Monday, September 27, 2010

27 September 1956 “They Don’t Make Things Like They Used To”

mybike1 The other day my old tires finally gave out. I have a vintage 1950’s ladies bike. When I purchased it at the beginning of my project I remember how excited I was. I had found it on a local craigslist ad and it had sat in someone’s basement for years. It had been the gentleman’s wife’s bike. It had the original tires on it, which of course were flat. So, I assumed I needed new one.
 mybike2(my bike was proudly made in Westfield MA)
I immediately took it to a local bike shop, which was a rather busy place, and told them I wanted white walls. They nodded, looked at me a little strangely, slipped a tag on her and set her aside. One month later, I realized it was not going to get done, so I rescued her, flat tires an all, and returned her home. Uncertain what to do next, hubby said, “Well, let’s at least pump up the tires and see if they can be repaired”. To our amazement, not only did they not need repair, they held air wonderfully! So, I felt even more authentic traveling about on my vintage tires.
About a month ago I came out to hop on the ole’ gal and saw the back tire was low. We pumped it up and heard the tell-tale whistle. My heart was broken. But, living in a new town now, we went to this local bike shop where they were much friendlier and also had more time, it being the end of summer.
I left her with him and came back in the half hour I had been told only to see my bike still tireless. “The tires today are wider than back then” he told me. “They will hit the frame”. I was sad, for sure, as he was even able to find white wall tires. But after some calling, he found a pair of thinner white walls. They were more expensive and more than I was willing to pay. But, my good friend, who was with me, chimed in and said, “I will buy them for you for your birthday”.
Now, normally I would not accept such a gift, but this friend bikes with me all the time and would hate to lose my company and she and my other biking friend, who we were to meet later that day, decided to split the cost. So, I gave in, happily.
Now, when I went to pick up the bike the other day, I jokingly said to the gentleman, “Will these last 60 years like the old tires”. To which he laughed. “No, maybe three to four years if you keep them dry. They don’t make things like they used to”.
That last statement really hit me. It is true, they don’t. But why don’t they, I wondered?
So, why did my 1950’s tires last longer? From what limited information I can find, it seems they may have simply been more rubber. Today tires are made of three components a  bead to hold the tire onto the rim and layers of fabric then rubber over that making the tread. I assume this is sold as a ‘superior’ way of making tires, quicker, more efficient etc. But, I have a strong feeling it is cheaper and therefore they wear out faster as opposed to the higher rubber quantity of older tires.
This, to the modern person, means very little. We are always sold on ‘newer, quicker, better’. We are so far removed from, “It is built to last” that the very concept might even be laughable to some. “Why would I want that in a few years? It will be out of date or style”.
Look at our cell phones or any of our expensive and often used technology. We never think, “Hmmm, this will be the computer I have forever, my grandchildren will use it”. Because it isn’t really practical considering the level at which the technology advances. But, with clothes, bikes, appliances, furniture?
Do we need sleek fast cutting edge clothes and furniture? Shouldn’t we want and expect our things to last and have a good quality. And, if things were built with a  style that could be appreicated, instead of a bunch of things thrown together in bright packaging and sold cheaply, we might actually consider wanting those ‘old things’ around more.
russelwright1 Recently I heard that Oneida was reissuing the famous sets of Russel Wright designed pottery called “American Modern”. This was such a popular thing in its time, it was the highest selling pottery around and most likely someone had at least a pitcher, some plates or cups. russelwright2
Now, with the resurgance of mid-century design and people clammoring after 1950’s era items, the original pieces can often sell rather high. Yet, if one takes the time to look and carefully collect up a set, a piece here and there, spending more on the original may be wiser than this re-issue. But, first, let’s learn about Russell Wright:
Wright is best known for his colorful American Modern dinnerware, the most widely sold American ceramic dinnerware in history, manufactured between 1939 and 1959 by Steubenville Pottery in Steubenville, Ohio. He also designed top selling wooden furniture, spun aluminum dining accessories and textiles. His simple, practical style was influential in persuading ordinary Americans to embrace Modernism in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
guide to easier living Wright and his wife wrote this very famous book. It helped to change the way the new nuclear family lived, ate, really thought about their living space. I do have it in the corner store HERE, but it is rather expensive.
