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When understanding a design brings a new appreciation

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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My mother's basement
I notice this with my undergraduates. Some years ago I purposely chose to switch to a mechanical watch, even given the greater accuracy of quartz. I have a fair few now, none of any great value. I do need to clear most of them out. My daily wearer until ten months ago was an Invicta Submarineralike. I'm at a point now where I'd like, perhaps as a 50th present to myself in a few years' time, to put some money into a couple of really decent watches, and stick to just those. I have my eye on an automatic movement Hamilton Ventura, and a Rado Captain Cook divers watch (in the early-60s smaller bod version). I'd also adore a Tudor Black Bay 58, though I'd probably seek to go second hand on that one as new they are significant money. Watches I could wear regularly for the rest of my life.

I do have a couple of nice pocket watches, but I tend to wear them much less often, usually with white tie or mornig dress / stroller.

A pin went on my Invicta about ten months ago so I've been unable to wear it since (being on lockdown pretty much for a year now). Surrounded by timing devices and of course my phone, but I badly miss wearing a watch daily. Particularly liked the Submariner style as I love switching out the nylon Nato straps.
...

Besides the Mido I wear most days I also have a lower-end vintage curvex, which stopped working some months after I bought it. The Sikh fellow who runs the hole-in-the-wall jewelry store a couple miles from here tells me that unless it holds significant sentimental value it really isn’t worth fixing.

I’d like to have another couple-three old wristwatches, and lower-end ones are fine by me. I’m at a point in this life where I want nothing of a material nature so precious that I’d worry much about losing it. This is not to say that I’m not materialistic. I like surrounding myself with beautiful things, but beautiful things aren’t necessarily spendy.

I’m reminded of an appraisal of a piece of art on a recent episode of Antiques Roadshow. If that artwork was by whatever “name” artist the appraiser thought it might be, then it would fetch a big ol’ pile of many, he said. And if it wasn’t, it was worth maybe 50 dollars. So it’s not the art itself that brings the bucks.

Watches aren’t art; higher-end watches are in many tangible ways superior to cheap ones. Still, my old Mido is a well-made Swiss watch. I paid a C note for it a couple years ago. A Rolex of the same vintage is not 50 or 100 or more times better, as the price difference might suggest.
 

tonyb

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9,663
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My mother's basement
... pocket watches gave way to the wrist watch long before being left-handed was entirely socially acceptable. At least here in the UK, there are still some of us Generation X who at one time and another encountered hostility to being allowed to use our left hand to write in school; my paternal grandfather (born 1914, from memory) was probably the last generation of our family to have encountered them as a norm, and he had it beaten into him in school to write with his right hand. Even by the time he died in June 1980, while he could as a result write equally well with both hands, he habitually lifted a pen and wrote with his right hand first, despite doing absolutely everything else with his left.
...

A long-ago co-worker of mine, a southpaw about a dozen years my senior, told of having the left-handedness beaten out of him. (The lesson didn’t take.)

It scarred him, I’m sure, and impeded his development. The message the adults sent those kids was that they were defective, that there was something fundamentally flawed in them.
 

Edward

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London, UK
A long-ago co-worker of mine, a southpaw about a dozen years my senior, told of having the left-handedness beaten out of him. (The lesson didn’t take.)

It scarred him, I’m sure, and impeded his development. The message the adults sent those kids was that they were defective, that there was something fundamentally flawed in them.

My experience was slight and limited to pre-school, but it certainly affected me a bit. I can't begin to imagine how much worse it was back in the day. I was lucky I always had parental support; they were advised when I was a baby that I was left handed, and they chose to let me be 'natural'.
 

MisterCairo

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6,902
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Gads Hill, Ontario
Second from the top is Fuller's dome for the USA Pavillion at the 1967 Montreal Exposition "Man and His World".

The outer covering g burned down later, and it is now home of the Montreal Biosphere. I have visited the site several times since 1976 when it was simply the shell post-fire.


The geodesic dome & the buckyball both by Buckminster Fuller from a structural engineering point of view, then an architectural one.

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LizzieMaine

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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I saw that dome in its original form when we went up to see the Expo, but I have no memory of what I saw inside. Somewhere at the fair I saw a riveting film presentation on wheat farming in the Ukraine, but I don't think it was in there.

I remember being very disappointed with the whole experience, really. What kind of fair doesn't have sideshows?
 

Nobert

Practically Family
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831
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In the Maine Woods
Watch pockets on blue jeans.

It’s curious that the manufacturers still include the watch picket, seeing how so few people use pocket watches anymore (if it’s as many as one person in a thousand I’d be surprised), and that including it comes at some expense.

I have a notion that working-class people used pocket watches for a period after the wristwatch gained ascendance, though this is based on naught but casual evidence and speculation. The evidence being, as you mention, the watch pocket on denim dungarees, and the fact that I keep coming across vintage watch fobs with the logos of construction and trucking companies on them in my online screen shopping. My speculation is that people who worked with their hands wouldn't necessarily want a tiny mechanism of some import and cost on those self-same hands, lest they get smashed between pallets or come into the path of a cement mixer or something.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,663
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My mother's basement
^^^^^
Seems plausible. I take off my wristwatch when I’m setting to a task with an elevated chance of damaging it. (There’s always at least a minimal risk of that, but still ... )
 
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EngProf

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523
It's not the damage to the watch that workers are concerned with - it's the potential SERIOUS damage to themselves. If a watch, ring, gloves, tie, sleeve, or hair gets caught in a lathe or milling machine or any other powerful machine the result is that you get pulled into it. The damage can be severe or even fatal.
During WWII the defense plants had a very strict no-Veronica-Lake-hairstyles rule for that exact reason.
In more recent times a Yale student was killed when her hair got caught in a lathe.
 

