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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Paint By Number


I am sure a lot of you grew up with these but I am sure there are a few who didn’t. Paint by number (PBN) was a way for everyone to express them selves using paint. You would purchase a themed paint kit that would come with an image that was segmented by numbers and you would match the color with the number and paint accordingly. Depending on your skill level you could purchase simple to difficult PBN’s. These were first produced in the 1950’s by Max S. Klein, an engineer and owner of the Palmer Paint Company of Detroit, Michigan and Dan Robbins, a commercial artist. In 1951 Palmer created the Craft Master brand and sold over 12 million kits to eager artists everywhere. There were a few other companies that produced PBN’s such as Paint Your Own, Craftint, Hasbro & Tole Craft to mention a few.

PBN’s were made with a variety of themes to include movies, rock groups and popular tv shows like the ones below:


Beatles PBN. Each kit had one of the members of the group!


Star Trek! One of these sold on Ebay for $1800!

Here is a cool clip on PBN’s

Click Images to Enlarge

Melody and I collect PBN and look at it as a form of folk art. I know some people might think they are primitive in appearance but that is exactly what draws me to them. I really think some of the images that have been produced are really nice. Ever since I purchased my first one I had the idea to take a small wall and cover the whole thing. I decided to fill up one of the walls in our bathroom. I really like it but maybe I am crazy??


Entrance to our bathroom


They go all the way to the ceiling



This one is called “Pinky”


This one is known as “Boy in blue”


I love the colors of this PBN geisha.


About these ads

1958 Disney’s Magic Highway

Hands free driving......attention free it appears as well!

The Jetson’s have nothing on this!

I really love the visual appeal of this video. Disney’s artists deserve a round of applause. If this clip doesn’t get you excited then check your pulse.

All I can say is why isn’t this a reality!? Do we dream this big anymore?

1950s TV Lamps

To me these TV lamps are pieces of art. There were soo many different ones made by a lot of different manufacturers (Royal Fleet, Maddux, Lane, Texans Inc., Kron, Fuhry & Sons, Jacquelin, Royal Haeger…). The necessity of these lamps came about when televisions started showing up in homes. When watching the early televisions you had to watch them in almost complete darkness because of the low luminosity, making low light viewing a genuine benefit. The common belief was that watching the television in complete darkness caused eyestrain, hence the birth of the television lamp. Creators of these lamps didn’t just crank out some cheap looking garbage they took this opportunity to introduce wild designs with radiant colors into consumers homes. I actually started collecting these just recently. I hope you can appreciate their beauty as I do.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to use these just on top of televisions, you can use them as additional lighting in any room.

Here are a couple that I have and enjoy.

Click Images to Enlarge

Monsanto Chemical Company Presents The House of the Future!

Monsanto Chemical Companies "Home of the Future" at Disneyland (1957-1967)

This is for you Vic.

This home was an exhibit at Disneyland from 1957-1967. This house was made of 99.97% of artificial materials. It was cutting edge for its time. Plastics were a new thing and revolutionized and modified building materials that were available.

Ok, I have an excuse as to why I don’t have one of these….I wasn’t alive yet. For all of those of you who were alive during that time I want to know why you didn’t buy one of these!?

Here is a video I found on this marvelous house. I wish it was better quality but this is the best I could find.

Part 1

Part 2

Here are some pictures of the inside and some literature:

Click Images to Enlarge

The house's designers, Marvin Goody and Richard Hamilton.

Looks good even at night!

Soo retro!


Oh! I want one sooooo bad!!!

Floor Plan

Update! 40’s and 50’s cabinet resto!

1950’s Train Travel

Railroad is a big part of my family. My father and grandfather were both railroad engineers. They both worked on the Rock Island railroad for years before the Rock Island went under. Railroad is what brought our family to California. My father was transferred here and worked for the Union Pacific for many years. My dad said growing up in Illinois and being Irish you had three career choices: priest, cop or railroad man.

Railroad is still a large part of this country and what makes it successful. Somehow the golden era of railroad travel has faded. I watch so many classic films where the main mode of travel was by train. It was the way to travel during that era and it was luxurious and mysterious. I know we are in such a hurry to get everywhere that we no longer have the patience for leisure travel. The following video shows what it use to be like.

