I was born in 77 and being a little kid in the 80s the best I ever had was a rigid plastic wall maybe 10 or 12 foot circle like 2 feet deep. (It rolled up and came with a junky water powered vac like my bro's new intex)
Was stuff like 18 foot circle pools that were 4 feet deep available then at prices comparable to now inflation adjusted and such?
The first time I ever saw one was a 20something foot intex at sams in I think like 2004 when my 1st daughter was born. They had it assembled with no water in the store. I remember thinking at the time when she'd be old enough for me to buy something like that. I bought my s.e. a little later than I planned but I did buy at Sam's.