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Vintage Things That Will NOT Disappear In Your Lifetime

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

  1. My dad trained as a butcher through a correspondence school out of St Louis. His first real job was on the killing floor of a slaughter house. He took me to work there one day as a 5 year old. Strong strong memories of that one. It spite of my down days whining any of my worst days pale in comparison to my Dad's early good ones.
     
  2. I'd imagine that hooch wasn't hard to come by in Maine during Prohibition, considering its proximity to Canada.
     
  3. My grandfather's "entrepreneurial" brother made a great deal of money using his taxicab company as a front for his illicit beverage distribution business. There were quite a few isolated coves in the area where a boat could land unobserved and business could be transacated.

    When he died, he had $20,000 in small bills sewn into his mattress, some of which had probably been there since before Repeal.
     
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  4. TimeWarpWife

    TimeWarpWife One of the Regulars

    My grandparents would have been appalled at how much is thrown out today. Back in the 1970s I was sitting on furniture that both sets of my grandparents had since they first married in 1928 and 1933, respectively. Even my dad, who was born in 1930 and passed in 2000, would be appalled at how people toss out electronics costing thousands of dollars simply to own what's new and cool. Tossing out anything that wasn't completely worn out was tantamount to opening the window and throwing money out of it to my grandparents.
     
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  5. This is the same type of environment I grew up in and, overall, still subscribe to. But to be fair, the world has changed in the way it makes and prices products.

    Many things cost a fraction of what they once did (adjusted for inflation) and are more expensive to replace than repair. Toasters for example are cheaply made, cost almost nothing and make sense to throw away when they break down after a few years (we got lucky once, and one ran for about ten years). My grandmother use to have hers repaired - and had it for decades - but that was a big, strong, well made one that probably cost - in inflation adjusted terms - ten times what one does today. And you could find a repair shop for it when she was alive.

    The same goes for TVs. My dad bought one nice TV in his entire life - a 1964 motorola for ~$400 then or ~$3500 today. I can buy an equivalent TV for about $400 today or $50 in my dad's day. He had that TV 'till he died in '90 having had it repaired several times. Today, once a $400 TV is out of warranty, it is cheaper to replace it than to try to repair it.

    I have no truck with throwing away things that are still working fine - or, in your example, tossing expensive phones just to have the newer model - but I do understand that the way things are priced and made - tossing can be smarter than repairing today.

    I literally had to take my mom's toaster to guy to price the repair - more than a new one would cost - to get her to see the light on this many years ago.

    There's a bigger discussion to be had on if things should be made better, cost more, be repairable and last longer - but that is clearly not where we are with most products today.
     
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  6. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain One Too Many

    There are high quality American-made products out there still but they are expensive. We have become spoiled by low priced imported products. Ironically, there was a time when imported products were considered superior to domestic products, although I have my doubts as to whether or not that was actually true. But there has always been a market for low-priced and cheaply made goods. The only difference is that we used to make them ourselves.
     
  7. I got a couple of toasters, one four-slicer from the late-'60s/early-70s I found at a thrift shop for a few bucks; and a genuine vintage Sunbeam T9, a model introduced in 1939, for which I paid something like $15 (if memory serves) at a junktique store. Both work fine. The newer one resides in the kitchen of my short-term rental unit, and the T9 occupies a place of honor on the counter in my kitchen. It's quite stylish, FF. It would look right at home in your place.

    But your point is well taken. Consumer electronics in general are waaaay less expensive these days. It's not only less costly to replace 'em than fix 'em, the newer models are usually superior in features and performance, if not necessarily in longevity.

    I'd find it much more difficult to conduct my business without my iPhone. It's my office, my secretary, my filing system, my bank teller. It never closes. And I can make a phone call on it, too. Buying it wasn't inexpensive, and the monthly bill ain't exactly cheap, but it amounts to maybe a couple-three bucks a day, and it easily saves me more than that in the wasted motion I'm not going through, and the business I'm not missing on account of not responding quickly to inquiries.
     
  8. I have one contribution, and I tried to see if anyone else had this one to make, but....

    SPAM. It's been elevated to an art in Hawai'i and Guam since it was introduced in WW2.
     
    LizzieMaine likes this.
  9. My grandmother had a big, old tank of a toaster (weighed a ton and had a cloth-covered cord) that I loved as a kid and remember her taking it once to get it repaired. Unfortunately, I was very young when she died and I have no idea what happened to that toaster (it might be the one you bought for $15 - that would make me happy).

    Like you, my iPhone is my office on the go. I work for myself from home and keeping costs down is key to being able to compete with large companies (and turn a profit). I have it linked via the cloud to my computer and, in truth, it is better than a secretary that I'd have to call up for help / explain things to / etc.

    As you note, they ain't cheap, but when I think about what I get for the money - I have absolutely no complaints. And because I use all registered Apple products, Apple is my tech support as well and they do a pretty good job. Apple is a critical part of my business model and, overall, saves me a lot of money and helps me in a lot of ways. People can hate Apple and capitalism all they want, for me, both are proving very efficient and helpful.
     
