50s Australian glassware

Australian glassware, 1950sAustralian glassware
made in 1950s

I am a huge fan of Australian glassware: and collect it when I can.

Here we have:
tri-pouring graduated ½ pint jug [pours from three sides]
Kodak developing chemical graduated glass
and seven medicine graduated glasses.

All pieces were made rough-and-ready; several have ‘bubbles’ in the glass, and evident seam lines. But no chips or cracks- all these lovely glasses can be used today for their original – or indeed – new purposes.

Because that’s what glass is like. Unlike plastic, it does not allow molecular transfer – so when heated or filled with foodstuffs or chemicals- there is no movement between the two.

And being made in the 50s- all the graduated measurements are imperial; in relief in the glass, or transfer printed. A lovely snap-shot of Australian glassware.

This set of Australian glassware is for sale: $AU95

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Mickey Mouse alarm clock

Walt Disney Productions Mickey Mouse Clock, 1970sAvronel Walt Disney Productions alarm clock
made in Germany 1970s

Just when I finished explaining I don’t collect very many Mickey Mouse pieces, I came across this fantastic alarm clock, made by Walt Disney Productions in the 70s. Mickey is depicted in the traditional ‘pie-eyed’ way from the 20s and 30s, rather than the way he was drawn in the 70s. [‘Pie-eyed’ being a circular pupil shape with a pie-shaped cut-out.]

This is a fixed-key wind-up clock with brass feet; and it has a Jerger 90 M10 movement. It originally came in both round and oval shapes- the oval shape being the rarer of the two. Unfortunately there is a section of plastic broken from the rear – not noticeable from the front- but it is a flaw in this otherwise lovely vintage alarm clock. I rarely collect vintage items with flaws, but this clock is so sweet I overlooked it [but it is reflected in the sale price.]

The clock is for sale: $AU75

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40s souvenir ware [sold]

Clock and barometer souvenir
made in Australia 1940s

I’ve featured quite a bit of Mulga wood on this blog: . and a fair bit of kitsch. Often Mulga wood and kitsch go hand-in–hand, as is the case here. Mulga wood was used in 1940s souvenir works as it is a hardwood –unusual in a native from the wattle family – and was considered ‘export quality’. The timber is cut and arranged to show off its famous bi-colouring, as is the Australia-shaped base of this 40s souvenir.

The clock- with alarm and glow-in-the-dark numbers and hands, is paired with a barometer [working; naturally it’s in Fahrenheit] and a gilt koala. The wind-up clock is functional- but I can’t attest to its accuracy. But a barometer and a clock and a gilt koala all on an Australia-shaped Mulga wood base? Doesn’t get much better!

I’ve teamed the souvenir with a Bushell’s tea jar from the same era. The rusted lid adds another brown tone, and the glass picks up the glass on the clock and barometer.

The Mulga wood souvenir is for sale: $AU45

Pyrex Agee [sold]

Pyrex Agee 3" condiment bowlsPyrex Agee ‘Coloured Pyrex’ 3” bowls
made in Australia 1952-1959.

How collectable is Pyrex right now? Crazy collectable, that’s how! I had been quietly collecting the ‘Coloured Pyrex’ series for a while: I like the harlequin colours, the stackability and use in the kitchen. They come in three sizes [3”, 5” and 7”] and six colours. I had an oversupply of green 3” condiment bowls so posted them for sale. They were quite literally- snapped up.

The ‘Agee’ was Pyrex manufactured in Australia. These 3” condiment bowls are stamped “PR 234, Agee Pyrex, Made in Australia” on the base. And that’s another thing to look for: Pyrex colours that have deteriorated after being in a dishwasher- or a Pyrex bowl that has done heavy duty and has colour worn from the base. The interior of the Agee is glass; the colour is applied to the exterior, so it’s food grade – and so if any wear happens, it happens to the exterior base.

These beauties are in excellent condition, with no wear. And a fantastic green to boot.

This set of 3 green condiment bowls sold for $AU25

Electronic printing calculators #70sstyle [sold]

Adler & Casio electronic printing calculators
made in Japan c.1970s

How cool are these printing calculators? And fun to use. I could play with those big chunky keys all day- and don’t get me started on the sound of the printing!

For the more serious minded collectors out there- the Adler is your 121PD model, type CP 46[3], 220/240 V, and the Casio is your GR-2250, AC 220V, 50/60Hz. Did I mention they are totally fun to play with calculate with?

