1963 Moe Light Catalog with Honeycomb Lights

I recently ran across a 1963 Moe Light catalog and had to share. It has an amazing number of Moe Light honeycomb light photos:

And plenty of other lovely mid-century lighting you should flip through:

Westwood Green Tiki Napkin Holder

With the change in seasons and the mid-century blogs I read, I'm reading a lot about tiki these days. I only have one piece of tiki, a Westwood W-4 green tiki napkin holder that I bought at Goodwill for $2.

We have a nice modern napkin holder that we actually use for our napkins, so this tiki head actually ends up holding our mail.

He's perfect for either mail or napkins and looks great on our kitchen counter where he lives.

Apparently, there's a whole line of this green tiki face. 

But tiki items are something of a slippery slope for me, I know that if I start collecting them, I won't be able to stop and my whole house will get taken over. So it's best that I just stick to the one.

Vintage Herman Miller Sofa Ad

Vintage Herman Miller advertising was just as amazing as the furniture itself. This ad is so simple and so perfect. It tells you everything without showing you anything.

The Old Globe Light on Our Mid-Century Ranch

I found two more reasons to love our EJS Lighting Glow-Bal sphere light, as if it being free and an authentic mid-century globe light weren't enough.

1) I remembered that our house used to have an exterior globe light. They changed the fixture right before we bought the house. The old light definitely wasn't as nice as our new globe light will be, but I am glad that we'll be able to bring back some of the original look.

2) After writing about our new EJS Lighting globe light, one of the owner's children left a comment,
EJS stood for Electrical Jobber Supply. It originally started on East Pico Blvd in downtown LA in the 1950s and then moved to Compton. The company was a true American manufacturer and made their products from raw material through finishing. At one time they were one of the largest residential decorative lighting companies in the US, but ultimately the company closed down in the very early 90s.
It's great to get a little additional history around the company who made the light and I haven't seen the full name, Electrical Jobber Supply Lighting, anywhere else when I was doing my research, just EJS Lighting.

EJS Lighting Glow-Bal Sphere

There are a few houses in the neighborhood that are getting some work done and in the Austin tradition, they're putting out the old stuff out on the curb with a "free" sign next to it. Usually it's stuff that only contractors or serious DIYers would want. But this weekend my wife walked in the door saying, "Look what the neighbors were giving away."

How could we not take it? It's perfect. Well, OK, it's not perfect in the "doesn't need a good scrubbing with some gentle dish soap" sense, but it's perfect in the "authentic mid-century globe light" sense.

This mid-century globe light used to hang in front of a house it had no business being on – a colonial that was probably built in the 1930s and probably had this light added in the 1950s – but it's perfect for our mid-century ranch.

I went looking for a maker's mark and a first I didn't think I found anything. There's this really cool "Union Made" sticker that too small to actually read.

And this Underwriters Laboratories Inc. sticker, but they're a product safety facility, not a manufacturer. 

On a whim I thought, "I wonder what EJS means?" So a little google magic later and I know that this is an EJS Lighting globe light. And then something in the back of my brain said, "You know the name EJS Lighting." That's when it clicked, EJS Lighting made the Stockholm lights:

Which were it inspiration for some Rejuvenation lighting, including the Corona lights (which were my backup lights in case I was never able to find a pair of Moe honeycomb lights). In Rejuvenation's description of the Corona lights they said, "The EJS line included hip hourglass chandeliers, classic pull-downs, elegant Swedish-glass shades, and the iconic 'Glow-Bal' sphere pendants."

I can't find anything additional about EJS Lighting Glow-Bal globe lights, but if I had to guess, I'd say I'm the proud owner of one.

More Keep Britain Tidy Posters

I've mentioned my love for the vintage Keep Britain Tidy posters and I thought that I had seen all of them. But recently a few more have popped up on my radar.

One by Hans Unger

Another by Abram Games

And two from Reginald Mount

Mad Men Season 6 Illustration

Mad Men is coming back and The New York Times has the story behind the promo poster.
Creator, Matthew Weiner, inspired by a childhood memory of lush, painterly illustrations on T.W.A. flight menus, decided to turn back the promotional clock. He pored over commercial illustration books from the 1960s and ’70s and sent images to the show’s marketing team, which couldn’t quite recreate the look he was after.  
“Finally,” he said, “they just looked up the person who had done all these drawings that I really loved, and they said: ‘Hey, we’ve got the guy who did them. And he’s still working. His name is Brian Sanders.’ ”
I love stories like this. Someone so obsessed with a certain image or look or piece and nothing else will do. It's especially fitting for this poster since the mid-century look that Mad Men has helped light a fire under in so many people is fueled by that same obsession.

Pantone Sheets, Pillows and More

There's Pantone paint, so I guess it was only a matter of time till there was Pantone housewares. JCP just released Pantone Universe a line of housewares including, Pantone pillows

Pantone sheets and comforters

 And Pantone soap dispensers

Sadly the line is limited to four colors, but it does include the 2013 Pantone color of the year, Emerald, and the 2012 Pantone color of the year, Tangerine Tango.

If mid-century fans are lucky, the line will be popular and they might start coming out with more mid-century modern colors, like Aqua Sky, 2003's color of the year and one of the Eames molded plastic colors. Then the pillow on the chair could perfectly match the chair.

