I had to drive to Chicopee on Wednesday to get an insurance form stamped. I was not going to stop at the nearby Re-Store, because my Dear Husband would KILL ME if I rescued any more vintage and brought it into the house. But then you know what happened?
It was just 5 minutes away. And I was going to have to Drive Right By. So I just had to stop.
First of all, I need to clarify that my local Re-Store — which is about 50 minutes east of where I live, so I can only go there when I’m out that way for some reason anyway — isn’t called Re-Store anymore.
There must have been some sort of issue, because now they are called CET Eco-Building Bargains. Sorry CET Eco-Building Bargains, but that doesn’t really roll off my tongue like ReStore Habitat for Humanity, so I am going to continue to call you by the name I have always known you by.
Such are the difficulties of rebranding. I actually have had jobs where there have been Brand Meetings. And Brand Managers. And Brand Research. Gawd, I went to two separate weeks of Brand mega-training when I worked Ford.
Well, the biggest volumes of vintage stuff are in cities that were prosperous and growing during the post-war era. Places that, also, were pretty well-populated already before the war started. They woulda had a jump start over places like California, for example, where everyone was new new new.
Around Springfield, there were military installations built for the war… lots of factories that pre-dated the war… and of course, Massachusetts had been well-populated already for like 200 years. Those Church toilet seats: Originally made in Massachusetts.
During WWII, there was plenty of work in and around Springfield. All the citizesn saved their money, because they couldn’t spend it easily during the war and because that USED TO BE the American Way.
After the War ended, they remained employed, as American industry returned its armament production to production of domestic goods. The BOOM was ON, and the population was already in Springfield (and similar cities) to take advantage of it.
Springfielders started building, renovating, remodeling and otherwise spending… and this continued through, when? The 80s? When the manufacturing base started to move south and overseas.
Just look at ALL THIS STUFF. There was So Much Stuff that there was enough to let sit — in unopened boxes — for a couple of decades! Every week, readers send me more of these stories:
- Emily and her West Virginia stash of tile: https://retrorenovation.com/2011/02/04/gold-min-of-new-old-stock-tile-and-accessories-from-the-1930s1940s-1950s-1960s-1970s/
- Jason and Nikki drive hours to Emilys (more photos and color): https://retrorenovation.com/2011/02/27/where-to-find-vintage-bathroom-tile-follow-jason-and-his-wife-on-their-epic-trip-to-the-west-virginia-stash/
- Russ and Paula buy a huge stash of lighting (and more) from an old lumber store to sell online: https://retrorenovation.com/2011/04/22/vintage-nos-exterior-lights-for-your-ranch-cape-colonial-or-mediterranean-home/
- Sort of along the same lines…and, “All the best stuff’s in St. Louis”: https://retrorenovation.com/2011/04/04/wendy-buys-3-vintage-lights-at-a-time-capsule-lighting-store-in-st-louis/
Keep sending me these stories, readers — I love them!
I have more, but I am going to wind down and show these: OH MY GOSH, FANTASTIC avocado kitchen sinks that held some kind of wacky faucet. I am pretty sure I have a photo of this design on my site somewhere. If anyone can find the story, can you add the link in a Comment? Thank you!
The double bowl had a hold on it, or else I woulda had to buy it. Although I wonder, does it need a hudee? Where’s the hudee. Be sure to get your hudees. this was NEW OLD STOCK MINT. Can you believe it???
I only spent $20 — about $10 on little somethings to make collages with and another $10 on a NOS Miami-Carey exhaust fan. nanananana. I will put it on ebay to help pay server costs.
I am glad I took a wrong turn.