Another Who does ‘Round the Clock Vintage

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

  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I think another factor in the shifting drift is purely cultural: fewer and fewer people nowdays care about the Era, and those that do definite it differently from those of us who were here in Ye Olde Days. Prewar culture has never really been popular on the nostalgia circuit, other than a brief burst in the early 1970s before the craze for "The Fifties" shoved it back into obscurity, and the causes of "The Red Decade" have never been popular with those who like to use the past as a club to beat the present. That leaves the communitarian thirties and early forties as a period with far less popular appeal or political utility than the rictus-grinning Fifties or the self-satisifed Sixties.

    I think it's too bad, because we still have a lot we could learn from the prewar Era. But I also acknowldge that those of us who think so are in a definite and shrinking minority today, both at the Lounge and in the world in general -- which seems bound and determined *not* to learn any lessons from that period.
     
  2. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Very true, it's easy to mock the public today for not being able to name the Vice President or the Deputy Prime Minister when a microphone is shoved under their nose, but when today's generation have scant knowledge of WW2, how can we expect them to understand a warning from history?

    But getting back to the main theme of this thread. My wife and I are going to the wedding of my brother's daughter in September. Should we go as we go elsewhere, that's dressed in the era's clothing, or tone it down? This is what we looked like at my Godson's wedding three years ago. The photo is with the happy couple.
    old photos 054.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  3. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,622
    Location:
    Illinois
    Be who you are. Always. As long as your bride's attire does not outshine the new bride's anyway. :D
     
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  4. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    Messages:
    613
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I wish we could receive Lizzie's radio station west of the Mississippi!
     
  5. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    20,087
    Location:
    London, UK
    Yip. The Golden Rule when it comes to weddings is never outdress the bride and groom. Of course, you can't always help it if you dress to the same level of (in)formality as they do and just do it better. ;)
     
  6. Mr. Nantus

    Mr. Nantus New in Town

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Munster Indiana
    Go in the era's clothing, classy is always appropriate !
     
  7. Brian Sheridan

    Brian Sheridan One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,456
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    I always joke that I use the newest, most modern, high-tech equipment to enjoy old, monophonic, low fidelity content.
     
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  8. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,131
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    So do I.

    IMG_20180415_56588.jpg
     
  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    And it's digital, too. I always use two fingers to pull the record out of the sleeve.
     
  10. TimeWarpWife

    TimeWarpWife One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    In My House
    Personally, I'd be content to have my home recreated in a 1940s style, unfortunately dh is not on board. I look at all these modern electronics as simply being more things to go wrong and costing a lot of money to fix - or more likely in our throw away society - replace. I was perfectly content with my landline phone, then with my "dumb" flip phone, and now my Smartphone does things that makes me believe it's possessed because I know I don't have the technological sense to do anything with it other than basic commands. The second day I had it, it erased every contact I had. :confused: Even the "geniuses" at Apple were at a loss as to why it happened. I still write things down with a pen on paper rather than putting it in my phone. I guess I'm officially an old fogey because I long for the simpler times of the good old days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  11. Absinthe_1900

    Absinthe_1900 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,628
    Location:
    The Heights in Houston TX

    Me too... (Circa 1927) I can play radio through my Victor 260 Victrola.

    musicmaster.jpg
     
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  12. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

    Messages:
    841
    I think you hit the nail on the head with some things here, especially the demise of the best vintage menswear pieces. I envy people from the 70's that got into collecting. The good stuff was still there (consider that it was only made 30-40 years ago at the time!) and the only people who sought after it were poor people and college students. In that regard, life was good. The 90's still seemed like they wouldn't be too bad for vintage hunting, but due to the late 90's swing revival, I'm willing to bet a lot of it was bought up by youth and worn to disintegration.

    Fast forward to today, and yeah, you'll find a plethora of kitschy 1940's neckties and 1950's overcoats. Seems like women's clothing is much more ubiquitous, and perhaps more nuanced than the men's field. I can't help but feel like everything is passing me by; being sent overseas to Western Europe and Japan or being concentrated in Midwestern villages that peaked in the 1920's!

    I think there's also a societal perception that men really don't care about style, and that fashion and the vintage niche is more akin to women. Be prepared to have to SPECIFY "Men's" whenever searching for items online, and there's limited coverage of men's vintage in media, period.

