By 1976, plastic was the most widely used material in countries like America, Japan and Britain. We rely on it for the creation of parts for everything from domestic appliances to cars, spaceships and artificial hearts.
The American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. Inspired by the space race between the USA and the Soviet Union, space-age colour schemes became fashionable. Walls were often painted white. Furniture designers created shiny white PVC sofas or moulded, fibre-glass creations.
Domestic appliances started to look like equipment from a space station, too. Even television sets and record players were given curvy styling and brilliant white plastic casing – a whole new look from the heavy wooden cabinets that housed all televisions and gramophones in the 1950s.
These days, digital technology is as much a part of everyday life as plastics and other man-made fibres. Personal computers are in most homes and everything from the TV to the kitchen toaster is now run using microchips.
Digital technology was established in the 1960s, but until the 1990s only big businesses and universities had benefited from it. As computers became easier to use, and as microchips became faster, smaller and more reliable, digital technology became useful in everyday life.
With all the latest technology on display, a shopping outing at John Lewis offers a look into the future. But here at the Memory Store, we’d like to take a peek into the past, as well.
Visit the Memory Store's virtual house.