This made me realize another difference between 1950’s and present day. In the 1950’s, though many new and varied items were coming out and being marketed like never before, Americans still wanted to know:
  1. It was built to last
  2. fit into their budget
  3. made in the USA
What Wright was doing was bringing a well designed item that was relevant to the quickly evolving time in which he lived and having it well made as well as accessible to most people. This does not mean it was one dollar a plate at Wal-Mart, but it did mean one could collect up a set over time. Mother could receive that gravy boat at Christmas. There was more a sense of one waiting and hoping and then getting the desired object. Today there is so much instant gratification, we have lost those elements that make owning something more fun or worthwhile. We live like spoiled rich children, yet we have no money or savings and are in debt.
S0, back to Oneida re-introducing the American Modern dishes collection. The glaring difference which I noticed was that it is not made in Ohio any longer (Steubenville Pottery went out of business in 1959 and was bought by Canonsburg pottery which went out of business in 1975) When it was created in the 1950’s it was made affordable for all (not what we would consider cheap today but more affordable than fine china) and it also was produced within the united states, including the clay being created here as well. Now, the Oneida version allows one to pop over to Bed Bath and Beyond, or what have you, and buy up the entire collection in one fell swoop. Ta-dah! Instant esthetics. There is one very interesting point, however, this china is made IN CHINA! So a product known for its very American ideal designed by an American Designer and produced in America is now mass produced in China.
I found a few sites that did a sort of quality test and their biggest concern was that it could be differentiated from the ‘real thing’ so as not to hurt the market for the actual vintage dishes. What is amazing to me is that if one likes mid-century design, and apparently subscribes to that esthetic, wouldn’t all that made it what it was be important too? That means the very American craftmanship of it. Yet, today, we simply take old molds or make new ones to copy it and off it goes to be mass produced cheaply in China so we can instantly fill our over-glutted cupboards with more things.
I think what is frustrating to me is, why couldn’t an American pottery concern be contracted to make the things. They would cost a little more, but so what? Instead of buying the entire set in one day, you would have to acquire it over time. But, again, that would be part of the joy of owning it. Isn’t there something lost when we just simply get something quick and cheap?
I have really been thinking about this a lot lately. How so much of the production and selling of basic goods or artistic elements in our homes are simply owned and sold by the big box stores. Where there was once individuals and couples, like the Wrights and the Eames’ who were American Designers, living a very American experience and then taking that artistacally and translating it into dinnerware, furniture, lifestyles one could respond to, today we either just cheaply reproduce this or simply let board meetings of marketing groups decide what it is we will like based on how cheaply and quickly they can get it into our hands. The very design esthetic of living, therefore, also seems to be owned by the corporation.
Now, I know many of you dislike when my blog gets ‘poliltical’ but sometimes it cannot be helped. And I wonder if we simply assign the term ‘political’ to things when we don’t want to face them. Many of us like, admire, ascribe to or strive towards a mid-century lifestyle. Rather it is the clothing, the design, the very nature of people in that time, we seem to feel something is missing. And I think that main element missing from today that was prevalent at the time was genuineness or pure experience. Today so many seem almost props on a stage, as if there is nothing behind it. People’s motives and the over all general aspect of modern life, at least to me, has an almost disingenuous or false quality to it. And I think the reason for that is we are not engaged in our lives in the way we once were. We have no say in the production, design, and overall affect of our own country because we have let so much of it be dictated to and presented to us by a few people in charge. Our own towns and local areas are not colored by the people in them, but by the vague and generalized feeling of TV shows, internet and what is in the Large Corporate stores that you can see and go to in ANY town. We have, in many ways, lost some of our humanity.
I know, this sounds like a wide leap of reasoning from a bike tire to here, but it seems to follow a path. I am not really sure what can be done about it. I know we say shop local, and that does help, but our options for that is limited. We need, somehow, to both by old and reuse the good ole’ stuff, but also to really start thinking about how to build up our economy with more small local production. I wish I could start a pottery concern, now, and we could have local designers and people who are experiencing our way of life interpret that into products made and distributed within our own borders. As it is now, every year we lose less and less of our production, we receive more and more money from outside our borders to continue this lifestyle of self hurting.
