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Another Who does ‘Round the Clock Vintage

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by scotrace, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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  2. 3fingers

    3fingers Practically Family

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    Thank you. Very nice. The comments were interesting. Good Lord.
     
  3. HistoryCopper

    HistoryCopper New in Town

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    I am a history professor and dress in vintage suits when I'm teaching. Students do tend to be interested and ask questions about it. Which is good. But I don't dress that way every single day or around the house. Just when I'm in the classroom or when out on the town.
     
  4. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

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    From time to time the "vintage way of life" comes up on this forum, and I'm always deeply impressed with and curious about the folks who do this really well. My own house is as close to the late 1930s as I can possibly manage, given a relatively new kitchen that I can't afford to have retrofitted. I love the fact that I can come here and find like-minded folks. I'm just curious how many actually do retrofit their houses, use period appliances exclusively, and minimize all modern distractions? Has there ever been a specific thread dedicated to retronauts (or whatever they're called)?

    I got as far as replacing my coathangers, switchplate covers, telephones, kitchen appliances, toiletry containers (I refill old glass ones with modern preparations that are as close as possible to the originals), and of course clothing, shoes, dishes, and so on. I have to have a computer for my work and I confess that I hide a modern TV in a music cabinet in the living room. Other than that, I'm pretty much 1930s / 40s.

    I cheat with a few things, but they're hardly worth discussing. A few items, like my coffee maker, get too much use & I didn't want to risk breaking or wearing my 1940s ones for everyday use.

    My friends think my way of life is somewhere between charmingly eccentric and bat-guano crazy.

    There's probably no central point to this post (if so, I haven't discovered it) -- just wanted to bring it up. Any idea how many folks on this forum actually do a vintage way of life?
     
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  5. vitanola

    vitanola My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    The common and attractive Mirro-matic percolator make excellent coffee, and are dead reliable in heavy daily use.

    s-l400 (1).jpg

    They generally sell for between fifteen and thirty dollars, and may be readily found on eBay.
     
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  6. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    We had a really good thread on this many years ago, in which I pushed for the term "atavist" for someone who prefers to live in a generally-not-of-the-minute way. I wasn't thinking of clothes so much as general functionality -- avoiding the ultra-techie mode of the moment in favor of a more analog approach to living, and perhaps even, in the cases where the ultra-tech does manage to intrude, finding a way to subvert it. I used the way in which I use computers running itunes and radio automation software to feed AM radio transmitters as an example of such subverted technology.

    My guess is that there's a lot fewer people around here interested in such things than there were ten years ago, given the Lounge's general drift away from its original 1930s-40s focus to whatever you'd call what it is today. But there are still a few of us hanging on. Some focus on a particular period, while others are just perfectly satisfied to keep doing things the way they always have. I for one don't see any way at all in which my life would be enriched by owning a refrigerator that dispenses water thru the door, so I'm perfectly happy sticking to the old Kelvinator for another thirty years or so. I'm not trying to recreate a period, I just live the way I'm comfortable living.

    The kids are amazed by this, but they've also gotten used to it. I'm the only person any of them know who doesn't own any kind of a cellphone, and I think they consider that kind of an interesting curiosity more than anything else, like owning a chicken with two heads.
     
  7. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

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    Exactly. Every day there are reports on how addictive and intrusive a lot of the new technologies are. My dial telephones don't record data, and they have such a satisfying clang and clunk when I hang up on someone. Not that I do that very often.

    I think I've been on this forum about 7-8 years, and even in that time I've seen the drift away from the Golden Era toward -- I'm not sure what. Seems that many of the threads discuss everyday life in the twenty first century. Not complaining, just observing. I wish I knew whether there's some secret international sister-and-brotherhood of atavists!

    I do like that percolator, by the way. Nice shape. I would try to set it up at night such that I could just plug it in & get it ready for the morning.
     
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  8. vitanola

    vitanola My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Well, in that case, get a $25.00 Mirro-matic, and save up for an early 1950s Zenith clock radio, like this 616 from 1952. One can plug the coffee pot into the back of the radio set and arise to the odor of fresh coffee brewing.
     
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  9. vitanola

    vitanola My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I, too having the ability to read and comprehend, have noticed (and mourn)the forum's drift from era specificity. I cannot figure out just what happened.
     
