Tag: nostalgia

From Dinosaurs and Robots:

Those magnetic-strip hotel card/keys are handy, and some of 'em even have nice graphics, but there was also something kind of nice about the sound of a metal key thumping against a "return postage guaranteed" piece of plastic.

I totally agree. And they make great stocking stuffers, too.

Finkbuilt and Dinosaurs and Robots have simultaneously turned me on to this 1970 video titled The Fiberglass Chairs: Something of How They Get the Way They Are, which follows the making of a Charles Eames chair from conception to finish.

The footage, and especially the music, are oddly captivating. It actually reminds me of something Mister Rogers might have shown, only without his soothing voice explaining each step.

Video below. ... Continued

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when America was a leader in the field of science. Advances in theoretical physics, nuclear technology and space exploration in the mid-1900s offered an optimistic view of the future and produced an interest in science among children across the nation.

As a result, brands like Gilbert and Chemcraft produced exciting and surreptitiously educational chemistry sets loaded with beakers, Bunsen burners and dozens of chemicals. And if you were anything like me, you'll remember tossing aside the experiment booklet and randomly mixing things together until something exploded and left a permanent blue stain on the ceiling. That, my friends, was education. ... Continued

Making the rounds of late is the apparently new Product Manual Archive, a Web site dedicated to cataloging product instruction booklets of the past.

The gallery so far appears a bit meager, but includes some terrific images of vintage products, as well as ads, diagrams and how-tos.

Among my favorites is a booklet published by the now-defunct United States Office of Civil Defense titled Fallout Protection: What to Know and Do About Nuclear Attack, which offers helpful advice on how to construct and stock your own inexpensive fallout shelter.

Your room may be equipped with Edison electric light, but those new-fangled bulbs wouldn't be good for much more than pepper shakers if it weren't for a man named Nikola Tesla.

Before the turn of the century, Thomas Edison and Tesla were engaged in a battle known as the War of Currents. Edison was a staunch proponent of direct-current electricity, while Tesla was an advocate of alternating current. Tesla was confident that AC was the way of the future, but Edison had already sunk a great deal of time, energy and money into DC.

The problem was that DC required expensive, high-maintenance converters to transform between voltages. AC, on the other hand, could do the same thing with less expensive and more efficient equipment, making it more effective in overcoming current loss over great distances. Tesla knew this and continued to promote AC for wide distribution. ... Continued

This week, Google officially announced its new Life magazine photo archive, a freely accessible database offering imagery owned by Life and dating back to the 1750s.

So far, they've digitized about 20% of the imagery, some of which has never been published online. When complete, the collection will hold about 10 million images.

You can access the collection directly on a special landing page, or you can include the phrase source:life in a regular Google image search. ... Continued

Despite the increasing popularity of CFLs and LEDs, I still love the warm glow and aesthetic design of a traditional incandescent. After all, I can't imagine lighting up a good, old-fashioned roadside arrow with fluorescent light.

That's why I had to admire this vintage sign I discovered at Gizmodo this morning. That and the reassuring disclaimer that this strange alternative to gas "is in no way harmful to health, nor does it affect the soundness of sleep." Reportedly, they still display these at the historic National Hotel in Jamestown, California.

I've recreated the sign in two versions you can print yourself and display at home.

The GIF is optimized for a typical letter-size sheet and the PDF is vectorized for lossless resizing.

I recommend printing on a nice antique-style paper stock.

Well, look at all the ghosts and ghoulies we've got here! Aren't you adorable! And what are you supposed to be? A chupacabra! How clever! And it looks like we've even got La Llorona here, too! What a little sweetheart you are. Did your mommy help you with your costume?

Well, kids, let's fill those bags up with some holiday goodies ...

Halloween in the Time of Cholera

Steven Martin's passion is collecting antique opium-smoking paraphernalia. (No, go back and read that again; it's not Steve Martin.) He's even published a book on the subject. But for about the past 5 years, he's also been working on a collection of vintage Halloween photographs.

He's decided to share them with us this year and has been posting a new one to his Flickr set every day this month.

Halloween in the Time of Cholera

Ghosts in the Library

Last year, the official blog for the Encyclopaedia Brittanica (did you know there was one?) featured a list of haunted libraries across the U.S. and around the world. ... Continued

One of the most intriguing things about urban exploration, at least for me, is the archaeological aspect — discovering the tangible remnants of recent history. I find it fascinating to see things as they once were, even a few short decades ago.

Unfortunately, by the time most of us uncover an urbex site, dozens of vandals have already been there, grabbing up or destroying anything of cultural value.

A man in Lancashire, England, however, has recently hit the jackpot. Developer Alan Duffy, who purchased a building presumably with plans to renovate it, opened the door to his new property and discovered an outdated corner shop and ice-cream parlor that closed about 40 years ago with products still on the shelves, which have laid untouched ever since.

Such English corner shops were the convenience stores of their time, offering a small selection of cigarettes, sweets, medicines and other sundry items. Among those discovered in Duffy's shop are kidney pills, old chocolates, something called "dulcet cream" and a 1971 issue of Titbits magazine. Lying on a counter was also an old invoice dated to 1927. ... Continued

Did you know Thorazine is ideal to calm senile agitation? Were you aware that a thorough Lysol douche can ensure happy married love? I bet you didn't know that the wrong coffee can lead to child abuse or that flies, the most dangerous insects known, can lead to infant death.

Now, before you laugh at how gullible 20th-century consumers were, don't forget Smilin' Bob and the miracle, girth-increasing properties of male-enhancement herbs.

Still, ads of the past are amusing. And often very, very disturbing.

See Weirdomatic's Old Creepy Ads and Creepy Vintage Advertising at Found in Mom's Basement to see what I mean.