Monday, January 30, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cold Weather Collecting

I'll bet this brings back some memories. I picked this English Raleigh wheelie bike from a thrift store recently. I normally wouldn't bother with a small bike like this but it seemed unique enough to take a flyer on because I think of American bikes, not British, when I think of sissy bars and ape-hanger handle bars.
I originally thought this was a girl's bike because the frame had that 'goose neck' look to it. But it seems to a boy's wheelie bike.
I'm going to guess that it's from the 60's because of its all original features. I has the English Sturmey Archer 3-speed gear changer as well as an English Brooks banana seat. -It's too bad that the vinyl is beaten up because I'm going to guess that they are pretty rare. However, the chromed steel and paint are in very good shape.
I'm always looking out for 'Diner antiques,' or old restaurant and travel china, etc., so I was really happy to find eight of these Walgreens table knives from the 30's or 40's. To most people, Walgreens is just a drug store but, in years gone by, they also had thriving lunch counters in their stores.

This is just a cool little Made In Japan planter. It depicts a 1930s/1940s Harvard football player, complete with leather helmet and lace-up football pants.
Trad trimming. This rotary push trimmer is probably from the 30s and is pretty cool. I got it at an estate sale. There were other old gardening tools there but I thought that this one was the rarest. I like that it is oak and has the great 'Neptune' stamped on it.

More letters. Yep. These probably came from a theater marquee or billboard and I have enough to say 'Bait,' 'Beer,' etc..
Here's a small collection of antique printer's blocks from the 1930's. I haven't tried imprinting with them yet but they're cool all on their own. Some of the blocks are art deco depictions of athletes like boxers, golfers, basketball players and football players. Very nicely done.

Buy Your Cologne Where You Buy Your Janitorial Supplies!

What is the most trad place from which to buy grooming supplies? Before you answer London's Trumpers or New Haven's J. Press, hear me out. What is more trad than finishing your tennis match or golf round at that old, forgotten club in the leafy suburbs and limping exhausted into the men's locker room. Although the lockers are rusty and the floors are mildewy concrete, you enter the dingy sanctum and set your gear on the splintered oak bench and step with trepidation into the showers. The calcified shower head spits out sulfurous streams of cold water. -But you'd have it no other way. That, my friends, is trailer trad.
After the bracing shower, you grab a white, utilitarian towel and dry off. Ah, there's half used bottle of Lilac Vegetal provided by the club to freshen up with. You exchange an old joke with an equally old duffer then wander into the plastic fern and knotty pine paneling adorned 'grill' for that perfect Plymouth Gin G&T. Various wonderful things lay around the card room like score cards, tees, club napkins. On the shoe-shine stand lay brands of excellent shoe polish that you'd never heard of. -Where do all of these weird, cool clubby things come from?

Since the Depression, Fore Supply Company out of Chicago has been a major supplier to country clubs and others in need of personalized service and a wide selection of hard to find  'club' supplies. The business was started out of the trunk of a 1937 Chevy early on and the young German immigrant family sought to provide items that clubs and athletic facilities might need. During the Depression, founder George even had the kids sharpen golf pencils!

Supplies were in short supply after the war so, in 1945, George K. and Helen organized 'Fore' Supply Company and revolutionized the idea of marketing specifically to clubs. For example, they went so far as to manufacturer their own shower shippers, largely by hand. They were so shrewd that they used their garage to store stock and didn't even get a real warehouse until forty years after their founding!

The company's still thriving and family owned. I've only purchased a couple of things from them but their customer service was great and, even though they're commercial suppliers, their prices are low and shipping charges fair. And there are no minimums!

Pinaud Club products are getting hard to find, especially rarer ones like Pinaud Clubman Citrus Musk cologne and Portugal Hair Tonic. They are also a good source for brushes, combs and other grooming supplies.

Fore could also be your go-to if you go through aftershave by the gallon.

Dandux is an american made classic and I thought that this Dandux canvas laundry hamper would perfect for cleaning up that dump of yours.

Alright, suppose it's poker night at your abode. How are you going to fleece your without legit poker chips?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Capital Beginning to the New Year

I began 2012 off right with a trip into The Nation's Capital on New Year's Day with Lil' Bean. As I was trying to navigate around all of the traffic circles, road closings and pedestrians, I pointed out various familiar spots in the city. There was Foggy Bottom where my college buddy and I started out our careers in an adburdly small row house. I pointed out where I used to work diligently as a young economist, putting out vital economic statistics every month. And I pointed out the spots in Georgetown (those few that are left like The Tombs,  The Sign of the Whale  and The Third Edition) that we used to retire to for a much deserved cocktail. She yawned and returned her gaze to her Nintendo DS, as you would expect a 13 year old to do.

Not surprisingly, I found a few cars in Georgetown that I'd like to own. I love the Toyota FJ Cruiser, preferably in Scuba Yellow with black wheels and full towing/sport kit. It's one of the only new cars under $50k that I really covet. I told a friend about this and his reply was "Your Daughter's been making you watch too much Japanese Anime." Given what I've come to discover about that nation's superior sense of style and design, I'll take that as a compliment. -Great old gems like this classic, restored Fiat, I always covet.

I'm old enough to remember when the area around the New York Ave. Greyhound Bus Station practically all the way to The White House was pretty gritty, indeed. That entire area is totally changed now but this art deco masterpiece thankfully is still around.
When you see the Capital Building on TV, you don't realize how massive it is. The small nature of most politicians also diminish it, unfortunately.

If you've never been to Washington, DC, I recommend that you make the trip because the city really is a wealth of culture and interesting people to see. -Much of is free which makes it, you guessed it, trailer trad!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sweater Weather: Vintage Sweaters and Other Warm Woolens

The cold weather's finally arrived in Raleigh so it's time to break out the serious cold weather gear. I found this 1950s wool varsity sweater from NC State at a local estate sale. Not perfect condition but pretty nice considering the age. Wonderful varsity letter and woven-in sleeve stripes.

On my picking travels, I acquired a few pair of Swedish Navy wool socks. These things are pretty nice. They are thick wool but are very comfortable and not itchy at all. Best of all, they come up past your calf to nearly your knee and stay up nicely. These woolens were clearly made for use on the North Sea but would be fine to wear to the office - or even to church (if offerings dried up and the heat had to be turned off in the sanctuary, for example).
Even so, some of you will scoff. Yes, I did buy pairs of USED socks. On the other hand, these socks are Swedish Navy veterans and thus have probably:
*weathered epic North Sea gales
*seen the Northern Lights reflected off of majestic glaciers
*sailed through breath-taking fjords
*been with hotter (Swedish) women than I have even seen in person
To sum it up, I'm proud of my socks but I'm jealous of their life style.

I picked some nice old long wool scarves that were knit in Switzerland many, many years ago. Pretty nice and they go great with my Swiss mittens.

I have a U.S. Navy issue (Schott?) pea coat but I also picked up this great, slimmer version from Cable Car Clothiers.
I found this vintage Italian Marine Sweater in bottle green. The knit is tight and thick like a good ski sweater from Dale of Norway and it's really comfortable.

The Junior League thrift store yielded this sweet English cashmere v-neck in ivory while I picked up the Tarheel blue Scottish Shetland cable at an estate sale.