Readers responded so positively my recent story about Vintage Revival Art Co’s new starburst towel bars that owner Jason quickly worked on getting his additional designs produced and online. Now, he has a complete line of starburst bathroom fixtures for sale: starburst towel bars in three sizes, a starburst towel ring, robe hook, toilet paper holder, and a cabinet knob. Let’s take a closer look >>Heck yeah there is more →
What are seagrass rugs made of? Myth-busting: The ‘seagrass’ used for these products is actually a ‘sedge’ grown above ground like rice — not from underwater seagrasses, a claim in many stories I found on the internet. Indeed, the epicenter of seagrass cultivation and craft production seems to be the Vietnamese village Nga Son in Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam.Heck yeah there is more →
A few years after I first wrote about Sundrella 701 aluminum patio umbrellas — sold out of Arizona, in production since 1956! — I started hearing from readers that they were no longer available for retail sale. Fast forward to last week, though, and in doing some related research, I discovered the classic Sundrella 701 aluminum umbrella for sale — from a Florida company, Sundrella Outdoor Furnishings. What?! So I called, and immediately connected with National Sales Manager Diane Jacobs. She confirmed that company ownership had changed hands. The Sundrella 701 today is mostly sold to commercial outfits like restaurants, hotel, apartment and HOAs. But, yes, they do do occasional sales to residential customers. Heck yeah there is more →
What are you watching this weekend? Here’s what mesmerized me and my husband on Friday night: “Bathtubs Over Broadway“. This “comedic documentary” is a fascinating and uplifting account of one man — Steve Young’s — 20-year mission to collect — and then, to uncover the story behind — hundreds of almost-forgotten “industrial musicals” produced the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Young was a comedy writer for David Letterman for 25 years, so the documentary is chock-full of fun. Director Dava Whisenant was named Best New Documentary Director at the Tribeca Film Festival, where the film premiered. It began streaming on Netflix on May 9, or you can rent it on Amazon.
What is an “industrial musical”?
Retro Renovator-archeologists also will love the documentary because it’s another way of looking at the era we love: Industrial musicals were Broadway-quality productions financed by American manufacturers to inspire their sales forces at their big annual sales conventions. Albums were then produced as souvenirs and sent to the sales force as mementos of the event. As the prime example of this fascinating genre, “The Bathrooms are Coming” from American-Standard in 1969 is amazing — and Steve found and interviewed the original performers!!! MCM material culture history fans: You’re gonna love this! Heck yeah there is more →