Atomic era nostalgia

Towerbrite teapots & souvenirware swansTowerbrite anodised teapots, made in Australia c.1950s
Souvenirware Swan thermometers, made in Japan c.1950s

When too much anodised aluminium is barely enough! Now, I know what you’re thinking…might be just a little too excessive this time. But oh contraire! The atomic age of anodised aluminium is again coming into its own.

These baby blue Towerbrite teapots are simply fabulous- and increasingly collectible. The souvenirware swan thermometers- okay, a little naff- but as a pair- quite wonderful. Put it all together and you have the start of a great 50s atomic age aluminium fest. [Plus those thermometers are totally accurate. Yes, yes, they are. AND you can put your pens in the pen-holder.]

The souvenirware Swans were made in Japan and shipped to every corner of the globe. Seemingly swans come from everywhere…but in the case of Australia- yes- we have both white and black swans as native birds. Anodised gold ones are a little rarer…but now you can own a pair! And tell the temperature.

This set is for sale: $AUD75

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Shiny, shiny, shiny, shiny, kinda very shiny

Australian souvenir thermometersShiny, shiny, shiny
souvenir thermometers, made in Japan c. 1970s

I agree with you! This post is more kitsch than the most kitschy-kitschness. Never before has so much unnecessary shininess been jammed into one image.*

BUT wait. Those gilt eagles – which seem more appropriate to…oh, I don’t know, AMERICA, contain other hilarious geographic oddities. The eagle on the right has renamed our iconic Sydney Opera House as the “Harbour Bridge Opera House”…and the eagle on the left has the temerity to house a group of kangaroos – it should be a giant kangaroo holding a tiny little eagle [though that would still be wrong.]

At least those thermometers are accurate…why they record -30 to +50 degrees. Mmm, not sure Sydney has ever seen those extremes, but one can’t be too careful. Did I mention that you hang these babies on the wall by a gilt chain?

Okay, so far, so funny. What do I have to say about the swans? I kinda like them. Their thermometer range is from 0 to 40 degrees, which seems much more reasonable. And – they are wearing blue eyeshadow! They are totally glitzy, 70s swans! And they have a place to put your pens and stuff. Totally useful.

This set is for sale…and if that person is you, I salute you!  $AUD60

[*I had to browbeat my photographer to take this image, such were his aesthetic sensitivities misgivings.]

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