    Maybe I should just learn how to sew ;)
     
    Edward likes this.
  13. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    There's stil quite a bit of women's clothing out there, but it's almost entirely sizes than few adults of today can wear, and when you do find something that fits, it's at this point too fragile to wear regularly -- especially by me, given how much of my time is spent crawling around in the bowels of the theatre fixing things.

    About the only "vintage" item I wear regularly is a seventy-seven year old Harris Tweed winter coat -- and even that is pretty badly worn around the buttonholes. Everything else I wear I sew myself, which for women is the only practical way to go nowadays.

    As far as the gender thing goes, I think part of the thing is that, after observing the behavior of both sexes around here for the past twelve years, it's safe to say that far fewer women than men are interested in the "collecting" aspect of it. We don't as a rule sit down and measure the length of zippers and the placement of buttonholes, develop meticulous routines for cataloging and "rotating" our wardrobe, and then debate such things on the internet -- that is very much a "guy thing." If we find something to wear, we wear it, and then stick it in the closet and don't think about it until we wear it again.
     
  14. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    You are absolutely right, your new fangled electrickery gizmo knocks the basic steam powered record player into a cocked hat.
    steam record player.jpg
     
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  15. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,060
    Location:
    New Forest
    Oops. It's not electrickery, it's hand crank. I need one of those smiley faces, the one with flushed cheeks to denote embarrassment.
     
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  16. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Well, Palliard DID make a machine with a hot air ( Stirling cycle) motor. The machines are rather scarce today, for when new they were rather expensive, and they had a nasty habit of catching fire.

     
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  17. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Adds a whole new meaning to "hot dance" music.
     
  18. MitchellFW

    MitchellFW New in Town

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Canada
    I wouldn't mind living full vintage 24/7. It just wouldn't be practical for where I live, my household income, and the needs of my spouse and myself, especially with my myriad of subtle health issues. I also find myself oddly tall and thin (6'2" at 150 lbs) making vintage clothing my size near impossible, so I tend to opt for custom or "new" pieces that are near 30's/40's in cut and style. Drives my clothing salesman insane with how boxy I want shoulders to be and pleating my pants.
    Also, we live in Edmonton, Alberta, which wasn't really even a city of note until the 1970's, so vintage homes, appliances, antiques, etc... are rare at best or obscenely expensive. Small houses built before the 60's are smack-middle downtown in sketchy areas or well over a million heritage treasures, so I try to give a vintage air to a newer house that has a traditional feel to it and do things the old-fashioned way (push mower, hanging laundry to dry, making our meals and baking from scratch, growing herbs and vegetables, etc).
     
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  19. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    In the very late 1970s, I moved out of my parents' house and into my own little cracker box of a place. Built in 1915 as a water supply tank house (serving a long-gone ranch house), it had been added onto to create an odd assembly of a lean-to with a couple of stubby gable additions huddled in the shade of the original tank house. It was an awkward looking little thing, but it was all I could afford. While I lived at home, I had acquired a 1920 Model T Ford wood-bodied pickup and a 1926 Model T coupe and these I moved with me. The coupe was my daily driver.

    Independent in my new little shack, I was determined to live the authentic life for which I had always pined. I bought my only refrigerator, the 1934 GE Monitor top which I still have and it still works. At the time, I worked for an ancient hardware store and in the dusty basement I unearthed a filthy, but new-old-stock, three-burner Perfection kerosene kitchen stove from the late 1920s or early '30s, complete with a spare glass kerosene tank. I bought the stove and lugged it into my new kitchen and it gave reliable service the whole time I was in that house. I kept a barrel of kerosene in the shop to feed it and I became proficient at trimming the wicks to keep the flames in the burners blue and even. I have no idea why but, ridiculously, when I moved I left it there.

    I had nothing in the way of clothes washer or dryer. I perused hardware catalogs at the store and found I could still order new wash boards and "Jet" plunger-type clothes dashers and with those I washed clothes for a good long time. I bought what may yet prove to be a lifetime supply of Argo laundry starch. I say lifetime supply because now, 40 years later, I still have a few boxes of it. I spent many weekend hours hunched over the concrete laundry "set tubs" on the back porch, mindlessly racking handfuls of cloth on the washboard. My shoulders ached and my hands were stripped of their natural oils by the Fells Naphtha soap, but I thought I was living the dream.

