230 photos of readers’ thrifty vintage finds — Upload your photos, too

nutone in wall stereo system imageEvery six weeks or so I like to do a plain ole uploader potpourri — upload photos of your thrifty vintage finds. Last time around, readers uploaded 126 photos, including MsKittyMuses’ treasure. She explains:

Nutone in-wall stereo system, with radio, intercom, pull out record player, record cabinet and 5 speakers. Craigslist – guy unistalled it himself from an estate sale. $100

Wowza. Just the kinda bigger-than-four-breadboxes I’d try to sneak into the house. So… treasure hunting going, readers? Let’s see yer stuff, it’s easy peasy, uploader is ON –>

Upload photos of your most recent thrifty vintage finds, belowTips:

  • If you can figure out the settings, please set your camera to no bigger than “medium” images, so files aren’t too large — large files really slow down the slide show.
  • (2) Uploader DOES work but message you get on screen *may be* funky and confusing. Upload ONCE and trust the image it there — I just need to “set new photos free” from my control panel and will be checking throughout the weekend to do so.
  • (3) Terms of Use apply. Plus: Keep those toilet lids DOWN!
  • (4) If you are taking a room shot and want to improve your photo skills, check out Kate’s tips on taking great room shots.

[ngg_uploader id = 234]

Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image:

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  1. JamieAbe says

    Well, if they do work, they are CRAZY loud! My grandma has them in her house only her’s are the burglar alarm variety. There’s a small chain that hang from them that you latch onto the door so that when the door is opened it pulls the chain. I can’t tell you how many times as kids we would accidentally set those off. It’s quite shocking!

    • Alexia says

      Het QoFC — would you please tell me more about that gorgeous rug? Is it hooked? Are the wool strips knit (like sweaters) or woven? I have been thinking of making my own rug and love yours and also the idea of making it from thrift store wool material.

      • JamieAbe says

        It looks like a rug partial rug that I picked up recently at a garage sale. Mine came with some paperwork too, it looks like it’s advertising a new style of needle called the “New Art Rug Needle…the needle with the “Hump””. Basically you gather the fabric on the needle using a simple stitch, and then you chain stitch the strips of gathered fabric around and around building the rug.

      • says

        The lady who made the rug would buy wool shirts and skirts, that weight material. She cut strips, and she must have had a pleater attachment on her sewing machine, because each strip has small pleats stitched down the center of the strip. Then she coiled the strips on end from the center, hand sewing with heavy thread as she went. The pleats give the strips enough body to stand on end. I blogged about it here: http://queenoffiftycents.blogspot.com/2012/06/rug-story.html

        One of these days I’m going to try making one, since my $5 yard sale Singer 201 included the pleating attachment!

    • MsKittyMuses says

      Queen of Fifty Cents – That’s exactly what I thought! They’ll look awesome working or not! But apparently they were when the guy took them out. There was no alarm set up to this, and he said they sounded fine, so fingers crossed! Now we just need to figure out where and how to re-install them! I’m thinking we may have to bribe one of the engineers at my husband’s work with beer and pizza… :)

  2. Nancy P says

    Queen of Fifty Cents–I have two great chairs like yours, but the cords for the seats have broken over the years, and I can’t find anyone to fix them. Did you fix yours yourself?! Are there directions online, or could you give me some tips?

  3. JKM says

    OMG I have an identical set of the aluminum kitchen canisters that Laura B got for $5! They belonged to my mother, who I think got them as a shower gift when she got married in 1957. Mine’s a set of four in stairstep sizes – Flour, Sugar, Coffee & Grease. The grease canister has an internal strainer.

    • Tom says

      As a child of the 80’s growing up around all those horrible brass fixtures it somehow must be ingrained in my DNA :)

      The brass boats started as a joke between my wife and I. She has collected a ton of the brass animals that are scattered throughout the house. I found the first boat for 25 cents and now I seem to find them at every flea market we go to. My rule is under $5 and it comes home with me.

      Our friends always get a kick out of them and now I am getting them as gifts so our collection keeps growing…haha

  4. says

    I just have to say I love your site! My husband and I recently purchased a 1958 ranch in Birmingham, AL, and I am having a blast decorating it with mid-century treasures.

  5. Eliza says

    I love that bicentennial beauty banana seat bike!!!! I would have bought and ridden it! and felt like i was 11 yrs old again. ahhhh.

