Checking out at West’s Country Mart, the sacker questioned one of my purchases.

“What’s that?”

It was a rain gauge.

“I’ve never seen one of those before. I didn’t know we sold them.”

When talking to a millennial about a legal question, I said, “We could ask Judge Wapner.”

“Who’s that?”

Obviously, she has never seen the movie “Rain Man.” Judge Joseph Wapner ran People’s Court from 1981 to 1993 on television.

As fast as new technology changes, millennials haven’t seen or used some basic products like can openers or Kodak cameras with flashbulbs.

However, for my generation, most of the time when someone posts “Do you know what this is?” photographs on Facebook, we usually do.

I still have a pencil sharpener but I don’t think I have a pencil.

Drive-in movies were once very popular so the picture of speakers is easily identified.

That button on the left side of a vehicle was a headlight dimmer to turn on or off the bright lights.

Yes, hair curlers were once heated by a device using natural gas.

And yes, I still have 8-track tapes of Crosby. And I still have an 8-track player that can play them.

A 10-year-old today could change the wallpaper on the smart phone but wouldn’t know how use a dial phone.

A 10-year-old can type faster using two thumbs on a tiny keyboard than Bob Woodward could on a typewriter.

And if you just asked Siri, “Who’s Bob Woodward?” I’m impressed that you are actually reading a newspaper.

I suppose a young person could be reading this on Facebook, if someone remembers to post it.

There is one product that has stood the test of time. It is something that Rutherford B. Hayes’ secretary may have used.

Who was Hayes you ask?

Siri would say, he was the 19th president of the United States.

About the time he was serving his term as president, this product was being used by a few secretaries.

According to, Christopher Latham Sholes conceived of the method of addressing newspapers by printing the names of subscribers on the margin.

Sholes also came up with what is called QWERTY and it has changed little in 150 years.

In fact I have such a device on my iPhone and I didn’t have to download an app.

I learned to use this device when I was in fifth grade and I wasn’t very good at it.

By now, if readers haven’t guessed, Sholes, a newspaper man, invented the keyboard in 1868.

He made just one upgrade over the years, the shift key.

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