How can we try and fix our towns, cities, states and therefore our country? Is it fixable? Does it matter? Maybe I am just the one idiot feeling this and I should somehow figure out how to get back to that ‘old me’ and just take the red pill and quietly resume my place among the consumers. I honestly don’t know. I hope this post does not seem to political nor too dark, but I do feel increasingly this disconnect from the modern world that has me worried. I don’t think it is just because I am trying to live in another time, but because of it I see all the flaws in my own real time. Flaws that I want to fix because I honestly believe it would make for a better world.
It seems to me even things that once didn’t seem connected are now really connected to the way we do live now. Even children or how teens behave today, or the current state of our welfare state and on and on. All of this seems to somehow be connected to the very core that a vast majority of us live so disconnected from reality (yes this being said by a woman pretending to live in the 1950’s) that we cannot see all these problems are interconnected. It is as if we have no hope or control over our own country. From what we are meant to like or be concerned about, to what we wear, eat, live in or how we spend seems to be coming from some outside source that subtly makes those choices for us.
I almost did not post this because I don’t want to seem preachy or off-my-rocker. It is just that for myself, the person that used to be happily plugged into the modern world, a great consummer, my very esthetics and ideals, my language and expectations from somthing as simple as entertainment to even what I expected from other people has vastly changed once I saw what it COULD be or HAD been once. Some may say, “You are looking with Rose colored glasses” but rose colored glasses do not deal with facts. It IS a fact that the dishes I was speaking of WERE designed and manufactured in THIS country and now are not. It is a fact that Teens once dressed what we would now consider (more conservatively) and treated one another differently but there WERE less teen pregnancy (4% in the 50’s to 40% today). It is a FACT that there was LESS TV only available during certain hours and people got more things done in one day than now.  It is a FACT that the the GDP grew in spite of the fact that real estate was valued more realistically toward the average incomes. It was more realistic to live on one income for a couple, yet credit cards and easy high interest loans and debit cards were not there. It is a fact that the way one felt about buying on credit was not looked on the same way as it is today. College was considered important for some but not needed for ALL no matter financial circumstances. There was not as much Concern of Waste and Garbage BUT there were not even  half of the ‘throw away’ things we have today. These are facts that are there for any one to find and read.
So, Things aren’t made the way they are used to does not have to be a ‘fact of life’ but could be a ‘message to us to wake up’. We shouldn’t just accept cheaper things shoddily made outside our country. No one is holding a gun to our head forcing us to spend and spend. If we slow down and see what it is we are doing with our lives and look to our community, then maybe we can get to that point when a few people can think about taking those first tentative steps toward small scale local production, if they feel their friend, neighbors, and community will want to purchase that product, even if it IS cheaper at Wal-Mart.
I hope this post makes sense and believe you me, I have seriously contemplated trying, in some manner, to simply let myself slip slowly back into the old me. Because, it was easier to be that person, to not think as much and just spend and not care about tomorrow. Yet, today, even with the sometimes feeling of hopelessness, I feel the most genuine and alive than I have ever felt. Making my own, caring for what is considered the ‘little things’ or the ‘silly things’ does make ME happier at least.
So, what do any of you think? Am I right? And is there a way to get back to having more general control over our towns/country? Those of you who live outside the USA, how much do you feel our USA ‘culture’ affects where you live, i.e. McDonalds, American TV/Movies/music, American products?
I just want to add that I don't want to be to 'on my soapbox' because I honestly feel as if we can successfully work within the system that we now have and yet begin to just think differently. Maybe we replace a thing here or there that is made in the USA or local. And maybe we, if we are so inclined or have friends who are so inclined, to think about actual production in this country. Maybe we could open a dialog about starting a collective for something like pottery or making fabric or such things locally. Even simply researching your own part of the country and see what used to be manufactured there that is no longer there. I am still very hopeful and I think we CAN make a difference and move forward with more say in our lives, towns, country, don't you?