Ink and paper rolls are still available, so you could have these beauties on your desk and tote up your tax accounts with style. Or- a la Mad Men- add up the cost of the booze for the christmas party! Hey!- they go up to 12 digits!

The two machines are in excellent working order and are for sale: $AU145 [come with new paper rolls]

50s trophies [sold]

Trophies
made in Australia 1950s

I have seen vintage trophies repurposed as business card holders: and so decided to collect them.

Here we have, from left to right:

A silver plate cup, with no inscription; on a Marquis bakelite base.
A silver plate cup inscribed: “Presented to V. Kane, Fairest Player on and off field, 1956” on a Marquis bakelite base.
A hallmarked silver cup inscribed: “Selangor Golf Club Services Trophy 1958, Winners D.C. Hurst & L.M. Riedel” on a bakelite base.

Of course, once you’ve figured out that a trophy is great as a repurposed card holder, you can think of many great repurposing ideas. Drinking champagne comes to mind.

The trophies are for sale: $AUD75

Industrial cred #70s style

Peak Voltmeter [1971]Peak Voltmeter
made in Japan, 1971

A birthday gift, because my family know I love old instruments, bakelite knobs and original leather cases. Oh JOY! This Voltmeter has it all. It even has its original leads for – you know- voltage testing. I’ll be doing some fine voltage testing, let me tell you.

Old scientific instruments were not designed to be beautiful- just functional. But somehow the very precision with which they were made lends them a wonderful beauty. This piece adds serious industrial cred to my entrance hall. I notice that children when they visit are drawn to it – to play with the knobs [as I do myself. Seriously good fun.]

The Voltmeter is not for sale: I include it here to encourage the collection of these fabulous old instruments – now getting harder to find, they are becoming collectable due to rarity.

Cast-iron shoe last

Cast iron shoe last [1920s]Cast-iron shoe last
made in Australia c.1920s

This is a ‘dual’ cast-iron cobblers shoe last- there are two different shapes on which to stretch and shape leather to make shoes. Cast-iron was used as it maintains its shape when in contact with wet leather and the mechanical stresses of stretching and shaping shoes.

Nowadays these heavy items are used as book ends, door stops or simply as decorative industrial forms.

There is something very satisfying about repurposing an industrial antique- giving it a new purpose and lease of life- and the functional design of the last means it is stable either end up.

Pictured here with a pineapple- the shoe last lends gravitas to anything!

The cobblers last is for sale: $AUD45

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50s Australian souvenirware

50s souvenirwareAboriginal motif souvenirware,
made in Australia 1950s

Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of ‘Australiana’ – replacing traditional English motifs with Australian themes; invariably Aboriginal motifs. In the 1950s these appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular as souvenirware.

The beaten copper image of an Aboriginal tribesman here is laid on an indigenous timber – with a handy thermometer [still working, btw] what’s not to love?  The timber is Mulga wood – much collected and much documented on this blog. This is hugely collectible.

The Aboriginal motif sourvenirware is for sale: $AUD45

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Back to [old] skool

Retro briefcase & vintage calculatorsBriefcase made in Sydney, Australia 1950s
Magic Brain Computer, pocket calculator made in Japan 1950s
Addiator, pocket calculator made in Germany 1920s

OK folks, it’s back to school – retro-style. Here is a vintage Australian briefcase and two vintage pocket calculators. The briefcase was made by Consolidated Plastics Industries; it has three internal concertina partitions, and steel locks, rivets and corner bracings. All in good order; the locks work—there are a series of three slots so as the briefcase became fuller, a new lock might be used.

The first calculator is the MBC- Magic Brain Computer [an oxymoron if ever there was one.] It has been sold – so it exists here now only as an image. The second- the Addiator- is German, made in the 20s and calculates sterling currency.

The front of the Addiator is for addition, the back for subtraction. The Addiator comes in its original leather case, has its stylus intact [for pulling all those little boxes around] – and glory be! still has its instructions. Which are kinda necessary in this day of digital fru-fru; who around would know how to use this wacky machine?

www.vintage.calculators.com is a fantastic reference: people collect vintage calculators. I’m drawn to them because they are beautiful AND functional.

The briefcase and the Addiator are for sale separately: the briefcase is $AUD75 and the Addiator is $AUD125; or – go old skool and buy them together for: $AUD175

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