The Harlem Globe Trotters have been entertaining folks since the 1920s. In fact, they played their first game in 1927. They’re still around and still a whole lot of fun to watch. But there was something really special about the 1970s roster that made their popularity skyrocket. In addition to sold out exhibition games, the Harlem Globe Trotters had their own TV specials in the ‘70s and made countless television appearances. They even had a couple cartoon series. Nobody could resist whistling along to the team’s theme song "Sweet Georgia Brown!"
Dorothy Hamill not only won Olympic Gold in 1976, she also won people’s hearts… and so did her hair. Almost overnight, Dorothy’s short, bouncy wedge was giving Farrah Fawcett’s layered tresses some real competition. While the Farrah Fawcett look took lots of time and effort to get just right, Dorothy’s wedge cut was about as easy as a hairstyle could get. Dorothy could skate at high speeds, twirl like a top, and jump high into the air and her hair kept its shape and still looked great at the end of each performance. Women and girls across the globe clamored to chop off their hair to look like America’s newest sweetheart. Dorothy even landed an endorsement for a shampoo called "Short & Sassy!"
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Gum wrappers haven’t always been tossed in the trash. Weaving gum wrappers together into chains was a fun fad back in the 1960s and even beyond. It kept us from littering the streets with our old gum wrappers, which was a pretty common bad habit at the time. Some gum wrapper chains went on and on with no end in sight. Some were turned into fashion items like belts, necklaces, or bracelets.
Back in the ‘60s, it was common for mothers to grab a piece of tape when it was time to cut children’s bangs. The technique was used on both boys and girls. It was supposed to leave bangs straight and keep cut hair out of the eyes. The process worked pretty well some of the time… but not always. It was easy to end up with bangs that were too short once the hair sprung back into place without the weight of the tape! Still today, there are parents and grandparents cutting bangs with a little help from some tape.
The original Gong Show became a cultural sensation in the ’70. It was a talent show parody with mostly untalented contestants who sometimes were forced from the stage if a judge decided to strike the gong. Although some people, especially television critics, found The Gong Show crass and “over-the-top,” it pulled in lots of regular viewers. Some of us were simply drawn in by the silliness of it all. We enjoyed seeing Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, the Unknown Comic telling awful jokes with a paper bag over his head, and bumbling host Chuck Barris say things like “We’ll be back with more… (pause)… stuff.”
Once upon a time, credit card processing took some elbow grease. Today, credit cards have chips embedded in them to make using a credit card easier than ever before. Before the chip, merchants were able to swipe cards for immediate electronic processing. But, back before that, stores and other businesses had to use a manual imprint machine (like the one shown here) to make carbon copies of the embossed information on a credit card for processing and receipts. The method involved sliding part of the machine over the actual card to make the carbon copy and then giving the customer a slip to sign after the imprint was made. To obtain payment, slips had to be taken to the bank for processing.