I am very excited about my latest vintage marketing material – a large catalog from Progress lighting dated December 1961.
The catalog is about equally split between retro groovy… southwestern style “Rancher”…colonial Americana… and viva Las Vegas, which is something that we have not dived into too much on this blog so far — but I feel an itch coming on!
Reading through I’ve learned that these lights were not called “retractable” — which is the term that I have been using. Rather, they were simply called “pull downs”.
And the copywriting from the Progress catalog is very fun:
Pull-downs in refreshing variety, with matching ceiling pieces and other coordinates… In this section, smartly sophisticated metal; nonchalance and warmth of wood in both walnut “slats” and “matchsticks”; “Ranchers”, large-scale and handsome as the Southwestrn originals; authentic charming and heart-warming are the “Early Americans”… Light moves from its age-old stationary position and becomes a faithful service of satisfying mobility, ease and luxury….
Today, I’ve featured two of the more modern lines: (1) The Sophisticates, and (2) Mardis Gras. I also have the price list, and it looks like the largest pull downs sold for $35-$40 at the end of 1961. Today, these can still be found on ebay, in many varieties. If you’re lucky, you can get a great price for a very mint fixture, but sometimes the bidding gets going on a desirable piece. In general – I predict these will continue to get hotter and hotter in the marketplace.
PRECAUTIONARY PAM REMINDS:
I have been told that pull-down lighting is no longer to code; please get with your own properly licensed professional to assess the situation and what you are working with so that you can make informed decisions. And, in any old fixture, also get with a pro to check the wiring and any other safety/environmental issues.
COMMENTS CLOSED – getting redundant
This is the second in our series of lighting alternatives spotted by our youngest retro renovation reader, Jimmy Walsh. This is Section B — so groovy. Be sure to look at the cubes! The more I do this blog, the more I realize that I also need a 60s and then a 70s house to decorate. Sigh.
All of our retro renovation lighting resources to date are now available on my:
Hi Pam, just had a new estimate on painting my pink kitchen cabinets and the guy is concerned about the hinges. I guess they are worn down and there is a lot of play in some of them so they are hitting each other a bit and he’s worried about the new paint job chipping right away. I don’t suppose you’ve heard of anywhere that sells replacement hinges? By the way, the paint product he would use is Two Component Acrylic Urethane. And I bid on that pink GE clock you had on your website!
Answer: Sorry, Nancy, I don’t know this one. I think the hinges are called “inset door pivot hinges”. Readers – any thoughts?
Following the “original” Drexel post (where we also met Troy of Troyland), the wonderful Catherine kindly scanned some precious vintage Drexel advertising to share with other readers. She says:
Here is one of my Drexel Declaration ads that was in the drawer of the dresser that I bought from my Great Grandmother. She had marked the ones that were “mine” and even wrote the price next to our Catkin bed – $79!!! I just love the living/dining room scene!! Wish I could find that living room set. Anyway, hope you enjoy! – Catherine
Catherine, did you say “Catkin”? That bed was surely destined for you! And from your Great Grandmother, no less! Thank you so much, this Drexel furniture is AWESOME! More posts on it to come – the original post inspired some other content, including a reader purchase!
Rob’s vintage Drexel Declaration bedroom set:
Above: Added March 2014 — Reader Rob sent us these four photos of his vintage Drexel Declaration bedroom set. Thanks, Rob! He wrote:
Hello Pam,Thanks so much for writing back! I love your site, especially the Time Capsule house articles. I am attaching the photos of the Drexel set here- I got a 5-pc bedroom set for a song, worst part was driving to Queens to pick up and then hauling them up to my fourth floor walk-up. I found them through Apartment Therapy Classifieds (run by Krrb), more proof that affordable doesn’t have to mean Ikea!Best regards,Rob