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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Vintage GE Coaxial Television DVD Hook Up

Mel and I picked this up not too long ago. We loved the look of this set and it was very clean (as though no one had ever really used it). I am unsure of the year, but I am guessing 1957-1959. This is a black and white television but the unique thing about this unit is that it is slim. It can hug a wall really close without taking up too much space.

That’s a lean machine!

I took it to my good friend Fred Deal to tune it up and replace all the paper capacitors with Mylar capacitors. He restores mechanics of antique, crank phonographs, reproducers, cylinder and disc type players. He also rebuilds antique radios and TVs to better than factory specs with new Mylar capacitors. It runs like a champ now and will look great in our Tiki room for movie night.

What a looker!

I know some of you might own vintage tv’s but may have no idea how to get your DVD player to play through it. Let me help you with that quandary. You will need the following items:

Television RF converter: you can find these at Wal*Mart, Target and most places that have an electronics section. I purchased a very basic cheap one because there really isn’t a need to spend more.

DVD Player: I purchased this one from Wal*Mart. It was around $50 and what I like about it is that it is small and compact. I didn’t need anything fancy because I am only watching classic movies on this tv. If you wanted you could go all out and get one with surround sound set ups.

TV Matching Transformer: This will make everything come together. You will hook this up to the antenna leads on the back of your television.

Coaxial Cable: You’ll need this to connect the tv matching transformer to the television RF converter.

The first thing you do is connect the tv matching converter to the back of the television. This will be achieved by unscrewing the two ports on the back of the television enough to slide the connectors on the tv matching converter underneath, then tighten down.

Then hook the coaxial cable to the tv matching converter. Once that is done then connect the coaxial cable to the back of the television RF converter to the connection port that is listed as “to tv“. The next step is to take your red, white and yellow RCA cables (usually come with the RF converter) and connect them to the back of the television RF converter and the DVD player.

Once all this is done then plug everything in and test it out. You may have to put a movie in and play it while you search for the right channel. Once this is done then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the show!

There is something about watching an old film on a vintage tv. It makes it feel more authentic and more enjoyable…or at least that is what I think.

This will be a great addition to our other vintage televisions! (Philco predicta, Philco swivel Miss America, Ultra atomic television).

Reglor Chalkware Lamp Restoration- Heart Break and Rebirth

Melody and I had won a couple of lamp sets on Ebay that we had been trying to hunt down for sometime. Unfortunately when we received them they were in really bad shape. The green jester set was packed soo poorly and was busted beyond repair. I was able to file a claim and got our money back on that set but the issue wasn’t the money….it’s the idea that this fantastic set is now history and all it had survived from its birth counts for nothing because someone did not take the right amount of care to prevents its demise. Here is what arrived…

It broke my heart when I pulled these out of the box and there was more chalkware in the box than on the lamps.

The male figure appears to have gotten the brunt of the damage. I ended up just throwing these in the trash and that was hard to do for me. As you all know I restore things, but I couldn’t see any way to bring these back.

The next set that arrived damaged was the famous Reglor bullfighter lamps. These were going to be paired with our bullfighter Carlo’s. Unfortunately they would need repair first. Here is how they arrived…

The female bullfighter had a busted neck, waist and a large portion of her cape was broken off. The only damage to the male bullfighter was a busted neck.

To repair both of these lamps I used the same process that I blogged about earlier on the fairy lamp. Anyways after a few days of working on them and repainting them here is how they turned out.

They glow now.

It is amazing what stucco and glue can do.

His neck looks great!

These have been saved from the scrap heap. I am so glad they were able to be salvaged and will look great next to our Carlos.

Art Deco Lamp Resto

This was manufactured in 1931 by Scene in Action.

Mel and I came across this at one of our local antique haunts. I had been eyeballing this for sometime and didn’t know if I wanted to restore it. When we got to the register to check out the shop owner advised us that he found this next to a garbage can awaiting its destiny in the city dump. He said he pulled over and nabbed it. He then told me that he thought these were something that were sold at the Worlds Fair. He said this unit probably had a shroud that sat over the light bulb and moved from the heat of the bulb giving the picture motion. Unfortunately, when we purchased this the shroud was missing. He had owned it for a while with the intention of doing something with it, but he decided after having it around for a while that he wasn’t going to get to it so he decided to sell it. Yay for us!