  6. says

    So much stuff blowing my mind! The photo of the lot of stuff for $32.50. The beautiful Pyrex sign. I can’t even pick all of my favorites. I’m dying to see more of the home that has the Moravian star fixture and the disco ball (with that marvelous wallpaper!)

  7. Kim says

    Ohhh, that green cracked-ice table and chairs! You give me hope that someday I’ll find mine, too!

    And the Pyrex is magnificent. Coincidentally I just ordered some new shelving for my kitchen–now I can’t wait to start displaying my pieces. (What are you using as inserts, to show all the stacked bowls at once, may I ask?)

    • Eliza says

      Am I a philistine? I use my pyrex. My mom always mixed birthday cakes in the green pyrex bowl, so I can’t bake a birthday cake if I don’t mix it in the green pyrex bowl. The kids show iCarly showcases their 4 pyrex bowls on the show all the time, I have to point it out to my kids every time I see one.

      • Lynn from St. Louis says

        Eliza, I use my Pyrex all the time. I have the yellow, green, red and blue stacking mixing bowls. My Mom gave me her yellow square baking dish with the lid. She always used it to make banana pudding with meringue topping.

      • Kim says

        Oh, no worries, Eliza, I use my Pyrex too! Some have designated dishes–for example, tuna noodle casserole simply *belongs* in my Grammy’s yellow squared-off covered dish.

        It’s just that I have…uh…more Pyrex than that. :)

        • tammyCA says

          I use my vintage Pyrex, too…but, JUST ME. I almost throttled my husband when I saw that he cleaned up and put the Pyrex in the dishwasher! “Never put vintage Pyrex in dishwasher I’ve told him over & over”. I lovingly & carefully wash mine by hand.

      • hannah says

        I use my Pyrex ALL the time. After I acquired a decent amount, I began to get rid of all the clear glass bowls we had that aren’t worth anything and certainly have no personality or history.

        I about blew a gasket/had an aneurysm/popped my clogs, when DH baked some apple dessert in my large Pyrex mixing bowl and came home to see the burnt edges from the sugar and juices. Took me two solid weeks to get her back to pristine condition. He’s never done THAT again. 😀

        Same as this bowl here, 1st picture, bottom bowl: http://bloesem.blogs.com/bloesem/2008/04/white-elephant.html

  8. says

    I put up a pic of my Ethan Allen Cogwheel table. I wanted one so bad when they first came out, and all the while they were offered, but we didn’t have the $$$. All our furniture was garage sale stuff, beautiful wood pieces from the 20s and 30s people were selling off for cheap in the 70s. I still have some of those pieces as well. I found this table on Craigslist and showed it to DH, who flipped and said we should get it, so I did. He was mad I just paid the lady what she asked, but the table is in MINT condition, well worth the price of $50. I liked the lady, too, she was selling off things to downsize into a senior living place.

      • says

        Thank you, Pam! It feels good to finally have it and it looks good in here, too. I think they had a larger size, glad this one is not bigger, it is 36″ across.

        There is a bonus, a three light floor lamp in satin silver and gold behind the couch that we got on eBay. I paid a bit for it, but it is beautiful and in great shape. I’m trying to find the best spot for it.

        • says

          LOLOL! We had friends in this week, and one of the men wants us to get another cogwheel table to put them together so he can make the gears work. Wouldn’t that be fun? Just the thing for a hyperactive person.

  9. Christa says

    That walnut collection *gasp* I can’t stand it! I am in love! I pick up the mid century walnut things whenever I find them, as I love the whole Danish Modern asthetic…but all of that together in one piece? LOVELY!

  10. says

    I love those Sears catalogs. When I was a little girl, my mother would get those and it would be a great day when we sat down to look through the Wishbook. We would each pick one thing we would like to have on each page. Some of the sections were hard for me, like the ladies’ and men’s undies, and the tools, but I loved to pick clothes to wear as a grown up and furniture for my very own house. Good memories :)

    • says

      Ha! I know! Even as an adult, I’m skipping past the tools and manly man stuff. Boring! : ) Though, I’m lingering at the underwear because it’s so fascinating to see how we women used to truss ourselves up and how many men in the ads just stood around together in groups, smoking pipes in their underpants.

