This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Santo Domingo collection.
At the end of every year, while preparing for the new one, people are often struck with nostalgia. This feeling, not just for the past year, but of past eras, is evoked in David Seidman’s book All Gone: Things that aren’t Anymore. Written at the end of the 20th century as fears about the new millennium were ramping up, Seidman showcases the gadgets and cultural icons that are representative of that time period and gives a glimpse into the meaning of that nostalgia. Spanning topics from food and drink to law, government and politics, All Gone is a catalog of important events in the 20th century. Accompanied by black and white photographs, this book is perfect end of year reading.
Even items as seemingly trivial as wristwatches and spectacles get a section. Seidman gives a short history of the watch, from the past models that required winding to the newer quartz watches that could be outfitted with anything from a calculator to a calendar. On the more serious side, Seidman discusses the politics of the Cold War and the devastation of apartheid. One really interesting chapter goes in to high-speed transportation, not just steam locomotives and trains, but also a discussion of NASA and Skylab, as well as different types of airlines that are no longer around are included in this chapter. Although many think of air travel in the 1960s and 1970s as expensive and very fancy, as early as the 1980s budget airlines started popping up with no frills cheap flights.
David Seidman is an expert on pop culture and often writes for newspapers and journals on the topic. All gone: things that aren’t there anymore / by David Seidman. Los Angeles : General Pub. Group, 1998 is available in Widener Library’s collection.
Thanks to Emma Clement, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.