This lamp was rusted and needed a new paint, print, wiring and new glass.

After some searching on the internet I found an image that I thought would look good in the light. This was a pretty straight forward restoration with just some spray paint and then black accent paint. After a couple of hours of work here it is!

I think it looks great!

This even looks better when lit!

This will look great atop our newly acquired 1958 (I think) GE coaxial television. This is a thin profile television that we picked up locally. I will blog about it soon!

Hawaiian Chalkware Lamps & Rewire

Mel and I picked these up at a local antique store and knew they would look fantastic in our Tiki room. As you can see from the before photo they were really dusty and needed some freshening up. Per my previous posts you know that I love to re-finish old lamps. These needed to be cleaned and repainted. I took a little creative license when it came to the repaint and I think they turned out great! Here is how they turned out:

Here she is. We were able to get these venetian shades but they were lime green and I knew that would look too strange so I painted them to match.

Here is the hula man. They both turned out well.

I even added facial features such as eyes, eyebrows and lips. When you redo a lamp don’t be afraid to add your own twist.

After both of these were re-finished I wasn’t comfortable with the “burn down my house” cord that was still attached to both. I decided to run over to Lowes to pick up a couple of lamp rewire kits so I would not have any worries when using these.

Required items: 1 faulty wired lamp, 1 rewire kit, cross tip and flat tip screwdriver & wire strippers/side cutters.

The first step is to dismantle the existing light assembly. I always recommend that you hang onto all pieces of the old lamp till you are done. These rewire kits you purchase are generic and sometimes the hardware doesn’t work with your lamp so you may have to reuse some of the cosmetic pieces.

Remove lamp harp, light bulb sleeve and shroud.

Next you need to disconnect the two wires connected to the light assembly.

Remove the rest of the hardware from the upper part of the lamp. Leaving just the wires sticking out of the top.

The next part is to cut the plug portion of the old cord off and push it through the base of the lamp so it can be pulled through the top of the lamp later. Now take the new cord and feed it through the base of the lamp (once the new cord is though the base tie a knot in the cord but make sure it’s loose so you can adjust it later) and twist the ends of the new cord together with the old cord. This will allow you to pull the new cord through the lamp when you pull the old cord out through the top. It is important that when you try to pull the new cord through the lamp that as you pull on the old cord you are pushing on the new cord.

Here you can see the new wire pulled through the lamp. Once you give yourself a little slack on top adjust the knot on the bottom to be tight against the base. The knot prevents the wire from getting pulled out if someone tugs on the cord.

I had to use the old base hardware but I was able to replace the harp holder and lower bowl for the bulb.

The next step is to re-attach the wires to the light assembly, slide cardboard insert over light assembly and then the metal sleeve and push the whole assembly into the light assembly bowl till it feels secure, it should lock/snap into place. Install the new harp and attach the lampshade and screw on the finial and you are all done. You just rewired a lamp! Not too hard huh?

Now I don’t have to keep the fire extinguisher handy when these are on.

Art Deco Lighted Bar

Here is what we saw that got us all excited!

Mel and I saw this on Craigslist a few weeks back and fell in love with the lighted feature. It appeared to be in good shape so we headed out to the bay to see what condition it was in. When we got there we began to talk with the seller and she advised us that it was her dads and he had passed away and she brought it down from his house in Alaska. She said she just wanted it to go to a good home. We advised her that we were not selling it and that it was being added to our collection and that seemed to put her at ease.

We were so excited to get it home to see if it lighted up and it did not disappoint. We were not able to test it when we purchased it so it was nice to not have to rewire it. This lights up when you open the top section, what a trip!

It appears it was made in England by Validity.

The cabinet was in overall great shape but the finish was yellowing and flaking off. I knew it would just need a quick refinish. These great Art Deco cabinets used some of the best looking veneer ever produced, this bar was no exception.

This grain is soo cool. I cut my restoring teeth on Art Deco furniture and it always refinishes well as long as the veneer isn’t damaged.

This will look great restored!

The restoring process goes as follows. The first thing you would is to strip off all the old finish. The next process is to light sand the whole piece. Then get a microfiber cloth and wipe down the whole piece. I took a chance on a new stain that I have never used before….