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  10. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

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    My sense is that there's a lot of friendly chatter here -- mostly people enjoying each others' company and passing the time of day. So they play little word games or chat about everyday things that interest them. I imagine that over the years some of the regular posters have come to know each other well enough that they just like a little pleasant visit with each other and don't feel a need to stick to established core themes or topics.

    Nothing wrong with that, of course. It's just that I don't have anything to add to that type of conversation. I've looked around & have come to the conclusion that the Fedora Lounge is the only forum that attracts atavists.

    When I tell my friends that there are other people around the world who live a mid-20th century way of life, they ask me whether this is a movement. I'm sure it isn't; after all, the more someone eschews modern technology, the less likely s/he is to connect up with others on a regular basis. I just wish I knew whether there is a way of contacting & talking to others who try to live this way.
     
  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    We ought to have a radio show.
     
  12. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    The lady in the OP is interesting; there's a wonderful interview with her in the current (Spring 2018) issue of The Chap.

    For myself, I maintain a strong historical interest in certain periods. As a matter of pure history, one of my real specialisms is Ireland during the revolutionary period (c.1912-23); I am also interested in social and entertainment history in the period, loosely, 1920-1959, and elements of the 70s. While I have no interest whatsoever in the idea of actually living in those timeframes (I believe Woody Allen skewered the notion of "Golden Age Nostalgia" perfectly in Midnight in Paris), there is much from those timeframes I wish to preserve. Often, as with all of us on a limited budget, I must make do and adapt modern pieces which fit in with aesthetics (and also fit me, in a literal sense!), though I am always working towards my ideal of 24/7 dressing as per my preference - which run the gamut of circa 1920 through circa 1957. Once men's trousers get skinny and the waist drops, I lose all interest. I am fortunate that my clothing preferences slot easily in with working as an academic. An element of apparent eccentricity is very much tolerated in this field, and nobody objects when I want to wear a tie. Or a hat. Or whatever. I don't place especial value on an individual item being genuinely from the period - in many ways, I'd much rather buy and wear reproduction. My home is a small ex-local authority flat in inner London, in a post-war block opened in 1951 (the site of our block is exactly the spot at which one of the biggest bombs of the Blitz hit, right on the first night of the Blitz, destroying the original Victorian/Georgian housing that stood there. (All the original inhabitants when it opened in 1951 were drawn from the local Jewish community, some of whom had lived in the streets it replaced. A near neighbour until she died three years ago was among them.) Much of my current furniture is the 990s style IKEA I bought when I moved in in 2001; I am slowly redecorating in a manner which I am trying to keep sympathetic to the original style, though certain compromises are required as storage is at a premium. Much mid-century-style IKEA will again be involved.... (Amusingly, though, in reissuing so much of their fifties collections, IKEA seem to be keeping pace with my tastes!).

    My approach to technology has long been to stick with what works; I'll try something new if I have a need for it (you certainly won't catch me using a mangle just because I want to be "vintage"!), but I won't have it for the sake of it. I have a tablet because it's perfect for casual browsing on the sofa, netflix on holiday and such, same with an mp3 player - but I still read books and listen to vinyl at home. I have absolutely no use for voice controlled anything; I'd much rather use a hand control, or sit and type in silence. I'm not going to deprive myself of something I like or have a use for just because it's 'new', though I do try wherever possible to buy tech that fits my aesthetic preferences or can easily be tucked away. My other half has a strong knowledge of and interest in vintage, though feels no need to be limited by it, either in dress or day to day practicalities, so there is an element of compromise inevitably. I've always appreciated LIzzie's 'why reinvent the wheel' approach to these things.

    I have to admit I do get a kick out of being amused by folks who do the whole "vintager than thou" thing - inevitably on the internet.

    I suppose I'd describe myself as a 'diselpunk' to some extent (viz the acceptance of modern technology but seeking to adapt it into my preferred aesthetic). 'Chap' is also a good one; while the Chappist movement has never fully crossed over with vintage (a lot of Chaps are perfectly happy to buy new, though the emphasis is on heritage products - A good Harris Tweed suit is prized; they may care somewhat less about an accurate 30s cut), there's very much an emphasis from the core, the founders on retaining what is good and works fine, while embracing modernity where it has something positive to offer, even as we shed the unpleasant aspects of the past. Or as Gustav Temple put it, it's about "preserving what was good about the past, without the bigotry and the blood sports." I do sometimes see "vintage" used as a front for maintaining some very nasty attitudes and ideals, and it behoves us all to stand against that sort of thing.
     
