Tuesday, September 18, 2012


One simple word, but it can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  Here are some of the retro things I have surrounded myself with in my home.

I got this from my little brother.  This poor thing has absolutely no idea how to deal with digital TV signals, so all I can get is snow.  Which, in itself is retro, since when digital signals go out all you get is that bad-DVD look, or a blue screen.

The thermostat I found somewhere in my house when I bought it.  It wasn’t in service at the time, but the previous owners left it in the back of one of the closets.  Now I have it on the kitchen wall, still not in service.

I wouldn’t dare try to make waffles in this thing, probably would short out the whole house.  Not to mention it would need a thorough cleaning first.

I found this old gas stove at a second hand store.  It also isn’t functional, but looks good in my kitchen.

Another retro gift from my little brother.  Notice how nice and compact it is.  That’s because…

…it’s SOLID STATE.  None of those pesky glass tubes.  Quite moderen.

Looking out my front window, through the lens of…


Remember taking pictures with one of these in the winter?  You had to slip the photo under your armpit to keep it warm enough to self-develop. 

Some things from the by-gone days are better off gone.  I cut my foot more than a few times on one of these discarded pop-tops.

Milk.  In glass bottles?  Sheesh, people probably expected it to be delivered to their front door too.

Metal toys.  Made in the U.S.A.  With relatively sharp edges.  How did we survive as kids?

My front door.  Probably from when they built my home in 1912.  Even with the weather stripping I’ve added, it’s not the most energy saving door around, but I’m not getting rid of it.

And finally, you don’t find woodwork like this on small middle class homes anymore.  The owners before me restored all the woodwork, including the floors, in the front rooms of the house.  That’s the stuff that sold me on the place.


Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

That's some impressive retro!

Alexia said...

Wow, what a collection you have! I have nothing like these beautiful old artefacts... great series, Max!

I really covet the thermometer...

Gilly said...

Oh, I love them all! I can remember all those, especially that kitchen stove! And the waffle iron! And..... oh, I shall have to come back and savour them all again.

Bob Scotney said...

Two great cameras there, but it was the TV that caught my attention. We just happen to be the last area in the UK to switch to digital; nest week will complete the change over and then I guess our portable TV will become retro snow as well.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Do tell your brother that I'm adopting siblings who fill my home with such beauties. My favorite colors are red and black, but I will take yellow and pink to keep it retro ;-)

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Made in the U.S.A. With relatively sharp edges. How did we survive as kids?

By throwing firecrackers and shooting bottle rockets at each other? That's what worked for me and my brothers.

Great pics, Max.

Karen S. said...

U.S.A. and your awesome Thermostat- Honeywell in Minneapolis, and I bet even from the building not far from one of our old family body shops! I just love your retro tour- you do have much to treasure!

Rita said...

Quite a collection of retro items in your house. I prefer the older stuff too. But, admit that when it comes to electronics I like the newer versions.

I do love your woodworking and that door. I have been adding oak trim to our condo for that retro feel since I already had all the old oak furniture. I would have hung the thermostat as well.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

oh these are lovely!

Lisa Shafer said...

Practically half your house fits this theme. :)
I don't think I knew you had that first camera. My dad had one like it, but he sold it to a collector for a tidy sum. $500, I think. Maybe it was less, but he got quite a bit for it, as it was in pristine condition and was to be displayed in a camera museum.

Great choice of subjects for this theme.

Carmi Levy said...

What a great trip through time! The reel-to-reel machine is especially poignant for me: when I started in radio, that's how I edited. Taped everything on reel, then cut it down using a block, grease pencil and razor blade. It was such a visceral, tactile process...I miss it. Digital editing just isn't the same.

I'm with you on the cans. Sliced my foot badly on one when I was a kid. I was at the outdoor pool at the community center, and didn't even realize I had hurt myself till someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked back to see a trail of blood all the way down the deck. Lotsa stitches, and to this day I have a huge sad-face scar on my foot. Oh well...it's me!

Max Sartin said...

Scars, schmars. I've got a few myself, an ice skate to the face, bit by a car installing speakers in the back. Like you say, they help make us who we are.