The 7 dwarfs
I was thinking about my favorite before the Internet story after having posted my bit about enjoying ignorance yesterday.
Our family of five was out of the country for Christmas one year in the late 60's. For some reason we got on a thing at dinner one night trying to remember the 7 dwarfs. We could only remember 6 and Sleezy wasn't cutting it as the 7th. It became a game, then an obsession. We asked the next table, the waitress, every other American we could find. Nothing.
Before the www there was no way to expand one's knowledge other than a library and none was available.
My father, ever one to get in his cups at night, ended up calling an old friend of theirs in California. On a phone. Land line. For, no doubt, some serious cash. They also did not know.
I'm not sure how we found out but that was less important than the fact that at that time and for nearly 20 years after I was out of college it was possible to not know stuff. That concept no longer exists in the 1st world. You can know anything now.