24 school supplies every kid wanted back in the 1970s
Pee Chee Folders, Banana Ink, Trapper Keepers and Snack Packs… those were the days.
It's that time of year again! Kids are starting to head back to school. These days, they're likely lugging laptops and tablets. Forty years ago, just being able to multiply numbers on a calculator was cutting-edge technology.
Let's rewind the clock to a time when John Travolta and Farrah Fawcett were the gods of hair, when Sweathogs were style icons, when gym shorts were super short…
Here are things that school kids yearned to have in the 1970s, from first grade to senior year.
1. Little Professor Calculators
Sorry, kids, it couldn't play Pokémon. However, you could punch in "07734" and turn it upside down to say hi to your friends.
Image: Smilehood / Etsy
2. Trapper Keeper
Who can forget the KRRRTTCCH sound of the Velcro seal ripping open? The Trapper Keeper was launched by Mead in 1978 and became an immediate must-have.
3. Westab "Superstar" Notebooks
Donny is the dreamiest! No, David! Were you #TeamOsmond or #TeamCassidy? You had to choose sides in the 1970s.
4. Pee Chee Folders
We would doodle on and deface those classic images while bored in history class.
Image: thefiend / Flickr
5. Bic Banana Ink Crayons
The commercials featured Charles Nelson Reilly wearing a banana suit, drawing a hat on a banana. Who wouldn't want to buy these pens?
Image: Bic / YouTube
6. Husky Pencils
"Husky" was used a lot more as an adjective back then.
7. Panasonic Electric Pencil Sharpener
Pity the older generations who had to turn a crank! (Well, we still had to do that, too.) Still, it was pretty awesome when you came across one of these noisy sharpeners.
Image: The Pencil Pusher / Etsy
8. Metal lunch box with plastic thermos
Welcome Back, Kotter, Emergency!, CHiPs… Which TV show would you represent?
Image: Mystery Show / Fanfare.com
9. Hunt Snack Packs
Of course, you had to fill your lunch boxes with some canned pudding.
10. Floaty Pens
The first floating action pen was produced by the Eskesen company in Denmark in the 1950s. There was no cooler way to show off your summer vacation destination.
Image: NORAVINTAGE / Etsy
11. A plastic pencil case with a lunch money pouch
Naturally, you needed something to carry all these pens and pencils. Not to mention some pocket change.
Image: malibulizard / eBay
12. Scientific Calculators
Older kids needed a little more computational power than the Little Professor. Thankfully, fancy new calculators made math a little easier.
13. Junior Typewriters
Kids today will never understand how carefully we had to type our book reports. No auto-correct here.
14. TRS-80 Computer
Of course, at the end of the decade the fortunate few could use a state-of-the-art computer — with cassette tape drive!
Our ankles were breezy.
16. All Denim Everything
Polyester, denim, corduroy — the holy trinity of 1970s fabrics.
17. Paint 'N Wear clothing
You could show off your artistic side thanks to denim spruced up with a Paint 'N Wear wardrobe decorating kit.
18. Cool sneakers
Mom or dad always had to take us to JC Penney, Sears and Kinney for some fresh footwear.
Image: Boy's Life Magazine
19. Mickey Mouse watches
There was no better way to count down the seconds before the final bell.
20. Pop Wheels
Roller skates hidden inside clogs! Now that's zipping home down the sidewalk in style.
Image: Style Pantry
21. Banana seat bicycles
For a fancier ride, you could cruise home on your chrome-covered, banana-seat bike.
22. A Ford Cruising Wagon
Well, when it came to truly cruising, older teenagers could flip enough burgers to save up and get this sweet ride.
Image: SenseiAllen / Flickr
23. Football helmet radios
After homework and TV, it was time for bed. We would tuck up and listen to Pablo Cruise on a nifty NFL radio. In the morning, we needed to find out the weather… and if we were lucky, there was a snow day.
24. Superhero pajamas
Dreaming was always more comfortable in some Star Trek or Hulk sleepwear. Then it was time to rise and do it all over again.