Vintage Appliances

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by Rosie, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. 59Lark

    59Lark A-List Customer

    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I was happy with my self the last two few weeks as three times I fixed things that most would toss, two refridgerator shelf doors cracked and fell apart from overloading, wooden braces drilled out and then ground off the screw point sticking out, two shelfs now usuable . a fairly new leather belt two rivets flew out , drilled out and replaced with small bolt with tapered heads and then cut and then ground them flush on the grinder, belt fixed. I feel sorry for people living in apartments, my power station has a drill press, two grinds and three sharperners and a small bandsaw. makes life handy for fixing things. 59lark
     
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  2. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    12,767
    Location:
    New York City
    Not really a vintage appliance, but a vintage ironing board. The building we live in was built in 1928 and this ironing board has survived in the basement's laundry room all that time.
    IMG_0609-2.jpg IMG_0611-2.jpg
     
  3. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    So, it's been a year and my "cooking as therapy" has been on hold through the summer months. The house just gets too ungodly hot to even THINK about cooking on the wood burning kitchen range.

    But - it is now December and the temperatures make the stove a really attractive proposition!
    For some reason I have been on a soup kick and I'm loving it. I light a fire in the stove first thing in the morning on weekends and clang down an iron pot and put a blob of butter in it and start dicing up an onion. When the onion is ready, it goes into the pot just in time for the butter to start a mellow sizzle. It gently sautes the onion until it caramelizes. All manner of stuff goes in the soups, but they all start the same way... with the onion. I'll put a satiny black frying pan on and fry a couple of eggs with some of the onions stolen from the soup pot, add a dusting of granulated garlic and a little mild cheese with maybe some diced bell pepper. Best eggs ever. Since I learned how to make the bestest biscuits last year, they can be ready in about the same amount of time it takes to describe making them. I'm sure I ran off at the keyboard yapping about the biscuits because, well, they're the best!

    As the soup is growing with whatever is going in it, I start on some kind of bread, usually yeast buns. After the dough is ready, I butter ANOTHER cast iron frying pan and place the dough balls in it and put the pan on the warming tray for them to raise. When they've all swelled up and are attempting to climb out of the frying pan, I put them in the oven - the fire has been going all this time. It has been heating the house, starting the soup, making breakfast, making biscuits if I did them and now it will bake the buns while the soup (or, honestly, stew or chili) contentedly continues to simmer. The buns only take about 15 minutes in the iron pan and they fall out of the pan onto the plate.

    I haven't started the huge Saturday night dinners like I did last winter, but I'd like to. Those were really fun. But now the soup (stew, chili) is working it's magic. Tonight the magic is chicken noodle soup and it is pretty darn good if I say so myself but, truth be told, tonight I made no biscuits or buns.
     
  4. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

  5. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family

    Messages:
    556
    Location:
    oakland
    Oh sure make me hungry while I am at work.......Sounds great though.

    Mike
     
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  6. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    12,767
    Location:
    New York City
    Our present DVD is a Sony, is about 10"X7"X2" and cost ~$60 (bought it 3+ years ago).

    A bit smaller than this "New quadruplex TV tape recorder by RCA: compact!" (1964)
    ec8f1e700da104436c34c6d4ee320b27.jpg
     
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  7. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,627
    Location:
    Illinois
    Those RCA machines sold for 50-80,000 dollars new. That's a bunch of money in mid-60s dollars. Like all technology, most ended up as scrap in a few years.
     
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  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Which makes the preservation of television programs recorded on quad tape very difficult -- many such tapes could only be played back at broadcast quality on the actual machines that recorded them given the complexity of the head mechanism. Since new quad equipment hasn't been manfuactured by anyone, anywhere since the '70s, preservation organizations are forced to keep old equipment going however they can. Given that parts were manufactured at micro tolerances, and that replacement parts can only be found by cannibalizing old machines or recreating them in machine shops at fantastic expense -- if you can find a technician who knows how to do it -- it's safe to say that quad tape, in wide use during the 1960s and 70s, is far more endangered, as a format, than even nitrate film.
     
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  9. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,779
    Location:
    Bennington, VT 05201
    We had a similar issue when I worked in the archives at Central Michigan University. The computer system used by the college in the '80s was made by Singer and used proprietary software and printers. The machines were dying and there was no money to reverse-engineer the software for compatibility with newer machines, even though the required permissions had been obtained. Once the printers died from overwork, those records were accessible only on the few computers still working. Digital is far more ephemeral than physical media ever was.
     
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  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Here's a tip vintage refrigerator owners might find helpful.

