Monday, December 14, 2020

"Compulsive" is such an ugly word

I've been working my way through the house doing deep cleaning, because now that it's Winter, I'm seeing now all the stuff I'd been walking past on my way out into the garden all Summer, and it's kinda grubby.  One thing that struck me in going around is just how damn many collections I have.

I used to collect old kitchenware and appliances bigtime. I had Fire King (early Pyrex) for days. Enamelware pots and pans.  I had every single item in the Foley antique kitchen gadget catalogue in red and white. Yes.  I was venturing into apple green, and had some yellows and a few of  the rare blue ones too. I had vintage electric counter appliances too, like waffle irons, stand mixers, popcorn poppers, toasters...the list goes on. And I  had this stuff in multiples. Twelve eggbeaters.  Four kitchen scales. Four breadboxes. Like that. A LOT of a lot, and all of it, everything mint, perfect.  I had sub-collections like Bakelite handles, glass measuring cups, 1950's chrome appliances...basically I was on the verge of having an all-vintage kitchen.

  My husband and I were seriously considering it when we moved into our present home.  We had a color scheme and an era ( 1940's -1950's) picked out.  We got vintage cabinets from the architectural salvage store, put in some boomerang patterned Formica...and all this, up until this point had been totally on the cheap!  I had it ready to go, right down to the escutcheon on the wall switches, the overhead light, and a big old cast iron and enamel kitchen sink!  Only the jump to large appliances remained. There are places out there where you can get  restored and working condenser-topped refrigerators and reconditioned kitchen ranges, the big old ocean liner sized ones that look like jukeboxes and have three ovens and all the bells and whistles.  But that represents a major investment too. After buying a house? That wasn't gonna happen.  

I kept a vintage electric stand mixer because it's in perfect condition and it's just soooooo Deco, and four select pieces of Foley and sold the rest. C'est la vie. 

  But I seem to have started a vintage soda pop collection without even being aware of it in the meantime.  I realized this as I stood washing the fifty vintage pop bottles I have in my kitchen window.

Let's  not forget the wall-mount bottle capper, and the soft drink advertisements.  And all the old bottle caps. Many, many old bottle caps. I made them into a nice frieze over the kitchen doorway and the spiders love to play on it.

And that's just the kitchen. My natural history collection and my cookbook collection is in the dining room, and my Tonka Toys are in the family room.  My Tonkas keep my husbands collection of automobilia company, and all of it keeps our house-wide book collection company (part of which consists of my Leonardo DaVinci collection and my 'classics to 1519' collection.)  Some of it sits on my collection of Mid-Century Modern furniture, which is accented by my collection of vintage suitcases, which contain my collection of Last Gasp comic books, part of which is a collection of Gilbert Sheltona and R. Crumb-inalia, near my collection of vintage vinyl record albums.  Of course, none of it compares to the queen of my possessions, a 400.00 replica of the USS Enterprise, under glass, that I keep in my bedroom so I can see it when I wake up every day.  What, like I wouldn't have a Star Trek collection?

The funny thing is, it all started with a glass measuring cup. I still have it.  It was given away as a premium inside a bag of flour back during the Depression, and I'll never get rid of it.  Something about that one goofy little measuring cup lit off this urge to collect.  Weird, right?  I never collected anything up until my husband brought that little cup home from the Salvation Army one day, because our other one had broken in the sink.  The instant that thing came into my house, I was like "I love this look!  It reminds me of my grandma!" and the what I have to dust.


  1. Love vintage! You are a woman after my own heart.

  2. Well Hell! Get the house deep cleaned before the new year and start out right!!!!

    I don't really collect anything, but in the kitchen a seem to have a lot of glass measuring cups, 8, five sets of measuring cups, and 7 sets of measuring spoons.

    I have no idea why. And sweet mother Mary of Pearl....... a whole drawer of nothing but spoons and spatulas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No appliances....Im not a appliance person. Only a microwave and blender and that's it.

  3. holy shitsnax! you might have plenty of $$$ invested in those collections.

  4. Ms. Scarlet: I love that you love vintage! There's just something so homey about it.

  5. Mistress Maddie: Collecting and accumulating are two sides of the same coin, mon cher!

  6. anne marie in philly: Not at all. I mean over time, but I never paid big on anything but the USS Enterprise. See, the BB and I used to go to lots of swap meets and set up a booth of stuff, so a lot of it came at dealers discount. And you'd be surprised at what you can get at garage sales out here in the brush. People just want it out of their way, which is how I picked up all my furniture!

  7. Sometimes, I think a bigger house would be good.A house with room for a proper library. And then I think Hell! what happens when I die?

  8. dinahmow: Then they open the Dinahmow Branch Library of Australia!

  9. I have a number of vintage beer bottles. The Sage bought them for me whenever he saw them because my great-grandfather owned the brewery. All that's left, the whole company had to be sold to pay death duties and other taxes.