Can You Guess the Vintage of These Gadgets?

By: Lauren Lubas

Can You Guess the Vintage of These Gadgets?
Image: Monty Rakusen / Cultura / Getty Images

About This Quiz

We love our gadgets. As a matter of fact, you're probably reading this description on your phone, tablet or computer right now. We live in a world where our gadgets can begin to define us. We are attached to our phones, we love to know what is happening in the world (and with our friends) whenever we open a piece of technology, and even though we find that these things give us the convenience we want, we often forget that there were gadgets used for convenience and information long before Apple came out with the first smartphone. 

The gadgets you'll see in this quiz come from all different periods and range in use from helping people put their shoes on to assisting people in communicating with others on different continents. If you think you know technology and gadgets, it's time to test your identification skills (and we'll totally understand if you have to guess on a few of these). This quiz might seem tough, but if you can tell us the dates these gadgets came out, you will hold high ranks among the tech junkies of the world. What are you waiting for? It's time to see if you can guess the vintage of all of these gadgets.

Sony Walkman 1979 In July of which year did this portable music device come out?
1981
1942
1979
If you're wondering what on earth could have inspired the iPod, let us introduce you to the Sony Walkman. This little guy was in production for nearly 20 years and basically paid for itself with all of the entertainment it offered.
1974

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phonograph 1877 Do you know when this music player was first released?
1901
1877
The phonograph gave us hours and hours of crackling sound from records ... well, maybe not us, but people in the late 1800s. They were expensive, and couldn't necessarily be found in every house.
2014
1954

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transistor radio 1954 When was the transistor radio invented?
1925
1401
1792
1954
Before the Walkman made an appearance, you could carry around this little radio to listen to tunes or news while you were on the go. It didn't have headphones, but it did have a tuning dial.

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Brownie Camera 1900 Can you name the date Kodak released the Brownie Camera?
1900
Cameras were hard to come by at the turn of the century, and Kodak wanted to change that. They created the brownie camera and marketed it toward children. However, a lot of soldiers carried it with them, because it was lightweight.
1901
1903
1905

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Apple iPod 2001 In what year was Apple's MP3 player released?
1998
2001
The Apple iPod was first released in 2001, a couple of months before Christmas. It gave us the ability to access multiple songs without carrying discs or cartridges and switching everything out. It was a genius move by the company.
1988
1974

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Canon pocketronic calculator 1970 Do you know which year Canon released its pocketronic calculator?
1980
1990
1960
1970
When it comes to handheld devices, calculators are often taken advantage of. This guy was one of the first pocket calculators, but it was also an adding machine that printed your calculations. It was awesome.

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VCR 1972 What year was the first VCR released?
1982
1992
1972
In 1972, everyone wanted to know how they could watch their favorite shows without having to read the TV Guide. That's when Phillips came out with the videocassette recorder, or the VCR.
1741

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Atari 2600 1977 Do you know when this gaming console hit the market?
1947
1987
1977
The Atari 2600 changed the way we think about home entertainment. Not only did people want a way to entertain themselves during rainy days, but they also wanted to show off their electronic games to their friends and neighbors.
1967

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TomTom 1991 The TomTom was an excellent navigational device. When did it first come out?
1987
1991
TomTom first released a navigation device in 1991. Now, over 25 years later, GPS and navigation are basically free on every smartphone. However, buying a TomTom back in the day was extremely pricey.
1986
2001

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Phonemate 400 1971 Do you know when the Phonemate 400 answering machine was invented?
1888
1971
Since the telephone was invented, people were trying to find a way to ensure that they didn't miss a call. It took until 1971 for a company to create an answering machine for home use, and that was the Phonemate 400.
1814
1741

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BlackBerry 850 1999 Considered one of the first handheld personal assistants, when did the BlackBerry first make an appearance?
2004
2002
2001
1999
While the BlackBerry company has been around for quite some time, the first email assistant with a screen was the BlackBerry 850, which was released in 1999. Most businesspeople owned one.