  13. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    At a guess I would say that social media is one way of contacting and exchanging messages with like minded souls. It doesn't appeal to me but I do realise the power that social media has.
    When my wife and I relocated to our home from London, we thought that finding like minded friends would be difficult. On the contrary, we met a couple at an event, where the band played music from the era. We, and they, were the only ones dressed the part. Our friendship blossomed and expanded until there were some twenty or so couples. Today I've lost count of the number in our social circle, it seemed to explode when one of our number started a Facebook page that had details of events, photos of previous events and all the things that you do on Facebook.
    And just like your comment about the demise of the original concept of The Lounge, how we seem to be moving away from The Era, so too is our social circle doing much the same. I'm not against it, threads that don't get my interest I leave to those for whom it's enjoyable. So too in our social group, there are those whom I call friend and others are more of acquaintances. So be it.
     
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  14. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    I plan on retiring in in a couple of years. My wife and I have been looking to relocate which means moving into a new house.

    I am very much into genuine Victorian and Craftsman-style houses, the earlier in the 20th C, the better, especially if they haven't been updated.

    When we look online (yes, I know) at these houses, and one pops up with original bathroom and/or kitchen fixtures and/or wall and/or floor 'subway' tiling, for example, our reactions couldn't be more different.

    The rest of the house, though - she loves all the wood details that I do in these houses, so there's that.

    She's the boss, though (because it's not worth the conversation/argument/fight), so I'll 'give' her the 'functional' rooms. But I want to keep the rest of the house as 'period' as I can.
     
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  15. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    How to do it? Simplest is to publish in the new radio: Podcast. Entirely doable.
     
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  16. vitanola

    vitanola My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Actually, "Sanitary Era" bathrooms and kitchens are far more functional that modern designs.

    What could be more functional than a kitchen where the counter drains into the sink (no self-rimming sink with its raised rim which lets spilled liquids pool on the counter), an open area under the sink so that the corruption which accumulates there may be mopped away, and appliances up on legs, so that the floor beneath them remains forever spotless. In reality, a late 1920s style kitchen fitted with quality appliances of the period is a great work and time saver for the serious cook.
     
  17. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

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    I would listen to a podcast for atavists ... in a New York Minute. As soon as someone explains it to me.
     
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  18. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer A-List Customer

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    As a longtime spectator from up in the cheap seats, I agree with St. Louis, LizzieMaine, and vitanola that there has been some sort of shift away from The Golden Era on the forum. While I do not collect and wear fedoras, or listen to recordings from the first couple of decades of the twentieth century, or wear clothing from those times, nonetheless I enjoy very much visiting the Lounge and following those who do. My particular favorite thread was What Are You Wearing Today, wherein I marveled at the amazing clothing some Loungers wore.
    Why the gentle drift away from such a strong theme running through the forum? I don't know, but I hope it revives.
     
  19. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I'd say it's not entirely surprising. We're in a point where - at least for menswear - all the real vintage stuff that a lot of the 'original settlers' used to buy cheap back in the 90s is mostly gone. The average half-way wearable 30s man's suit on eBay, for instance, can command several hundred dollars with the right features (such as a half belt back). Most of the really good stuff is in the hands of collectors. A lot of people (especially, in my experience, folks who got used to buying vintage for beans in the 90s) aren't prepared to pay what the cost of decent repro costs, and quality repro isn't quite as widely available (yet) for the 30s & 40s as it is for, say, military re-enactment, or 50s rockabilly stuff. I think it's slowly getting there, but for men at least there is a ways to go, and not all of those who like vintage are either willing or able to spend what it costs.

    The outerwear area has changed significantly in my time here in the last dozen years or so, I think markedly more so than most of the rest of TFL. There we've become known as a community that enjoy high end leather jackets especially rather than the sense of period - hence, for instance, the current debate between those who believe there is a historically correct look to short jackets, and those who don't care whether their jackets are accurate to a period spec as long as they meet a personal set of preferences for wearing with modern clothes.
     
  20. Miss Holloway

    Miss Holloway New in Town

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    I would too. In fact I've recently searched high and low for any podcasts that suit my my need for more everyday life of the 30's & 40's. Have sadly found nothing. I listen to a true crime podcast called True Crime Historian for little glimpses into the normal lives of the subjects even thought the crimes give me the heebie-jeebies.
     
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