Sunday, May 9, 2010

One Ringy Dingy....

I was sewing my second Dresden plate yesterday when an ad came on the radio. The big antique mall in a neighboring city was having a one-time sale this weekend, with 20 percent off anything over $10.

Good thing Dresden plates aren't breakable, as fast as I dropped it.

We were so there, dude.

I imagine I get as excited about thrift and antique shopping as many women do when their favorite clothing store is having a huge sale. Maybe I'd get jazzed about clothes shopping if anything ever fit, but when you have monkey arms and an inseam well beyond the length of a yardstick, you can pretty much kiss those dreams goodbye. But I digress.

The antique mall did not disappoint. We found some fantastic deals. Here are just two of them.

A telephone table! Yes, boys and girls, back in the olden days, the phone was hardwired into the wall, and you had to sit right next to it to talk because the cord was short. Which *cough* I absolutely do not remember, but I've heard stories.

Love the curves! The seat has been redone, obviously, but I really like the fabric it was done in.

Sweet, huh? Now me and Papa Bear don't intend to sit on this delicate little thing, but it sure is cute in the hallway as a place to temporarily park the keys or a grocery bag.

Of course, bringing it into the house translated to an exponential increase in furniture rearrangement. How is it that by adding one thing, you have to move 3,569 other items? And don't even get me started about the cleaning. As Grandma Frieda would say, "Ach, yay-o-yay!"

Norm also found this beauty, an early Atwater Kent radio, Model 21, made in 1925!

It would have been battery operated, with tubes and such inside. The inner works are gone, but for 12 bucks, it was still a great find. It looks good on the "Shelf of Old Shtuff" above the fireplace.

Edited to add: Be sure to read Michelle's comment about her grandfather selling radios during that era. What a great bit of history and perspective. Thanks!

I have more to show you later, including some Pyrex--or as Norm likes to say in a pirate voice, "Argh, Pyrex!"

Happy Mother's Day! Hope you are enjoying time with or remembering your mom today.


  1. Oh wow! I love the little telephone table/chair combo piece. I've never seen one before. The curved table is a true piece of art, imo.

    I've been thinking about the radio, and its manufacture date--1925. My mom's dad (deceased at the ripe old age of 91) told a story about selling radios door to door when he was in college. He was born in 1906, so it's conceivable that he was selling this radio or one very similar to it. He said, the radios were very expensive, about $125--an extremely big chunk of change back then. However, he'd go out to a Kansas farmhouse, set up the radio and allow them to use it for a week. He said it was their first chance to hear news from outside their immediate area or get any kind of entertainment. Often, when he'd return in a week, they'd purchase this very expensive radio.

    The story always amazed me, because it brought home how isolated people were less than 100 years ago, and how much they valued not being so isolated that they were willing to spend such an extravagant amount.

  2. I feel the same way about antique stores - I just love them! Your finds are great - the little telephone table is wonderful, and you've put it to such great use! Here's a blast from the past for you - in my grandmother's house (built shortly after WWII), they actually had a niche built in the wall to hold the telephone, with a shelf for the phone book.

  3. I remember telephone tables. We didn't have one but my neighbor did. Our phone hung on the kitchen wall and we would walk around the corner to sit on the steps that led upstairs to talk on the phone. Like you said, you couldn't get too far with that cord. And of course it was always a rotary dial too. Fun memories.
    Have a great week.

  4. Love the telephone table! My grandparents had a waist height telephone stand that sat in a little corner. I think they had a chair or stool beside it, need to strain my brain to remember it more exactly. My other grandma had the cute little niche for a phone. I have a dial phone in the basement and some days I would love to just plug it in and call it a day because I get so sick of the answering machine. Bah! But that's a whole 'nuther story.

  5. I absolutely adore that telephone table.

  6. What great finds! Lucky you! I love the reuse of old things in new ways.
    I continue to dream about the day where I live in a town old enough to treasure antique stores.


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