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iPad 2010 Do you know when the first iPad came out?
2005
2015
2010
After the release of the first iPhone in 2007, Apple got to work on something bigger and better for people to buy. The iPad was basically a giant iPhone without the ability to make calls.
2003

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first Polaroid camera 1948 This is a picture of the first Polaroid camera. Do you know its vintage?
1958
1948
When it came to instant photos, Polaroid really wears the crown. Despite what certain songs tell you, you should never shake a Polaroid picture to make it develop faster. This can damage the image.
1969
1938

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Kindle 2007 Can you tell us when the first Kindle was released?
1999
2005
2000
2007
The first Kindle eReader was released in 2007, and it sold for a whopping $399. It didn't have a touch screen or even a color screen. It just held a whole lot of books. If you were planning on reading 300 books on vacation, this was totally worth it.

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TiVo 1999 This device recorded your TV shows while you were out. Do you know when it was first released?
2000
2001
1999
TiVo promised that you could pause and rewind live television while it was happening. However, if you couldn't control the remote, you would have a lot of problems skipping those commercials without missing part of your show.
2002

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Toshiba DVD player 1996 The first DVD player that hit the market was made by Toshiba. Do you know what year that was?
1996
Laserdiscs fell flat on their faces, but the smaller DVD really changed the way we thought about home entertainment. It was a clearer image and you didn't have to rewind. What could be better?
1985
1982
1994

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PlayStation 1994 Can you tell us when the first PlayStation was released?
1967
1982
1994
Playing a video game on a disc console wasn't necessarily unheard of in 1994, but the release of Sony's PlayStation really changed the gaming world completely, and the PlayStation 2 broke sales records across the board.
1989

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Nintendo Wii 2006 This game console hurt people. Do you know when it came out?
2006
The Nintendo Wii was the first video game that you actually had to use with physical motions. This resulted in broken lamps littering garbage dumps in late 2006. However, the game was ahead of its time and made a huge splash.
1996
1998
1957

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Nokia 3310 1999 When was the unbreakable Nokia cell phone first released?
2001
1978
1999
If you came of age (or received your first cell phone) between 1999 and 2003, you most likely owned one of these bad boys. They probably still worked when you had to upgrade because they were basically indestructible.
1987

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Palm Pilot 1000 1996 Do you know when the Palm Pilot 1000 came out?
2002
2000
1998
1996
Yes, in 1996, a personal assistant was released that helped you get all of the information that you needed right at your fingertips. The BlackBerry took this guy down about three years later, but it gave us everything we needed to survive.

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Apple iBooks 1999 Apple iBooks came in various colors, but do you know when they were first released?
1996
2006
1999
Apple iBooks were personal computers that you could take anywhere. They were as simple to use as the iMac (when it came to connecting to the Internet), and they looked great (unlike those boxes and bricks others were carrying around at the time).
2001

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Oculus Rift 2016 Here's a more recent one. When was the Oculus Rift first released?
2019
2016
Virtual reality has been a long-coveted science. People have wanted to create this since before the '80s, and it took a long time to perfect. The Oculus Rift is the first headset that has gotten close to perfection.
2017
2018

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Sony Discman 1984 This guy replaced the Walkman, but do you know its vintage?
1984
Sony made a killing on the Walkman, but when the Discman was released, it was a little more complicated, as everyone owned cassette tapes. The Discman made a comeback in the early '90s though.
1994
1974
1980

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Fitbit 2009 Do you know when the first Fitbit was released?
1979
1989
1999
2009
The Fitbit goes hand in hand with your smartphone. It helps you monitor your vitals and all of the physical activity you do in a day. It creates a log for you so you don't have to.

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Apple Macintosh 1984 What year did the Apple Macintosh get released?
2004
1996
1994
1984
Apple wanted to create a personal computer for the home and office that people could actually use. This little box is worth a fortune these days to collectors, but it didn't have a lot of memory (because it didn't need it).

