Cash, keys among growing obsolete items

Local News

When was the last time you popped in a cassette tape or wrote a check for groceries? The once every day occurrences are now obsolete and more could be joining them:


It’s tough to believe but at one time everyone carried cash. In the old days, people actually had to step foot inside a bank, fill out a form and wait in line to get their hands on their own money.

Sure, cash will have a place for a while, but simply being able to use a credit or debit card everywhere has made cash much less necessary. Apps like Venmo allow you to electronically pay your friend back for that pizza making a cashless society even easier.

Remote controls

Remote controls seemed like an absolute luxury back in the 1960s and 70s when the devices first started to flourish.

Now, cable and streaming video systems offer smartphone apps that do everything from changing the channel to turning on captions and cranking up the volume. Of course, you have to be “smart” enough to operate the smartphone, or have you kid or grandchild show you.

Car and house keys

If you have bought a newer car in recent years, you may never have touched it with a key. No more putting a key in the ignition like the old days.

Modern cars come with key fobs and miniremotes that can lock and unlock the car. Some cars don’t even require that. All you do is get close enough, it senses that you are carrying the key fob and remote, and it unlocks the door once you encircle the handle with your hand.

House keys are still used by most of us, but there’s a growing trend and an advantage of changing locks with numeric codes that open the door once the correct numbers are punched in.

One big advantage there are no keys that can be lost, stolen or forgotten.

Manual car transmissions

Cars with stick shifts, also called manual transmissions, are fast disappearing around the bend. Fewer manufacturers make manual transmissions now. USA Today reports that only 3.5% of U.S. car sales in 2018 were manuals.

Automatic transmission cars have become more efficient, and fewer people are taught how to drive a stick, if they’re taught at all.


Chalkboards, also known as blackboards, have long been on the way out. They are being replaced by their cousin, the whiteboard, popularized in the 1990s.

Even traditional whiteboards are becoming ancient history and are being replaced with emerging smartboards.

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