I continue to be amazed at the knowledge archives available to us today. A friend recently sent me an e-mail that mentioned he had been listening to Grateful Dead concerts he attended in 1969, obtaining "a closeness to something that mattered" to him then. You can legally downloaded Grateful Dead shows, for non-commercial use, from 1969 and other years at www.gdlive.com
In the late 1890s my great aunt liked to listen to music but the only place that you could hear music was the saloon in her newly-organized town in the Oklahoma Territory. In her day, this place was not appropriate for young single women. Fortunately, she was the first telephone operator in the town. So she called the saloon and left the line open, getting “piped in” background music, while she worked, whenever the band played. There was an added benefit to this technology. She was able to also hear whenever a fight broke out in the saloon, a frequent activity, and notify the local police. These features, piped-in music and location monitoring, have taken on new forms and become disaggregated from her primitive phone lines.
On the document side, I am able to scan 100 year old family pictures, 200 year old illustrations, and 300 year old maps, store them as JPGs, and then manipulate and add them to Word documents. In the mid-70s I typed a rough draft of my doctoral thesis from my handwritten notes, frequently bouncing my new born daughter on my shoulder at the same time. Then I had to give it to a commercial typist for the final copy. In the 1950s in New Orleans, my mother helped support our family income by typing the thesis and papers of Tulane students and professors. This job has been disaggregated and gone the way of blacksmiths.
Post Script: Last night (June 17) I listened to a live digital feed of Cajun music from Tipitina's in New Orleans while I blogged. So it has come full circle from my great aunt.