Vista Dome Adventure

Here are some ads I found on-line

Click Images to Enlarge

Imagine the beauty of Canada flying by

So cool!

Observation deck

Look at the view!!!

A view like that has to be good for digestion!

See, even cowboys rode on these trains!

Very cool


Ok, I go to S.F. all the time and would ride this in a hart beat!


Thinking….why did we bring the kids!!

Connecting families

Leg room for days!Look how swanky all the fixtures are

Everyone dressed nicer then

My pop’s worked on this railroad!

I bet sleeping on this train was a treat

Cool styling

I am people!

Majestic Lamp Company

Melody and I love lamps. We have all kinds but we have not had the opportunity to get our hands on a Majestic lamp like the ones below. If you are not familiar with them they have a very unique design. The whole lamp is a piece of art from the main body to the shades.

In the early 1950’s the Majestic Lamp and Radio Company was reduced to making only their profitable lamps. These beautiful lamps were manufactured sold and marketed under the Majestic Lamp company name until 1963 when the company was sold to Westinghouse. Clifford Westinghouse made the lamps much more cheaply, with the thought that if he could get a Majestic Westinghouse Lamp into every house of America, then he would make millions on the replacement light bulbs.

Here are some picture of a few lamps we would like to have in our collection!

Click Images to Enlarge

"Z" Lamp

"Z" Lamp


Pictures are from Marfa Lights & Lamps

1950 Time Warp

Melody and I acquired our Snider clock from one of our friends. These clocks scream 1950’s! The styling is so atomic and the functionality is really convenient.

Our Model 505 Snider clock

Harry Snider is the creator of the “Snider clock”. In 1957 he designed  and registered these clocks in Canada. He designed three different models and each one was cool in its own right. All of these lights came in five colors: black, sandalwood, pink, turquoise and white.

Click Images to Enlarge

Snider Model 503

Model 503 is commonly referred to as the “butterfly or bowtie” model.

Snider Model 504

Model 504 is known as the “In-car heater” model.

Snider Model 505

is called the “squashed diamond” model.


We also acquired two more clocks from the same friend. These are similar to the Snider 503 model clock in the way of design and that they double as a light but they were made by a different manufacturer. The manufacturer of these two clocks is United Clock Corp. of Brooklyn. These clocks when lit have a starburst pattern on the parchment lining.

We have two of the same model

Here it is lit up

Film Noir

This is a tribute to film noir (The Endless Night: A Valentine to Film Noir). Please notice the use of shadow and the gritty style of the film.

There are certain kinds of classic movies I like. I enjoy the 40’s and 50’s crime stories. The suspense created and the bad attitudes of the characters is what appeals to me. I was not aware that a lot of films I was enjoying are known as film noir (French term meaning “black film”). Below you will find a better explanation of what that term means:

Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood’s classic film noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Depression.

Here are a few films that I enjoyed that are a part of this school of film…

“Out of the Past”

(Jane Greer’s first flick)

“Double Indemnity”

(I love Fred MacMurray in this)

“The Killing”

Do yourself a favor and find sometime to see one of these great movies.

Road Trip!

The drive was so nice...the weather was fantastic!

Mel and I headed up to  Gardnerville Nevada to pick up a “Steelcase” desk with a return. I have been looking for one of these for awhile and I was trolling Craigslist when I saw one that I had to have (I will showcase the desk soon). While we were up there we hit a couple of antique shops and found 2 cool looking cabinets that need to be refinished.

This cabinet is pretty rough. The wood has spread in a couple of areas and there are a few parts the will require reattachment. This cabinet really grabbed our attention because of its lines and the retro styling of the cabinet. I will have to repaint it and stabilize the piece so it is a solid piece of furniture again. The finished product will look great!

This second cabinet is more like a kitchen cabinet. I love to buy these cabinets and redo them. These sort of cabinets refinish very well.  We really like the cracked ice Formica and the sliding glass panels on the front. When finished this will make its way into the diner area I am sure.


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