This stuff coats really well and is a thicker stain that takes less coats to achieve the finish you want.

After the stain dried I then sprayed the whole piece down with a semi-gloss polyurethane to seal and protect the finish of the piece. Here it is all finished. The next step is to find really cool barware to stock it with.

I don’t know if these photos do this unit justice but in person it looks amazing!

This unit reminds me of one of those old jukeboxes. I love the imagery on the fold out door!

Look at all the room there is for the liquor. Woooo Hooo!

Carter The Great

Ok….I know what you are probably thinking…this is earlier than the time frame I usually focus on. “What is this crazy cat doing?” But, you might remember an earlier post where I covered circus posters and how I love the imagery. This huge magician poster was made in 1928. I saw this on Craigslist a while back and wanted it soo badly but funds were a little short (taxes lol) so I wrote it off as just a dream. Then a day or so ago I saw it on Craigslist again by the same seller. This time I had a little more scratch (money) on me so I arranged to see it. It blew me away when I saw it in person. The colors are really vibrant and the condition is really nice.

This thing is huge, it measure 106 inches long and 80 inches wide. I am going over to my good buddies at Wholesale Art and Framing to see if they can frame it to help preserve it. They always cut glass and frame things for me.

The great thing about this particular poster is that it has soo much activity depicted on the front.

These posters were originally in sections and were put together wherever they were displayed. This particular poster has been mounted on a sheet of fabric to help preserve it better.

Here is one of his famous tricks….The Marked Bullet!

In this part of the poster you see him sawing a woman in half, levitating a woman & making a piece of fabric dance.

This is a great image of this Asian guy in his decorative robe making a bowl of fish levitate. In the background you can see some curious owls.

Otis Lithograph Co. produced this fantastic poster.

This appears to be the company that mounted the poster on the fabric backing.

This will look great once framed. I have no idea how I will get it home once it is framed. I will figure something out!

Here is some great background info on Cater The Great with some pictures of some of his other great posters!

Charles Joseph Carter (June 14, 1874 – February 13, 1936) was an American stage magician, also known as Carter the Great. A native of San Francisco, California, Carter began his career as a journalist and lawyer. As time passed, he grew an interest in magic. Due to stiff competition from the number of magic acts on the American stages at the time, Carter opted to pursue his career abroad, where he achieved his greatest fame. Among the highlights of Carter’s stage performances during his career were the classic “sawing a woman in half” illusion (an elaborate surgical-themed version with “nurses” in attendance), making a live elephant disappear and “cheating the gallows”, where a shrouded Carter would vanish, just as he dropped at the end of a hangman’s noose.

Carter’s first theatrical experience occurred at the Herzog’s museum and Pat Harris’ Masonic Temple in Baltimore at the age of 10, where he appeared as Master Charles Carter the Original Boy Magician.

A fictionalized account of his life can be found in Carter Beats the Devil (ISBN 0-7868-8632-3) by Glen David Gold.

Carter purchased the famous Martinka Magic Palace in 1917, a time when he was unable to continue his world touring magic show. The story goes that he kept his lion, Monty in the back room of the shop and when it would roar, the startled customers would run for the door.

Carter’s home in San Francisco was rented by the Sumitomo Bank of California in the 1980s-90s and used as a residence for the Bank’s President. Carter used to put on shows in the basement and you can still see occult references in the stained glass windows. The house is in the Seacliff District of San Francisco near the Pacific Ocean. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the “Houdini Mansion”. It is now used as a foreign consulate.

Following Charles Carter’s death from a heart attack in 1936, his son Larry Carter took over as Carter the Great.

A variety of vintage posters, advertising his shows, are on display at the House on the Rock in Wisconsin.


Fiction becomes reality

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Mel and I were out antiquing over the weekend as usual and we headed into an antique store that was in the middle of selling off a large estate they just received. Most of the pieces were not our style until we stumbled across this vintage Shofu sake decanter set…

I know this isn’t a dead on match to the character in the “Bottles” cartoon but the set reminded me of the character.

This decanter set came with 6 small sake cups.

These were made in occupied Japan. I am surprised it is all in such great condition.

We love this set and will place it with our Gay Fad bar items.

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