It may be weird to say but I think one of the biggest difference between now and the “good old days” is just how dependent we are on batteries. While I know that batteries have been around for quite awhile, but think about the devices that you use constantly. Aside from major appliances (some of which have a battery to maintain the clock etc.) I challenge you to think of 1 that doesn’t have a battery.
We have finally made the switch to rechargeable. If something runs out of juice instead of buy an 8 pack for $7 we buy a 4 pack for $10. Yes it is more expensive until you do the math and with rechargeable I get 500 charges which equals 2000 batteries for $10 as opposed to 8 for $7.