Vintage Things That Have Disappeared In Your Lifetime?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by LizzieMaine, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    For as long as I can remember (and surely before that) some restaurants existed on turnover--get you in, get you fed, and get you out to make room for the next customer(s); more customers equals more money. One now defunct restaurant chain even went so far as to upholster their booths with orange and purple naugahyde, allegedly because the color combination subconsciously made the customers uncomfortable and less willing to stay longer than they had to. By contrast, some restaurants believe they can get more money out of their customers by providing a welcoming and comfortable environment; i.e. the longer they stay, the more they'll spend. I don't know which is more profitable, but I'd rather frequent the latter.

    Many years ago when most restaurants still had some form of a "smoking section", a friend who was a server at a local Marie Callender's restaurant told us he refused any shifts that required him to work in the "non smoking" section because their non-smoking patrons were almost always far more demanding, rude, and nit-picky, while their "smoking" customers were relaxed and friendly. Now, at this specific restaurant the "smoking section" was also the bar, but he said the addition of alcohol to the equation didn't make much difference and that the non-smoking drinkers were almost always more of a problem for him than the smoking drinkers.
     
    3fingers likes this.
  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The quick-lunch chains of the early 20th Century -- Baltimore Dairy Lunch, Waldorf Lunch, Thompson's, etc. -- were built entirely on the idea of fast turnover. There were no tables at all -- instead there were rows of wooden one-arm chairs like you find in a schoolroom. You came in, picked up your food at the counter, sat down, ate, and left. Some of these places even put the one-arm chairs between wooden dividers so you couldn't have a conversation with the person sitting next to you. A seat with someone sitting in it who wasn't eating wasn't making money.

    Horn & Hardart had its own variation on this theme in some of its Automats. Instead of tables and chairs they had contraptions made of aluminum tubing that looked like a crude chair with a tray mounted on the top of the back, and a little slab of wood about the size of a bicycle seat for the patron to sit on. To use of these you had to straddle it and lean forward to eat. You didn't linger. Women, needless to say, heartily disliked these seats -- it's hard to straddle in a dress -- but since most of the quick-lunch customers of the time were men, H&H felt they could get away with chasing the gals off to Schrafft's. But enough people complained that this was going too far that they finally did away with the straddle-chairs and went back to regular seating.

    I think a lot of people today who complain about the lack of service/amenities they get in cheap restaurants would be horrified if dropped into a typical urban lunchroom in 1930. Compared to these, Denny's is four-star service.
     
  3. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,680
    Location:
    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
    CI.png
    Good tastin’ hot dogs and chili. This was the only place in town that had
    those all wood school desks.
    I forgot about them until you mentioned them.
    Usually, you could find me here on Saturdays when I went to the picture
    show or the public library.
    The old library building comprised mostly of
    all wood furniture.
     
    3fingers, Fading Fast and Zombie_61 like this.
  4. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    12,643
    Location:
    New York City
    Businesses that fail - that don't adapt to changing times - keep doing what they know even when it is no longer working. You smartly observed something that HoJo's - what I'm sure was - well-paid management didn't.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
    2jakes, Zombie_61 and vitanola like this.
  5. Lost Ronin

    Lost Ronin One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    121
    I must say that I've read every post in this thread. It's been very entertaining and informative and a welcomed and wonderful distraction during my current problems.

    I'm staying with my brother at the moment and noticed this bathroom heater. These have largely disappeared from homes. This house was built in the early 1960s and this heater fits into that time frame. It still works great too. IMG_20181009_223517.jpg IMG_20181009_223502.jpg
     
    vitanola, seres, 3fingers and 2 others like this.
  6. The one from the North

    The one from the North New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Finland
    When I was studying tourism in college in late 80's, we learned how to use the Telex-machine, the fastest and most widespread communication device known to man... Well, then came faxmachines and this internet-thing. Couple of years ago I saw news that the Telex-network has been run down.
    JiiHaa
     
    Zombie_61 and 2jakes like this.
  7. Nu Tone still makes 'em (even with a built in light and night-light). Ours at the farm are fan/heat, but use a different element than your brother's. Ours are from 1969.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,680
    Location:
    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
    A small tennis shop opened up in prime
    location. Business was slow after a
    while.The shop closed.
    Not sure if it was because of the high lease
    in part.
     
    Fading Fast likes this.
  9. redlinerobert

    redlinerobert One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Central coast, CA
    I need to replace a couple of those Nu Tone in ceiling heaters.
     
