Trendy millennials who are bringing back late 1990s and early 2000s culture aren’t on to something new; instead, they’re the natural evolution of what historians have dubbed The Nostalgia Cycle. Though also the name of a G’Eazy Song, The Nostalgia Cycle, or Pendulum, refers to what has consistently happened when a generation becomes old enough to shape consumer culture; a wash of nostalgic products return to the marketplace. Because this trend is rolling, constantly aging as we all are, the pendulum shifts as the years go on.
Historians are not the only ones interested in what will be considered nostalgic, and when. Antiquarians are also interested in when things are what. Here’s a look at what is considered Retro, Vintage, and Antique in the year 2023.
Between 20 and 40 years old: 1982 – 2002
The 80s, 90s, and early 2000s are now the retro decades. For millennials, this constitutes anything from their childhood and early teen years.
Between 40 and 100 years old: 1922 – 1982
Vintage refers to anything older than retro but not yet 100 years old. So, this covers almost the rest of the 1900s and everything you thought would be considered retro. 50s glam, 60s rock and roll, and the free love of the 70s is all now Vintage.
Over 100 years old: 1922 and beyond.
Anything that has reached its centennial is now considered Antique, and this includes the 1910s. Much of Ottawa’s large buildings (including The Chateau Laurier), were built during this time.