  10. I've used Apple computers since 1997, but I've never bought one new. They've all been second-hand, or pieced together from parts of several second-hand ones. My current desktop machine is a mirror-door G4 manufactured in 2003, and aside from having a power supply that's prone to needing replacement every few years -- which I do myself -- and occasional hard-drive replacement, it does what I need it to do. My laptop, likewise, is elderly -- a Powerbook G4 from 2002 that's now on its fourth logic board and second hard drive both of which were bought cheap on eBay and installed by me on the kitchen table. Total cost of the latest "upgrade," about $40, plus two hours of my time.

    But both of these machines do what I need them to do: I write on them and I do audio production on them using SoundEdit Pro, a piece of OS8 software from the mid-1990s that is still the best software out there for doing the kind of audio work -- monophonic mastering of radio transcriptions and 78rpm records -- that I do. I've got no plans to replace either of these machines unless and until the parts to keep them running are no longer available anywhere else.

    As for toasters, I've only owned one in my entire adult life. When I was eighteen, I bought a Manning-Bowman flip-over manual toaster from about 1937 for one dollar at a second-hand store. I'm still using it thirty-seven years later.
     
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  11. We were big toaster users until we moved into our current apartment. All of our prior apartments (for the last two decades, prior to that it was different) have had cheap landlord-installed electric ovens with crapy broilers, so a toaster was an all but necessary appliance to make quick, decent toast.

    And to be fair to the toaster makers, I did have one that felt like a piece of junk, but made good toast, cost (guess from memory) $20 and lasted over a decade (50 cents a year is pretty good value). But a few only lasted a few years - but again, they were cheap and even with the cost of replacing them didn't cost much per year.

    But now we have a good gas oven with a really good broiler - we haven't used our piece-of-junk toaster once since we've moved in. If we do go back to toasters for some reason - I think I'll follow the Lizzie model and try to find a good old warhorse one.
     
  12. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Back in my Makkiki Heights crash pad surfer bum days SPAM was king.:cool:
     
  13. Toasters, I've had a few.
    Three, to be exact, all of them chrome and bakelite lovelies, all of them crapped out on me at some point. Even though, at the time, I was living a block away from what may have been the only small appliance repair shop in Portland (gone now, of course, like the rest of the city). I just never had the disposable income to even think about getting them fixed. That, and I'm sort of retail-shy. I don't like going into a place asking the employees about their services and prices, and acting like I expect the performance of various duties which are in their job description and for which they are paid.

    Two of those toasters I disposed of, somehow. The third, I still have in the basement. It's a Sunbeam, the fully auomatic kind with the wide slots that run laterally across the top. I swear, I will make some attempt to get it properly repaired ere we part. Someday, eventually.

    On the subject of "repair or replace;" for various reasons, I don't usually use Apple products. But, much as I abhor the whole 'pre-ripped/distressed/antiqued' thing, I have come to the belief that all I-phones and I-pads should come with the screens pre-cracked. Based on everyone I know who has one of their mobile devices, this is a fate that always happens to them sooner rather than later. It's practically a right of passage for the owner. So, I feel they should just drop them on the floor at the factory (station a cat near the conveyor belt or something), and the patron can then decide, at the point of sale, which fractured spider-webbing accross the viewing area is most aesthetically pleasing to them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  14. Water out-the-nose on that one! hahaha

    Yes, I have witnessed the same thing. Most phones that I see with cracked screens have been i-phones. Androids seem to be much tougher.
     
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  15. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain One Too Many

    I'm probably the only one here who doesn't have a cellphone. The whole pager thing came and went before I had one of those, too.
     
  16. I won't use Apple anything because of the fact Apple products don't "play well with others." When I worked in broadcasting, it was common to see PCs because if one failed, there were a couple of backups available immediately, just plug and play. I use a 7 year old Dell laptop my husband had thought was pretty much dead. After wiping Windows off it and installing a Linux distro, it's behaved like new for three years. I'm a big fan of "make do & mend," so it was a logical choice. Routine maintenance is done through the terminal, which can be a bit of a learning curve, but there are great tutorials out there to help keep the OS spic & span.
     
  17. Don't have one, never had one, never wanted one, don't intend to get one. My 79-year-old mother makes fun of me for it.
     
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  18. I've yet to crack the glass on an iPhone, and I've had four of 'em to date.

    But don't mistake me for an Apple fanboy. I once had to spend hours (literally) on a landline phone convincing Apple that they ought to replace the iPhone that crashed thanks to the new operating system they all but insisted I install.

    And don't get me started on the personnel at their company stores. Snooty little a**holes.
     
  19. The only Apple product I own is an ipod classic. Simply because there really is no other option.
     
  20. Bugguy

    Bugguy One of the Regulars

    I'm not so sure fluorescent tubes will last through the next round do-ggoders-for-the-environment. Given that they contain a minuscule amount of mercury and are classified as a toxic waste, they'll need to go. Who would have thought you can't buy normal 110W incandescent light bulbs anymore.

    Maybe someone from Up North knows... round doorknobs are no longer up to code in Canada versus ADA or the canadian equivalent-approved handle latches?
     

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