Older finds (part 5)

Some small items found a while ago from a thrift shop.


These are some random pick-ups from another thrift store nearby.  This is a newer one, and usually I walk out with something in my hand – a book, a tool, or something else.  Anyway, a few odds and ends:

First up: A vintage Team Dressing Room sign!


This is mounted towards an opening to part of our crawlspace, since I don’t really have anywhere to put it.  If we ever have a house with a pool and we have a small change room, I’ll put it up there.  This is a pretty weighty sign, and is chromed with a black textured area around the letters.  It has a slight bend in it, probably from where someone tried to pry it off of the door it was on.

What’d it cost: $3.99

What’d it take: A little bit of elbow grease to get it shining again

What’s it do: Nothing right now

Next up, a vintage Durabell fire bell!

This was another find that was totally random.  I was going through a shelf of housewares and tools, and found it.  It totally reminds me of the ones I saw in schools of my youth – aging, random drips of paint on it, but overall, very good condition.


I took an old power cord from an old light and wired it up – and it works!  Someday, I’ll try rigging it up outside to use when it’s time for the kids to come in for dinner, but for now it’s just hanging in my workroom.

What’d it cost: $4.99

What’d it take: Nothing other than wiring a power cord in

What’s it do: Scare people when you turn it on!

Next, an Apsco 330A hole punch!

While defnitely not old, it’s the style used in schools for the past 20+ years, as well as offices and workplaces still to this day.


I picked this up only because it was a steal of a deal.  These things retail for almost $90 new, and this one looks almost brand new!  Besides, I needed a hole punch to put some old papers into a binder and didn’t have a working hole punch at the time.

What’d it cost: $4.99

What’d it take: Cleaning out old holes that had been punched, and some flash rusting from it sitting in the rain for a day

What’s it do: Punch holes in paper

Finally, a Polaroid 440 camera!


I was taking a look at the cameras and found this on the shelf.  It’s a pretty neat design – the plastic shell folds forward (and can come off, as in the 2nd picture), and the camera uses a bellows design to open up, and the viewfinder and flash attachment flip up.  You can still get film for this camera so I was going to get some and try my hand at getting this guy to work – there’s something neat about taking a picture and waiting for it to develop in your hands.

The battery for this was long exploded (but it had not leaked) – I had a small 2xAAA power supply from Radio Shack/The Source and wired it in with instructions from the Internet, as well as cleaning up the rollers and the insides.

I picked it up mainly because my wife likes photography and we have a small collection of some older cameras, but no Polaroids.

What’d it cost: $6.99

What’d it take: a 2xAAA power supply wired in, and some cleaning.  Will also need some Polaroid film at some point to actually test it

What’s it do: On display with our other vintage cameras

~ Ryan

Some older finds (Part 3).

Moving right along, here’s something I found a few months ago at a thrift shop not too far from my house.  It’s an older store but a big one, and the turnover is pretty fast here.  This store is very hit and miss; sometimes you find a lot of neat things, other times you’ll go weeks without finding something that catches your eye.

We were there because we were nearby while running some errands, and we thought we’d stop in.

While wandering the shelves, something metallic caught my eye.  I pulled it out and found a dull, stained, and dirty piece of chromed metal.

Upon closer inspection, it was something called a Paper Welder:


While somewhat hard to see, in the diamond it says PAPER-WELDER with the patent number, and then MEDINA, N. Y.  It also says MADE IN U. S. A. beside that.

While looking at what exactly it is, and what exactly it does, I found out that this is considered a great example of 1950s design.


This device is a paperless stapler, if it wasn’t clear.  You put a few pieces of paper into the opening, push down the handle on the top, and it binds the 2 pieces of paper together.  While not as firm or permanent as a stapler that uses staples, the neat part is that if you want to separate the papers, you just use something like hard surface overtop of the bound area, and it lets go!

What’d it cost: $7.99

What’d it take:  About 10 minutes of cleaning and polishing

What’s it’s use: Right now it’s just sitting on a desk but it could be used at any time

~ Ryan