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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. Pam Kueber says:

      I don’t know but I think it said 3.5 watt bulbs. If you have that idea in mind, get them rewired. In any case I remind readers considering using vintage lighting to have the wiring checked by a pro. Renovate Safe!

  1. Judy says:

    The Rejuvenaire lamp makes me laugh…a little. I’m trying to think of what the sales pitch might have been…a bigger laugh. I wonder if the lamps were guaranteed? I wonder how the testimonies of satisfied customers read? …another laugh. I wonder how many of these lamps were sold? I may have to do some research.
    Sidenote: Two years ago my furnace began to make an odd sound. I called my trusted repairman only to find he was out for the day. Another repairman was dispatched to me. Upon entering our fabulous, immaculate, (ok I’m a bit obsessed with cleaning) mint condition 1953 raised ranch mid-century modern home, he said, “Oh! You have ‘old house’ smell!” I begged his pardon. He told me how all “old” homes smell musty, how it had nothing to do with keeping your home clean and everything to do with an “old” smell that has settled into the hardwood floors, walls and eventually settles into the homes heating and A/C system. I told him to have a look, my furnace and A/C unit were only 10 years old. “Doesn’t matter”, he said. He proceeded to tell me about a NEW albeit expensive device which could be installed in heating/cooling system designed specifically to rid homes of “old house smell”. I told him I needed to leave soon and said all I needed today was the odd sound diagnosis. He looked at the furnace and noticed the filter had been replaced incorrectly and it was rattling on the side of the unit. Guilty as charged, I had replaced the filter the previous week. I paid my outrageous service call fee and he started in on the “smell remover”. I did the thing I’m loathed to do and told him I didn’t understand anything electrical or mechanical and I would have my husband give him a call. He still hasn’t called him!
    OKAY! After reading (if you chose) this little novella I’ve written, how many of you have an “old house smell” remover? What do you think?

    1. Jay says:

      Yes, it’s called opening windows in the Spring and airing out the house. Would like to know what it was he was pitching.

    2. Erik in Minneapolis says:

      Judy:

      UV lamp fixtures are not a scam or a joke.

      UV lamp fixtures have been used in commercial, institutional and residential settings for at least 65 years – food service, restaurants, hospitals, restrooms, HVAC systems, etc. They generate ozone and kill germs, mold and bacteria, etc. in the air and alleviate odors.

      You may have actually seen a UV lamp fixture in a restroom but never recognized what it was.

      Starting in the 1950s, a good friend of my family and his father were in the business of selling UV lamp fixtures, mainly institutional and commercial sales. When my sister was born in 1961, he gave my parents a UV fixture for use in her bedroom. My father never installed it and it sat on a shelf on the basement for many years. I’ll have to ask my dad if he still has it.

    3. Amber Dancy says:

      I love the smell of my old house!! It’s not mold or mildew or smoke or anything like that. I don’t know how to describe it, but immediately upon walking into this house with the realtor I exclaimed, “This smells just like my grandma’s house!!!” (which smelled nothing like the “old people” smell, either.) I don’t know what it is, but my theory is that they were built with the same type of wood?

      I’ve never been offered anything for the HVAC, but we have a few old receipts we found in the basement where the previous owners would have the furnace treated with something to reduce the oily smell. We don’t have a problem with an oily smell so long as the filter is fresh, so I have no idea what they could’ve done to it.

      1. Trish says:

        I remember one of my cousins saying, when our grandparents’ house (built in the late 19th century) was being emptied for sale, that he wished there were some way to bottle the smell. It wasn’t what I think of as musty, but it had age in it, old wood and clay. My grandmother left me her dining-room set, and I remember poking my head into the bottom of the china closet and finding that wonderful smell again. It’s still there, faintly.

    4. Mary Elizabeth says:

      What the granny/gramps house might smell like: dogs, cats, ferrets, mold, mildew, apple pie, Jean Nate bath oil, Old Spice, tobacco, ethnic foods (corned beef, chorizo sausage, stuffed cabbage, etc.), sawdust, bleach, Lysol or Spic ‘n’ Span, improperly burned heating fuel, natural gas, and what have you. You need to go on vacation and smell your house when you get back. Then you will notice if there are any unpleasant or dangerous odors and be able to identify them. Then figure out how to abate them. You might need a professional for some of these that are health risks, but not an air purifier salesman. There are companies, for example, that specialize in mold abatement and some that are good at getting pet odors or smells from a former fire out of your basement.

      When we moved into our home, the breezeway, which leads to the garage, smelled like gasoline and the basement smelled slightly off. We put a dehumidifier in the basement and put flashing around the garage door. We installed a vented range hood instead of a recirculating one. Problems solved. And when the kitchen smells bad from cooking fish or something garlicky, I use one of those scented candles in pine or cranberry or some other natural scent. You can get rid of tobacco smells (and many others) by washing down the walls and woodwork, and repainting.

      And yes, open the windows and get some fresh air in. And change the batteries in your smoke alarm and CO detector.

  2. Mary Elizabeth says:

    This discussion of germ-and-or-odor-killing machines in the home is making me laugh. I have respiratory allergies, and my hairdresser yesterday commented on a new product she heard of, an air purifier that promises to get rid of dust and thus dust mites. This sounds phony to me, because dust mites don’t really live in dust in the air–they live in fabrics, especially bedding, so they can feast on human skin flakes (not dust). So the only way to kill them is to use a special detergent on your bedding or wash it in hot water once every two weeks. Oh, and consult with your licensed professional, a.k.a, allergy doctor in this case.

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