July 24, 2010

Pink Picnic Stove on Ebay

It's very Fifties/Sixties, very Outdoorsy, and very Pink: Coleman Pink Single Burner Picnic Stove

I see these often on the auctions, and almost all are offered at very reasonably low bids (I could be mistaken but I'm pretty sure that your typical nostaligic outdoorsman manly-man-type isn't much interested in pink stoves. Undoubtedly when Coleman marketed these they were aiming for the manly-man-type's Better-Half. There was also a version of the same picnic stove in the more classic Coleman green.

Because it's a bit different than the typical camp stove, it caught my eye... just because I like the mid-century feel of this. I can see a family packing up one of these into the station wagon for an afternoon getaway at the lake.

Mind you, if you decide to bid on this, the stove was designed to use small LP gas cans that popped in easily for the stove fuel, also sold by Coleman. And I haven't seen these sold since I was a kid. So... unless you're handy and can rig-up only a SAFE means to hook up to a modern LP gas canister (which I am only guessing can be done - I'm not making any claims and taking NO responsibilities here!), remember that if you decide to bid that this will likely be useful only for a display item only.

July 22, 2010

Campground Cabins for the Modern-Minded

Yes, I'm dreaming a lot these days of the upcoming camping trip I've got planned for next month.

Though Junior and I are not going to be staying in any ultra modern lakeside cabins like this one, I can imagine what it'd be like. Couldn't you imagine spending a nice long holiday in a setting like this? Glass walls, angled roof supports and bright colors... heck, I could live here!

Incidentally this is from a postcard dated back to the Sixties for Camp Of The Woods, Speculator, New York.

July 21, 2010

Cool Cooler on Ebay

One of the things I seem to be accumulating are vintage camp thermoses and coolers. Not only are they still reliable for camping trips, but they look great above the cabinet in my kitchen! I really like the highly graphic design on this little cooler. I'd make a bid on it myself, but sometimes you just have to stick to the budget ;P ...but I can still look though!

Super Nice Vintage Cooler on Ebay

July 20, 2010

I Promise to "Do My Best"

1954 - Cub Scout, originally uploaded by clotho98.

This year the Boy Scouts are celebrating 100 years of meetings, camp outs, pinewood derbys, and den mothers!

This year Junior is joining up!

This year I really really wish Dad took a photo of me sometime when I was wearing my own scout uniform!

How many of you were in the Boy or Girl scouts? Brownies? Awanas?

Cub Scout illustration published in the October 1954 issue of Family Circle magazine.

July 17, 2010

The Big One-Oh

So... I haven't been seen too much in recent days, but I have a good excuse. Yesterday the formerly 9-year old Junior turned double digits - the big one as in the Big One-Oh (pssst... that'd be Ten-years old, btw)!

You'll be happy to know that he's been living it up on this monumentally big occasion, and that his Pop (that'd be me) is surviving fairly well, with all things considered. Junior started off his big day with a pancake breakfast in bed. Next he was forced to watch home movies of his original birth day from exactly ten years ago (muah-ha-ha!). Then we had a day at the waterpark followed by a night of video games (yes, he's earned it). We wrapped up the festivities last night by braving mosquito hordes to laze away in our over-sized kid pool while watching the moon and the lightning bugs dancing overhead.

Today we're headed to the lake. And tomorrow, if I can hang on that long, were aiming to go to the RR Days event up in Omaha.

Three days, three full days of fun-filled kid-excitement and thrills... what on earth was I thinking? =O

If you don't hear back from me again by Monday, send a rescue team - please!

= = =

So where's the vintage connection I'm supposed to make with this blog??? Worry not... Here's a few favorite pics from the family album of birthdays past...

Brother Dear's birthday goodies: A Merry-go-Round cake (probably made by Grandma) a gumball machine, a dump truck and a nifty tin machine gun!

Sis's baby doll cake, also likely made by Grandma... she was a cake designing genius!

