Minette slide viewer

Minette 35mm slide viewer
Minato Shokai Co, made in Japan, c.1950s

OK! Ok. Another slide viewer. But we all have slides to view. Or is it just me?

This viewer is just SO cute. Look how small it is…it’s a Minette. The kewpie doll is bigger than the viewer, and she carries a slide under her arm for scale.

And totally weirdly, like every other time I have bought a slide projector or a viewer, the Minette comes with a slide of its last owner…this time it’s an echtochrome slide of a woman on grass shading her eyes from the camera. Ms Kewpie is modelling that slide.

For sale: $AUD55 [please indicate if you’d like Kewpie and the slide included.]

Buy Now

Penny Inkwells

Penny inkwells,
made in Victoria, Australia 1880-1910

This is a collection of ‘penny’ inkwells; there are ceramic and so-called because they were cheaply made bottles that cost a penny to buy. They were crudely made and one of the first ‘disposables’- they were simply thrown out when they were empty. So this little collection is quite rare: most penny inkwells that survived the nineteenth century are chipped or broken.

The ceramic is stoneware with a salt glaze. Each inkwell is a different colour, depending on the mix of the original clay colour and the finished glaze: they range from a light tan to a deep russet brown. No two the same!

Most penny inkwells were used by school children; but would occasionally also be bought to be used in homes. There are many websites devoted to the collection of inkwells, and Ebay has a section for ‘collectable inkwells and ink pots’. Single penny inkwells in good condition are selling for around $45.

The collection of 8 penny inkwells is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: POA

Buy Now

Linguaphone

Linguaphone Corso D’Italiano
made in England 1954

This fantastic vinyl case holds an Italian language course – with 50 ‘Lezione’ on 45 RPM records, and various student books – such as “Vocabularies and Text of Sound Record” and the like. The books are published by Linguaphone Institute Ltd, in London by The Woodbridge Press.

There’s a “Reading Book” in Italian, “Students Instructions”, and “Explanatory Notes”- all supporting the lessons on the records. The illustrations in the books are pure 50s- as are the pictures on the records [I confess that I bought this set on the drawings alone. And the vinyl case is totally funky.]

The case has never been opened [until now!]- the records are unused and the books unread. A 50s course in Italiano awaits you! Classic Italian sentences that will assist your next trip to Italy such as : “Do you have a light”? and “Have you seen Sophia Loren in ‘It Started in Naples’?”

The Linguaphone- unused, is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU55

Buy Now

Super, super 8

Diamond Super 8 Editor, 1950sDiamond Super 8 Editor
made in Japan, 1950s

Super 8 film is having a resurgence, and super 8 cameras and editors are being dusted off and put back into use. You only have to look at YouTube to see how many videos are being made using this fantastic 50s technology.

This Editor is fully working, and comes in its original box with splicer, spare bulb, reels of film and even splicing cement [not sure how good it will be after sixty-odd years but the box packing is fabulous.] It’s been tested by an electrician and deemed good to go.

Even if you don’t use the editor to – you know- edit, it is a beautiful piece of engineering that will lend industrial cred to any space.

The Editor [and assorted accoutrements] is for sale: $AU150

Buy Now

create-a-kit

Torro create-a-kit,
made in New Zealand 1960s

Here’s New Zealand’s answer to lego : create-a-kit. It’s new in box, never opened, with instructions for making houses, and robots, windmills and the like. It was made by Torro [Toys of Tomorrow!]

I like the images and font on the box, as much as the idea of making a primary coloured house of the 60s [the instruction images are hilarious – so retro!] I had a quick check to see all the pieces are still inside – and some of the bricks are still connected to the manufacturers frame.

The create-a-kit is for sale: $AU65

Buy Now

Barometer [sold]

60s barometer,
made in Tasmania, Australia

This is a fabulous wall barometer- and temperature gauge- made from blackwood timber, in the shape of Tasmania.

The barometer was a wedding gift to a couple in the 60s – and has faithfully recorded the air pressure [barometer] and air temperature [thermometer] since then. I particularly like the fonts used for the barometer – it is very old school, where each condition has its own curlicue lettering: ‘stormy, rain, change, fair, very dry.’ That last one is -of course- referring to wit.

