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.

Home Audio

Four major consumer audio formats dominated the 1970s: 45-rpm and 33 1/3-rpm vinyl records, Philips compact cassette tapes, and the oft-caricatured 8-track tape. LPs remained the audiophile's medium of choice, and 8-track tapes became popular on the road. The one-spool construction of 8-track tapes allowed for tape-deck designs that reduced cost and size, allowing them to fit easily in automobile dashboards and in portable players. The 8-track did see limited home use: The combination 8-track player/turntable/AM-FM stereo receiver shown here sold for $125 in 1974 (about $574 in today's dollars). At the end of the decade, the compact cassette format exceeded the 8-track tape in fidelity, convenience, and tape-deck quality, sounding the death knell of the 8-track tape.

Credit: JCPenney, Capitol Stereo Tape Club

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