Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Driving Me Crazy

Most of the time I hate cars. They create a constant cavalcade of noise, pollution, danger and arrogance. I avoid them whenever possible. In my small city traffic congestion is becoming increasingly worse and with it comes angry, impatient people creating a situation I don’t want to be a part of. Our city is easy enough to get around in for the most part by bicycle, public transport and walking and I do it all the time. It’s an ideal city for following the Copenhagen example if only more people would give it a try. I know of some people that have given up driving altogether to cycle everyday and they get to their destination quicker and without stress. I realize not everyone can do this all the time but there are many instances where someone could walk to the shop a few blocks away instead of taking their car. I can’t even take a leisurely stroll on the weekends in my neighborhood without cars constantly getting in my way from all directions: in and out of side streets I want to cross, backing out of and going in to driveways, it’s like being constantly harassed. People don’t even car-pool going in to work because, as someone explained to me, they ‘like their own space’. With this lazy and selfish attitude the city will never have a chance to develop into a friendly and efficient bicycle, public transport and pedestrian dominated city as some European cities demonstrate is possible.

Having got that off my chest, vintage cars are a different story. They have character, charm, beauty and represent a time when families took trips to the country for a picnic. Every year I attend the vintage car events Bay To Birdwood and Rock ‘n’ Roll Rendezvous, in the last few years as an entrant using the family cars. It’s a great day full of vintage cars, music, dancing and fashion. Being a participant brings the experience to a whole new level. It’s also one of the few events in Adelaide where you can dress in vintage clothing and not be stared at like a freak.

While I always take lots of photos at these events and could post more, I'd rather post vintage car advertising. Also, other Adelaide bloggers such as Erin and Miss Kitty Boo have already posted about these events and you can get a good idea of the day by looking at their posts. Heck, Miss Kitty even photographed one of our cars at the 2010 event!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vogue UK 1950

Here is one of the few fashion magazines I own, but you don’t have to be a female to enjoy these. There is a lot to like from the colourful adverts to the photography and glamorous models. One thing that stands out is the number of hand-drawn clothing adverts and the variety in hand technique, some being works of art in themselves. Some look as though they were sketched in seconds yet manage to convey glamour and sophistication as good as a photograph. It’s hard to imagine a drawing influencing people to buy today and I guess that’s why we don’t see it anymore. I dig the cover too and presume a Cadillac was used because the dust-coat being modeled was designed in New York. Also check out the maternity wear ad on the contents page. Doesn’t she keep her figure well!

More to come....

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Little Help?

It has occured to me whilst scanning that some posts, like the first magazine I featured, are going to be extremely long if I intend to include most of the pages. This is impractical as it would be too much for people to ingest in one sitting despite the amount of vintagey goodness within. Instead I thought I would break up single magazines into multiple posts and link them together using the tags. If anyone (and by anyone I mean my one follower) has any suggestions regarding this please illuminate me!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Flip Side: Karen Wheeler

I thought I would fill in space between magazine posts with music, kind of like when you're on hold on the phone only the music is better. I spend about 3 hours everyday commuting to and from work and I don't mind this as I don't like driving and it gives me time to listen to music and I listen to a lot of music. There is so much to hear and with the help of the internet I don't know why anyone would listen to the radio. Yet where I live most people are content to do just that, listening to the same rap-infused crap repeated all day, everyday.

While I'm listening to my favorite podcasts, albums and scratchy 45's I often make mental notes to investigate an artist or band further on the net and youtube. By the end of the day these notes get scrambled by annoying people on the bus, annoying commercial radio heard at work, and girls who wear shorts in winter. So it may be useful to keep track of things here and maybe others will share in my musical musings.

First off, here is Karen Wheeler in 1966 doing her version of Muleskinner Blues. Although it's a great version and she has a good whistle, I'm mostly distracted by her hair!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Depletion Of The Ozone.

There’s been a lot of talk lately of heritage building preservation, in particular the Ozone cinema (later Wallis) in Glenelg which is an Art Deco building likely to be demolished. The building, built in 1937, is a one-off in design and materials used and it reminds me of a giant radio.

The Theatre in the 1930's.

It amazes me that buildings like this can still be pulled down given the style was so unique and not dominant for very long. This was one of my preferred cinemas because it still had it’s main theatre with a large screen so you could see films the way they should be seen at the cinema.

Circa 1960.

It was also one of the few left in a pleasant, easily accessible location, Glenelg being a seaside suburb. Most of the options available now are multiplexes on the top floor of major shopping centres with some theatres no bigger than some people’s lounge rooms. Their simplicity only makes me more aware of the annoying aspects of movie going, such as the guy with the noisy packet of crisps, the phone that goes off, the two girls behind me chatting through the whole picture and the ear-piercing loudness of the speakers.

As operated by Wallis until 2009.

With ticket prices close to $20 I’d hope to get an experience greater than what I can get at home. At least there are a few preserved old theatres where you can still feel like your at a special event as you climb the staircase and take a seat beneath an ornately decorated ceiling. One such theatre I enjoy, the Capri, offers an experience I can only describe as magic and the ticket price is less than others. They even do nostalgia nights complete with newsreels, cartoons and vintage advertising. Going to the cinema today is no longer the experience it once was. I’ve heard many girls say that going to the movies for a first date is boring and predictable. It’s not exciting enough. Apart from the few old theatres remaining where it is being preserved, the romance of the cinema is fading fast.

Movie ticket from 1964. The ticket stubs at the top of post were found in a periodical from 1960 as bookmarks. The dates line up for 1956 or 1962 and given where they were found they're likely from 1962.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Home Gardener 1932

I bought this magazine for the cover more than anything. I found it in a Red Cross charity shop among much more recent magazines and I think it was 20 cents so I couldn't leave it behind! There's not much in the way of great adverts as most are plain boxes of text but I've included a few bits of interest, including a man clearly proud of his Delphiniums.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Australian Home Beautiful 1929

Starting with one of the earlier ones I have, as you can see early editions of this magazine are worth finding for the covers alone. Color printing at this time for this type of magazine was reserved for both sides of the front and back covers. The first issue of this magazine appeared in 1925 so this is one of the earliest. It doesn't have a large number of adverts but is full of house designs and floor plans.

The Spanish-influenced home design was a fashionable alternative to the Californian Bungalow here in the 20's and 30's and examples still survive in the older suburbs. Makes me wonder if any of the ones featured in this magazine still exist.

The following article is particularly interesting as it demonstrates how to modernize a Victorian house by creating a flat verandah and removing the cast-iron lacework among other things. Even the finial at the peak of the roof appears to have been removed.

Revisiting this magazine as a more educated person, I noticed the mention of Edna Walling as designer of the garden in the above article. Edna Walling was an influential Australian landscape designer who was ahead of her time. As well as writing books and articles for this magazine, she was also a photographer, house designer/builder and conservationist. Her's is a fascinating story of a strong-willed woman who defied convention. People like this interest me because although they're considered eccentric by most people, they succeed despite the odds. ABC's Gardening Australia ran a story on her and have a web page dedicated to her here: http://www.abc.net.au/walling/