Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore
The last century saw the birth of iconic inventions and innovations like radios, televisions, computers, iPhones, and the Slinky. Many other products were also lost over the last 100 years, like the Monopoly thimble and celery-flavored Jell-O.
To help you relive the nostalgia of your youth, we curated a list of products that came out the year you were born that no longer exist. For sources, Stacker scoured timelines, news articles, and trusted websites. The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics that made their way into the slideshow have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.
William J. A. Bailey dissolved radium in water to create an energy drink he named RadiThor, which was just one piece of the American frenzy over the newly discovered element. Industrialist Eben McBurney Byers was rumored to have consumed 1,400 bottles to ease back and joint pain; eventually, his teeth began falling out and his bone tissue started to disintegrate. It took another full decade for RadiThor to fizzle out; that's when, in 1931, the Federal Trade Commission filed a cease-and-desist order against Bailey Radium Laboratories.
1919: Rotary phone
When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, he probably didn’t imagine how far it would come over the next century and a half. In 1919, the American Bell Telephone Company launched national service for rotary dial phones, the first mass-produced phone controlled by the user. When push-button phones were installed in 1963, people reluctantly bid goodbye to their rotary phones. Even those are slowly being replaced, as more people make the switch to communicating solely by cell phone.
1920: Life Savers Malt-O-Milk
Life Savers rolled out Malt-O-Milk to little fanfare. The flavor neither freshened your breath nor gave you a "pick-me-up” like its fruity cousins, and was discontinued within a couple of years.
1921: Peace dollar
Just over 1 million Peace Dollars were minted in 1921. After silver was depleted in 1928, Peace Dollar production ceased until late 1933 when President Roosevelt issued a proclamation to mint a small number of silver dollars in 1934 and 1935.
1922: Yamaha hand-wound gramophone
1923: A.C. Gilbert Company chemistry sets
1924: The Moviola
The Moviola—an editing system for film—hit studios in 1924 and was used by film editors until the 1960s. Inventor Iwan Serrurier originally designed the Moviola as an at-home movie projector but adapted it to be used by film editors at the recommendation of an editor at Douglas Fairbanks Studios.
1925: Burma Shave
A brand of brushless shaving cream called Burma-Shave was the first of its kind to hit it big with the public. That popularity was more than likely due to a brilliant advertising campaign along American roadways. In 1963, the company was acquired by Phillip Morris, which began removing Burma Shave's famous road signs. By 1966, production was moved to New Jersey and then discontinued altogether.
1926: Cathode ray tube televisions
Scottish inventor John Lodgie Baird demonstrated the first working television that used cathode ray tubes to mechanically scan pictures displayed on the screen. Called CRTs, they remained wildly popular until the 21st century, when LCD and other electronic displays outpaced them. Sony shut down CRT production in 2008. Some gamers and retro enthusiasts still use CRTs, but they're increasingly difficult to find outside of thrift shops or eBay.
1927: Iron lung
Harvard medical researchers Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw invented the iron lung to help patients with polio at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. The respirator contraption was widely used in polio outbreaks during the '40s and '50s, but the invention of the mechanical respirator eventually made iron lungs all but obsolete in medical treatment. A 2017 investigation found only three people in the United States still using iron lungs.2018 All rights reserved.