A Snoopy-themed birthday party for the future Space Commander! Is there nothing in this poloroid shot that doesn't just scream "Seventies" at you?

July 14, 2010

One Small Space

Retro artwork, a 1957-8 Magnavox Record Player, a pair of amorphic astrays, and that awesome atomic lamp!

Abstract Modern Painting

Ab_Mod_06, originally uploaded by _Booka B_.

Acrylic 36" x 36" from _Booka B_

July 12, 2010

Finned Mailbox/Screen

Finned mailbox post, originally uploaded by poweron.

Speaking of mailboxes and screens... here's one that does both for the price of one!

Also speaking of screens, here's a link to another imaginative screen design: Garden Screen.

Holiday Dream Shack

Yep, I'm blogging at you through Flickr again today. There's too many inspirational examples I'd still hope to share! I like viewing all the different styles of homes, plain or fancy.

This small home was uploaded by tracey_lee1963... it may be little, but it's packed with MCM features! Wish I could get my hands on a mailbox like their's ;)

July 10, 2010

Molded Concrete Screen

Molded Concrete Screen, originally uploaded by TK Smith.

July 9, 2010

Bit of German Atomic Living

1959 Das Haus, Okt., Wohnzimmer.

That floor lamp is mighty interesting, and the large indoor planter is reminiscent of what would be see in many American ranch homes, usually situated by the main doorway as a divider. And the muted colors make it more appealing to today's modern taste.

July 8, 2010

North By Northwest - the VanDamm Residence

I've always loved this bit of mid-century fantasy architecture that Hollywood created for the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "North by Northwest" in 1959. When I think of the movie, I think of this wonderful home situated in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I don't know if anything can come any closer to being the epitome of MCM design.

The above still needs to be viewed in full screen to be properly appreciated. Look at the concept of blending the structure in with the landscape... the low, long flowing lines... the floating, gravity-defying living area levitated over the canyon drop-off... floor to ceiling windows everywhere... all elements popularized in 50's modern architecture. That's atomic living.

As for me? I wouldn't want to live there, as much as I love the scenic Black Hills... but having a good hunk of my home clinging from a drop-off?? That would wear on my acrophobic nerves to no end :P ...Yet it sure is inspiring to admire it's style!

July 7, 2010

Strategic Air Command

As requested by the Atomic Ranch Lady, for the first time ever here's my old snapshots of a bit of Cold War history.

I took these shots of the S.A.C. Air and Space Museum back when I was a mere kidlett, so remember that when you browse through! The whole museum complex (as well as the Base) was still located near Bellevue at the time and we visited the museum a couple times over the years since my Grandma E. lived in town.

Today the museum has moved to an entirely indoor modern facility 20 miles down the road, near Ashland, Nebraska.

It would have been one of the first times my Dad let me use his 35mm Pentax camera, and we probably developed the roll ourselves in our storeroom/darkroom as we often did.




Super Fortress

Here's the Flickr link to all 15 photographs: SAC Air & Space Museum in the 70's/80's
And apologies in advance - Flickr is having loading issues today :(

July 6, 2010

Space-Age Playlands

Yes.... there's More ;)

An article in Life Magazine "Playgrounds take a Space-age Spin", March 15, 1963

Rocket Climbers

So much to be added and so little time...

Photographic series by Lauren Orchowski - Rocket Climbers

Bouncy Rocket Rider

DSCF2305, originally uploaded by Nels_P_Olsen.

From Nels P. Olsen's Flickr photostream of vintage rocket slides & saucer go-rounds. An absolutely staggering collection to see here from a trip Mr. Olsen took across Iowa on a search for vintage playground equipment.

Saul Bass Playscape 1961

Saul Bass Playscape 1961, originally uploaded by sandiv999.