  1. You can't see me way across the country, but I'm standing and applauding every point you've made!!

    I've been saying for years that 24 hour TV was a bad thing for the country. Poeple will sit in front of it all day, rather than do housework, or go for a walk even.

    Viva la revolution!(Apron!!)

  2. American culture is very influential all over the world.

  3. I Wouldn`t worry about your bike 50`s Gal, my hubby bought an expensive bike a few years back and it continuously has a flat tire.

    He finds it ever so frustrating........rather than take it to anymore bike shops, he said if it happens again he will just replace the whole tire.

    Love your bike by the way ;)

    Mom in Canada

  4. TWUS HERE: I remember having an old Columbia bike similar to that. They were called "truck bikes" as opposed to "English racers" that had hand-brakes. They were heavy-duty and had foot brakes.

    Anyway, I'm glad that you said all that you said. It is so, so true. It is hard to find ANYTHING made in America any more. Same is true in England, where we used to live. You could find novelty souvineer items like David Winter cottages that were made there, but everyday goods, like here, seemed to be made elsewhere.

    I live in very small towns now, under 2,000 people. Lots of the businesses are closed. Sometimes it is because the moms & pops don't have the business skills to compete with the WalMarts. They don't keep the stores stocked with the things people want. I worked for a local general grocery store. The older woman who ran it never had the things the people wanted and asked for, however, she would stock all kinds of weird stuff like orthopedic ice packs for the knee, which nobody ever bought, forcing them to go to the bigger city for necessities.

    Also, because small store buy in small quantities, they cannot buy at the same low price that a big conglomerate like WalMart can, and nobody is going to pay twice the price for something. The manufacturers should sell to every merchant for the same price, imo.

    My employer would have to pay $2 per head of lettuce (selling it for $3 to make a profit) while WalMart could buy the same head of lettuce for fifty cents and sell it for a dollar. This is a big problem.

    Also, I have learned that things get very personal in a little town. People would refuse to shop in my employer's store because of some small slight from years ago (her kid was mean to my kid back in 1964... or whatever), so they go to another town to shop.

    I have found myself slipping into this mentality. I don't like to shop at the local home improvement store that is locally run, because (you got it!) their kid was mean to ours 15 years ago and when I went to the mom about it, she was snotty to me! I guess years ago, I wouldn't have the luxury of shopping at Menards instead if I wanted to do that...I'd have to get over it. (I DO shop at the local store, btw, don't worry, if they have what I need...I check there first, because we're shooting ourselves in the foot if we don't -- businesses closed, people laid off, etc.)

    Years ago, I think, people had to get over such silliness, because there were no WalMarts to shop at or alternative stores, unless you wanted to travel miles and miles, and years ago, people were less willing to do that.
    Mary R. (TWUS).

  5. mom in canada-Well, now it has two new whitewall tires, I was just frustrated that they may last 5 years while my old tires that came with my bike lasted 60 years!
    TWUS that was a good point, and I hadn't considered that. The 'I won't shop at sally's shop because she did so and so' but what was GOOD about this in the past is it did FORCE the community to deal with it, Sally would have to make ammends or the injured parties would have to work it out, because there were no other options and in the end it brought people closer and also continued the community shops. Now, it is just so easy to say, "forget it" go to walmart or say who cares what you think, and go online more often and not have to actually deal with anyone in person. And yet, look at the level of insult and meaness perpetrated to one another online, as people are not face to face they tend to become even more cruel.