      • tammyCA says

        I remember dreaming & wishing looking over the Sears Christmas catalog as a kid in the 60s! So many wonderful toys – money was really tight so we only got a few things, but they were well-loved.

        • says

          The Christmas catalogs, yes! We three kids had to be patient, I think we drew straws to find out who had to wait until someone got done with one of the catalogs. Sears and Wards were the two. Then Penney’s came out with a Christmas book and there was no more whining and nail biting while one of us waited.

          We each could make a list for Santa, no more than ten items, and nothing over a certain price, then Santa could pick one or two things for each of us that we would surely love.

  11. says

    Thanks Pam! This is the first time I submitted a photo, I love seeing all of these fantastic finds! The $1 shadow box is to die for! That sail fish is another thing on my bucket list!!! I would just love to have one over the fireplace, I don’t even care if I catch it or find it in a basement!

  12. robin says

    Love all the treasures……….my husband just uninstalled one of these stereo systems in our house. Gave it away…………………..

  13. Ann WesleyHardin says

    If I don’t get a Flexsteel Thunderbird sofa my life will never be complete! Holy cow. Like I need another MC obsession!! Thanks, I think… ;))

  14. Frank says

    I just had a flashback. We had the same Nutone system in our house growing up. It had an intercom system that allowed to you to speak to people at the front door from the kitchen and from the kitchen to each of the bedrooms and the garage. My Mom used to play KBIG (easy listening elevator music) throughout the whole house.

  15. Dena Bettis says

    I need to take better pics in the daylight. I have a house FULL of mid-century furniture, art, decor, clothing, etc. I’ll work on getting better pics! Thanks for letting us share! DB

  16. tammyCA says

    That starburst clock is similar to some on eBay that are now bid up around $400! Jacquie’s pretty dragon flower pottery looks like it could go with Jennifer’s floating sofa. Lots of fun things to look at. I am in awe of the green Thunderbird sofa…I’ve never seen anything like that – so cool. I’ll see if I can figure out how to post a pic of a few of my fave Goodwill finds…rare finds since the thrift stores here mostly get “picked over” by antique dealers & shops nearby.

  17. Janet in CT says

    I too am awed by that Flexsteel Thunderbird sofa! And I adore that inflatable ottoman! This is so much fun seeing what people have found!

  18. hannah says

    OMG!!! The gold wing back chair? I was given one JUST like that only in dusty pink velvet and the wicker was white (originally, not painted). I gave it to a friend at work when we got the ranch as it didn’t go with my decor, nor would it fit in the bedroom. I LOVE the gold one and would proudly have that in my living room!

    The inflatable ottoman – WOW. THAT, is something that would fit right in with my kitschy taste. I think DH would roll his eyes though. lol

    And all that yard sale goodness for $32! Lucky you!

    Also highly did those awesome cinder blocks *all jealous and stuff*

    I don’t see the barrel table that’s being swooned over, I’ll keep looking.

  19. says

    Those vintage utensils are so great! I still have some of them from my mother’s kitchen, like the candy thermometer and that perfect slotted spoon. Every time I use them, I remember learning to help out and then cook with my mother. Those old utensils last forever. I keep looking for extras of the ones I love best.

    • Janet in CT says

      Ah, Elaine, you and I both have memories of cooking with those old utensils. I have two of my mother’s utensils whose handles have broken off and I still use them, regardless! One is a frosting spreader and the other defies description but I think she used it to flip pancakes, although it is curved and kind of oddly shaped for that. And of course there is also the large spoon with half a handle, and the frypan with no handle. Oh, what an illness it is but worth the memories!

      • Janet in Ct says

        LYNN! Just looking at all the photos again this morning and realized you have that odd utensil that I have from my mother in one of your photos. It is next to the pink sink and kind of looks like the shape of a foot! I could never remember what the handle looked like but there it is, just like mine! I am glad to see someone else saved one!

        • Lynn from St. Louis says

          Janet, I just took a closer look at that utensil. It has printed, right on the metal on the front, “A&J, Made in USA, BATTER BEATER, Curved to fit the Bowl.” Let’s go make a cake!

