Vintage isochrone maps show 19th-century travel times

In the late 19th century, travel times became a thing of fascination as modes of transportation improved by leaps and bounds (e.g., Around the World in 80 Days, published in 1873). Great thinkers of the day like Francis Galton even devised isochrone maps, which showed how long it would take to get from a central point to other points of interest. Read the rest

$20 for one of the best laptops money could buy 20 years ago: is it worth it?

"It was a little worse for wear... but I wanted to nurse it back to health."

An interesting video for people who like vintage computers: the mid to late 1990s is not only a hinterland of general boringness between "vintage" and "modern", but the high point of Microsoft domination, when Windows was so crummy that to try and put it to use invites an instant headache. As a $20 thrift store find, though, a mid-1990s IBM Thinkpad seems a good find.

It was infested with malware, needed a new battery, couldn't even run Windows XP, and the hard drive sounded like "marbles rolling around in a teacup." Ah, but what wonders lurk in the back of the desk drawer!

Spoiler: You can play old DOS games or fool around with Linux.

(I found one on eBay, but will pass on it, as it's $200!)

P.S. I know many will disagree, but I found those old Thinkpads perfectly portable: imagine the battery life you'd get these days from a laptop nearly two inches thick! Read the rest

Chart of every Nokia dumbphone from 1982-2006

Prepare to take a technological trip down memory lane with this enormous comprehensive chart of every Nokia dumbphone model starting 35 years ago. Extendable antennas, clamshells, you name it. Read the rest

Modding a vintage Japanese pachinko arcade game

Pachinko machines are traditionally purely mechanical, so Ben Heck thought he'd mod one to include electronic lights and sounds. The 8-bit gaming sound program is a great option, but Ben's fart sound program may be the keeper. Read the rest

Reminder: you can buy vintage milk at Amazon

Have you vomited uncontrollably and at such length as to leave you shaking and in tears lately? Try it! Amazon can help by shipping you vintage milk, "Used & New" from $45. Read the rest

Atomic Age ladies of a certain age posing by Christmas trees

Aluminum, mylar, and space-age plastics await you as you take a trip through Christmases past with 43 prime examples of middle aged women posing by their mid-20th century Christmas trees. Apparently, either a dog or a drink was a required accessory. Crème de menthe, anyone? Read the rest

Creepy vintage toys

Re-Tales, a blog specializing in the wonders and horrors of retailing, has an excellent selection of creepy vintage toys to enjoy. [via Metafilter]

The implicit appeal of these, I think, is that they were originally intended to be creepy, but have become unintentionally creepy. The primary amused-children creepiness of an one era becomes the unsettled-adults creepiness of another, but it's not really the same thing performing the work in each case. And, maybe, the real creepiness is in our appreciation of how the object slowly acquires its secondary creepiness. Read the rest

Incredible 1960 time capsule apartment

Miles McDermott is a modern-day millennial hepcat from Phoenix who has set up the most impressive 1960-vintage pad I've seen outside of a soundstage. Read the rest

Vinyl Divas: vintage opera diva album art is weird and wonderful

Vinyl Divas is a comprehensive collection of vintage classical music divas, and it ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous to the sublimely ridiculous. Includes lists by artist name, collection based on themes, and even vanity albums by self-published divas. The fashion, the makeup, the styles, the taste both good and bad... prepare to go down a rabbit hole of 20th century nostalgia. Read the rest

Badass SoCal Latinas from the 70s and 80s

Cult Nation gathered up a fascinating collection of vintage photos from Lowrider Magazine and personal collections that show how influential Latina gangsters were on style and culture in Southern California. The look, the poses, the Germanic blackletter font still used widely, and the camaraderie are consistent in every shot. Read the rest

Fantastic selfies from 1920

Famed photographer Joseph Byron holds the camera for a few group selfies in 1920. No selfie stick. No duck face.

More info on these shots here and here. (via r/OldSchoolCool)

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Check out Radioshack's 1981 computer catalog

The 1981 Radioshack computer catalog is beautifully illustrated, but everything in it is complete TRS. Read the rest

Vintage children's PSA on explosive safety

If you grew up in certain areas of the country, you may have been subjected to a lot of education about the dangers of blasting caps, like this PSA by The Institute Of Makers Of Explosives. Read the rest

Create logos using colorful vintage bitmap fonts

The dryly-named C64 Charset Logo Generator lets you do something old-school that the new school forgot years ago: type using colorful bitmap fonts, as found in old video games of the Commodore era. As the name suggests, it uses the gloomy Commodore 64 palette, but you can edit it with the provided controls, which also include kerning tweaks and many choices of lettering. [h/t Stijn Peeters]

C64 Charset Logo Generator

Idea and code by Chris 'Cupid' Heilmann (@codepo8) - ported from the original tool written in PHP using gd

Charset ripping and credit research by Dejan 'Nucleus' Petronijevic

Charset cleanup and transparency adding by Daniel 'Deekay' Kottmair

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Railroad women of 1943

Retronaut posted a fabulous gallery of women railroad workers from World War II. [via] Read the rest

Man selling $100,000 collection of 600 vintage Smith-Corona typewriters

Craiglist has something wonderful on it: a vast collection of more than 600 vintage Smith-Corona typewriters, including accessories and marketing literature. Yours for a hundred grand.

My collection consists of over 600 typewriter items including the company's first typewriter in the 1880's to one of the company's last typewriters in 2000's and all models in between, along with all types of items that correspond to the typewriters, including ads, accessories, displays, documents, manuals, photos, shipping crates, etc. Smith Corona's products are beautiful, interesting, unique, colorful, and when displayed, fun to look at.

I collected the typewriters and related items from 44 of the 50 United States, Washington DC, four Canadian provinces and three foreign countries. I only purchased museum quality items, so the collection would make an instant museum. The collection includes many rare and valuable items.

I have decided it is time to sell the collection.

The collection is a nice financial investment that consistently increases in value over time due to a large international typewriter collectors market. The collection will only increase in value over time.

More pics at the listing!

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Badass ladies wrestling: 10 awesome old photos

Starting with this awesome shot of Bettie Page pretend-ladyfighting with a sexy foe, here are some wonderful photographs of female wrestlers from the 19th century through the 20th, all the way up through the '80s and '90s.

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