When NJ tolls disappear, what else disappears from our lives? | Bot To News

The first tube of the Lincoln Tunnel opened on December 21, 1937. It came with a toll booth from the start. After almost 85 years, on December 11, 2022, the toll booths collected their last toll.

Not that tolls are going away. The form to collect them officially went electronic throughout Sunday.

An overhead gantry does it all for those without an EZPass. It takes a photo of your license plate and emails your bill. The only thing you need to slow down for is the traffic in front of you.

Toll booths across the Garden State are being dismantled and soon one day everything will be cashless. Toll booths, those crowded little boxes where toll collectors sit, make changes throughout the day, give occasional directions and smile less often, will soon become a relic.

The evolution of technology seems to be at breakneck speed, as even 20-somethings are first to arrive and then become obsolete in their short lifespans.

We asked our listeners what things were missing in electronic technology, machinery or ways of doing business. Here are just a few of those hours’ talks.

CD players in cars

Remember when cassette decks were replaced on your dashboard? Music is no longer a tactile thing with digital downloads. Remember recordable CDs for that matter? You can make the mixture yourself to go ashore.

Telephone books

You can find some. But nobody uses them. My theory is that people need something to travel through the lobbies of apartment complexes that have been sitting on the floor for months without being picked up.

Photo by Waldemar Brand on Unsplash

Photo by Waldemar Brand on Unsplash

Cigarette vending machines

I can’t tell you the last time I saw one of these. But it could be in a dive bar somewhere. They were everywhere, including grocery store entrances.

Television tubes

Televisions used to have these mysterious tubes where you could open the back and remove the burnt one and go to the store to buy a new one.

TV repairmen

They will literally come to your house. You know it’s serious if they have to bring it to the store. It was quite an undertaking as the televisions were embedded in large heavy consoles made of wood. Now we don’t do repairs. We are changing.

Old TV with monochrome kinescope on wooden table. 3D



Writing on a blackboard with chalk was once standard. Every school I know of today has smart board technology.

Bathing caps

Not long ago women were not allowed in public swimming pools without a bathing cap because it was believed that their long hair would interfere with the filters. Maybe they needed somewhere to attach the corny plastic flowers.

Collect calls

We were all sure that it was a thing of the past, unless prisoners were still allowed to make them.

Landline telephones

Not exactly extinct, but they are heading that way. Did you know that less than 30% of American households now worry about a landline? Most of us are only cell phones.

Close-up woman holds landline phone on home wall


There are many more.

Video rental stores are gone. Gone are the record stores except for a few hipster vinyl throwback shops.

Ice cube trays will soon be history, and you dispense them through the refrigerator door.

Cigarette lighters in cars, signal tube in gas pumps to let the garage guy know when the car is coming, pay phones, stairs in front of electric doors at retailers, and on and on.

If you thought these changes were something only old people would notice, how about plastic bags at New Jersey grocery stores?

The opinions expressed in the above post are solely those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminsky.

You can now listen to Deminsky & Doyle – On Demand! Listen to New Jersey’s favorite afternoon radio show any day of the week. Download the Deminsky & Doyle Show wherever you get podcasts on our free app or listen now.

Click here to contact the editor about feedback or corrections to this story.

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