60s office equipment

Dymo 1700 & Teledex [1960s]Dymo label maker, # 1700, made in USA c.1969
Teledex index, made in Melbourne, Australia c.1960s

I am somewhat partial to Dymo labelers – and Teledex phone indexes. Call me old-fashioned but I do like physical buttons and physical output- very novel in the digital world we now inhabit.

The Teledex is black bakelite, and comes complete with ‘unused’ pale blue file inserts [new in packet.] So 60s! No retro office is complete without one [just think Mad Men; Don Draper had one on his desk last season.] Sure, everyone keeps telephone numbers on their mobile phones nowadays…but how much fun is it to zip that little knob up and down and push the button to spring open the index? I could do it all day.

The Dymo 1700 is an earlier version of the Dymo 1780 [featured last post]- its tape comes in little cartridges which are pushed into the barrel of the thing. This one comes with several original tapes- and I am reliably informed that the cartridge tapes are still available to buy.

This collection is for sale: $AUD95

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50s souvenirware

Studio Anna and Martin Boyd jugStudio Anna pin dish, made in Sydney Australia c.1956
Martin Boyd jug, made in Sydney Australia c. 1954

I have posted quite a few Studio Anna and Martin Boyd pottery pieces on this blog- both very influential and now highly collectible potteries. Both potteries were pumping out souvenirware in the 50s- and this pin dish and jug are typical pieces of the time.

Warilla is a seaside suburb of Wollongong- famous for its- you guessed it – prawning. Studio Anna produced thousands of pin dishes in the 50s- for hundreds of coastal towns- so it was simply a matter of changing the town name. Meanwhile Martin Boyd pottery was pumping out stylized aboriginal motif pieces for the tourist trade.

Together these pieces made a nice vignette- but collectors- they are for sale: $AUD80

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Florenz pottery

Florenz pottery [1950s]Florenz mug, made in Sydney Australia, c.1955
Florenz vase, made in Sydney Australia, c.1956

Two Florenz slip cast pottery pieces- both with unmistakably kitsch aboriginal motifs. This was Australia in the 50s when Post-war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of Australiana – replacing traditional English motifs with ‘Australian’ themes; invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

I have featured Florenz on this blog before- salt and pepper shakers, jugs, ashtrays- all with these stylised indigenous motifs- the items were for the modern new kitchen but also sold as touristware.

Pottery decorated with Aboriginal designs is becoming increasingly collectible. The mug comes complete with its original foil sticker- noting that it is hand painted; and the vase is incised with a hand written ‘Florenz’ on the underside; it too is hand painted.

Florenz pottery at its best: these pieces are for sale: $AUD90

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60s kitchenalia

Pyrex coffee server & Smiths Ringer kitchen timerPyrex coffee serving flask, made in Britain c. 1960s
Smiths Ringer kitchen timber, made in Britain c.1960s

Pyrex made coffee percolators- and as see here- coffee serving flasks in Britain, America and Australia in the 60s. Every household had a percolator- which were quite functional in form and styling- and it was only the fancy-pants households that had the more decorative serving flask.

This serving flask is such a product of the 60s- the handle and knob and bakelite, the large chrome band is off-set by the fake timber laminate on the lid. The glass is decorated with a subtle white abstract design: this is a flask that is straddling early and later mid-century modern design ideals.

The kitchen timer [a Smiths Ringer, British made 1960s] is also made of bakelite. This ringer is all precise functionality- two toned- and the bell still works a treat [have not tested it for timing accuracy- may be slightly less than accurate since it’s over fifty years old.] I have featured Smiths Ringers on the blog before- I am somewhat partial to them.

For the retro kitchen- the Pyrex serving flask and kitchen timer are for sale: $AUD75

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Cocktails – retro style

Semak VitamizerSemak ‘Vitamizer’ electric blender
made in Melbourne, c.1953

This beautiful bakelite blender is fully functioning – it has starred at many cocktail parties at my house as it’s fantastic for crushing ice and blending drinks. [Haven’t tested its ‘Vitamizer’ qualities, being too far gone on cocktails….]

Later versions of the Vitamizer have a bakelite body and clear glass top, and Semak still makes Vitamizers today, having started the company in 1948. As far as I can ascertain, the fully-bakelite models like this one were only ever made in black and white. Even the electric plug is bakelite.

