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Vintage things that have REAPPEARED in your lifetime?

tonyb

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We have threads here devoted to vintage things that have disappeared in our lifetimes and vintage things that haven't disappeared. But how about things that came back?

It would be a shorter list than either of the other two, I'd think, but every now and again I see reproduced or resurrected things "just like Mom and them had" in sufficient numbers to have me thinking they are once again "things."

Many of those things didn't go away entirely, but the survivors got relegated to the attic or the shed or wherever while the others went to Joe the Rag Man.

And then something happened. A period piece on TV, maybe, or some pop star being photographed with one of those old things. Or ...

Or maybe we determined that in some ways some things really were better back when Grandma still showed a little leg. Maybe these things really are more stylish, or durable, or desirable in some other way. And all it took was a reminder.
 

tonyb

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Example: Stamped steel lawn furniture. We discussed this at some length over on the thread devoted to roadside lodgings -- motor courts, motels, etc. -- mostly because this type of outdoor furniture was used at motels in the early post-War years and was sometimes called "motel chairs."

Now similar-looking as well as virtually identical examples are readily available new online and at bricks-and-mortar retailers.
 
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Edward

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23,429
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London, UK
Interesting concept. In the guitar world, this has happened a number of times, with classic Gibson and especially Fender models that had been out of production for many years returning to production as the retro fashion hit the mass market.

Electro Harmonix was one of the first brands to sell effects pedals for electric guitars in the 60s; Hendrix used them, among others. The brand went out of business for a decade or two, then re-emerged in the 90s, initially with a Russian built line (just two pedals for the first few years), and then in 2006 a return to production in the USA. I have one of the earliest Russian-built 90s Big Muffs. At the time they were mid-price - around GBP45, I believe. Last I looked into it mine, boxed and in mint condition, is now worth in the region of GBP300 on the collector market. One of very few things I have that has gone up in value over the course of my ownership!

A number of old leather jacket brands have been revived during my lifetime, either in different ownership (Aero, GoldTop, Mascot) or via a more continuous ownership pattern (Lewis).

I think there are a lot of other products that may not have been endangered or ceased altogether, but which certainly have become much more readily available again, perhaps as a result of the internet making it much more viable to cater to a spread-out market. Things like DE shaving razors and accessories (sort of thing you saw your grandfather used when I was a kid, but you wouldn't see for sale anywhere, except maybe the blades. I knew what a 'razor blade' was for years before I had any real conception of what they were for).

Big headphones? They'd all but died out for years (DJs and recording studios aside), then suddenly all the kids wanted to look like a DJ, so they started plugging these big headphones into their mp3 players / phones, and now you can see them everywhere again.
 

HanauMan

Practically Family
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809
Location
Inverness, Scotland
As an amateur photographer I have noted that traditional film cameras are coming back again, especially amongst some young folk looking for the 'authentic' deal in a world full of cellphone photos on computers.

I have also noticed the stainless steel furniture making a comeback, especially chairs. Used to avoid them as a child, burnt my butt a few times sitting down on steel benches or chairs on hot summer days to truly trust my behind and legs on one again! :)
 

scottyrocks

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9,070
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Isle of Langerhan, NY
One of these just came back into my life as I purchased it on ebay to replace the crappy phone in my office.

cortelco-itt-2500-v-iv-250009-vba-20m-desk-w-volume-ivory-4.jpg
 
Probably been talked about elsewhere, but vinyl records are making a HUGE comeback. For example, LP sales in the US were around 980,000 in 2007. By last year, they were over 14 million. Part of it is the moronic hipster crowd who think it's ironic to listen to records, part of it the audiofool crowd who claim they can discern a 1 hz difference 47 octaves above a dog whistle. Mostly it's people like me who just enjoy the fuller sound and the listening experience of an LP (short play time, album artwork, etc).
 

tonyb

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9,909
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My mother's basement
One of these just came back into my life as I purchased it on ebay to replace the crappy phone in my office.

View attachment 120533

I've had the same version (but in black) for nearly 40 years now. I don't have a landline (well, I guess I do, seeing how phone service comes with the Comcast cable "bundle," but I've never bothered with it) but I still have the phone.
 

OldStrummer

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550
Location
Ashburn, Virginia USA
Automobile starter buttons.

My first car was a 1961 Morris Mini Cooper, and it had a starter button near the shift lever on the floor. Put the key in the switch and turn it, but to complete the ignition, one had to press the button.

My 2014 Mercedes has one. I hadn't seen one in decades!

RickScout-Push-Button-Start-Vlg.jpg
 

tonyb

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9,909
Location
My mother's basement
Automobile starter buttons.

My first car was a 1961 Morris Mini Cooper, and it had a starter button near the shift lever on the floor. Put the key in the switch and turn it, but to complete the ignition, one had to press the button.

My 2014 Mercedes has one. I hadn't seen one in decades!

RickScout-Push-Button-Start-Vlg.jpg

I had a couple of vehicles with foot-activated starter switches. Those vehicles were older than me.
 

LizzieMaine

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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
The Plodge has a foot starter, which I consider positive protection against car theft. They started to go away in the late 1940s, and were wholly gone in American cars by the late 1950s. They had the advantage of not requiring a solenoid -- the pedal is simply a spring-loaded metal rod that presses a switch mounted on top of the starter itself.
 

tonyb

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...

