Posts from the ‘Technology’ Category

The Ideal Modern Kitchen [1945]

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While now it may look like the backup kitchen at a big city church built in the 1930s, this Ideal Modern Kitchen from The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book would have been the bee’s knees in its day.  Check out the mural; do you have a mural along the ceiling in your kitchen? How about the big hanging lights which are designed to take 200-watt bulbs that sweat blistering heat from 10 feet up? Rounded corners on the cabinets? I want those now. 

Truthfully I’d cook here; a perfect upgrade – aside from the electrical system – would be stainless steel appliances.  And I’d keep the mural 🙂

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Remembering Fotomat on Our Nostalgic Memories Blog

fotomat

Courtesy of Our Nostalgic Memories

Came across this blog post today while checking in on Google+. It is a detailed history of Fotomat, which started in 1965 and only closed completely in 2009. To be honest I didn’t realize it lasted that long!

I used Fotomat services in the 1980s, dropping off at my local kiosk in Shoreline WA.  I still have a few packs of negatives in Fotomat containers today.  Even some Kodachrome slides which were sent out for develop and mount.  In my neck of the woods, many of the remaining kiosks were repurposed as espresso stands.

Check out the blog post HERE at Our Nostalgic Memories!

Seattle City Light: Radio Dispatched to Alki [1968]

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“Come in, Truck 82…”

A Seattle City Light service truck makes a visit to a view home in Seattle’s Alki neighborhood in 1968.  The serviceman is wearing his lab coat and white service hat.  Back in the days before cellphones, he would have been sent there by a gruff-sounding dispatcher barking over the dash-mounted Motorola radio in the vehicle.  The Range Service Truck: A mid-1960s Chevrolet van – like this one – done in Utility Yellow.  In the garage: A 1959 Ford Galaxie convertible.

Built in 1954, this “Mid-Century” home design is common in neighborhoods and suburbs surrounding Seattle:

hillcrest_house

The roof line and brown on the siding in the first picture are nearly identical to my suburban house – which was built in the late 1960s.  Today that Alki house still stands, now with garage doors on the car port, and frankly still possessing a tremendous view:

seattle_alki

And the radio-dispatched yellow van?  Most likely retired and scrapped.

Storin’ It Old School

Storin' it Old School

Remember these guys? With a whopping 720 kilobytes of storage, they would hold two or three DOS games or a thousand text documents. They were amazing for their time and surprisingly durable.

I found these at a computer recycling store in Bellevue WA – fresh, minty, and ready to use by those who can even locate a 5″ floppy drive to run them! Of course now, I can’t even fit one digital photo on a 720k disk 🙂

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floppy_disk

NuTone Intercom

NuTone 1

A friend moved into new digs this year, and was confronted by the most comprehensive 1960s Com System she had ever seen.

It was wired throughout the two-story house, with speaker and microphones in many of the rooms.  There was even a speaker out on the porch that overlooks the city.  Most of it still works, and we have parties there under the glorious umbrella of AM Radio.

When I was a kid this would have generated hours and hours of playtime.  The mere fact of having two-maybe-three intercoms in a house could help children imagine all sorts of stuff.  original Star Trek episodes could be reenacted. Submarine adventures – Dive Dive Dive!  Even pretending to be a chef calling out orders in a really big kitchen.

The possibilities are endless.

Check out these detail shots:

NuTone 2

Hallway Intercom

NuTone 3

Room Intercom

NuTone 4

Space-Age Nutone logo

NuTone 5

Skyline of Bellevue WA under the roof-mounted Nuton deck intercom

NuTone 6

Intercom Command Center in the Dining Room

NuTone 7

“Remotes” – nothing wireless here; slide switches communicate with each room.

For the record, Nutone is still around – making intercoms, security systems, even bathroom fan assemblies. Sadly none of the products have that awesome space-age logo!

Cacharro! Well-used Cuban `59 Chevy

Photo courtesy of Kachoff (Flickr) http://flic.kr/p/bUVREG

Well known already for its outrageous fins, this 1959 Chev Impala is famous as one of the surviving American-built cars that still ply the streets of Havana Cuba – fifty years after a US Embargo on Cuba.

Mechanics in that country are legendary for their ability to whip up a batch of home-brew brake fluid, rebuild an engine in an alley, and even retrofit a carburetor off a Soviet truck to keep these old cars – known locally as Cacharros – functional and mostly roadworthy.

Additionally, roughly 300 Harley-Davidson owners in Cuba manage to keep their pre-Embargo Big Twins alive in the same way, and recently had their first National Rally in April.

NY Times – Old Cars in Cuba: Nurtured But Not Loved

Michael Landon and The Kodak Ektra – Sept 1980

Michael Landon LIFE Magazine Sept 1980

From the back cover of the September 1980 edition of LIFE Magazine come this awesome blend of history and pop culture.  Let’s take a look at each element:

Michael Landon – He was a big star, known in later life for his honesty and family values.  He died too young.

Kodak – 100 years old at the time of the ad, Kodak is hanging on by a thread and a sliver at the age of 132.

Ektra – A camera model launched in 1941 as a rangefinder, and finishing its days as a 110 compact

The Perm – It was kind of a big deal.

Pink Knit Shirt – Chip and Muffy would be so proud

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