Then and now: See how 10 tech items have changed over time

Over the past century, technology has come a long way. We’ve seen computers go from the size of a house, to the size of our palm. Tech pieces continue to get smaller, but they also get mightier. Travel through time with us as we take a look at some then and now comparisons – you’ll be surprised at just how far we’ve come.

1. Telephone

1. Small but Mighty Telephone

Then: After introducing the dial, making calls on the bulky candlestick telephone was so easy.

Now: Making calls on your ultra-slim smart phone is easy too. It also makes it easy to send emails, take photos, browse the internet, find a life partner, organize your social life… oh, let’s face it; our phones are now the centers of our entire existence.

2. The computer

2. Small but Mighty Computer

Then: The first computer weighed 30 tons and took up an entire house. However, the technology was groundbreaking at the time. Built to solve numerical problems, it could perform thousands of calculations per second.

Now: Tablet computers weigh in at just 766g and can be carried outside the house. Today, they are used for more than just numerical problems and perform billions of calculations per second.

3. The drone

3. Small but Mighty Drone

Then: Getting an aerial shot required a crane, a camera and a whole lot of courage.

Now: Enter the drone. These unmanned aerial vehicles can fly upwards of 1 km, while keeping your camera safely intact. But, more importantly, they keep you safely on the ground.

4. The camera

4. Small but Mighty Camera

Then: Getting the perfect shot required at least 10 minutes to set up the camera and a day to develop the film.

Now: In 10 minutes you can take 500 perfect shots and view your pictures instantly.

5. The car engine

5. Small but Mighty Car Engine

Then: Car engines of the past are remembered for their size. To prove it, take a look at Ford’s 1932 V8 engine. Weighing over 230 kg, the engine delivered 48 kW of power.

Now: The mantra of “bigger is better” is over and Ford’s tiny 1.0L EcoBoost engine proves it. But don’t let its size fool you – weighing only 97 kg, it’s more than half the size of its 1932 predecessor, but now it provides almost twice the power.

6. The selfie

6. Small but Mighty Selfie

Then: Selfies were a thing in 1925, but they could only be taken in a stand-alone photo booth.

Now: Selfie cameras are a real thing – ready to snap at a moment’s notice, and airbrush your imperfections at the touch of a button.

7. Hard drives

7. Small but Mighty Computer Data

Then: In the ‘50s, computer data was kept on reels of tape and one reel could store up to 2 MB of data.

Now: Our USB flash drives can hold up to 512 GB, which equates to 256,000 reels from the ‘50s.

8. The radio

8. Small but Mighty Radio

Then: Had a favourite song that you wanted to listen to? In the early ‘20s, you would need to run home and tune into your local station to try and catch it.

Now: We can listen to just about anything – streaming music, podcasts and digital radio – even while we’re running.

9. The calculator

9. Small but Mighty Calculator

Then: In the ‘20s, the heavy-duty arithmometer could solve simple plus and minus calculations.

Now: Mathematicians, scientists and engineers use their pocket-sized scientific calculators to help solve:image019

10. The dictaphone


Then: If you had something really important to say in 1920, the Dictaphone could record up to 1,200 spoken words.

Now: Our portable voice recorders can keep up to 1,200 hours of sound, which means you can record all the important and not-so-important things.

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