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22 Status Symbols Through the Ages

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By Samantha Shook, Care2 Healthy Living

How does one know when they've "made it" in life? Sure, joy, passion, and happy relationships are good, but what about stuff? What gadgets do we consider status symbols? Appliance company De'Longhi recently conducted a study on the topic, asking over 4,000 British consumers about what is considered a status symbol today, and also over the past several decades. Click through to take a look back at the technology that used to make us swoon. Times certainly have changed!


What was voted the number one status symbol for 2012? A hot tub! Also on the list: a walk-in closet, side-by-side refrigerator-freezer (or "U.S.-style fridge"), and a stereo system with speakers in every room.

The '90s

  • Black dining room table & chairs
  • Bread maker: Before the low-carb craze took hold in the early 2000s, making bread at home was seen as a treat.
  • Beige carpet

The '80s

  • Commodore 64 computer: Introduced in 1982 for $595, the Commodore 64 is still the best-selling personal computer model of all time. It also made Time magazine's list of "All-TIME 100 Gadgets."
  • Avocado-colored bathroom
  • Garbage disposal
  • Microwave

The '70s

  • Fondue set
  • Betamax: Introduced in 1975, this rival to the VHS system eventually lost in the format war between the two, mostly because VHS tapes were able to squeeze in the most recording time.
  • Color TV
  • Mini-bar

The '60s

  • Washing machine: After World War II, many US manufacturers introduced competing automatic washing machine models. By the 1960s, prices had become more affordable for consumers.
  • Sewing machine
  • Colorful kitchen cabinets
  • Electric carving knife

The '50s

  • Transistor radio: Popular because of their portability, transistor radios allowed people to listen to music anywhere they went.
  • Push-button phone
  • Electric toaster

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