    My 1945-vintage Kelvinator has been chunking along happily for the entire thirty-one years I've owned it with nary a problem, but the other night something odd happened. I reached in to get the milk, and found water dripping into the meat pan under the evaporator, and a puddle pooled up in the bottom shelf. The layer of frost on the evaporator had taken on a weird, spiky look, and the thermometer I keep inside read 50 degrees. The compressor was running excessively, and the freezer compartment seemed adequately cold, but the rest of the box couldn't get down to normal operating temperature.

    This is a situation that might cause an owner to panic -- OMG, it's finally dying -- but it was nothing of the kind.

    The problem had a very simple solution. Taking a closer look at the food-storage shelves, I noticed they were crammed full of stuff -- wrapped Chinese takeout leftovers, half-spent cans of cat food, jars of condiments, a chocolate Easter rabbit from several years ago, and on and on. The box was packed so tight, in fact, that the air couldn't circulate -- with no evaporator fan, these old machines circulate the cold thru natural air flow, and if you pack the shelves too tight, you will get poor cooling.

    So I threw out the stuff that had gone by, rearranged that which remained, and within a couple of hours, the temperature was back down to the normal 40 degree reading on the thermometer, and the frost on the evaporator was back to its regualr form. And the compressor is back to its usual operating routine. Cost of repair, two aged containers of General Tso's chicken and a couple of dried-up cans of Friskies.

    You've only got six or seven cubic feet in a vintage refrigerator. Use it wisely.
     
  11. Farace

    Farace New in Town

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Connecticut USA
    I'm new here, and I just spent an enjoyable hour or so reading the entirety of this thread. I'm another of those folks that will repair before replacing, until something finally gives up the ghost. (I can't tell you how many times I've had the dryer apart.) Part of the thread, talking about gas refrigerators, reminded me of the old Servel that was in our family. It had been my great-grandmother's, then went to my grandparents' summer place in Maine, and is probably still alive somewhere keeping someone's beer cold. Here in my hometown there is an island in the harbor with summer cottages without electricity, and old Servels are prized. And I'm one that often prefers a vintage item simply because it works better--why must I shop at an antique store for the type of potato masher I prefer?

    My home was built in the mid-1800s. Unfortunately at some point in the past it was divided into three units; we rent out the upstairs unit and keep the back for visitors and sometimes rent it as a B&B. I already had a bunch of vintage stuff, and then when I met my partner, she brought even more in. Somehow she makes it all (or most of it) fit.

    Anyway, I thought I'd share this:

    IMG_1148.JPG

    I have a hard time passing up bizarre coffee-making implements when I encounter them in thrift shops, so naturally this thing followed me home. Unfortunately, when I plugged it in it blew a circuit breaker, so I'm going to have to take it apart and find the short. And then I'll try it out and see what kind of espresso it produces.

    One of my high school friends, who now lives in Washington state, has a 1920s home and he enjoys furnishing it as much as possible with vintage everything. I'm hoping to entice him to join here.

    I'll try to take photos of some of the other stuff I have around, including desk fans, a toaster, Victrolas/other phonos, etc.
     
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  12. MissMittens

    MissMittens One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,612
    Location:
    Philadelphia USA
    We restore a lot of vintage/antique radios and appliances, and always recommend that you look for loose, frayed, or decayed wiring, before attempting to plug anything in to an outlet, and to use a GFCI for appliances, and an isolated variable transformer for things like televisions, radios, etc. Far better to avoid blowing a circuit or starting a fire than having to deal with fire or electrocution
     
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  13. Farace

    Farace New in Town

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Connecticut USA
    We have not yet tried this toaster. Definitely will be testing the wires first. (Sitting on my porcelain table manufactured in 1939.)

    IMG_1149.JPG IMG_1151.JPG
     
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  14. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

    Messages:
    719
    Location:
    In the Maine Woods
    I have my own method for testing old appliances of uncertain operational status.
    1) Take them down to the basement, or another area with flooring of the less 'catch-on-fire'-y kind.
    2) Move any other potetially burnable objects and detritus from the area.
    3) Plug the appliance into a surge protector with the switch set in the "off" position.
    4) Fetch the fire extinguisher.
    5) Remember that you don't have a fire extinguisher. (4 and 5 are fairly quick, as the time it takes to wonder where your fire extinguisher is and remembering that you don't have one is .673 seconds. I discovered this when a bagel I was preparing in my roommates' old toaster oven began to shoot flames out the oven door.)
    6) Flick the switch. Resist the temptation to cross your fingers. You might need them.
    7) If you are the sort who has a diety that you don't mind asking for small favors, now's the time.
     
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