This one is for the eldergays. Did Scotch tape and its generic versions used to be expensive? I was a kid in the 70s and I remember my mom being very strict about us not wasting tape and she often bought really low quality cellophane tape that shredded and stuck to the roll, I assume because it was cheaper. Was this just a carry-over from her Depression era parents or was quality desk tape once a more costly item?
OP, are the one who started the thread about how your friend always falls asleep whenever he comes over to watch a movie with you? If so, I now understand why.
It's more a hold-over of the mindset of the depression-era parents I think.
That, and kids loved to waste scotch tape.
I don't know about price, but I know the width has decreased. Of course you get less on a roll. Packing tape has gotten thinner.
R2 They did not have stickers then.
[quote][R2] They did not have stickers then.
Of course there were stickers then, R4!
It wouldn't take an eldergay to answer this question. I'm 20 and I could. All you have to do is google this if you're that interested. Not trying to be mean either.
I do sort of remember it being relatively more expensive, at least in the '60s. This was before the dominance of discounters like Walmart, remember, and a lot of things were still sold at the "manufacturers suggested price" at stationery stores, variety stores, etc. There were no stores like Staples or Office Depot, so most people probably bought Scotch tape at a drugstore, variety store, supermarket, etc. at full price unless it was on sale.
I bought some scotch tape not long ago and was surprised how expensive it was.
As a kid we were not poor by any means but frugal and got value out of things. I remember my mother having a small curved spatula to scrap every last teaspoon of mayonnaise out of the jar.
For a while, Staples, etc, beat the prices of office supply stores that had to sell merchandise at suggested retail price, but as soon as those small stores all went out of business, the big stores jacked up their prices and offer little in savings for most walk-ins.
I will answer. No never was expensive. Your mom is a nervous Nelly no doubt. What did mom say when you broke crayons.
Not expensive, but one did not waste things. Also children were not allowed to do whatever they damn well pleased. I don't think it was about the tape being expensive so much as it was about teaching children to use things properly and not be wasteful.
We did NOT have stickers in the contemporary sense. There were seals which had a gummed backing that had to be wet before applying. These were usually for holiday decoration. They were not for children as a rule.
There were sticker books that had a black and white outlined drawing on one side and a set of stickers that had to be punched out and put in the appropriate places on the B&W drawing. These also had gummed backings that had to be wet before applying.
We also had decals that came on a paper backing. These had to be soaked in water and the decal carefully slid onto whatever was to be decorated.
When growing up we were upper middle class and I remember my mom with the Scotch tape too.
It wasn't just that though. They did have a waste not want not mentality.
Shut the lights off. Make a sandwich the cold cuts aren't a snack. Put on a sweater if you're cold. We'll call collect as Bessie that way you'll know we got home all right. Don't go in the refrigerator until you know what you want. You don't need that much milk it's cereal not soup. If you don't eat it you'll have it for supper tomorrow. You wear sweaters three times before you put them in the wash you're not out digging graves. Change out of your school clothes before you go outside. We're not heating the outside. There's lots of kids who would appreciate new underwear for Christmas. It's noon, you don't need the light lift the shade. Go watch in the family room we don't need two TVs running.
I'll stop there.
Yeah. I'm virtually debt free. LOL
Long distance telephone calls were treated as though one were literally burning money. While today's kiddies madly text their friends around the world at all hours, calling 20 miles away was a Big Deal!
R7 is spot on about the lack of mass retailers, scotch tape was sold by mom-and-pop'ish stationery stores only until the 80s or so. Even Woolworths wasn't much cheaper.
You also have to remember that those of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s probably had parents who grew up in the Depression, so they were bred to be frugal.
[quote] Long distance telephone calls were treated as though one were literally burning money. While today's kiddies madly text their friends around the world at all hours, calling 20 miles away was a Big Deal!
It was very expensive to have a phone back then. When I was 18 and living on my own (1984) it was $30/month for a home phone. I was only earning $3.50 an hour. There was no free long distance and calling someone in the next county was a long distance call. The home phone service I have now is $33/ month and includes free long distance
Home phone service used to be very expensive. Even when I first moved out on my own in 1998, it was $70/mth for a home phone plus 1000 long distance minutes a month anywhere in Canada. Now I pay about $20/mth between my pay-as-you-go cell and Skype.
My grandmother was with the same phone company since the 50s, and I think they really rely on older people who are loyal. Before I got her to switch to another company, her monthly bill was $70 WITHOUT long distance. They were charging her $10/mth for phone rental before I convinced her to just buy her own phone at Wal-Mart. And $10/mth for call display!
Sort of back on topic - when I went to Staples a few months back for address labels, I was shocked at how expensive they are! $20! And $15 for envelopes, and $14 for a ream of colored paper. No wonder Amazon is putting these places out of business.