Woohoo! I would have loved the plank-board jump into the sandpit idea when I was a kid. The builders probably would have had to conveniently locate this park next door to a hospital ;X

Children's Play Sculpture in Czechoslavakia

Robert Winston Play Sculpture 1961

Noguchi Playground Art

Remember all those funky designs in your playground as a kid? The equipment that you hardly ever see anymore made into freeformed concrete shapes such resembling large potato chips with holes or some other other-worldly half-dream, half-nightmare form as if from a Dali painting. I do... we had the big potato chip in the schoolyard and even more creations at the city parks (until city officials grew nervous about liability and replaced them with wall-to-wall foam padded safe parks).

Did you know that some of the top designers of the day worked on these creations? Here's a fine example of that playground art designed by none other than Isamu Noguchi.

The Noguchi Playground was the 1952 model made for the United Nations. Yes, apparently even the highest representatives of the world at that time needed a playground. This area was even to be given a special international diplomatic designation, but alas the park was not to become a reality, thanks to Noguchi's NYC nemesis, Robert Moses.

As it happened, Moses's blocking of the UN Playground was the fuel for MoMA championing the design, which in turn led to an exhibition at Creative Playthings' Madison Avenue toyshop. So as it happened in 1953, Creative Playthings approached Noguchi with a proposal for designing commercial playground equipment for thier new spinoff division, Play Sculptures. And the rest (I assume) is history.

You can find a whole heaping collection of Noguchi's broad range of work here on Raimist's Noguchi uploads at Flickr.

For THE book of Noguchi's creativity you can go to Amazon and purchase Ana Maria Torres' 2000 book Isamu Noguchi: A Study of Space.

Still here??? Why not go look at some more mid-century playground designs? Go to Aqua-Velvet.com fast!

Thanks to Daddytypes.com for some background info.

July 4, 2010

The Fourth of July

My Country 'tis of Thee

Sweet Land of Liberty

Of Thee I Sing

Land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

Have Yourself a Happy Independence Day!

Have a safe and happy 4th, originally uploaded by ~BostonBill~.

July 3, 2010

The Third of July

Your friendly neighborhood Space Commander asks: "Have you got your box of sparklers yet?"

Perhaps going for something with a little more "umph!" Like maybe your very own neighborhood arsenal?

Thinking about cracking open his piggy bank about now...

I love this box! Guess that's why I'd kept it stored in our attic.


Cowboys riding rockets... you can't get anymore retro than that ;)

Every manufacturer is out to grab the buyers' attention with the most colorful packaging, and many until recently still drew on the same influences you'd see in mid-century tin-lithographed toys. They're bright, colorful, and promise hours of noisy fun! They have an artform all their own.

Vintage Standard Fireworks, originally uploaded by EpicFireworks.

And don't forget to grab some punks to set them off with too!

July 2, 2010

The Second of July

My blog buddy Atomic Ranch Lady asked "what do we collect/display in celebration of Independance Day?" Mine would be the American flag that's been used by my family and displayed on this house every July 4th since the 1970's.... or as long as I can remember!

Above is one of a set of photos my Dad shot. It's still in the a.m. on this Fourth, the flag has been proudly unfurled on our home, and there's me sitting underneath with a string of ladyfingers and a handful of pop bottle rockets. Doing what I loved best! I was a bit younger than Junior's age here. Since then our flag lost its gold eagle mounting at the tip of the pole some years ago, and it's colors have become faded, but I think she still has a few good years of waving left in her ;)

Below it's the same flag, same house - today.

Here I am again, looking kind of sleepy. I would usually sleep in during Summer vacation, but this morning was an exception! Rain or shine I bet those cowboy boots never left my feet for longer than two seconds until I outgrew 'em... Ha :P

What I'd like to ask is this: "Do you have any favorite photos from the Fourth of July (and for our readers overseas, from any holiday special to you)?" It can be of family gatherings, parades, picnics, big events or small... something that says something important to you or what you remember. Share them if you'd like and Have fun remembering why the holiday means something to you.