  20. Diane in CO says

    Had to laugh at the Couroc “drink” tray – I have that…. somewhere in boxes in the basement. I’ve been stockpiling lovely perfect-condition Couroc for years, because you see them for a couple of bucks all the time. Lots of people got them for wedding gifts in the late ’60’s and ’70’s, I think. Popular as commemorative gifts. They are made of a phenolic resin, similar to bakelite — very quality stuff made in CA. Couroc also made cocktail glasses decorated with some of their famous icons, like the roadrunner etc.

    I’m waiting for the day they become collectible and sought after – lol. Then I’ll sell! (But keep my couple of favorites which I have on display in the kitchen.)

  21. Susan C. says

    I really like the aqua phone, aqua oven, anything aqua. I live in LIttle Rock, and have never seen anything as cute as aqua appliances.

  22. hannah says

    Pam, those Vanguard fire alarms are AWESOME! What on earth are you going to do with them? Will they work like current ones in homes?

  23. Ada says

    OMG! I just found a Nutone wall stereo system demo record in my grandfather’s collection while moving into his mid mod. The family never had the system, so I have no idea what he was doing with it! It’s got great graphics though (very mid century interior scene with a very mid century man and woman enjoying their Nutone system!),so I’m framing it to hang above my stereo.

  24. Mandy says

    We recently had the privilege of helping to empty the house of 89y.o. Aunty Aud who passed away this year. There were so many wonderful things from the past, so I have posted a few. Too many to document. The bathroom tile, paisley speakered radiogram, the “love is..” pillowcase etc are all from “Aunty Auds”. We are in Australia, so it will be interesting to see if anyone else has the same things anywhere else in the world.

    • Janet in Ct says

      Mandy, loved it all and I certainly have never seen any of it here in the US. The plate with the pregnant woman, “I should have danced all night”, is absolutely hysterical! Thanks for posting them all as they are unknown and unusual here in the US.

    • tammyCA says

      It’s cool to see what was Mid-century in other countries…the LOVE IS looks like it was based on the popular newspaper cartoon of the same name by Kim. I remember always checking the newspaper for the latest drawing in the 70s. Also, I remember back then a friend of mine found a girl’s wallet at a toll road diner with a bunch of the cartoons inside.

    • Shirley Joiner says

      Mandy, your plate brought back memories. My mother didn’t have a plate, but (as I remember it) she had a plastic plaque that read “I should have danced all night” that my dad bought for her in 1959 when she was expecting my brother. That was in New Jersey. It hung in her kitchen for years.

      • Mandy says

        Thank you all, isn’t it fun to “show and tell”! and share memories too. I will try to do it again next time; I have photographed my laminate ready for that upload when it happens; and goodness knows there are LOTS of other things in our house 😉

  25. says

    I love the weekend uploader parties!! It’s fun to look at everyone’s treasures. I LOVE the pyrex sign, the Thunderbird couch, the walnut collection, the “Love Is” pillowcase, the Sears catalogs, the… Really, I love them all 😉

  26. says

    I’m enjoying looking at everyone’s finds. There are some awesome pieces of thrifty goodness on this uploader.

    I had a successful day of thrifting yesterday morning. Very excited to find the Morse sewing machine and yarn/needlework carrying fold-up basket. The gnome embroidery piece is weird but in cool way.

    • tammyCA says

      Denise, a few months ago I bought one of those knitting carrying baskets at the neighbor’s yard sale thinking I might give it a make-over & sew another fabric into it…but, I still always want to preserve original things so I stalled. It is not in my colors (florals in browns, golds & oranges) from the 70s. My MIL is into those colors so I might give it to her for her needlework. The thing is – can it ever be cleaned since it is sewn onto the wooden rods?

      • says

        I have an upholstery cleaner that I would use the handheld part of…just because I have one. But, I think that if you sprayed it with a gentle cleaning solution and let it soak for a minute or two and then used a shop vac to vacuum up the moisture, that would work. Getting the wood wet isn’t a terrible thing unless the finish is really worn off and the liquid would soak into the wood. I figure if placed out in the sun or near a not too hot heat source for quicker drying, you’d be OK. If there is a no-rinse cleaning spray that could be used, that would be handy, too. I think the sucking-out-the-dirt is more of what I’d be after. I’d probably spray/soak it from the inside rather than directly on the print, not sure if it would matter, but it makes me feel better.

