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Rejuvenaire Electronic Odor Control for the Home — vintage woddity

Just when I get to thinking that, now in my 11th year of blogging about the retro, there can’t be many more woddities out there that we haven’t seen before — along comes Rejuvenaire by Westinghouse, Electronic Odor Control for the House. Goodness, these skare me.

But if it were closer I’d buy it for the *museum*, for sure. Thanks to Linoleummy for spotting this wonderful oddity for sale on craigslist in Redding, Ca. and emailing me with the tip. Thanks also to the seller, who gave me permission to show the photos. 

I could not find anything online about this product.

Fortunately the craigslisting includes lots of detail photos. It’s the:

  • Rejuvenaire Ultra-Violet Lamp Air-Refreshing Generator … used for abatement of odors. 
  •  … Rejuvenaire is an electronic marvel, a fixture made of aluminum that contains within it a special transformer and components that produce the proper current to operate a Westinghouse “Odorout” ultraviolet lamp with which this unit is equipped. 

They come in very pretty retro colors… have a lovely design, aesthetically… and have wonderful embossing of the aluminum. These look to be in great shape. Looks like one cord still has its original wrapping — never used.

Two bulbs inside.

Who knows about zip codes? These were made when zip codes were still simple, by: Rejuvenaire Corp., San Francisco 1 with another box listed as San Francisco 2. 

So atomically cool. Of course, get thee with a properly licensed pro if you have any intention of using old stuff like this to make sure it’s safe. 

via craigslist in Redding, Calif., here. 

  1. Christine W says:

    They are very interesting. I guess they are the precursor to the plug in air fresheners of today? I’d be pretty scared about which ultraviolet rays were coming out of it though

  2. ineffablespace says:

    The city code means that the box for the item was printed before the middle of 1963. That’s when zip codes went into effect. Before that some large cities were broken into zones and had a 1 or 2 digit number.

    My dad had an electric lint brush and an electric portable pants pleater the latter of which appears not to have been used.

  3. Carolyn says:

    I’m thinking those are phone exchanges if you’re reading the box Prospect 5-9785, not zip codes. Is this a forerunner of ion exchangers? Then the question is: Kitchen odors, bathroom, basement?
    Well, this will keep a few of us busy looking for answers.

  4. DavidF says:

    These are still around in different packaging. I have a couple HEPA air filters that also have UV lamps inside that the filtered air flows through. It’s my belief that the filter part does most of the work, though.

  5. Tut says:

    Yes, that’s a phone number, not a zip code.

    It’s not much different than the ultraviolet lights they now use for germ killing. Even the Target snack bar has one in plain view—not hidden from eyes.

    I used to run an ion generator. Nice smell, and fun to put your finger on to eat a tiny zap.

    1. Lynne says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Kind of an early version of the lights some hospitals use in isolation rooms to ready the room for the next patient.

      I suppose some hospitals still use this, but there are more effective ways now.

    2. Dee says:

      Those ones you see are not for germ killing – they’re a bug zapper but they use sticky paper instead of zapping the bugs

      1. Tut says:

        Ah. Since I’d heard about actual UV germicide, I naturally made the conclusion when I’d seen those in various places.

        1. Dee says:

          i get that – they use them instead of a bug zapper because they don’t want the bugs to go “pop” all over your food

  6. Jay says:

    Interesting, I suppose the idea was to eliminate odor causing bacteria. Wonder how effective it was – low wattage bulbs. Even today UV lights are used in industry and health care for sterilization and purification.

  7. Fnarf says:

    She’s not talking about the phone number, but the “2” in “San Francisco 2, California”. Those numbers are postal zones, and were in use from 1943 to 1963, when ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) codes were introduced. Supposedly the zones were introduced because so many experienced postal employees were in the military during WWII, so the replacements needed a little help.

  8. ineffablespace says:

    Pam is not talking about the PRospect-9875 phone exchange.

    She is talking about the San Francisco 1, California, and San Francisco 2, California, designations on the box and machine.

    Large cities, pre mid-1963, were divided up into postal sections to assist with sorting and delivery because 5-digit Zip Codes were only implemented in 1963, although they had been suggested about 20 years earlier.

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