July 1, 2010

The First of July

It starts with a glimmer of anticipation deep in the back of the pre-adolescent boy's mind in early June. By late June, it's a burning coal that keeps growing until only one week is left and the countdown begins, then it bursts into flame and consumes him. No, we aren't talking about girls (that comes later on!) We are talking Fireworks. As in the FOURTH - Independence Day - one of the Big Three holidays of the kid year that takes a back seat to NO other day... short of your own birthday of course :)

No sooner were the tent stakes pounded in the ground than I would hop on my Stingray and pedal down the street, take a right and speed halfway across the neighborhood to the closest fireworks stand and spend every penny I could pack into both front pockets of my cut-offs.

Once back home I'd light my punk over the kitchen stove, then dutifully take up residence on the front steps of our home for the next four days straight. Those days were filled with dreaming up all kinds of new imaginative ways to light off a ladyfinger in the mailbox or perfecting the aim of a pop bottle rocket so that it could reach the very edge of space (at least I thought it did).

Yep, in my mind the Fourth of July was the best day of the year... even better than my own birthday!

Some of the old fireworks saved along with my cigar box from kidhood

Fiberglass Shades Go On Trial - Part II

I warned you there would be more to come...

You remember my matched pair of fiberglass shades, right? They were yellowed from years of dirt, the metal hoops had turned brown and their lacing had disintergrated into fragments... These two were not in a happy place!

It was time to act and to coordinate a rescue effort. I removed the pieces of old lacing and the metal hoops, then smoothed off the corrosion and other yuckiness from the hoops with fine steel wool, and washed off any greasy residue. Now the hoops got several light coats of fresh gold (or brass) metallic paint to replicate the original finish. You could have the metal parts professionally plated, but ummm, I don't have any relatives in that line of business ;)

Next it was time for the fiberglass shades to get some attention. They weren't stained, just that overall they could use a thorough cleaning. I read somewhere about a fiberglass boat cleaner which might be used to reverse yellowing, but I was not willing to experiment on two irreplacable shades. I went with something less drastic, I filled the bathtub with mildly warm water, enough to immerse the whole shade and gently scrubbed any bug spots with a small bristle brush. The shades really soak up the warm water and it seemed to help smooth out some minor dimples too. I didn't use any detergent, otherwise I'd start with a dishwashing soap like Dove.

I had done some research if chlorine bleach might help brighten the yellowing, but after a little Googling I found that any products containing chlorine bleach could actually set stains in fiberglass, so I dropped that idea. And of course abrasive cleaners aren't recommended for fiberglass either.

After their bath I padded the two shades down with a bath towel so they weren't dripping wet and to help avoid any risk of water staining while they air dried. The results: though there's discoloring from age, they were noticably brighter after being cleaned.

Next up: there was the lace situation to be tackled!

Now that they were cleaned, the two shades could have the hoops reattached with new lacing. I went to Hobby Lobby to see what might be available. In the leather crafts they had a reel of goatskin lace in dark brown in two widths. I brought along a piece of my old lacing to compare and went with the smaller width. They also carried reels available in black, and a wider variety in shorter lengths on cards, including metallic colors (much like my original lamp lace still showed traces of) but the carded laces would have been too wide for my particular shades.

Restitching was the easiest part, with a bit of patience. I started at the seam and gradually tightening the lace as the hoop is secured (but not too tight). I double checked that I ran the lacing in the same direction both top and bottom, otherwise the effect may not have been a good one! Finally the two loose ends of the lace were tied in a sailors knot, in the same fashion as the original lace was knotted.

The Verdict: I solemnly swear that overall I am pleased with how my shades turned out, Your Honor. And I can testify that today I have a happy matching pair of nightstand lamps again!

= = =

A Friendly Disclaimer: This example illustrates what I did to repair my shades. I am NOT a professional fiberglass lamp restoration expert. Individual results will likely vary. You may choose to follow my methods, but I cannot be held responsible for any unforeseen results, including further staining, accidental dismemberment and worse. Please use your own common sense and judgement before proceeding!

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