Mid-Century Modern Jetsons Architecture

Well, my dream blog post came true. Paleofuture wrote about Jetsons architecture. It has everything you could want: a Niemeyer name drop, Googie references, an image of mid-century Motorola ads and, of course, talk of the Chemosphere.

Personal bias hoped for more than just a passing reference to Niemeyer. Especially when you line up images like this:

And this:

But you shouldn't look a gift blog post about the illustrated architecture of a short-lived show about the future in the mouth.

The Retro Future of Records

If you're in or anywhere near Austin right now you know that SXSW is going on. It totally takes over the city. And if you're a giant nerd like me, SXSW Interactive is where the action is at.

I first learned about this perfect mix of future and retro thanks to SXSWi.

A 3D printed record. It's future technology to create retro media, and I love it.

I keep a record player in the house to keep the mid-century vibe going, and because I own plenty of records to play on it. And because in the back of my head I'm still planning on hosting an uber-swank retro-inspired cocktail party where I play all said records as background music. Maybe someday I'll be printing my own records in the study and playing them in the living room for guests.

Mid-Century Street Lights in Austin

It's funny how you sometimes need to not see things for a while before you actually see them. I used to walk by these mid-century street lights at least once a week when I strolled the neighborhood. I didn't really notice them until this weekend, after a long time of walking other streets in the hood.

They're great globe lights, but they could use something other than the spiral CFL bulbs in them. Globe or tube CFLs would look much nicer.

They're the street lights outside of Hyde Park Baptist Church and from what I can find they put in sometime around 1979, but that's a bit unreliable, they could be earlier.

Random Mid-Century Pics from Austin

I had a few more photos on my phone with no real post to attach them to, so here they are in a random collection.

I was eating at a neighborhood restaurant when I saw this sconce. I'm not sure if it's a Schoolhouse Electric and Supply Co. light or a Rejuvenation light, but I know I've drooled over it before.

This 3D wall was in a waiting room I spent a few too many minutes in and had a nice enough modern look for me to sneak a pic.

After installing our Crestview Door, my obsession with vintage screen doors has lessened but I still had to snap a pic of this one from the sidewalk.

Speaking of walks, this modern front walkway is pretty special.

A Mid-Century Music Mix

After giving the old Broyhill Sculptra dresser a wipe down with Restor-A-Finish, I gave our Sculptra desk the Restor-A-Finish treatment too. While doing so I opened the bottom drawer, which has basically turned into the junk drawer for the study. In there are the mixed tapes I still have from high school.

Seeing them got me in a mixed tape mood so I went to the internet to find something fitting for the mid-century repair work I was in the middle of, which is when I found this mid-century mix by Nitro-Retro. It's an upbeat mix with some funky/funny cuts between songs, and it's worth 20 minutes of your time to listen. Even if it's just in the background while you clean.

An Amateur Uses Restor-A-Finish

I love mid-century furniture and I own a decent amount of it. I do not repair mid-century furniture. I leave that to the professionals. But our Broyhill Sculptra dresser had some scratches on it and I wanted to see if I could do anything about it.

They were covered by a runner over the top of the dresser and I figured, worst case scenario, I do a little damage and put the runner back on covering everything again. Best case scenario, we don't need the runner any more.

Here's what it looked like before:

From a distance, you can tell it's seen better days and someone left a drink on it for too long. So I went looking for a product to help. With a name drop from Mad Men set decorator Amy Wells and the folks at A Modern Line, I figured I'd try Restor-A-Finish.

Here's what it looks like now:

It was a best case scenario. We no longer need a runner and from a distance most of the scratches have almost disappeared. 

The photos don't show it, but the parts of the dresser that weren't damaged also look 100% times better. The shine is back in the wood, the grain really pops and overall it looks like the dresser just rolled off the factory line.

Taking a closer look, the water damage / cup ring has totally disappeared.



The large but medium depth scratch has almost faded into the background



The big, deep scratch still shows, but only if you're looking for it



And the so deep there's no way you expect it to ever look good again scratch, wouldn't get a second glance if you walked by it. But if you stop and stare, you'll still see it.



The above pics are from so close my camera had trouble focusing. So they're a bit over dramatic and show more flaws than most people will see. 

I can fully understand why people love Restor-A-Finish. Moving forward, even vintage piece of furniture I buy will get the Restor-A-Finish treatment before it comes inside. And that's my big amateur-user note, if you can, use Restor-A-Finish outside. It stinks.

The other pointer is, don't try to do just a part of your piece. For example, the top of a Broyhill Sculptra dresser. Once you're done it will no longer match the rest of the wood because it looks so much better and fresher. You'll need to wipe down the whole piece. Luckily Restor-A-Finish is fairly idiot proof. I accidentally left it on for far too long and nothing bad happened. So doing a whole piece isn't too hard.

And if you're restore Broyhill Sculptra furniture, use the walnut Restor-A-Finish. It matches perfectly.

Vintage Built-Rite Wall Plak-Ette

My mom found some mid-century Built-Rite Wall Plak-Ettes at a garage sale. She had plans for them, but didn't end up using them so she passed them onto me. She thought their funky, mid-century design would look good at our place.

She's not wrong, they would make great mid-century nursery wall decorations. They just didn't fit in with our travel-themed nursery.

So I returned them, but I kept this school boy though, they were just too perfect to give back all of them and this was my favorite.

The rest were pretty great too. It looks like they're fairy tale themed, except for maybe the school boy and girl. 

Here's what the back looks like