I love old stuff, especially things I remember from my childhood or earlier. First of all, they're historic in their own way and, most often, much better made than things are today. Many items in my Nostalgic Museum are from the house I grew up in; other things I found at garage sales, flea markets or eBay. Sometimes, I receive gifts from people who know how much I enjoy these old objects.
Let's take a look at some of the stuff in the Museum's Vaults
(click on any photo to enlarge it):
An old friend and neighbor of mine had been a postal carrier (mail man) and came home one day, telling me about this great old stand-up radio that someone on his route was throwing away and had put it by the curb for trash pick-up. I asked him where it was, because I really wanted it, but he had anticipated that.
"I asked the homeowner to move it to the side of his house, in the driveway, because I knew you'd want to go and get it."
I was at a flea market in Pennsylvania many years ago when I spotted this item on somebody's table. "It's a tail light lens from an Oldsmobile," the guy said.
I replied, "No, it's from a '55 Buick... how much do you want for it?"
Later, when I met up with my wife, she looked at the lens and asked, "What did you buy THAT for?"
I replied, "For twenty-five cents!"
This Boraxo can was a recent gift from a friend who knows how much I appreciate this kind of stuff. He found it at an antique shop where he was doing some work and bought it for me. It brought back real memories; it's just like the can we used to keep on a shelf in our kitchen when I was growing up in the '50s & '60s.
Back in the days when you'd bring your shoes to the shoe-repair man in your neighborhood, he would use Cat's Paw heels to make them like new again.
I found this not TOO old stamp machine at a flea market in Cape Cod. The guy selling it wanted sixty bucks for it; there was no way I would have paid that much for it. Besides, all I had in my pocket was a twenty. Just before leaving the market, I went back and offered him the twenty for it.
"Make it forty and it's yours," he said.
"Nope," I replied, "twenty bucks is all I've got and all I'd pay for it even if I had more."
I guess he was tired of carting it back and forth to the flea market 'cause he finally said, "Take it away."
My older brother bought this TeleTone Model TV220 portable television sometime in the early 1950s; it was manufactured in 1949. It still worked into the 1960s and I managed to salvage it from my brother's house after he died. It makes a great conversation piece!
The top machine is an original Sony Betamax that my brother owned; it worked into the 1990s but, for some reason, won't play any more.
The machine beneath it is the first VHS machine I ever bought, probably in the 1970s; made by GE, it sold for $639 when new. At the time, blank VHS tapes cost $14 a piece!
This old piano stool was in my brother's house when he died. During the clean-up before selling the house, I had to throw out a lot of stuff; we utilized four thirty-cubic-yard dumpsters! One of the items I wanted to keep was this piano stool, which I remembered from my childhood, but I tossed it anyway.
About seven years later, I was at a flea market in Wallingford, Connecticut, and spotted a piano stool just like the one I threw in the dumpster. Upon closer inspection, I found the diagonal saw cut I had made in the seat while cutting a piece of wood, as a teenager. Of course, two stools might have had the same kind of cut in them. But this one also had the "K" I had carved in the wood surface many years before.
Of course, I bought the piano stool back for five dollars.