Well, you could still take away privileges other than electronics. And I've heard of kids in the old days being made to "stand in the corner". Pretty much the same as a "time out", it's just that there wasn't a cutesy name for it back then. But obviously, corporal punishment was more common back before we knew much about child development and before a lot of kids really had many privileges that could be lost, although there still were other methods that parents likely used as well. I actually read that Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't believe in spanking or whipping her daughter Rose. She was particularly traumatized by a whipping her father gave her as a child (ironically, it was for hitting her older sister), so she decided that she wasn't going to use corporal punishment on her own child. Obviously that was pretty progressive for her time, and was the exception rather than the norm, but I guess there probably have always been parents who choose not to spank their children.