  10. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,680
    Location:
    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
    That reminds me, I need to clean my
    Duofold which I haven't used in a while.:D
    B2A4F0F1-F23B-4372-A6D8-338056E380AE.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Bathroom heaters were very common in houses without central heating, where bathrooms were usually some distance away from the stoves that provided whatever heat the house had. My grandparents' house, built in 1920, and heated for as long as they lived in it by two kerosene stoves, had a cheap little electric heater on the floor under the sink, plugged into a socket wired to the light switch, so whenever you went in and turn the light on, the heater would fire up. You had to linger in order to enjoy the full benefit of the heater, which is where I developed the habit of always bringing along reading material.

    I did wonder about the safety of having an unshielded electric heater on an asphalt tile floor underneath a sink where the water could easily splash into it, but as far as I know nobody was ever electrocuted there.
     
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  12. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,583
    Location:
    Illinois
    My grandparents bathroom had a wall heater for when you took a bath. No central heat in the house except a gravity wood furnace in the basement with two vents in the main part of the house. It was generally hotter than the 3rd circle in the living room and kitchen to keep the bedrooms a reasonable temperature.
    We have a ceiling fan, heater and light in our bathroom but it has a fan to blow over the heating coil.
    I have seen a few gas fired space heaters for bathrooms, but they were pretty rare out here since natural gas service was only available in larger towns and lp gas was mainly small cylinders used for cooking during that time period.
     
  13. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
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    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Eight or nine years back I bought a '50s-vintage ceiling light fixture from a private party who was remodeling her house and selling some old pieces rather than dumping them. She had a NuTone kitchen exhaust fan of similar vintage that I wish I had bought, even though I had no use for it then nor now.

    I can't say that I would have done to her house what she did, but at least she let some of its original components live on. And she picked up a few bucks in the process. I'd wager that for every remodeler such as her there are at least a dozen who deem selling the old parts not worth their time and trouble.
     
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  14. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,352
    Location:
    Germany
    Ah! One thing comes to my mind, right now.

    When Wisconsin still produces rollmopses, I can't imagine, that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischbrötchen are not available, there. But if that's the case, you should start to supply the whole USA with it! ;)

    Hooray to good old Bismarck-Brötchen, always smile at you for 1.80 Euro!! :D Best fast food in the world!
     
  15. Country & Western Music ... unless someone can point me to where it went.

     
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  16. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,701
    Location:
    Nebo, NC
    Honkeytonks and boot leg joints.

    When I was in my youth, there were a number of honkeytonks and boot leg joints all around. Once liquor by the drink passed in the 1980s, all those places dried up. There used to be a cutting or shooting every Friday and Saturday night, but no more. Beer joints sure have changed. Time moves on ...
     
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  17. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    We had a lot of "Bottle Clubs" here as recently as the '80s, roadhouse-type places where they weren't allowed to serve or sell liquor, but customers were allowed to bring in their own. The reputation and the ambience was about the same -- it was an unusual weekend when you didn't read about a drunken brawl breaking out in one of them, and one in particular developed a legendary local reputation for its truculent owner and her -- ah -- distinctive clientele. These places were a big deal in the dry towns that were then common just inland from the coast, but one by one those towns have gone wet, and the bottle clubs have faded away. Drunken brawls, alas, have not.
     
    ChiTownScion likes this.
  18. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,352
    Location:
    Germany
    What about?:



    :)



     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  19. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,556
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Testosterone and alcohol at work, some say, and I ain’t necessarily
    disputing it. But somehow I survived decades of plenty of both, often in combination, without getting into fist fights (not more than a couple-three times, anyway; I looked tougher than I ever was, my knowledge of which undoubtedly spared me serious injury and considerable embarrassment) or being jailed for excessive carousing or cited for drunken driving or anything of that sort.

    However, I missed a mass shooting in a bar by mere minutes (I left for home with a broken zipper just ahead of a guy pulling out his 9 mm and shooting at several patrons and staffers, hitting quite a few, and killing a couple; I’m eternally grateful for that cheap zipper); got shot at by a guy in Chinatown coming to the defense of an associate of his who made the mistake of pulling a gun on an associate of mine, a gun which I was wrenching away from its owner; and arranged bail for other associates whose judgement was apparently more affected by the drink and/or testosterone than was mine.

    Outside of its health consequences, I have few regrets about my “lifestyle” during those years. It was entertaining, you could say that for it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
    Big Man likes this.
  20. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,091
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    In my teens I frequented 'bottle clubs'. My recollection is they had tables with shelfs underneath the table top to place your 'mickey'. That way if the police made a sweep through the joint you could deny ownership of the alcohol. The clubs made their money selling mixer and ice. These bottle clubs ran parallel to legit night clubs that could sell liquor by the glass but I think they existed because liquor licenses were hard to come by and very expensive if you could get one. I more often went to the night clubs as it was easy to get served. The admission price kept out most underage drinkers so they just assumed if you could afford to get in you were old enough to drink. As a high schooler it was a great way to impress a date.
     

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