Rediscovering the '70s: 20 Surprising Moments That Shaped a Decade

By Sophia Maddox | March 5, 2024

Man’s Best Friend: The Pet Rock

The 1970s were a vibrant and transformative decade that saw significant worldwide cultural, political, and social changes. Marked by diverse music genres like disco, rock, and punk, the '70s saw the flourishing of artistic expressions and counterculture movements. It was an era when individuals embraced personal freedom and challenging societal norms. At the forefront of social change were the Civil Rights Movement and gender equality. Politically, the period was marked by the end of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, both of which led to widespread skepticism toward authority and government institutions.

Notwithstanding all of the political and social strife, the era also witnessed the rise of environmentalism and a growing awareness of the need for sustainable practices. Economic contributors like the oil crisis and high inflation influenced global trade and led to increased economic instability. Despite all of these momentous changes, the '70s also enjoyed an uptick in technology and product development, and we're going to look at all of right here. From pop culture trends to groundbreaking technology, the '70s had it all.

 

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The Pet Rock fad of the 1970s was a simple yet humorous concept that captured the attention and fascination of people around the world. A trend like others we know today, the Pet Rock was marketed as the ideal pet. Essentially, rocks were packaged in carrying crates with silly instructions about how to care for them. Despite being just an ordinary rock, they became incredibly popular, selling millions of units just like many of the ridiculous trends of decades since.

The Pet Rock craze captured the spirit of the '70s. It provided a quippy commentary on the absurdity of consumerism, people's desire for companionship, and the quickness with which Americans cling to trends. Most of all, though, it provided a lighthearted escape from the complex issues of the time.

Egg Chairs and the Introduction of the Accent Chair as We Know It Today

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Egg chairs paved the way for stylish yet practical furniture design. The '70s egg chair was a popular furnishing that exuded both style and comfort. These iconic accent chairs were designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958, but it wasn’t until the '70s that they became a symbol of retro-chic.

With their distinctive egg-shaped design, these chairs boasted a curved backrest that enveloped the occupant. The upholstery was typically made from vibrant and textured fabrics like velvet or leather, adding a touch of luxury to any interior. The '70s egg chairs captured the spirit of the era with their funky and avant-garde aesthetic, making them a sought-after collector's item. Egg chairs eventually paved the way for a swinging version and other spin-off chair designs that are still popular today.