I first started brewing in '84 and boy was it ever primitive then. No internet of course, went to the local bookstore [the only one in town] looking for anything I could find to learn how to brew. The store owner recalled seeing a book about brewing in one of his catalogs, turned out there were 2, "Better beer and how to brew it" by someone named M.R. Reese, and Dave Line's "Big book of brewing", which I guess was sort of a bible, at least to some British brewers. I didn't hear about Papazian until years later.
Finding a source of supplies was the next hurdle cuz there were no brewing magazines available here and of course no brew shops, I somehow found a place in MA called The Village store, from whom I was able to mail order equipment and supplies. And by mail order I mean you mail them your order with your check, once they receive the order & the check clears their bank they mail the stuff to you, with a turnaround time of 2 to 3 weeks. Muntun & Fison and John Bull LME, yeast was Muntuns , Red Star or some generic stuff in plain white packages labeled "beer yeast", and unbranded DME.
At the time I was still drinking Adolph's Rky Mtn bladder wash and thought that was what I wanted to replicate, I'm sure most of you can guess how well that turned out with crappy yeast and no temperature control. We did make a couple batches of stout that were okay, and one amber lager that fermented in a cold back room during winter that was awesome enough to keep me interested. Most of the rest of the dozen or so batches we made before moving to a much smaller house forced us to give up on brewing were yeasty junk that tasted like the lousy homebrew they were. The boil kettle was an 8 gallon porcelain water bath canner, FVs were ~7G buckets with lids that were supposed to be airtight but of course weren't. The last few batches I did all or mostly grain, the mill was a Corona hand crank, and for the life of me I can't remember how I did the mash & lauter.
Fast forward to 2016 when life circumstances finally allowed me to resume brewing and it was like being reborn into a magical new homebrewing universe, un-freaking believable all the ways the "hobby" has improved, and the improvement in the beer I make now is commensurate. Sometimes, some aspects of "progress" really are progress.