Thursday, July 17, 2008

Old Guys in Pick-up Trucks

The other day as I was driving to work, I was behind a pick-up truck filled with old stuff. I was thinking to myself...."I wonder where he got all that great stuff...", and "I wonder how I can get a better look at it?". As I passed the vehicle I turned my head to get a better glimpse of the driver, a cute old guy with blue eyes, he motioned to me asking me if I wanted to look at the stuff in the back of his truck. I thought he looked harmless enough, so at the red light we decided to meet up in a nearby parking lot to assess the situation. (And this is where I say to myself....."I am my mother after all! LOL" Celia loved trash to treasure finds!) He had just finished cleaning out a barn in Massachusetts, and came away with a very shabby chic 20's Hoosier, a matching wall cupboard, a big black blanket box (would make an awesome coffee/game table!), an oak ice chest (needs refinishing, these make great liquor or Tupperware cabinets!) and a few other little things. But the most exciting find, was a "grabbit" (that's what I call it anyway)....a contraption to help shopkeepers reach canned goods off of high general store shelves! How ironic! It was as if this whole episode was a meant to be moment!
Here's a little history on one of my favorite finds.......

The Housewife’s Helper…Hoosier Cabinets
There’s a lot of debate about the origin of the word, but when it comes to antiques, a “Hoosier” is widely recognized as one of the most sought-after collectibles. The name came to refer to a free-standing, multi-use kitchen cabinet for the simple reason that the most popular version was produced by the Hoosier Manufacturing Company in New Castle, Indiana. Most of the company’s competitors were also based in the Hoosier State—Sellers of Elwood, Boone of Lebanon, and Coppes Nappanee offered comparable products in the first few decades of the twentieth century. The classic Hoosier cabinet stood six feet tall, was made of oak, pine, or later enamel, and featured closeted upper and lower storage spaces, bisected by an often collapsible wooden, zinc or porcelain counter. Many models included a built-in flour sifter, pull-out bins, ant-traps and racks for pots and pans. Other Hoosiers revealed a remarkable array of amenities—from a fold-out ironing board to a desk with pigeonholes and a pencil drawer.
The emergence and popularity of the Hoosier cabinet correspond with changes in society taking place a century ago, especially with regard to the woman’s role and domestic life. In the post-Civil War era, women trying to function in smaller urban quarters without servants turned to a steady stream of technological advances for the home. The compact efficiency of the Hoosier cabinet appealed to the turn-of-the-century homemaker, and the Hoosier Manufacturing Company turned out at least 600 a day. A study commissioned in 1920 by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that use of such a workstation could save the American housewife over 1500 of the 2000-plus steps she took in her kitchen every day. “After these amazing discoveries,” an ad in the Ladies Home Journal read, “no woman will end another day footsore and weary. None will endure the distressing fatigue of kitchen work any longer.”
Don't ya just love the verbage in old advertising? In the blanket box there was a newspaper from the 50's with great ads for old automobiles.....I would have loved to have grown up in the 50' looked like so much fun!

Looking for some fun this weekend?
Gather some friends and take a drive to Brown & Hopkins. Shop in our air conditioned store, sample some cheddar cheese and lots of new dips we just got in!!! It's going to be too hot to do anything else!

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