• Welcome to The Fedora Lounge!

Vintage Things That Will NOT Disappear In Your Lifetime

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by LizzieMaine, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. l0fielectronic

    l0fielectronic A-List Customer

    I couldn't find a Vintage Things That Have Re-appeared In Your Lifetime thread so apologies if there is one and I missed it.

    Today I pulled up at my local petrol station here in the UK and there were two fully uniformed attendants waiting, one ran over and asked if they could fill up the car for me. I was already out and as the car and I'd rather do it myself anyway but I did see some people using the service while I was there.

    Sadly the initiative didn't follow through inside as there was only one person taking payments and so whilst there were two people outside stood waiting for customers the customers were all inside stood waiting to pay!

    I didn't expect to see that though. I found a news piece from 2012 from the same company but in all my travels about the UK this is the first I've seen of it, and the first time I've seen an attendant at all in about 20 years. Even back then it was a one off, slightly eccentric local station run by an elderly couple - I know it was 20 years ago as at the time I was driving an ex-military Land Rover in which the fuel tank filler was only accessed by flipping up the drivers seat - So that caused some confusion.
    3fingers likes this.
  2. I have had several similar experiences where a company tries to "bring back" real service, but they don't fully get it / don't fully follow throw / don't close the loop. It is as if a Millennial tried to reverse engineer an automated / digital solution into a live-person process.

    Oddly, the Obamacare insurance company that we have, for awhile (they've since given up and now have an automated operator), had a real person picking up the phone who would either help you or, sometimes, connect you with another person - all good so far. But after using the line several times, I realized that an "automated-process" mentality sat behind a facade of "personal" or live-people service.

    If your issue didn't fit into a box (or, I bet, what the company calls a "work stream" which they have a "process" for), you could hear the gears grinding. The person would get flustered as you continued to explain why their (what felt like) FAQs answers weren't working and that you needed deeper-level engagement and thought. It was, IMHO, not a genuine customer-focused system - let's figure out what our customer's problem is and help them solve it - but a "process" with an inauthentic "personal-service" patina.
    Zombie_61 and 2jakes like this.
  3. On a lower scale.
    An ice cream parlor opened with the idea of serving “old-fashion” shakes and malts.

    I noticed that the drinks were poured from a spout like a slush using imitation ice cream into a small
    plastic cup for $5.00

    I explained to the owner that a shake or malt consisted of a metal canister where scoops of your
    choice of ice cream and “malt “ powder for the malt was added. Options for a banana or egg
    if you desired. The canister was placed on a blender. The contents were then poured on a tall glass
    with whipped creme and a cherry on top if you wanted. The rest of the drink was left on the side so
    that you could finish it. Price was .75¢

    The owner answered, “I know...but that takes too much time & trouble!” :D
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  4. And of course, when that drink was 75 cents, the rent for the storefront was 75 dollars a month.

    In much of the Northeast, the concoction described above is properly called a "frap." A "milkshake" is a whole different deal -- it's milk and soft-serve ice cream, sometimes with syrup and never with malt. If you order a milkshake at one of our local ice cream establishments, you will not receive a frap, and vice versa. We do this specifically to confuse tourists. And gawd help you if you order a "frap-pay."
  5. ⇧ (last two) The price - as we all know - needs to be adjusted for inflation, but regardless, the process is the process and as much fun as I make of the Hipsters and their "authenticity," being fair, a true Hipster would do the shakes and malt the right way.

    To be sure, they'd make too much of a fuss about it and the entire place would be over-engineered for "sincerity -" the metal ice-cream parlor chairs would be "aged" perfectly and the guy or gal making the ice-cream would appear to be operating a steam engine based on the focus and energy he or she put into it, but the result would be an impressive shake or malt.

    2Jakes' guy is a second-derivative failure of the Hipster culture - he created the surface concept but isn't willing to put the work in to execute it properly. There are plenty of those places in NYC, but they do not last.

    Edit Add: According to the handy dandy internet inflation calculator, 75 cents in '55 is worth $6.83 today. Hence, the $5 shake is cheap :). At a certain level, I believe this as "little" things like shakes and all seemed to be a more meaningful purchase when I was a kid than today - but there is no way to apples-to-apples that one. It just seems that people today buy coffees, sodas, etc. with a lot less concern than when I was a kid.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  6. There are less of them and, eventually, most will be gone, but my guess (and to our thread's title and to paraphrase Blood, Sweat & Tears), when I'm dead, dead and gone, there be plenty of these, in the world, to carry on.

    I was in a not-my-usual shoe repair shop today which, as you can see, has no discernible decor - just years of whatever - but tucked in the corner was, what I'd bet is, an original radiator with its original steam vent. The building is an old tenement from +/- 1910. Hence, this little guys been putting out steam for over a century. It made me think about how these type/style of radiators will still be here for decades and decades to come.

    Plus, I just loved that he's sitting there humbly in the corner amidst the ramshackle of the store ready to warm the place up when called upon.

    IMG_4389.JPG IMG_4387.JPG IMG_4388.JPG
  7. In my neck of the woods!

    Milk shake = milk & ice cream, no malt powder.

    Malt = Same but with malt powder.

    We refer to tourists from up North as

    We try our best not to confuse them.
    In fact we feel down right sorry for them
    especially in the summer time heat.

    And perhaps a penguin or a polar bear
    but I cannot comprehend how a human
    can put up with the snow in the winter
    being stuck inside for months not able
    to go outside.
    I would put a bullet in my head rather
    than having to “live” like that.

    My condolences to y’all! ;)
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  8. We're not stuck inside. We have to spend a great deal of time outside shoveling that snow off the sidewalks.