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Nintendo Entertainment System 1983 Can you tell us when the NES was born?
1997
1983
The Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1983, and they made cartridges for it until the mid 1990s. This video game counsel was such a hit that people kept on buying it for years.
1986
1991

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Nintendo Game Boy 1989 If you wanted a handheld video game, the Nintendo Game Boy was the way to go. Do you know its vintage?
1989
In 1989, Nintendo came out with a portable gaming system that allowed you to switch out cartridges and play your favorite games on the go. Though it was released in North America in 1989, it didn't hit European shelves until 1990.
1985
1986
1987

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JVC VideoMovie Camcorder 1983 In what year did JVC release the VideoMovie Camcorder?
1983
It was released in 1983, but it started to fly off the shelves in 1985 after it was a featured prop in the classic movie "Back to the Future" (1985). This was an easy-to-use device to help you record precious moments with your family.
1977
1952
1964

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Commodore 64 1982 Do you know what year the Commodore 64 was released?
1985
1984
1983
1982
This state of the art computer was made for home and business. It gave people in 1982 the ability to play games, compute and word process all at once. It was a household name throughout the '80s.

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Roku 2010 When was the first Roku on the market?
2007
2004
2002
2010
While many of our devices have built-in hubs for our favorite streaming apps, the Roku changed the way people watched movies and television. If you're wondering why your cable bill is so high, it's because no one uses cable anymore.

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Osborne 1 1981 Believe it or not, this is a laptop (ish). Do you know when the Osborne 1 was released?
1971
1981
The Osborne 1 was considered the very first portable computer that was successfully marketed to people. While the display size is smaller than a calculator's, it still gave people what they needed at the time.
1991
1961

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iPhone 2007 This little guy changed the way we look at our phones. When did it first come out?
2007
The iPhone was the first ever smartphone. Many people can actually tell you where they were when they first heard of this crazy device, and they'll always remember — there's an app for that.
2014
1999
2014

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Nest Thermostat 2011 Smart thermostats aren't uncommon these days, but do you know when the Nest Thermostat was released?
2020
2006
2011
The Nest Thermostat was marketed as a "Learning Thermostat" that could understand when you wanted it hotter and when you wanted it colder. You could program the device to use less energy while you were away.
2001

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first consumer drone 2006 While drones have been used since the early 1900s as military devices, do you know when the first consumer drone was released?
1991
2006
These days, drones are used for pretty much everything, including package delivery. However, they were initially only used for military matters, and in the early days, they were manned. These days, the only people necessary to work a drone are those who control it from afar.
1985
1982

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Segway 1999 When was this transportation gadget invented?
1999
In 1999, someone reinvented the bicycle to make it, so no one had to pedal anymore. The Segway has a cult following, and you can join a club where you ride these little beasts around cities. It's interesting.
1482
1741
1941

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Bluetooth 1994 Do you know when the Bluetooth first came out?
1994
The '90s brought us a lot of technology that needed a little help, and the Bluetooth was no exception. This device is now built in to basically every electronic we own today, but in the '90s, wireless technology was just getting its feet wet.
1997
1952
1947

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first cordless home phone 1994 Can you tell us when the first cordless home phone was invented?
1996
1994
While many tried to make this happen before, the first cordless phone on the market for consumer home use came out in 1994. Since then, few phones have been made with cords.
1998
1942

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ZX Spectrum 1982 When was the ZX Spectrum first introduced?
1474
1874
1982
The ZX Spectrum was the United Kingdom's Commodore 64. Its technology can be seen in many PC gaming devices these days. Their design was sleek, which was nearly unheard of at the time.
2014

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Apple iWatch 2015 Everyone wanted one of these when they first came out. Do you know when the Apple Watch was first released?
2009
2008
2001
2015
If your phone wasn't enough to give you notifications and communicate with people, you definitely needed a watch that could show you everything that was happening on it. These things also acted as fitness bracelets at the same time.

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first toaster 1893 While toasters today might look a little different, what is the vintage of the first toaster ever made?
1983
1893
Toasters give us a lot of great goodies, and some products are even designed around the toaster itself (Pop-Tarts). While the inner workings of this gadget haven't changed very much, exterior designs are always getting upgrades.
1974
1919

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