  6. We (my family) have been bemoaning this very topic for a long time now. Our government has very slowly implented a series of laws which have made it more affordable for a company to import their 'pieces and parts' for their products from China than to have them produced in the US. It wasn't just one president, it was several of them, from both politcal parties.

    My dad worked for a company that built air compressors. When he started there in 1977, their motto was 'Crafted with Pride in the USA!' (he retired a few years ago) they import the majority of their componants from China and only assemble the final piece here. My Dad said they would have to toss 16 out of every 20 pieces for they had been machined wrong, or were bent, or cracked or what have you. They were scrapping 75% of the parts they purchased, and yet it was still cheaper!!!????!!!!

    Mind you, at the same time they began importing these parts, they started eliminating jobs. My Dad got out luckily just before they eliminated his machining posiion. He would have had to take a job in assembly (at a MASSIVE pay cut) or lose his job, which he had had for nearly 30 years. He accepted a retirement package before that happened, Thank God. Still, alot of men he worked with had those same options presented.

    WHO is going to buy all of this 'Made in China' stuff when no one in the USA has a job anymore execpt the 'rich executives' who are choosing this route???

    Not EVERYONE can work at fast food chains or Wal-Mart....

  7. Lorie B-Well said. And a great point from that area of the country whose livelihood depends upon the production that once existed in our country. Other's don't want to see the connection that buying that toaster for only 10 dollars at a big box store in CA really does affect others states away, as we continually say with our dollars "Yes cheaper is MORE important" than companies will continue to exploit the cheap Communist labor at our own peril.
    What frightens me is, when China gets stronger (it now has a growing middle class) and suddenly ALSO wants to call in its debts to us what shall we do? We will have very little production here, many of our products come from there and the money we get from them, as well as other countries, pays into the system we have so that we won't 'feel a Depression' as they did in the 1930s. But, when the money we borrow to make the welfare state to protect us from that contingency is gone, and we are also a nation not familar with hard work or even how production and food growing/prep/processing exists, how will we care for ourselves. I hate to even contemplate the level at which a REAL depression could hit our country. Sad, indeed, and even those with more money in the bank shall be poor when the American doll becomes even more devalued. All of our actions DO affect each and everyone of us and I hope we can begin to see that and start working towards an America that is about each other and the respect of our fellow man and not worry about who is what political party or religion or lifestyle and realize these are merely used as tools to keep us separate and to not see the REAL writing on the walls. I do feel we ladies, we little apron revolution, can cross all those political, religious, any lines and see that to make our country, state, town, family and personal lives better far out weighs being able to buy a 3 dollar shirt on sale at Forever 21.

  8. It's very hard to find items made in North America, but if one looks hard enough you can find such items at the dollar store, I usually by sterilite plastic storage containers they are made in Canada, I even bought Crayola crayons made in Canada, found bubbles made in the USA etc.

    To find larger items it's darn near impossible and very frustrating....I actually found shirts made in Canada at Giant Tiger (a discount shop), and at Mark's Warehouse they do sell jeans made in Canada.

    I really try, if I can just save one job it would be worth it, I keep thinking if someone has just bought one more car manufactured in North America my hubby would still be working:(

    Mom in Canada

  9. very sad about the dishes...being from ohio, i know there are many pottery companies that made lovely things right here. they are highly collectible. one of the reasons i stick w/my fiestaware is the same "made in america and made to last" mentality. i love that they are almost impossible to break :)
    i don't know how to turn the tide of outsourced goods, but i know that as much as it depends on me, i try not to purchase junk.
    good points all.

  10. Yes, 50's Gal, you made a good point. Because today we have so much that is impersonal, like mega-department stores and the internet, we are more cruel to one another. Years ago, people were forced to be more polite because they had to deal with each other, like it or not. Now, we don't have to because there are other alternatives, but now we are more cruel. Very good observation.