        Apparently no one thought about cleaning these when they were designed! LOL A good solution if the fabric is replaced is to use velcro or snaps to hold it around the wood bars. Then there’s easy removal and cleaning to be had. I’d probably choose snaps because of how fibers stick to velcro, even if it is well hidden!

  27. Shirley Joiner says

    For the person who posted image 87: the pattern Is Royal China Crystal. It’s often confused with Royal China Star Glow, but it actually predated it. I learned this when I started collecting the Star Glow pattern and ran across a cup and saucer like your’s. The Star Glow pattern has a solid mustard color cup with the starburst pattern on the saucer. I actually like the teacup from the Crystal pattern better, but I already had the Star Glow cups by the time I found this out.

  28. Christa says

    The “mystery clock ” I have some info…Made by Elgin Clocks, it is just like the clock that the Boy Scouts gave my grandfather in the late 50’s early 60’s for being a troop leader for many years. As of the 90’s Elgin Clocks was still in Elgin IL,.Grandpa’s clock stopped working sometime in the 70’s. My parents took the clock in the late 80’s, back home to Chicago, and delivered it to Elgin clocks to fix it. Then after Grandpa passed in 1990, the clock came to stay with my parents, and as far as I know, still is. Just thought you would want to have some info

    • Dani says

      On closer look though, it looks a little different to me. On mine, the paint on the starburst is a metallic gold and they have little dots at the tips of the rays instead of the horizontal hatch marks.

      • Shirley Joiner says

        Yes Dani, I do have to say that a closer look seems to show that your stars have a more metallic look and look a little different at the ends. This really is odd because I would be really surprised to find a third pattern that was so similar. In fact, I can’t find anything to indicate that a third variation was ever identified. I guess there’s no manufacturer’s mark on the bottom of the saucer or cup? Even among my Star Glow dishes, some have a pattern ID while others don’t. It even makes me wonder whether it’s possible that someone copied the pattern variation onto the dishes themselves and fired them. Definitely has me stumped. I’ll keep looking to see if I can find an answer. If you ever ID them, I would love to know.

  29. says

    I wrote to Homecrest about replacement cushions for my two 1963 high back swivel rockers and what do you know? They still make them. I need 71360S and can go to a nearby dealer and pick out the material.

    • says

      Thanks Elaine, for this info. I have two of those chairs, also, and the table that goes with them. I had no idea who made them. I got the set about 7 years ago for $12, only one cushion came with it, always planned to use it as a pattern to make two new ones…HA! good to know I can get them somewhere ‘cuz the sewing goddesses are obviously not working around here.

      • says

        They are not cheap, but I think it will be worth it to have the actual cushions to fit. One cushion is more than I paid for both chairs. I tried to find them on the site, Homecrest.com, but it is really hard to navigate.

        You can look at the catalog archives and find these in the 1963 Summer issue. You can also look for them under Replacements, but I got so lost I finally wrote to Homecrest and they found them for me. So, you can now go to Replacements on their site and plug in the numbers to see the offer.

        There is no way to see all the fabrics available apparently so I plan to hike in to the nearest dealer to see what is there. There is also a dealer locator on the site.

        • says

          I just went to the website and the replacement site. I found a dealer that is about an hour from me. I didn’t figure they’d be cheap. I’ll go check out the fabrics. Since I do have one cushion, I can compare it to a very good upholsterer I know to see what kind of a price difference there is. It would be cool if there was some old stock vintage fabric.

  30. Debra R. says

    I am blown away by your site.

    Hope you can direct me to someone in search of MCModern pull-down Eames style lighting. I bought three (two matching) a few years ago for a remodeling project but the husband said no. I can’t live through another remodel and I hate to think about these just collecting dust. Happy to pass along and just recoup my costs.

    Thanks for any help. Keep up the good work.

    • pam kueber says

      ebay or craigslist are likely best places to sell these, debra r. thanks for your nice comment about the site!

  31. Debra R. says

    I found a Gunlocke swivel/tilt chair on a dumpster. The wood parts are immaculate but the tilt mechanism has “issues.” I’m working on a repair, but it probably needs to be replaced. I have had no luck at all finding replacement parts for the mechanism. If you have suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them

  32. Shadytrake says

    Love all of these finds. I found a sweet MCM Broyhill Premier Forward 70 breakfront and credenza today. In very good condition from the thrift mall.

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