In excellent working order, and ready to hang, the barometer is for sale: $AU45

Australia in the #40s and #50s

Australian Souvenirware,
made in Czechoslovakia, England, Australia 1940-50s

A selection of hand-coloured, photographic transfer prints of various Australian cities and landmarks made in the 40s and 50s. What a great wall feature they’d make!

Featured herein are beaches, streets, bridge and bridge approaches and traffic bridges, parks, clocks, landmarks, harbours, town halls, parliament houses and rivers [and I quote] :

  • Harbour Beach, Manly
  • Prince Street, Grafton
  • Belmont, Lake Macquarie
  • Bridge Approach, Shoalhaven River from Showground, Nowra
  • Bridge, Shoalhaven River, Nowra
  • Traffic Bridge, Macksville
  • Machattie Park, Bathurst
  • Dr Evershed Memorial Clock, Bega NSW
  • Bottle Rock, Coonabarabran
  • Ulladulla Harbour, NSW
  • Town Hall, Rockhampton QLD
  • Perth, WA
  • Parliament House, Canberra
  • Murray River, Corowa.

Makers are all noted on the backstamps: Victoria, IBC, Royal Grafton Bone China, Royal Stafford Bone China, Westminster China [the last, weirdly from Australia.]

All fifteen plates are in great vintage condition and provide a snapshot of important landmarks in Australia, as judged by tourists in the 40s and 50s. Or – as I mentioned – massed together they would make a fantastic wall feature.

The souvenirware plates are for sale: $AU120

Buy Now

10″ slide rules

10” slide rules
Hemmi, made in Japan, c.1954
Aristo, made in Japan, c. 1960
Royal, made in Japan, c.1960

The first slide rulers were developed in the C17th, for mathematical calculations. They were used consistently from this date until 1974, when they were replaced by the scientific calculator. The middle section moves between scales on top and bottom of the scales, and then an independent clear plastic slider is moved to allow the calculation to be read.

These 10” slide rulers [250mm] were made for the office; they are larger and allow more complex calculations that the smaller 5” portable scale rules […yes..they will appear in a previous post…I can’t help it…I love them!]

The Hemmi slide [topmost in the image] has a bamboo structure, with a plastic laminate covering; whilst the later slide rules are all solid plastic. All slide rules come in their own boxes [some with original operating instructions] and some have their original owners names incised on the box.

For sale: $AUD85

Buy Now

60s jigsaws

60s jigsaws
made in Australia

Two delightful jigsaws, made from timber, in Australia in the 60s. The first was made by Louise Rayner Toys; the second – a teaching clock, is unmarked. Both jigsaws came from a nursery school, who purchased them in the 60s but now deemed them too ‘old-fashioned’ for today’s children. So – hello – retro!

I do remember playing with a clock jigsaw when I was at nursery school- the plastic handles are adjustable and have to be moved in order to get all the pieces in. And I just love the funky glasses on the coloured jigsaw- which is very ‘analogue’ with a clock and a rotary telephone!

Both jigsaws are in excellent vintage condition; with very little wear and are for sale: $AU45

Buy Now

Vintage Reader

The Big Red Bus, Childrens Reader 1955The Bad Red Bus, published in London, 1955
MacMillan & Co Ltd.

I really like children’s readers…they are especially funny to read as an adult, but even as a child I thought that Dick and Jane were…weird. They were strangely dressed children, with stilted speech patterns. Mind you, the parents spoke with a limited vocabulary too:

“Now I must buy a present,” said Father.
“Here is a little horse,” said Ken.
“Pamela could sit on it and we could rock her.”
“Yes, Mother and I will give her that horse. We will take it home with us.” [Gay Days, 1961 p.14]

This was a book that was before my time at school- The Bad Red Bus– but it was on the Australian school syllabus and many people I know read it as a child. Children remember titles with the word “Bad” in them…and boy, was this bus bad!

Unusually for the time, both the author and illustrator were women; not unusually for the time, the story line is very eurocentric and gave Australian children a small glimpse of the animals and customs of England in the 50s.

The Big Red Bus is in good vintage condition, it shows sign of wear to the cover and has been handled by many, many children. It is for sale: $AU15

Buy Now