In Pictures: Groovy 1970s consumer tech

The 1970s played host to an explosion in consumer electronics gadgets that changed how we educate, entertain, calculate, and communicate.

Clocks

At the dawn of the 1970s, most bedside clocks were either analog or electromechanical digital models like the one on the left. (Electromechanical clocks displayed the time on plastic tiles that flipped over each minute.) Early on, however, electronic digital clocks using LED displays became popular in part because they kept time more accurately (and quietly) than analog models. The LED Digital Alarm Clock by Westclox shown on the right sold for $45 in 1974. (That's about $206 in 2012 dollars--can you imagine paying $206 for a digital clock today?) Like most of the tech in this slideshow, such devices became inexpensive commodities by the time 1980 rolled around. Today you'd be hard-pressed to sell such a clock for $1 at a yard sale.

Credit: JCPenney

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