Don’t Donate that Fax Machine to the Smithsonian Yet

When I pulled an old fax machine out of the closet a while back, my teenage daughter looked at it and asked, “What’s that?” iron

This wasn’t our first shared “Smithsonian” moment. It reminded me of a time when she was six. Then she wasn’t responding to an unknown item we owned, but instead to a supposed everyday object pictured in a children’s identification book.  This common item  was prominently featured among things like  “cats” and “spoons” and “televisions.” For about five minutes I was horrified.

The lovely senior citizen featured in the video communicates with far flung children and grandchildren via a Twitter account. No computer is required. She uses Celery, a computerless email system that allows her to fax handwritten notes and have them translated and posted to Twitter. Sometimes this modern grandmother even uses the system to send that retro thing called “email.”

I like the part near the beginning when she speaks about the Celery system’s advantages. She says that it best meets her needs because her daughter talks too much.


I’m betting ye old telephones are not recognized by the average kindergartner of today.

(But I’m also guessing my family is almost alone in not recognizing irons)


  1. says

    This rings so true in so many ways. I am 41 – and people I work with have no idea what a dial-up connection is, cassette tape, or *gasp* snail mail. 😉

    Well done!

  2. says

    LOL.. you’re not alone. This reminded me of when my son (now 22) was around 4 and my cousin was babysitting him one afternoon. She had some laundry to iron and he watched her closely, asking what she was doing, what it was supposed to do.. how it worked… etc. She was stunned that he’d never seen one before. I did in fact own one, but I have never been seen using it. 😉

  3. says

    That daughter of hers is such a time waster:) This reminds me that I should tweet one of these days. The Guedelon site is closed until March so I’ve been silent on that account:) Cheers to you Twitter goddess!

  4. says

    Ha! She doesn’t write to her daughter because she talks to much and it uses up too much of the old lady’s time! I love that!

    My kids don’t know what a pain a rotary dial phone was, especially if someone had too many 8’s or 9’s in their number. Talk about using up too much of one’s time!!

  5. says

    remember the rotary dial? my mother in law refuses to get rid of her — she pays extra to keep it, although maybe now they are kicking her off the grid? lol

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