  11. What an AWESOME post! I couldn't agree with you more. I was just thinking about the same things over the weekend. Hubby and I were out on Sunday night and it was trash night in our neighborhood and we saw soooo many things in the trash..large things too like furniture ets... 90% of it was not salvageable, that pressed wood stuff that was damaged. Hubby said they make things "not" to last anymore. I got to wondering what we will pass on to our future generations? You know, the beautiful 100% wood antiques that we can still find and are in decent condition or if not,they can be refinished etc...We will not have anything to pass on to our children! Nothing to be considered an heirloom for future family members. My mom still has my crib! Has anyone seen the "new" cribs today? You would be lucky to get use from one or 2 chldren and even if it does survive, (babies don't apply much wear), lol, but I doubt seriously that it would survive storage over time. Even sitting in the basement it would probably just simply disintegrate for a lack of a better word. Anyway, my husband works for UL (underwriters Labs) and he is an inspector for companies who want to use the UL mark in their manufacturing and we are losing so many accounts due to the fact that not only are things being manufactured in China but...and here is the BIG one...ready??? These big manufacturers do not want to PAY for a safety certification. They want cheap, cheap, cheap!!! They don't care if your house burns down while using their product, they don't care if this will end up in a landfill next year. You will just buy another one! No acountabilty here folks!

    One more thing. I think it is the tv, internet etc that is keeping people away from home duties and keeping them from not appreciating quality . The tv is sending them to the shopping malls, box stores and strip malls. If you watch alot of tv, how can you have time to do things around the house and appreciate what you have? You need everything faster just so you can run home to watch tv. The tv somehow make it seem like you are fitting in by shopping at these box stores and cheap clothing stores and it is cool to wear their store name on the front of your shirt! What a concept, you buy their shirt and then you give them free advertising!!!!! Furthermore, who has the time to refinish a piece of furniture when it is faster and easier to run to the box stores and buy a pressed wood piece! After all, if I spend all night re finishing a chair, I will not have time to watch my favorite tv show!

    Just my 2 cents here and as always, I thoroughly enjoy your posts and your blog. I guess I am not alone in my thoughts in this world... Keep up the good work!


  12. Barbara-Isn't it nice to know we are not alone. I sometimes worry when I go off on a rant if it will be well received or just thought, 'Oh, here we go again, kookie 50sgal on another tangent'. Yet, I almost always see others also see what I see. And, of course, many have seen it long before me. I was one of those mindless shoppers. I shudder when I think of my trips to IKEA, because they are the pressed wood/laminate throw-away kings! It is so true that we haven't really a style or quality to our present day. In 60 years if some crazy lady, such as myself, wants to do 'My Year 2010' what will she see as our furniture, decor, and ideals?
    That is SO interesting about the UL symbol. I love how we always learn so much more from one another. So, there are companies who simply don't care about the safety. That is hilarious. Especially since the main tactic used to get us to buy buy buy is often fear. We were thinking how deeply this goes into every aspect of our society. We have a friend who has diabetes and we were talking about how he has to literally use and throw away five needles a day! How, since he is the only one using it, it is NOT unsanitary to actually have a good needle he could simply sterilize and use again. It isn't as if he is sharing it and sterilizing it would be easy enough. Yet, the system is set up (also tack that onto healthcare costs! Yikes)to simply toss everything away. Everything is sealed and tossed, sealed and tossed. Even the hand sanitizer craze, which, as many know through actual studies done, that it increases your likelihood of becoming ill because you don't build up antibodies. Yet, everywhere I go I see little sanitizer dispensers, even at the grocery store! We don't ask why, we just take up the new concept, through fear and move on. No one considers how this increase in 'caution' actually just makes a bigger market to sell more needles and plastic and sanitizer. I just wish we could all be more aware of our world around us and ask why. I sometimes think we are on the verge of some big historical event around the corner and we will be the people who, 'Just didn't know, we had no idea what was going on'.

