When I was looking for information on those old swimsuits I talked about here, I came across this great article from USA Swimming.
I never swam a race without lane lines--can you imagine how crazy that would be? Bill Bullough tells me when he first swam at Glenwood they did have lane lines, but they didn't have lane targets (those marks on the wall at the ends of the lane) or any black lines on the bottom of the pool. Turning was a little more like bouncing off the wall.
I do remember the old kind of lane line. They were ropes with buoys. The buoys slid along the rope like beads on a string. One of the meet set up jobs was to space the buoys out so they kept the ropes afloat. You sometimes still see these kinds of ropes separating the "L" portions of pools from the competition lanes.
I also remember the old sweep hand stopwatches--as the article says, think "60 Minutes." Times were recorded only to tenths--that's why our really old records have no hundredths digit. We moved to digital watches around 1981.
And can you imagine life without swim goggles? Ouch. Though it's probably easier to manage without goggles in MCSL than in USA Swimming programs since we have outdoor pools and relatively short practices and short competitive events. But what would all our contact lens wearing kids do?