Made in Italy: Overpriced, hand-painted, 50s style refrigerators

Luxury brands Dolce&Gabbana and SMEG have teamed up to create a series of hand-painted, 1950s style refrigerators that have been made available at Neiman Marcus. There are six designs in total, all painted in Italy by Sicilian artists including Michele Ducato, Gianfranco Fiore, and Michelangelo Lacagnina.

On one hand they're charming. On the other, they cost $50,000 each (plus $495 for shipping) and have a "care" note that's of concern:

The refrigerator compartment has automatic defrosting. During normal operation of the refrigerator, frost forms on its back wall when the compressor is working and dissolves when it is not in operation. When the compressor is not working, the frost which has built up on the back wall melts and the water flows into the opening provided in the bottom of the body of the refrigerator. From here, it flows into the tray on the compressor, where it evaporates.

The freezer compartment has to be defrosted manually. When the thickness of frost or ice on the shelves exceeds 0.75" or 2 cm, the freezer should be defrosted. A few hours before defrosting, use the knob provided to set the thermostat on 7 in order to further lower the temperature of the frozen foods. Then turn the knob to the 0 (STOP) setting and disconnect the plug from the electrical mains. Remove the frozen foods from the freezer compartment and protect them from thawing while cleaning. Place a container underneath the pipe to collect the defrosted water.

Clean both refrigerator and freezer compartment about once a month to prevent odors from building up.

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For sale: Clarabelle the red-nosed, polka-dotted clown car

Looking for a really unique vehicle that will garner a lot of attention? One that will have your neighbors asking, "What's in that Bozo's driveway?"

Well, quit (start?) clowning around and check out this 1957 Morris Minor named "Clarabelle." She's just $7K. The wind-up key, polka dots, light-up red nose, and flower boxes are all included:

One-of-a-kind automobile! Seen in many parades, TV and events. She has been on display and honored at the National Auto Museum and at the International Clown Convention. Eight years in the making. Lovingly built in Northern Nevada by a professional clown family. Custom glitter paint. Top hat opens to wave at the crowds in a parade. Rear flower pot bumpers. Moving hand-carved silver colored "skate key." Light inside red nose. Hand carved white hands in front and hand carved steering wheel.

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This rare 1950s typewriter hammers out musical notations, not letters and numbers

Here's something you don't see every day: a typewriter that hammers out musical notations. Made for use with music staff paper, the Keaton Music Typewriter was first patented in 1936 by San Francisco's Robert H. Keaton for use by composers, arrangers, teachers and students.

The original model had just 13 keys but Keaton's second patent for this "music typing machine" was granted in 1953 and included 33 keys.

If you've got a spare $12K, you can pick one of these little beauties up from Etsy shop WorkingTypewriters (back in the 1950s they sold for $225).

The seller writes:

Estimates are that there are less than 20 machines on there, maybe even as few as 6...

The Keaton Music typewriters were produced in two batches, this one stemming from 1953 and has the more elaborate keyboard. They were made with the idea that musicians would be able to quickly and precisely write out their compositions. A typewriter for music. It didn't work as well, typing music is more laborious than typing words and it never really caught on.

Watch the video to get a feel for how challenging this "typewriter for music" is to operate.

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Hot Rod artist Coop is coming to Weekend of Wonder. Join us, get an exclusive wood print!

We are thrilled to announce that our friend Coop, famous rock poster illustrator and fine artist, is joining us at our Weekend of Wonder extravaganza, September 18-20 in Riverside, California.

The IBM 1620, an affordable “scientific computer” from 1959.

Some users gave it the acronym CADET: "Can't Add, Doesn't Even Try."

Telephone management skills, 1957 edition: Stephen Potter

From the wonderful blog "Vintage Scans," a page from Lifemanship lesson from Stephen Potter, 1957 (11th impression). Potter was a British writer known for dry, mocking, self-help books, and the TV and film projects they inspired. Read the rest