I love Old World technology.

I know this may be an odd statement coming from someone who has worked in computers his whole life, but I absolutely love old world technology.  Now… I know that this sweeping statement may lead to confusion.  Exactly, how old is old world?  Well… let me give you some examples.


From my grandmother’s desktop gramophone.

My very first love affair with old technology started when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old and my dad took me up to my grandmother’s attic in her country house to show us her Victrola gramophone.  You see, the country house didn’t have electricity when it was first built and so it must have come in handy to provide some entertainment during the long summer evenings.  (By the way, lighting came by way of gasoline lamps.)  I was in my thirties when my aunt called to see if I wanted the old Victrola.  It’s been in my many living rooms ever since along with a collection of Enrico Caruso recordings and all kinds of oddities.  As a kid, I remember dancing to Dorothy Shay’s Feudin’ and Fightin’. Another favourite was I’ll Dance at Your Wedding, the 1948 version.

I’ve also always loved trains and boats.  The lovely art-deco inspired Normandie comes to mind as does the Orient Express.  Planes leave me cold.  As for computers, phones and tablets… their functionality is essential (!) but their designs are boring!  Maybe we shouldn’t have left the design up to the technocrats.  Whenever someone holds up an iPhone and tells me that that phone contains more technology than the Apollo mission computer, I am so unimpressed!  It doesn’t speak to me.  I’m much more impressed by a player piano!  Or, how about this?  The postal service!  It is totally beyond me that I can write a letter and HANDWRITE an address on the envelope, pop it into a red mailbox and it is hand-delivered to the right city, the right street and the right house for only about $1. Cdn.  I still don’t understand how they can do that!

I consider perfume to be old world technology.  How can you mix different chemicals and convince people that they are smelling a bouquet of gardenias.  That amazes me.  And, I find that a major attraction of old world technology is the romance and mystique and perfume has that in spades!

And so, my recent fascination with fountain pens, another example of old world technology, was bound to happen sooner or later.  I’m not much fascinated by ballpoint pens but I find fountain pens totally amazing.  Anyone else out there?

I’m suffering from the perfume enthusiast’s curse… a sinusitis.  But, as soon as I can start smelling perfumes again, I’ll be back with a review.

Have a nice week.


So dreamy!


Leave a comment


  1. FiveoaksBouquet

     /  June 10, 2018

    About 100 years ago these “old-world technologies” were cutting-edge! I like to think of them today as “vintage cutting-edge technology.” 😀

    Love the photo of the Aquitania—now that was the way to travel. The reason vintage technologies and articles can be so satisfying, I believe, is they are tactile and the interaction with them is physical. Current technologies require keying or touching a screen but the interaction is virtual, leaving one a bit out of touch with surrounding reality. I also agree that the design elements of various eras gone by can be a real source of appreciation.

    I do write letters with a fountain pen, a great joy, the texture of the paper, the traction of the nib, the flow of the ink, the feeling that the words are traveling from your brain right down through your arm and fingers and pouring onto the page—in a colour of your choice! A pleasure not to be missed. Yes, dropping that envelope in the mailbox does invoke a sense of wonderment.

    I fear that with headspace and the speed required in putting new perfumes on the market, computers have infiltrated the old-world approach to perfumery. Nevertheless, a perfume of today can be very satisfactory. Could you please point me to that bouquet of gardenias?

    • About Old World technology being cutting edge… yes, very true! And, I love the expression “vintage cutting-edge technology”.

      As for the bouquet of gardenias… maybe more one beautiful gardenia flower… and you know more about it than I do. Yves Rocher!!! Pure magic.

  2. Tara C

     /  June 11, 2018

    I agree with Fiveoaks, I love the physical interaction with old things. I do appreciate my iPad and the internet very much, but other than that, technology is not all that appealing to me. Reading actual printed books and spraying perfume from a pretty bottle are two of the greatest pleasures in my life. 🙂

    • Yes… putting on perfume which really no longer has a functional purpose, since the invention of soap. Now, it’s a totally romantic/magical gesture… a kind of wordless incantation.

  3. Andrea

     /  June 14, 2018

    I hope your sinusitis comes to a quick end. And yes, some old technology is amazing though I can do without those old washboards!

  4. Brigitte

     /  June 18, 2018

    I enjoy reading real books and writing real letters and cards on real stationery…guess that makes me old 🙂 I also remember the days of manual typewriters…the step up in technology for me was getting a word processor during my college years!

    • Thanks for sharing. I’m only now getting into fountain pens and inks and paper and I can already sympathize! Progress moves us forward but we seem to lose something magical.

      Thanks for writing!


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