Monday, August 22, 2016

Have A Spin


This vintage Las Vegas ashtray has a working roulette wheel. Just push and release the spring loaded button on the bottom and hope you get lucky. It's a prized possession for me but you can get one pretty inexpensively on Ebay.

Friday, August 5, 2016

I came across an interesting company. Christopher Schwartz, former editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine, along with his partner John Hoffman run Lost Art Press. They define their mission as seeking to help the modern woodworker learn traditional hand-tool skills. They seek to "restore the balance between hand and machine work by unearthing the so-called "lost arts" of hand skills and explaining how they can be integrated with the machinery in the modern shop to help produce furniture that is crisp, well-proportioned, stout and quickly made".

From their site you can buy beautifully bound rare books (such as the works of Parisian woodworker Andre Roubo (translated into English) and a book on British campaign furniture. They also have an informative blog and a series of DVDs that teach hand wood working techniques. I would like to learn some of these techniques and will post my progress after seeing some of the DVDs.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

After All, It's a Small World

These outstanding scale models are from Imagineering Disney, a blog made by former Disney designers who are still passionate about their craft. It has a lot of great content: photographs, models of attractions, drawings and vintage ephemera.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Old New York City, mapped in photos

Developer Dan Vanderkam collaborated with the New York Public Library to plot a collection of old photos from the Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s on an interactive map.

The project, called OldNYC, lets you browse 19th-century New York as easily as you would click around on Google Maps. The collection contains over 80,000 original photographs. Hit the red dot on the map to see a photo (source: TechInsider). 

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Slide Farm (and Cherikee Red)

That's Roland and Louise Flora who for years handmade neckerchief and bolo slides for the Boy Scouts of Ten Mile River Scout Camp up in Narrowsburg New York. They are both gone now, be many of us have memories of going into their small workshop on Route 97 and seeing him hand carve, and her paint, the pieces. The Floras lived on the property which was once a motel with small cabins throughout the property. One of these became the workshop. Campers would hike to the "slide farm" place their custom order (to be picked up the end of their stay at camp) and also perhaps to buy a Cherikee Red to fight the heat.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Push Button Camping for the Modern Family

Scale model of the push button camper

This Push Button Camper was presented in The Ford Treasury of Station Wagon Living, Volume 2, which I picked up in at the Inquiring Minds book store in New Paltz, New York. So nice to see that theses independents still exist. Written in 1958 it seems to capture the essence of an ideal America - a time when prosperity was high and Americans had disposable income, and time to spend in the great out doors. The book, which shows how life is better with Ford station wagons, also serves as a guide to the enjoyment of the great outdoors. It includes campsites to visit and products to buy, most of them made in the U.S. It's a snapshot that evokes Kodak's Colorama series.

The introduction discusses the innovations that took place since the previous volume, and the prize innovation was the this push button camper concept car. With the push of a few (clunky - see the video) buttons, a boat folds out revealing a tent and a portable kitchen complete with canopy.  The concept even has it's own Chitty Chitty Bang Bang type graphic showing the contraption from above.

Kitschy newsreel type film - "While dad is out boating, mom gets the meal ready, in case he doesn't bring back any fish"

Full size Ford Push Button Station Wagon Camper, concept vehicle

Volume 1 inside cover
From Volume 1