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Childhood sure has changed. Once upon a time, a ‘computer’ was something that took up a room or two, there were only a few of them in the whole world and they were reserved for serious business like launching rockets. If you even thought they might be used for something as frivolous as playing games, you were probably a science fiction writer.
Most of us wouldn’t want to return to that world – for one thing, it apparently wasn’t in color yet! – but it’s great to look at the pictures, and wonder.
Defacing Public Property
No one called it that then. It was just ‘drawing on the sidewalk.’ Here are some early taggers showing us how it’s done.
Giving A Dog A Boost
Kids were so considerate back when they were in black and white.
Kneel Before Zod!
The game is called ‘push the peanut.’ It involved getting peanuts, and pushing them. Yay fun!
1938. London, just before the Martian invasion.
A Bear And His Dancer
Street performing in Paris. 1961. This was no place for rank amateurs.
Some kids improvise a swing set off a lamp post. You had to be clever, then.
Reaching For It
London Zoo, sometime in the ’50s. The guy is Paul Remos, a circus strongman. The child he’s lifting weighed at least 20 pounds.
Strike Up The Band
A girl, a dog, a banjo. That’s all kids needed for a good time. They weren’t spoiled, like kids today.
And They’re Off!
Back before the invention of the internal combustion engine, you could out-race cars just by bouncing on a ball. Not downhill, though. Cars were fast downhill.
Playing Around In Northamptonshire
In the past, children on the left were always heavier than children on the right. This made playing seesaw comfortingly predictable in uncertain times.