  13. Barbara - that is funny you should mention baby cribs. Thirteen years ago, when we were expecting #1, we purchased a baby crib second hand. It was older, however it was cute and I really liked it. Money was an issue, so second hand it was. I think I spent $50 on it. Anyways, that crib lasted through the original child it had been bought new for, then three of my kids before it got drenched in a basement flood we had and had to be tossed. I greived. Then came baby #4. We looked for a used crib, but couldn't find one so bought a new one. $130 later, we put it together. That was 2 years ago. That crib fell to pieces around 6 months ago. It didn't last a year anda half. 'E' was in the bassinet for 6 months, then into his crib. The side rails broke, the vertical rails popped out, we wound up removing a side and duct taping it together as a toddler bed. Then it caved in on itself. 'E' now sleeps with his brother and my hubby (who does woodworking as a hobby) is just going to build him a bed.


  14. It does seem we are fine with 'low prices' without realizing what we are actually getting for them. We have come so many generations from those who expected or were willing to pay (or pay off with store credit NOT credit cards) something that would last and be passed on. It only takes a generation, it seems, to be removed from a way of thinking, so we are easily swayed today. There are many young people who may not even understand the concept of something lasting, it just isn't in their realm of reality. That is sad.

  15. What a great birthday gift – something you loved and needed! Great friends! :)

    It also irritates me that nothing lasts today, I always think when I buy something that I have it for years, but I don’t. It is really annoying, but if things were made to last many years, the shops would go out of business. Nowadays I sometimes think that things are made to break as soon as possible.

    The pink set is darling. I have a pink tea cup set from a flea market I love. It is used when I have girlfriends for tea. I think the tradition of collection china, glasses, and cutlery is dead today. I don’t think any young girls would do this. I collected plain white china before I moved together with DH 28 years ago, then I painted blue berries on it. Very nice indeed. And for 20 years I collected a quite expensive cutlery named Pantry (, I hated opening all those long gifts for Christmas and birthdays for SO MANY years! ;) And today it is way too simple for my taste, I wish I had collected something else, much more elegant and vintage styled, but alas.

    You are not an idiot and you are not alone! You know that! The Apron Revolution will spread, and one day you will lean back and think “I started this!”. :)

    The US influences the Danes a lot, and it frightens me, since we still have most of the good ole values here in Denmark, but I suppose many Danes say that this is only for the “silly Americans” (my mum’s words).

  16. TWUS here again. Have you read Alvin Toffler's 1970's book, "Future Shock"? It is about our every-changing society and planned obselescense.
    A very good read -- reads quickly. It was a societal classic in its day. Worth a read. Wonder if libraries still have it?

  17. Reminds me of a cartoon I saw in Mad Magazine years ago when I used to read it: This woman tells her fiance that she wants this expensive wedding gown, and he questions the wisdom of spending so much on a garment that would only be worn once. She answered with, "Well, I will wear it, and then my daughter will wear it, and then HER daughter will wear will be an heirloom!"

    The finance said, "So, why don't you wear YOUR mother's wedding gown?"

    She said, "Who wants to wear that old thing?"

    Everything is tossed out and few modern things are heirloom quality today, sadly.

  18. You know, I love my 1920's sofa! She's in beautiful condition and I use her comfortably everyday. I take care of her (clean the upholstery, oil the wood trim, etc.) I love her and she's had so much love for so long, spanning all the way back to the hands that manufactured her in the last century!

  19. Love your bike!


  20. My mother collected many dish sets, buying them a few at a time, not all at once. I thought that was fun and exciting, to wait for the next set to buy.

    My mom owns MANY things from when she first got married, all working just as well as when they were bought. Her microwave, stove and refridgerator lasted almost 30 years, which is long for somehting I guess made in the 70's, but it is a lot better then the 8-10 years of todays products.
    You get a product, pay more and it lasts a few years. Its a sahme.


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