When the first big mall opened near my hometown it had a Scotch Boutique. They specialized in Scotch Tape, just the sticky kind. The prices were high because it was a mall store, you could find it cheaper in your local drug store usually.
we used to tape our nipples together.
We never had scotch tape or paper towels. My mom told me that we would just waste them, so she didn't buy them.
My grandmother, born in 1896, and a young mother during the depression, was extremely frugal about everything except Scotch tape. She called it "stick-um."
She used that shit on everything. Wrapped presents weren't secured with a few tabs of tape; every seam was solidly taped from end to end. Photo's were taped into albums like they were going to try to escape. She had a collection of antique books with the bindings taped together, and loose pages were practically laminated in tape.
She even tried to repair her oven gasket with Scotch tape. I never understood that.
Not only does playing with tape waste money, but it ends up stuck all over the house, too.
I have coworkers who think nothing of removing labels or tape from an item and just sticking it on the work counter, book cart, printer, etc. without cleaning up after themselves.
They waste our 4"x4" thermal labels, too, by using them like Post-it notes.
OP, if you were a kid in the 70's you're an eldergay.
r13, all of your post is great advice--I'm debt free as well. It's often not just being frugal it's also being aware of the environment.
OP, if you were a kid in the 70s then you are an eldergay and can answer your own question.
r13, what made you "upper middle class" rather than just "middle class?" I'm always fascinated by someone that describes themselves that way. You had a little more than the run of the mill middle class? It's a little pretentious, no?
We were downright rich but even still we were taught not to waste back in the day. Nowadays, there is just too much waste. The standards of living are so advanced that basic consumer items are totally taken for granted. That wasn't always the case.
And you know, I'm still rich. I personally prefer Scotch transparent tape (the one in the red box, not the green "magic" tape, and I have to say it is quite expensive.
I think it was about that time that Scotch came out with the magic? invisible tape that you could write on, ie the tape most people use today. Before it was the shiny kind. So the new stuff might have been more expensive.
I never buy it; it's one of those things from work that manages to find its way to my home but a roll probably lasts me three or four years. I never use much.
r21, my grandmother called that stuff called Mucilage (glue) with the rubber tip that you cut a slit into "stick-um".
We always had plenty of scotch tape, and it wasn't expensive, but as with everything else, we were encouraged not to be wasteful.
Funny story (or not)-
A co-worker of mine would steal stuff of mine when I would leave the room and hide it. Once he stole a bottle of soda that I had and scotch taped it to the ceiling using a ton of tape (the bottle was 3/4 full). I had finally had enough and let out a tirade that ended with "And, on top of everything, TAPE'S NOT FREE!". I still hear of the "tape's not free" meltdown and this had to be 6 or 7 years ago.
R31, that guy's bullshit would have been nipped in the bud the first time he tried shit like that by a trip to HR. If that didn't stop him I would have seen to it that he got his ass fired.
Do any eldergays remember the Scotch Tape that would come out during the Christmas season that had Christmas motifs on it? I remember holly and snowmen, but there were probably other motifs. That we really tried to put on everything, much to my mother's annoyance. I remember that we tried to make our 1960s plate glass windows into mullioned windows with the stuff. My mother was so angry that the sticky residue from the tape would not come off. I don't remember which of us little geniuses figured out that nail polish remover would remove the gummy residue.
OP, looks like you've come to the right place.
I think it was more of the "tape is one of those things you don't have when you need it most" things. Who wants to go to the store for just tape?
Thanks for the responses. I certainly wasn't excluding myself as an eldergay; just wanted input from others around my age.
I'm now wondering if tape is one of those items that has remained relatively the same price over the years. A buck for a roll of tape today seems cheap but 30-40 years ago that was probably pricey. This came up over Christmas when my sister mentioned tape being cheap and that she let her kids do whatever they wanted with it. It triggered my memories of mom being tape-frugal.
Also, maybe there weren't quality generic alternatives back then? I just remember drawers full of cheap cellophane tape that stuck to the roll and you had to pick at it to try and get a piece to tear off but it always shredded and you'd get these useless slivers. At some point in the 80s my dad started bringing home good tape from his office and I never saw those cheap rolls again.
I used to make my own toys, all I needed was some paper, scissor and Scotch Tape. Star Wars figurines, the spacecraft they rode in, play houses, crowns and tiaras, guns, animals, etc. They were like paper dolls and had a short lifespan, but it was fun. Scotch Tape is very nostalgic to me, and I do remember in the 70's there was good tape and bad tape. For the reasons stated in this thread, some stuck to the roll and was brittle. I also like the smell of whatever adhesive they use in tape.
"I was a kid in the 70s and I remember my mom being very strict about us not wasting tape..."
OP, your father was a big tucker.
R13 spoke the truth.
That reminded me of how spoiled kids are today.
Of course, kids have been spoiled since the Cave Man days.
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