Vintage technologies are trending again.
by Kelli Kaiser and Micaela Shannon
Old trends tend to pop back into style and can become very popular among teens. Polaroids and vinyl records are two formerly out-of-style technologies that have come back in style and students are big fans of these gadgets. Even this year’s yearbook had a vintage theme. The vintage and retro feel of these items appeal to teens and allows them to express themselves through photography and music.
Vinyl records are albums played on analog (non-digital) record players. The record player was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison, but they became popular in the early 19th century. They went out of style when digital music hit in the late 1980’s. They are making a comeback in the 21st century. “I’d rather listen to a vinyl than my phone because the vinyl is more intimate and the sound is just ten times better,” said sophomore Jazele Gibson. Gibson’s grandfather is really into listening to old seventies records, so she decided to join in.
Gibson owns a total of 44 vinyl records that she plays on her wooden Crosley record player that includes a CD player, a cassette player, and a radio. She has owned her record player for two and a half years. Her favorite album is Salad Days by Mac Demarco. Gibson tends to purchase her records from record stores in D.C., antique shops, and online. Vinyls sold online in stores like Amazon or Urban Outfitters, cost about $20-30.
Junior Cheyenne Varney started listening to vinyl because a lot of bands she listened to were releasing records that way. “I thought they looked really cool, and I’ve been hooked on collecting them ever since,” Varney said. Varney has 25 records, but she also has several boxes of vinyls from the 50’s. She has a Crosley record player that she has owned for two years. Depending on Varney’s mood, she prefers vinyl when she is feeling upset so she doesn’t have to be connected to the phone to hear music. “My favorite vinyl to listen to is The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me by Brand New. It’s a really dark album and it sounds amazing on vinyl,” she said.
Polaroid cameras allow you to take a picture which develops on paper in front of you in seconds. These old style cameras are on sale again and are great to have if you want a vintage photo or just a picture you want in your hand on the spot. “The idea of taking a picture and having a real copy of it almost instantly sounded super cool,” said sophomore Caroline Keegan. “I love to have prints of photos so that I can hang them up or display them.”
Most modern cameras force the photographer to take their photos somewhere to get them developed or have them downloaded onto a computer. “It’s really cool to have a physical copy of a photo that you get right away,” said senior Lauren Mueller. She’s owned a Polaroid camera for about a year and really enjoys taking photos with it.
Some students enjoy the convenience of a Polaroid camera producing a photo right away, but some simply enjoy the vintage look produced by the camera which is hard to reproduce on your own. Getting the vintage look of a picture is easy with a Polaroid because the camera itself is vintage. The trend of a vintage look has returned and camera filters on apps have nothing on the real thing. “I think people like that they are user friendly and are a cool hobby without buying expensive cameras,” said sophomore Krista Clark. She got a Polaroid for Christmas and enjoys taking photos with it.
History repeats itself and sometimes that’s not a bad thing. Vinyl records bring that nice smooth sounds that radios and iPods could never compete with. Polaroids have the classic vintage look while giving you a tangible picture right at your fingertips.