    I wrung the clothes by hand, listening to my wrists and knuckles pop. Soon, though, I purchased a small hand-crank clothes wringer that clamped on the divider between the laundry tubs and I'd pull out one garment after another and try to remember to fold them so the buttons were protectively inside and the buttons went through the wringer flat. I wasn't always vigilant enough and often buttons would get torn off or break. For many years my shirts had missing or half-buttons, but that little crank wringer was a life saver over wringing everything, including blue jeans, by hand.

    I lugged the heavy, still-dripping clothes out to the clothesline to dry, then back in the house to iron with a gasoline-burning clothes iron - or I could say a clothes-burning gasoline iron. Try as I might, the gasoline iron was too recalcitrant to tame and I would switch to the old 1940s electric one. A week or a month later I'd try the gas one again, but I never got it to work through a load of clothes. It was either too hot and would stick and scorch or it would hiss and spit and erupt with an impressive flare of licking yellow flames. I still have it, but haven't tried it for years.

    Also in the store's basement, near where the Perfection stove was, there sat a gray 1927 gasoline Maytag washing machine. I didn't see how it would compromise my commitment to an authentic lifestyle, so I asked about it and was shocked and delighted when my employer gave it to me. I wrestled it into the Model T pickup and rattled home with it. With surprisingly little work, I got the Maytag running flawlessly and I can't tell you how it changed my life! Holy cow!

    On wash day I would roll out the Maytag and position it next to the laundry tubs and drop the end of its little exhaust hose outside; then fill the washer's tub with hot water and grate Fells Naphtha soap into it.

    Now to kick-start the gas engine. It always took a little bit of fiddling with the little dial to get the carburetor mixture just right, but when it was warmed up and humming smoothly, I'd engage the agitator by shifting the lever on the side and let it slosh around for a minute or so to dissolve the grated soap, then add my white clothes to the hot, clean-smelling sudsy water. The power wringer on the Maytag made wringing the clothes a snap which is, coincidently, the exact sound buttons make if they were carelessly fed through the wringer, just like the cranked one. I'd first stop the agitator by shifting the lever into neutral and, using a wooden dowel to fish the clothes out of the still very hot water, feed them one item at a time through the wringer out of the tub into the first rinse water. It was so much faster than the crank wringer and so much more water was squeezed out of them; they didn't still drip water after going through the Maytag's remorseless wringer! Immediately I'd add my colored clothes to the same wash water the whites had used and start the agitator again. I used the "Jet" plunger to stomp the white clothes around in the first rinse water, then release the little lever on the wringer and swing it into position between the two tubs and wring the clothes into the second rinse water and another opportunity to rip off some more buttons. The agitator and wringer were both powered by the gas engine but could be operated independently or simultaneously. Because the Maytag wrung more water out of the clothes, the rinse water stayed much clearer. It was awesome.

    Finally, I'd swing the wringer again and wring the clothes from the second rinse water and let them drop, now nearly buttonless, into a laundry basket positioned on the floor to catch them. As the colored clothes washed, I'd step out the back door onto the concrete slab under the clotheslines and hang them with wooden clothespins. If you've read this far, yes, I wiped each of the clotheslines with a wet cloth every wash day to clean the dust off them. By the time I got back inside, it was time to repeat all this with the colored clothes. Last to go were the heavy clothes; work clothes, blue jeans, coveralls, etc. went into the wash water for the third and last economical use of the hot water and soap.

    In the summer, whites were dry by the time the heavy clothes made it into the basket, so after hanging the jeans, I plucked the whites and took them back inside to fold.

    I could wash twice the clothes in half the time with that Maytag - and the clothes were so, so much cleaner! What a modern breakthrough miracle that machine was in its day. It's impossible to overstate it and something you'd almost have to experience to truly appreciate.

    And that was wash day in my misspent youth. So much time wasted!
    Now, after 24 years in the 1911 house (the 1915 house was sold to a developer and demolished), I have a Samsung water-saving, energy-saving, detergent-saving automatic and, instead of the sweet smell and sun-faded colors of a clothesline, I have an electric dryer. The heroic gray Maytag still exists, sitting deep in the dark end of the barn, waiting.
     
    Shannydew, F. J., Mr. Nantus and 2 others like this.

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