Bugguy

Practically Family
Messages
509
Location
Nashville, TN
It's not the damage to the watch that workers are concerned with - it's the potential SERIOUS damage to themselves. If a watch, ring, gloves, tie, sleeve, or hair gets caught in a lathe or milling machine or any other powerful machine the result is that you get pulled into it. The damage can be severe or even fatal.
During WWII the defense plants had a very strict no-Veronica-Lake-hairstyles rule for that exact reason.
In more recent times a Yale student was killed when her hair got caught in a lathe.
My father was an old-school machinist and taught me that when I was just a kid. It stuck with me forever, like not handing someone a scissors or knife point first or wearing glasses when you're cutting or grinding.
 

LizzieMaine

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Wristwatches on men were viewed as a bit prissy by many, especially in working class circles, right up to the WWII era -- maybe one step up from the "slave bracelets" affected by cake-eaters and drugstore shieks of the 1920s.

I got into the habit of wearing my hair up in a headrag when running 35mm film projectors. You do not want to get caught in one of those.

I knew of a young woman years ago who got her ponytail caught in the generator belt while fooling around with the engine of her VW beetle. Pulled it right out by the roots, and took a piece of her scalp with it.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,663
Location
My mother's basement
It's not the damage to the watch that workers are concerned with - it's the potential SERIOUS damage to themselves. If a watch, ring, gloves, tie, sleeve, or hair gets caught in a lathe or milling machine or any other powerful machine the result is that you get pulled into it. The damage can be severe or even fatal.
During WWII the defense plants had a very strict no-Veronica-Lake-hairstyles rule for that exact reason.
In more recent times a Yale student was killed when her hair got caught in a lathe.

I was acquainted with a fellow who lost the ring finger on his left hand when the top of a chain-link fence got between that finger and his wedding band as he was falling from a ladder.

Just another hazard of matrimony.

I know of a police agency that gives its uniformed officers the choice of wearing a bow tie or necktie, but the ties are clip-on in either case, for obvious reasons.

In the case of my wristwatch, I imagine the leather strap or its buckle or a spring bar would pop before I lost my left hand, but then ...
 
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MisterCairo

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6,902
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Gads Hill, Ontario
It's not the damage to the watch that workers are concerned with - it's the potential SERIOUS damage to themselves. If a watch, ring, gloves, tie, sleeve, or hair gets caught in a lathe or milling machine or any other powerful machine the result is that you get pulled into it. The damage can be severe or even fatal.
During WWII the defense plants had a very strict no-Veronica-Lake-hairstyles rule for that exact reason.
In more recent times a Yale student was killed when her hair got caught in a lathe.

During my naval deployments I wore my wedding band on my dog tags chain. Sailors could get the ring caught on a ladder or piece of equipment, fall or slip, and discover at best "de-gloving" or at worst, nine fingers.
 

Nobert

Practically Family
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831
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In the Maine Woods
It's not the damage to the watch that workers are concerned with - it's the potential SERIOUS damage to themselves. If a watch, ring, gloves, tie, sleeve, or hair gets caught in a lathe or milling machine or any other powerful machine the result is that you get pulled into it. The damage can be severe or even fatal.
During WWII the defense plants had a very strict no-Veronica-Lake-hairstyles rule for that exact reason.
In more recent times a Yale student was killed when her hair got caught in a lathe.

Well, that makes even more sense.

One design element I'm fond of the the curly-cued metal plate on my old Hoover. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, depending on how you let the peg on the side go through the slotted paths, it allows the vacuum to tilt at a regular angle or extra low, to get under the coffee table and such.

Getting back to women's shoes, I've always admired the elegantly curved heels you see on a lot of pumps from the early 20th century. Recently, I found out that they do that to bring the bottom of the heel forward, more towards the natural center of gravity of a human-type person, and making them easier to balance on.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,663
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My mother's basement
My memory of the old acquaintance I alluded to above, the fellow who lost his left ring finger in a freak accident, prompted me to look into what became of him.

Turns out that he died in 2017. So today I made an entry in the online guest book. I often do that when I learn of the passing of a person with whom I had at least enough of an acquaintance that we knew each other’s names. I figure that the survivors might take some comfort in reading that their loved one was well regarded even by people who were really just peripheral characters in his life, and were saddened to learn of his passing.
 
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LizzieMaine

Bartender
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30,607
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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
During my naval deployments I wore my wedding band on my dog tags chain. Sailors could get the ring caught on a ladder or piece of equipment, fall or slip, and discover at best "de-gloving" or at worst, nine fingers.

Radio engineers were prohibited from wearing wedding rings or any other kind of rings when working on, or near, transmitters. Putting a hand with a ring on it inside a transmitter, with thousands of volts DC at high amperages bouncing around the grid caps, could draw an arc sufficient to kill the ring-wearer, even if nothing was actually touched.
 

Haversack

One Too Many
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Clipperton Island
As our c. 1910 flat still has wood lath and three-coat plaster wall finishes, using the picture rails to suspend pictures is the only way to go. This is common enough in San Francisco that if you go to any hardware store in the City you'll find a pretty full selection of the necessary hooks and wires. I've also found the picture rails a handy way to run ethernet cable around the flat. (Wi-fi doesn't work too well when the wall cavities are full of pea gravel - done for sound deadening.)
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,663
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^
My late brother Mike’s house, built 1908, has picture rails, and lath-and-plaster walls. He and his wife (also deceased) had pictures on the walls, not suspended on wires from the rails. Not sure how they did it, although I have taken custody of some of those framed pictures, which now hang here, on Sheetrock walls.

I’ve lived in a few old places with lath-and-plaster walls, and yes, I kinda messed up some walls attempting to hang art. It was all repairable, but still ...
 
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