I am a frequent sneerer at people who talk about how much better things were made in the old days. Liberals and conservatives both do this, just about different objects and institutions. They are both usually wrong. We view the past with a nostalgic haze, and would not like the world of even fifty years ago all that much. Except, that is, for being more handsome and in better shape, of course. But that is what is better about us in the old days, not what was better about the days themselves.
However. On the list of things that were objectively better, like the gasoline for small engines before ethanol screwed that up, I would like to mention wooden matches. Because they are "green" now, they don't light as well. I'm annoyed at this every time.