The Vitamizer works on 240 V /120 W, and has serial number SN 6-510 stamped on the metal base. Perfect for the retro kitchen! For sale: $AUD125

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View-Master [sold]

Bakelite View MasterView-Master,
made in Portland, Oregon 1940s

Bringing together my three loves: bakelite, bambi and view-masters- this set is all about nostalgia.

When I was a young ‘un, I absolutely wanted a View-Master. But they were prohibitively expensive for my family- so wanting was as far as I got. I think nostalgia is often rooted in the thwarted desire- it’s only as an adult that one can afford to buy something denied in one’s youth.

So- a black bakelite view-master from the 40s- inscribed Sawyers View Master, USA, Portland, Ore.,

The internet is awash with View-Master collectors and memorabilia. Reels for the View-Master are widely available. Indulge your nostalgia- or- add to your burgeoning View-Master collection!

This set is for sale: $AUD55

Retro barware

Retro barwareRetro whiskey jugs and ice buckets
made in England and Australia, 1950-60s

The yellow Macnish whiskey jug, is by Wade [England] and the green Four Seasons whiskey jug is by Elischer [Australia.] Both are advertisement’ jugs which were mass produced and given away to pubs –not sold to the public- with the idea that the public would be so impressed by the glamour of having water added to their drink by a ‘branded jug’ that they would continue to order their whisky by name. Ah! the 60s, when advertising and impressing people was so easy!

Both Wade and Elischer pottery is very collectible – and especially so ‘barware’. The jugs are sure to glam up your next cocktail soiree!

The ice buckets are also pretty glam: the black is advertising Tintara – ‘A Black Bottle Brandy – Such a Friendly Brandy’ – and was made by Hardy’s, a South Australian winery. The orange bucket is unmarked but adds a little 60s charm to the group. Both ice buckets have removable inserts and their original [plastic] tongs and lids.

The retro barware is for sale: $125

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Salty & Peppy [sold]

salty & peppySalty and Peppy
made in Japan, 1960s

Salty and Peppy are novelty salt and pepper shakers- in the form of cats- which pop out of their timber barrels when those condiments are required, and then settle back into them afterwards. The whole ensemble is timber- and their lidded caps screw off to allow the insertion of the salt and pepper.

The cats’ faces- all hand-painted- seem to have a mildly startled expression; perhaps due to finding themselves ensconced in a barrel in the first place. Certainly they are aware that they are part of quite a mixed metaphor!

The salt and pepper shakers have never been used, and the timber is in ‘as-new’ condition. A must for salt and pepper shaker collectors- or cat fanciers- or indeed cat-loving salt and pepper shaker collectors.

Salty and Peppy are for sale; $AUD45

70s reproductions

Kitchen scales & Robbie the robotThe Salter scales, cast iron, made in Staffordshire, England 1970s
Robbie the robot, tin toy, made in China 1970s

I am generally not a fan of reproductions. But occasionally, I find reproductions that play homage to the original without trying to pretend to BE the original. Those reproductions I can live with.

Here we have a Salter scale, cast iron, made to an exact mid 19th century likeness, but with a handy modern addition- that being it’s an accurate weighing machine. I use it for weighing parcels and letters to figure out postage costs – and it looks fabulous on the hall table too.

Robbie the robot first appeared in 1956 in the film ‘Forbidden Planet’. Then he appeared as a tin toy, made in Japan, which is now sought after and extremely collectible. Then in the 70s the same maker re-issued the toy [although now made in China!] with a hilarious warning on the box : “For collectors only, not suitable as a toy.” My how things have changed. For that line alone, I think Robbie is worth having around.

60s souvenirware

60s souvenirware60s souvenirware
made in Australia

Welcome to Laurieton, a coastal town on the north coast of NSW. Home – at least in the 60s – to bowls and pelicans!

This collection features salt and pepper shakers in the shape of – bowls- with ‘Laurieton N.S.W.’ written in gilt on the sides, and a pelican figurine [somewhat out of scale.] In the world of souvenirware- scale and technical detail wasn’t always a priority. Cheap, kitsch souvenirs that you can give away as gifts to prove you actually WERE in Laurieton was what it was all about.

Souvenirware is increasingly popular amongst collectors. Those once tacky, cheap souvenirs are having a renaissance, with kitschiness celebrated and embraced. That’s certainly why I love it.

This set is for sale; $AUD35

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