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sick and tired of new scrap appliances.

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by 59Lark, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. 59Lark

    59Lark A-List Customer

    I repair things for a living, have done for 30 years, my speciality is sewing machines and old ones are my favourite. I Fix 10, 2o, 5o yr old plus this week, fixed a shoe patcher to go to haiti, was 11o years old. My wife and I have in the last 2yrs 4 toasters, cheap ones and what I thought was better ones all made in china and the electro magnet goes and there junk. So tonight I was a value village and found a GE chrome toaster nice shape 1950s to 60s looked good with a quick test for @4. 95 so i bought it took it home tested it with one slice and it worked perfect and its a mechincal release. No more china crap, I do the same with sewing machines take old machines rebuild them and sell them to people who have had enough of plastic throw away scrap. Our landfills will be mountains if we keep importing this ............. . 59Lark
  2. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

    Its not that the Chinese cannot make these things last they can like anyone else, it's just that they dont want to. Its the bosses and culture that prevent it. Money Greed and profit all go hand in hand. A Friend has just given away a microwave oven, made in the mid 1980s it was still in perfect working order, it cost nearly £300 back then, would you pay the equiverlent today?Todays items are also driven by fashion., white micro's, black, stainless. Digital readout, numbers, knobs and dials, touch screens. Todays consumables just change all the time.
    As a manufacturer would you rather sell 1000 food mixers for £200 that will last for 20 years or 20 000 mixers for £50 that will last for 5 years. I'm no sales expert but I guess most amateur cooks would go for the cheaper option.
    There are a lot of us who prefer older "vintage' things, but when those vintage things were new, were not the men and women of that time looking forward to the new items coming on the market, be they cars, washing machines, TVs etc.
  3. You'd be surprised how many people in the Era firmly believed that quality was more important than "the latest and the newest." When General Electric was promoting their "monitor-top" electric refrigerators in the late twenties, one of the main selling points was that they had a possible lifespan of up to 400 *years* based on lab testing. Thruout the Era, Sheaffer promoted its "Lifetime" line of fountain pens -- pens which were manufactured to such a high standard that they were guaranteed for the life of the owner. If you take a close look inside the radios manufactured in the 1930s, you'll see a lot of overengineering -- parts designed and manufactured to exceed operational tolerances, and further designed so that if something did go wrong, it was simple to repair.

    People bought these things expecting they wouldn't have to buy another one, or if they did have to buy another one it'd be a long time down the line. It wasn't at all rare for a couple to furnish their home when they got married -- and to still have much of what they'd bought when they celebrated their fiftieth anniversary. That was the ethos of the time. It wasn't until the postwar era that the decline began, and the cult of planned obsolesence became dominant by the mid-fifties. It's been downhill for manufacturing quality and our civilization in general ever since.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  4. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    In the past month I bought a:

    Meat thermometer and had to return two different models. The first said my chicken was done before I stuck it in. The other became filled with water from the small amount of steam from the hot bird inside the oven. Crossing my fingers that the third will be a keeper.

    Popcorn air popper and also had to return two different models. The first had such a strong chemical smell when I turned it on my husband though it was on fire and came running into the kitchen. It also burned my popcorn and the motor sounded like it was dying on first use. The second enabled my popcorn to push the top off while still popping (even though I added well below the max amount). Thankfully none of the projectiles hit me. On my third right now.

    Stainless steel cookie sheet (in the stores locally all they sell in non-stick or aluminum) that arrived with chips exposing black under the "steel."

    It's criminal.
  5. I should point out that pen companies got in big trouble over "lifetime guarantees". To save its ass, Sheaffer qquickly said that the "White Dot" was a company logo, and not a mark of guarantee. Parker used to have the "Blue Diamond" lifetime guarantee. It too had to quickly change its tune, but unlike Sheaffer, it ditched the diamond altogether.

    I agree with Lark's general sentiments, though. A lot of the stuff made today isn't made to last. And it's partially due to quality, and partially due to design.

    Back in the GE, you bought something to LAST. Your car was the one you would use every single day until it was so dead that it would make better use as a boat-anchor. Not like today where you buy a new one every five years.

    Your fountain pen was the ONE pen you owned in your LIFE. It was given to you as a highschool graduation present, perhaps, and you used it until you wrote your last will and testament with it, 70 years later.

    These days, we don't have those concepts of ownership. The idea of "my pen", "my watch", "my *WHATEVER!*", because everything changes so fast that there's no sentimentality allowed to develop over something. Added to that, it's quite hard to be sentimental about something that costs $5 and which will last six months.

    My grandmother's Singer sewing-machine was a classic example of this. She received as a present in 1953, brand-new, to celebrate the opening of her dressmaking shop. She used that machine...and ONLY...that machine...for the next fifty years. When my dad bought her a modern sewing-machine, she REFUSED...flat out...to use it, and reverted back to the Singer.

    These days, with things changing SO fast, we just don't have that attachment to stuff anymore, that sentimentality. And when you think about it, it's not bloody worth it anyway, because in two years, they'll have a later, greater whizmo out that'll make your latest doohickey about as sophisticated as a paperweight.

    Almost EVERYONE I know, owns a tablet or a phone of some kind. iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

    I don't.

    My friends and relations all ask me: "WHY NOT!?"

    Why BOTHER!?

    You buy it. You spend bloody hundreds of dollars. Wait two years and a NEW one comes out. The old one is obsolete, you used it for perhaps 18 months...and you wasted $200, 300, 400, 500 on it...

