When understanding a design brings a new appreciation

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Edward, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    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.
     
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  2. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Richard and Liz...
     
  3. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    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.
     
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  4. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    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'.
     
  5. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    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.


     
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  6. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    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?
     
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  7. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

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    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.
     
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  8. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    ^^^^^
    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 ... )
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
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  9. EngProf

    EngProf Practically Family

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    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.
     
  10. Bugguy

    Bugguy A-List Customer

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    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.
     
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  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    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.
     
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  12. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    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 ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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  13. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    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.
     
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  14. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

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    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.
     
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  15. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  16. With the recent posts citing stories of dismemberment, I suppose understanding how safety equipment is to be used, and properly using it, can bring a greater appreciation for it. :D
     
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  17. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    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.
     
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  18. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Chair rails, plate rails, picture rails.

    It was well into my adulthood when I learned that those moldings were not purely decorative. But then, no one I knew put plates on plate rails or hung pictures from wires hooked onto picture rails.
     
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  19. Haversack

    Haversack One Too Many

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    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.)
     
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  20. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    ^^^^
    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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