Showing posts from March, 2013

1950s Ronson Cadet Mini Cigarette Lighter

As feminine as it gets, this tiny chrome lighter sits pretty at the crossroads between glamour and gadget.

Embossed with twirling leaves and vines, deliciously tactile to bare fingers, you may overlook the pattern's very practical purpose: it's easy to grip in white gloves.

And those leaves go everywhere, embossing the whole case as it gently curves to a slender edge. 
Among hourglass figures, sweetheart necklines and frothy lace petticoats, this shining accessory knew how to ... accessorise.

Ronson patented the mechanism that lets these lighters be operated with one hand. In a piece of genuine vintage copywriting, they marketed this feature with the line: "A flip - and it's lit! Release - and it's out!".

Ronson also did things differently by designing lighters for women. Tiny. Delicate. Sparkly. 
What girl wants to fumble with matches and snag her nails? What woman wants to wait for a man to light her cigarette? 
We all know the answer to that: a woman loo…

Vintage Gallery #12 Looking in Junkshops by John Bedford

Published in 1961, cover illustration by Susan Holland.

"The ideal handbook for all who have gone into junk shops and antique shops, hesitated and dithered and then come out - either empty handed or with 'junk'. John Bedford is himself an life-long collector and amateur whose knowledge is wide-ranging in many fields. But his style is always friendly and down-to-earth. If an article is likely to be 'in the Sotheby class', he will tell you so."

Vintage Gallery #11 The 1940s baby clothes hangers

I've just packed these away. They have finished their duty as hangers for my children's clothes. Before that they were hangers for me, as a child in the 1970s. Before that (and first and foremost) they were hangers for my father when he was a child in the 1940s. 
In pastel Bakelite with cut-out images of animals and gnomes,  they now await the next generation of babies from a dark corner of the attic. I'm sure the Christmas decorations will keep them company.