat, to seat three. The gear-change was a 4-speed, on the steering column. I remember The Golden Shot, with Anne Aston as the glamorous assistant, and the presenter (Bob Monkhouse in the original series) saying, “Bernie, The Bolt Please.” ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  12. Haha we had a trim phone and thought we were so modern ๐Ÿ™‚ My mate had the Citroen and I’ve been a passenger in it a few times, it used to go up or down when you started or stopped, for some weird reason I can’t remember, good fun. Always wanted (still do) a Corvette sting ray and was over the moon to visit the Corvette museum in USA and sit in one. I had a record player where the lid was actually 2 speakers that came apart to go either side when you opened it, good times Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The DS had unique Citroen suspension, filled with linseed oil, and using globes of pressurised air.
      The idea was it would ‘self-level’, to provide a smoother ride. That tended to make back seat passengers feel sick at times though. It had the option to raise the ride height over rough ground too. I owned a smaller GS Estate in the early 80s, and it had the same system installed. It was expensive to repair if it went wrong though.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydropneumatic_suspension
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, the record player! A friend came round one evening and we stacked the turntable, climbed out the window (we lived in a bungalow) and went to the disco at the local Scout Hall to which I’d been forbidden to go. Big trouble! I wasn’t allowed out to anything for about a month.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This is such a nice post: I love this idea. While I do know these objects ofcourse, they were a little before my time.
    For me I think it was things like the Atari computer (you know the one with the black joystick and the red button on top of it), Transformer toys (ooh how I loved, and still love those), and 80’s films (though these last ones are of course not objects ๐Ÿ˜‰).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Michel. I do remember the Atari, but never owned one. And of course I was too old for Transformer toys. But that’s the point of this post, so we can all remember, whatever the decade.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

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