Retro kitchen appliances

Ice-o-mat, Can-o-mat, Dia ice pailIce-O-Mat, ice-crusher
Can-O-Mat, can-opener
Dia, ice pail.

This collection is perfect for the retro kitchen. Look at all that gleaming chrome!- offset nicely by the clean, smooth white plastic and funky black graphics. It seems that in the 50s ‘O-Mat’ was a shortened form of ‘automatic’.

The Ice-O-Mat is wall-mounted, and one puts ice cubes into the top, turns the handle left or right to produce different sized ice, then squeezes the central knob to open and pour out the crushed ice. A terrific invention! No home should be without one!

The Can-O-Mat is likewise wall-mounted. It’s by Artisocrat, by Monier – so now you can have both ice-crushing and can-opening functions on your kitchen wall. Space-saving and functional…welcome to the space-age!

The Dia ice pail rounds out the collection. It is stainless steel, insulated, and comes with its original ice tongs.

All three pieces are in top-top working order, ready to go to work [or just look fabulous] in your kitchen.    For sale: $AUD85

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Caddy Matic [sold]

Caddy-matic tea dispenserCaddy Matic tea dispenser
made in Australia 1950s

How about this beauty! Just look at that 50s yellow and chrome! This fantastic tea caddy is new-in-its-box, and comes ready to mount [screws & lugs provided!]

The chrome button dispenses exactly one teaspoon of tea, which is poured into the caddy via the removable chrome lid. Perfect for the modern- and retro- kitchen.

The box itself is a lesson in 50s graphics and packaging. It’s not pictured, which is a shame – but let me know if you want a picture [email address in ‘Contacts’ tab.]

The Caddy Matic is for sale: $AUD40

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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Retro Christmas party

Retro Ice bucketsIce bucket collection

I collected these ice buckets because I loved the idea of using them with the bakelite blender [the ‘Vitamizer’, posted below] at cocktail parties. I am very partial to a martini, which while not strictly needing a blender, does require the service of an ice bucket. The blender is great for making frozen daiquiris, which my guests favour. It’s summer here in the southern hemisphere- I hasten to add. Either way – an ice bucket is totally necessary, and who wants to use a modern one?

I have ended up with a few ice buckets…and in researching these, I found quite a few avid collectors out there. People collect ice buckets. And why not- they look fantastic displayed together [and they’re good for storing ice.]

The bucket to the left in the image is made from Scandinavian teak, and has matching tongs. The red plastic bucket has a brass handle, and has matching tongs. The only ice bucket with any branding – the Dia Ice Pail, made by Dia Vacuum bottle Industries Co. Ltd, is anodised aluminium and steel [with a ‘vacuum’ white plastic interior] and it comes with…you guessed it…matching tongs. Matching tongs are so important at a cocktail party.

Perfect for the retro Christmas party, this collection is for sale: $AUD75

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Chrome kookaburras

Perfection Safe-Tee dishPerfection Safe-Tee Way Dish
made in Australia, 1950s

My partner collects kookaburras and has wanted a Safe-Tee dish for a long time. She, like me, will not buy/collect anything to do with smoking….and we had both assumed this was a card or pin dish promoting some 50s company called ‘Safe-Tee’.

So it was a joyous moment when we found the said ‘pin dish’ – a little dint in the chrome, but otherwise in good condition. I figured the kookaburra’s open beaks would hold business cards…but a little research later and of course- they were designed to hold cigarettes. It’s an ashtray by a company called Safe-Tee. Oh the irony. Of course, one can repurpose, and so one will. It’s a business card holder now. And still much treasured.

60s anodised aluminium

60s anodised aluminium60s anodised aluminium

This shiny, shiny collection features anodised aluminium- three cake /jelly moulds made in Hong Kong and a teapot by Towerbrite made in Australia. Anoidised aluminium was developed in the 1920s and used for industrial products – but it really took off in domestic wares in the 60s thanks to the moon landing and all things spacey.

These kitchen moulds were made in kitschy shapes – ostensibly for terrines but invariably used for cakes, blancmanges and jellies. Who doesn’t remember a large pineapple shaped jelly [red, with real pineapple chunks floating in it] at their sixth birthday party? When not in use, the moulds have handy little handles so they can hang up and add glamour to any kitchen.

The two larger moulds [salmon and pineapple] are 4 cup capacity, and the smaller classic christmas cake-shaped mould is 2 cups. Note the copper and gold tones- that’s where that glamour comes in- the moulds have never been used and are in pristine condition. Similarly the teapot is unstained and unused.

These pieces will add bling to any situation- and are for sale: $AUD85

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EFCO door handles [sold]

EFCO door handlesEFCO door handles
made in Australia 1960s

I almost like the boxes as much as I like these door handles- isn’t that EFCO logo fantastic? These funky door handle have been sitting at the back of a hardware shop since the 60s – I bought them when the hardware finally closed down last year. And I bought them for the boxes as much as the handles.

The timber handles- steel and teak- have lock plates, while the chrome handles are latch only. This is the first time the handles have been out the box- they are ‘as new’ in condition. I think they would look great in a hipster apartment or would lend an air of authenticity to a 60s house renovation. Either way ~ they are so much nicer than contemporary door handles.

For sale: $AUD85