Is the misuse of the apostrophe a modern problem?

Not according to Henry Hitchings new book: ‘The Language Wars: A History of Proper English'
in the 18th-century authors were sprinkling apostrophes over everything. Though you may think the shopkeeper is ignorant and wrong to advertise “CD’s & Video’s”, he has history on his side.
 From the Economist

Hitchings goes on to suggest that the apostrophe may be nearing its sell by date. Tell me this isn’t true, I can’t live in a world without contractions ....