ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • History & Archaeology»
  • History of the Modern Era»
  • Twentieth Century History

Nostalgia and Past Reflections

Updated on November 5, 2011

Your first bicycle, kiss, and fond memories of high school days…these remembrances are called nostalgia. The word comes from the Greek meaning “returning home.” It was first used in 1688 by Johannes Hofer describing medical aspects of “home sickness.”

Nostalgia can be triggered by many things, old songs, movies, sounds or a certain sight or smell. Many might say it’s a form of escapism to happier times and places, sort of a return to the “good ole days.” Whether it’s the “Roaring 20s” or later each decade had its own distinct flavor. Ahh yes, the “good ole days” when we were young and knew it all and our parents were a couple of squares who didn’t have a clue. Of course, there’s the memory when we matured and discovered perhaps they weren’t the dopes we took them for after all.

At one time or another we have all experienced warm, fuzzy feelings of a cherished memory. Maybe it came from looking at an old photograph or revisiting a place you once lived during your childhood. These thoughts can transport one back in time to relive moments long since past. The first day of school, good friends now lost or a memorable walk in a park can all be pleasant to dwell on. Where were you when you first heard “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles? The question can obviously jump start the imagination and evoke images of earlier days.

Vent Haven Museum

American Sign Museum

However, nostalgia can take other forms than just memories. Some live in the past by collecting memorabilia from different eras. Antiquing is one form, as is collecting baseball cards, stamps and popular toys of the past. Others may relive a different time through dated records, films or old recorded radio broadcasts. The list is endless. Photograph collections, depicting old trains or automobiles of the past are also popular pastimes.

However, nowadays nostalgia isn’t limited only to individuals. Museums have been built catering to the whimsical memories of yesteryear. Posters, classic autos, jukeboxes, historical documents, photographs, maps, newspapers and toys are on exhibit across the country for all to enjoy. Some museums limit themselves to one specific category such as vintage automobiles or old toys while others display anything considered to be nostalgic. By visiting one some may become immersed in memories of their childhood and discover just how much they have forgotten over the years.

For example, the Vent Haven Museum, in Fort Mitchell, KY, is dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. There were many famous ventriloquist acts in entertainment history. The museum, opened in the 1970s, features the dummy sidekicks they used. There are tributes to 20th-century ventriloquists such as Edgar Bergen, Paul Winchell and Shari Lewis along with displays about great dummy makers of the day like Charles Mack, Frank Marshall and the McElroy brothers.

Another, the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, exhibits collectible signs with gilded lettering and neon.The signs speak to us long after what they proclaimed had ceased to exist. “Old Barbee Whiskey,” “Cole Batteries” or “Flying A Service” may not mean much now. But we can still hear their voices ringing throughout the decades.

Today, nostalgia is alive and well. Vintage clothing is making a comeback, every other film is a remake from a successful movie of the past and even bands from our teens are re-forming and playing to sold out audiences. Even advertisers are getting in on the nostalgia kick by using commercials from way back, ageless background music and unforgettable scenes from the past. There are even companies who specialize in reproducing everything from wallpaper and fabrics for people remodeling old homes and period movie sets to parts for obsolete items.

Fortunately, today we don’t have to rely solely on out faulty memories to take a walk down memory lane. Because of the efforts and struggles of a valiant few who have strived to preserve artifacts and vestiges of our history were able to reacquaint ourselves with our past. By the way, where were you when you first heard “I Want to Hold Your Hand?”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • JY3502 profile image
      Author

      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Paradise7, I once took some arty facts. Aren't they facts about painting and stuff?

      kerlynb, well...that's what a museum is. Actually you were in a museum with an old time restaurant on display. LOL

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Reminded me of two amazing restaurants I visited. The owner is a hard-core lover of jazz and the 80s. Thus, his two restaurants looked like museums. His collections were on display for his diners to see.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      It's funny how certain, shall we say, artifacts? can take you back.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)