I think there are a lot of other products that may not have been endangered or ceased altogether, but which certainly have become much more readily available again, perhaps as a result of the internet making it much more viable to cater to a spread-out market. Things like DE shaving razors and accessories (sort of thing you saw your grandfather used when I was a kid, but you wouldn't see for sale anywhere, except maybe the blades. I knew what a 'razor blade' was for years before I had any real conception of what they were for).

...

Yes, Internet certainly does make the production and sale of these somewhat esoteric items a more feasible business proposition.

As to double-edged safety razors ...

I still have a couple of them, although they haven't seen regular use in a spell. They were all but universal back when nature first graced me with whiskers (and pimples; nature has a cruel sense of humor). A friend in the barbering business collects vintage tools of the tonsorial trade, among them a double-edged razor blade sharpener. I can see how a person counting his pennies might have wanted one of those.
 

LizzieMaine

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Vacuum tube electronics have had a small renaissance over the last twenty-five years or so, mostly among the electric-guitar and audiophile crowds. This has been a mixed blessing -- one of the companies I used to get radio parts from has now converted almost entirely to servicing the guitar boys, and have phased out most of their radio stuff. But it also means quite a few parts that were once very hard to find are now available again, like multi-section aluminum-can filter capacitors. And quite a few tubes are being manufactured again -- mostly in Russia, where tube manufacturing never ended. I have a couple of "Sovtek" tubes in my TV set right now.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,909
Location
My mother's basement
The Plodge has a foot starter, which I consider positive protection against car theft. They started to go away in the late 1940s, and were wholly gone in American cars by the late 1950s. They had the advantage of not requiring a solenoid -- the pedal is simply a spring-loaded metal rod that presses a switch mounted on top of the starter itself.

How is that car licensed? Make and model year and all?

It varies some from state to state, but I've found that in most places the licensing authorities give a lot of latitude in the licensing of truly old cars.

I was once acquainted with a couple guys who built cars from pieces found here and there. I recall one vehicle legally licensed as a REO but which was mostly a step van with the body and frame outriggers cut away and scrapped. The replacement body, which resembled a 1930s-vintage race car, was fabricated from new sheet metal. And wood. The only thing authentically REO on it was the radiator grille.
 

LizzieMaine

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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I've got a standard Antique Auto registration -- 1941 Dodge, serial number such-and-such -- which is pretty much the same thing as a standard Maine registration except you're required to own another vehicle which is licensed as your "primary" car. And an Antique Auto registration is exempt from the state inspection sticker requirement.

The "Plodgeness" of my car is the way it actually came off the assembly line -- Chrysler Canada offered a low-end version of the Dodge which was nothing more than a rebadged Plymouth with a different grille. But as far as the manufacturer's ID plate is concerned, for legal purposes, it's a Dodge. Arbiters of automotive purity might have an issue with such co-mingling of identity, but if Chrysler didn't care, why should I?

The previous owner, who brought the car down from Nova Scotia, had to go thru the import process for it, so while it's a Dodge in legal terms, it's not, legally speaking, an "Amurrican Car." But you wouldn't know that if you didn't look at the ID plate.
 
Vacuum tube electronics have had a small renaissance over the last twenty-five years or so, mostly among the electric-guitar and audiophile crowds. This has been a mixed blessing -- one of the companies I used to get radio parts from has now converted almost entirely to servicing the guitar boys, and have phased out most of their radio stuff. But it also means quite a few parts that were once very hard to find are now available again, like multi-section aluminum-can filter capacitors. And quite a few tubes are being manufactured again -- mostly in Russia, where tube manufacturing never ended. I have a couple of "Sovtek" tubes in my TV set right now.


I have a tube pre-amp for my turntable, and the first thing I did when I got it was replace the tube with a Russian-made one. Significant upgrade. I've got a little 15W tube guitar amplifier, and have had my eye on a genuine (that's pronounced gen-u-WINE) 85W Fender Twin Reverb for a while now. Just haven't pulled the trigger. Love that tube sound.
 

LizzieMaine

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31,089
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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
My TV has a very fussy vertical oscillator section, and after having gone thru a dozen NOS RCA tubes, I've found that a Sovtek tube is the only one that'll give me the correct picture geometry. Go figure.

Some of the Russian tubes currently on the market carry "American" brand names, notably Tung-Sol -- but they're all made in Russia to similar specifications. Non-CRT-type tubes haven't been made in the US by anyone since RCA shut down its plant in Harrison, NJ in 1976.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,909
Location
My mother's basement
As an amateur photographer I have noted that traditional film cameras are coming back again, especially amongst some young folk looking for the 'authentic' deal in a world full of cellphone photos on computers.

I have also noticed the stainless steel furniture making a comeback, especially chairs. Used to avoid them as a child, burnt my butt a few times sitting down on steel benches or chairs on hot summer days to truly trust my behind and legs on one again! :)

I was much more thoughtful and deliberate in my picture taking back when each image cost real money.

I haven't used it in years, but I still have a Halliburton-like case full of Olympus OM 1 and 2 bodies and lenses and winders and whatnot. Doubt I'll ever sell it. No auto anything. Through-the-lens metering was about as "techy" as it got. But I felt much more connected to that equipment than anything I've used since.

Perhaps this is a good time to be snapping up "classic" 35mm cameras. I've seen almost giveaway prices on this "obsolete" stuff of late.
 

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