    Why would you do that!? It's a complete joke!
  6. Katinka von K.

    Katinka von K. A-List Customer

    two words: planned obsolescence. And it´s not only China (I´m pretty sure that most of the stuff we get from China was designed and developed by western engineers and designers), it´s a world wide process. In case you haven´t done so yet, you should check out the documentary "The light bulb conspiracy".
    I don´t mind how much money people waste, that´s not my problem, but it makes me angry to see how much landfill we produce and how we ruin this planet only to have the newest s*** available.
    I´m still using the same mp3-player that I´ve had for 6 years now. People are laughing at me because it´s pretty much uncool and chunky but it works, so I won´t replace it. To be true, buying new things always makes me feel sick for ethical reasons. It´s why I love vintage. Less landfill.
  7. I, too, prefer stuff that can be fixed - preferably that I can fix myself! My Sony mp3 player has a hard disc drive, it plays music but doesn't display photos, and I love it. My digital camera dates from 2001, and has a metal case that screws together. I have two cars, the youngest of which is 11 years old. I could go on but would bore myself, let alone the rest of the lounge!

    I am heartly sick of new technology which is just there for it's own sake, a solution looking for a problem.

    And I appear to be turning into my Dad :)
  8. Back in 1960, author Vance Packard wrote the first major expose of Planned Obsolescence, "The Waste Makers." It became an instant best seller, led to a lot of tongue-clucking and chin stroking, but not much else: planned obsolescence only got worse and worse. And yet everything Packard wrote has come true: he charged that planned obsolescence was "the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals," which is pretty much a dead-on description of modern mainstream culture.

    Planned obsolescence was already well advanced in 1960, but it had a long way to go. There were still plenty of Depression-generation people around who found wastefulness and unnecessary spending on shoddy goods revolting. But most of them are gone now. We have a generation now that's never known anything *but* planned obsolescence and thinks it's a perfectly normal way to live. "Progress," they call it, revealing just how brainwashed they really are.

    The fox doesn't just have the keys to the chicken house, the fox is now the chicken farmer himself, raising all the poultry he wants just for the slaughter. It's up to us to decide if we want to be the chickens.
  9. In the local antiques center in the next suburb, one of their slogans is: "Save a tree...buy antiques!"
  10. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Planned obsolescence seems like the good old days when things at least worked as intended right off the conveyor belt.
  11. I get a kick when people say 'the planet this and the planet that.' We will ultimately make it tough, and then maybe impossible for us to live on it, but the planet will be here for a long time after we, as a species, are long gone. It will recover and be just fine.
  12. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Some people love the planet and the species presently living on it other than humans and would be sad to see its demise.

    Others have children and want there to be a planet for them on which to live.
  13. ThemThereEyes

    ThemThereEyes One of the Regulars

    I agree it's such a shame. When buying a new this or that as a teen, having to replace an item, I wondered, "couldn't we just get it repaired?" I was answered with, "it would actually be more expensive to do that than just buy a new one." I couldn't understand, why wouldn't the companies make quality products? How come Grandma's this or that is old but works just fine? Well?
    Even at a dept store I worked at, a coworker and I were lamenting this subject. Working in fragrance and cosmetics, we often used a shrink wrap heat gun to make sets and baskets. Everyone around us always came to borrow or old 70s red heat gun. That was because we had the oldest and BEST one! The woman I worked with is 30 years my senior, and she mentioned she remembered things being made to last, that she still had old things for that reason. I may have been born into this toss away world, but common sense still instills in me that such waste is ridiculous and very harmful for us and our planet.
  14. Geesh, tell me about it. I've seen things so shoddily made that it made me wonder how it even left the factory in one piece.
  15. Wire9Vintage

    Wire9Vintage A-List Customer

    ^ ain't that the truth! I am in need of a coffee grinder since my 5 year old one broke. I'm holding out for an old one to turn up at an estate sale. I will have that one until the day I die and leave it for someone else to pick up at my estate sale!
  16. Katinka von K.

    Katinka von K. A-List Customer

    ^This! The stone that is our planet will still be there, no doubt. But what about all the critters and plants living on it that extinct because of our sick habits? It might sound like hippie talk but I find the thought horrible that we willingly destroy the habitat of thousands of plants and animals to have that awesome new computer and stuff. (stuff = electronics, clothes, food, etc.)
  17. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    It's human, not just hippie or green chic to care about the health of the planet. :)

    I think those who profess not to care either truly don't because they have values I can't understand or they aren't in touch with their own humanity.
  18. Species have become extinct long before we gained any influence upon the natural goings-on on this planet. Humankind, as a whole, will never converge upon the very good idea of looking out for the planet. It's a fantasy. I'm just living in the real world.

    Then again, there are those who believe that our effect on the Earth is deliberately overstated. Maybe what we do here doesn't affect the planet nearly to the degree we are being told.

    Regardless, after the human species is dead and gone, there will still be plenty of life left that will procreate and maybe even evolve. Pretty big-headed of us to think we have the ability to be the scourge of all life on the planet.
  19. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Nah. We have the ability to nuke the whole joint to smithereens and poison it for millions of years. Yet we can't make a toaster that lasts. [huh]
  20. I have two coffee grinders that will last forever. The only thing is that you have to crank it. You are the moving part. :p They last forever that way---you wear out first. :D

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