Yes, low level modules rarely had wands, and I too found most adventures had wands with few (often single digit) charges as opposed to the DMG page 132 guideline of 81+Wands helped, but in 1e they didn't recharge, and they weren't that common in the modules. For example, if you managed to get every single item in Keep (B2), which was a notoriously high-magic item module for low levels, then you got, in terms of wands by the end ... wait for it .... a wand of enemy detection with 9 charges, and a wand of paralyzation with 7 charges.
"Unless noted to the contrary, these items will have the following number of charges; each time the item is used, there is an expenditure of 1 charge (the user will not necessarily be aware of the number of charges in an item):
rods 50 charges minus 0 to 9 (d10 − 1)
staves 25 charges minus 0 to 5 (d6 − 1)
wands 100 charges minus 0 to 19 (d20 − 1)"
However wands are a bit more common in higher level modules such as the Temple of Elemental Evil which has multiple double digit charge combat wands.
Once/if a magic user did get a normal DMG wand though it was a strong regular combat option that made wizards repeating artillery instead of the otherwise special occasion rationed artillery.
Also most wands in 1e specifically said in their descriptions they could be recharged (in the DMG all but wands of negation and wonder).