  9. Are you still having to put up with that darn fella with the “snow-plow” machine?

    My heart goes out to you and your ma, my dear Elizabeth.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
    Zombie_61 likes this.
  10. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    The cover of one catalog I have, which came all the way from Fjällräven in Sweden, says "Cold at last!" It's all a state of mind. We have family in Minnesota who laugh at us down here in Virginia.

    The pictures of the radiator in the shoe shop reminds me of the little shoe shop in my home town decades ago. I was impressed by the huge piece of machinery that seemed to do everything that the cobbler had. It looked ancient. And that reminded me of the place my father worked then, too. It was a huge dry cleaning and laundry plant, the second largest employer in town. That was before wash and wear and when hotels did their own laundry--and when people dressed up more and did less of their own laundry. It had lots of equipment and it all looked old, although at the time, it was probably no more than fifty or sixty years old. But maybe that's actually pretty old for machinery. Most of the employees (as well as the owner) were women. My father drove a truck for them. He was paid in cash in a little envelope that detailed his pay and deductions. Nobody does that anymore.
  11. Pumpkin soda water.... o_O ?
  12. Clearly that company didn't equip their employees with the proper flow charts. :rolleyes:

    Yeah, but he'd do it ironically.
    Fading Fast likes this.
  13. If we are talking about the same piece of machinery - it's a big metal thing (about 5 feet high and 6 feet long) enclosed in a '50s looking metal cover (usually gray or industrial green) with an opening in the front where a bunch of different size brushes, grinders, buffers and files spin - then, yes, it echoes those early Industrial Revolution workshops where you see a bunch of machines on the workshop's floor that use large belts to connect to a celling-bracketed spinning axle (powered by a large steam engine - on sight or just outside the building) that provides power to all the different machines on the shop floor.
  14. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    There is a little general store just outside Shepherdstown, West Virginia, that has a fully-equipped turn of the century (that is, 1900) woodworking shop. I don't know what they made there but I was told that everything still works. Everything runs off one of those overhead power take-offs, only I don't know what provided the power. Didn't ask. They had thought about having some kind of shop class or something like that but the insurance and administrative part was too much for them, so that dropped that idea. It was just a shop, though, not a factory.

    As regards the laundry and dry cleaning plant where my father worked as a driver, I don't recall if there were any power take-off systems in place like that or not. But steam was central to the operation and there was a huge boiler on the premises. In fact, the name was "Majestic Steam Laundry and Dry Cleaning," which is sort of a 19th century name, too.

    I once had a chance to roam around an old farm that had a number of pieces of machinery that were meant to be powered by belts from a power take-off on a tractor. You could still get tractors and a few trucks with a power take-off to run belt-driven equipment as late as the 1960s, although I suspect demand was low.
    Fading Fast likes this.
  15. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up


    Many people in Germany likes "Harzer Roller"! Available in every supermarket and not much difference from storebrand to storebrand!

    Best, when it's not finally matured and still quarky in the middle! This way:


    Nearly unbeatable. Yumm!! Take the pucks between two slices of greybread and munch!
  16. Although this is probably something that would fit better in the Things That Will (or Have) Disappear(ed) In Your Lifetime thread, I'm putting it here due to LM's shoveling snow photo.

    What has apparently disappeared for me is the ability to safely shovel snow, according to my cardiologist. He is of the opinion that I should hire a couple of teenagers instead of doing it myself, and of course relayed to me the most gruesome example of a guy 18 years my junior with no history of heart trouble who dropped dead after shoveling his car out. However, I have no idea how or where I'm gonna find anyone to shovel my car out pre-sunrise when I leave for work.

    This gettin' old stuff sucks . . . but the alternative is worse.
  17. I think I'm getting to that stage myself -- one day last winter I just couldn't go on, and just laid down in the snow for about ten minutes trying to catch my breath. One of the kids has a brother who does plowing, so I had him do my driveway for the rest of the winter. But the sidewalk at work still requires hand shoveling, so....

    Of course, there are other considerations too. We had a sixty-year old woman in town here who got beaten up rather violently by her neighbor because she'd thrown her snow in his driveway.
  18. Well, I figure that when the time comes for me to shovel out my car - and it will - I will use a dirt spade (less volume/weight) and take my own sweet time so I don't get winded.

    I'd rather be late for work than just late.

    I will reserve comment on the man who attacked the woman. That type of crap makes my blood boil.
    Zombie_61 and tonyb like this.
  19. My ticker is fine - 110/65, resting pulse in the low 50s, but my upper back couldn't shovel snow without giving out pretty quickly.

    There's a reason there are few professional athletes in their 50s - by that age, something, somewhere in your body has broken or is too weak to compete with 20 and 30 year olds.

    It took me several I'm-stubborn injuries to learn this, but now I do what I can and ask for help or hirer someone for what I can't.

    As to the man who attacked the woman - maybe it's just a horrible one off, but I keep thinking our culture is badly broken.
  20. We all remember the scene at Jack Rabbit Slim's, the retro-'50s diner in "Pulp Fiction" ("a wax museum with a pulse," as Vincent Vega put it), where Mia Wallace orders a five-dollar milkshake. That seemed an outrageous price for a milkshake in 1994, when the film was released and when it was set, more or less.

    "A wax museum with a pulse." That's a darned good description of many an ersatz commercial establishment. There's a place about half a mile from where I sit at present called Rosie's Diner. The structure itself is an authentic, built-in-a-factory and trucked-to-the-site-in-pieces, stainless steel-clad diner. But the decor is just waaaaay too kitschy and contrived.

Share This Page