Wednesday, July 29, 2009

1960 House Beautiful Magazines

Last weekend, I bought 4 bound issues of House Beautiful from 1960 at the Flea Market at the Tulsa Fairgrounds. The magazines are chock-full of great decorating ideas for the mid-century homeowner.

Even the ads are great. These magazines had ads for Heywood Wakefield furniture and ultra-modern fixtures from Lightolier.

There’s a NuTone ad in one of the magazines that shows the food center that I posted about a few weeks ago. Betty Draper, eat your heart out.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Russel Wright Eclipse Glasses

Named for the pattern’s overlapping dots, Eclipse glasses were designed in the 1950s by Russel Wright and manufactured by Bartlett-Collins in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. They’re sometimes called ‘Sooner’ glasses, as well.

They were made in red, yellow, blue, and green with gold dots and a gold rim. I don’t know if they were ever made in any other colors. The ice bucket came in black, but I’ve never seen glasses in black.

These juice glasses have a different shape from all of the other Eclipse glasses. They’re straight, where the others are in the “Oklahoma” shape, which is wider at the top.

Below are Eclipse wanna-be glasses. Like the Eclipse design, they have bubbly dots in pretty colors and gold. However, the gold dots don’t overlap the colored dots. They differ from the Bartlett-Collins glasses in their size and shape.The rims are not gold like the Russel Wright glasses. The colors are different, too. Mine are turquoise, green, and red-orange. I’ve also seen them in pale pink. In some ways, I prefer these glasses. The colors go better with the color scheme in my house and the glass is thicker. I don’t know who manufactured them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Frigidaire Stove

This Frigidaire stove by GM is original to our house. We still use it and it works perfectly. It seems to be quite rare. I haven’t been able to find another one like it.

The unique thing about this stove is that the burners pull down when you want to use them. When the stove isn’t in use, you can fold them back out of the way for more counter space.

Frigidaire used this same concept in the 1960s with a range called the Flair. The Flair’s burners push in rather than fold back. There are several pictures of the Frigidaire Flair on the Retro Renovation website.

The heat control knob is called the “Heat-Minder.” That is almost enough to make me enjoy cooking. I said, almost.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vintage Creekmore Construction Keys

When we bought our house, it came with original photos of the interior, a plan book from the 1956 Parade of Homes in which our house appeared, and these keys. The keys have the logo of the builder, Creekmore Construction, on them. They’ve never actually been cut, they seem to have been made for presentation rather than use. It’s pretty cool that the previous owners still had them and passed them down over the years. We’re the 3rd owners of our house, which was built in 1955.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Southern Hills View Neighborhood Added to Site

The Southern Hills View neighborhood has just been added to the Parade of Homes album on my Wedgwood Tulsa website. Southern Hills View had 8 houses on the Tulsa Parade of Homes in 1956. Drawings and descriptions of these mid-century homes are available for viewing in the Parade of Homes album.

The house in the drawing above is one of the houses in Southern Hills View. It's called "Automation Manor." Just the name of it makes me want to live there.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Vintage Porch Light

We replaced our contemporary porch light with a vintage modern one purchased on Ebay. Sadly, when the light fixture arrived in the mail, the glass shade was smashed to pieces.
sells vintage reproduction light fixtures and other house parts. They have a mid-century modern line called Satellite. Their Otis light is identical to the vintage 1950s light fixture we bought on Ebay. We were able to get a replacement shade through Rejuvenation and it fit perfectly in the 1950s fixture.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Danish Modern Style Chair

My brother was throwing out this Danish modern looking chair, so I snatched it up and took it home. The label on the bottom says the chair was made by a company out of Miami, Florida called Kodawood. I think this chair was probably made in the 1960s, or maybe 1970s.

It's in good shape, and the original upholstery is, too. The only problem was that it was missing two screws on the back. That was easy enough to repair. It's a pretty good, comfortable little chair.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vintage Intercom Still Works

This intercom is original to our mid-century modern home. When we bought the house we were told the intercom didn’t work. We turned it on and nothing happened, so we thought it was true. Later, it occurred to us that it has vacuum tubes and needs to warm up before it will work. So, we tried it again and it worked! All but one of the speakers throughout the house still works.

It has a radio, AM only, of course. It’s very difficult to tune in a station. When we have been able to get a clear signal, the only station we could pick up was conservative talk radio.

The intercom has speakers on the front and back porches. The lady who sold us the house told us her husband used to sit on the back porch and listen to baseball games through the intercom’s radio.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mid-century Modern Dinnerware pt.2

I'll continue yesterday's post on mid-century modern dinnerware. You guessed it- another thrift store find. I love this set. This is where my dinnerware obsession began. I bought it from a Goodwill store when I was still a teenager. I don’t know what the pattern is called, or who made it. The floral designs almost look like starbursts.

My set is in pink and robin’s egg blue, but I’ve also seen it in yellow.

Here’s another set with a very modern 1950s design. This is part of a snack set made by Federal Glass. These are also not too hard to find. I’ve come across sets like this still in the original box in antique malls. They’re made of milk glass with a leaf motif in pink, aqua, yellow, and black. The shape of the plate reminds me of an artist’s palette.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mid-Century Modern Dinnerware

Recently, I bought some Russel Wright dinnerware at an estate sale. It’s called American Modern and Wright designed it for Steubenville Pottery. This set is in coral and granite grey. I can see this set growing into a large collection. They’ll go well with my new barkcloth drapes once I finish them. I really should be working on those drapes.

Starburst by Franciscan is another dinnerware pattern I collect. It’s so hard to choose, but this has to be one of my favorites.

Franciscan Starburst is beautiful, but it can be rather pricey. This platter above is in the Temporama pattern by Canonsburg. Temporama is a thrifty alternative to Franciscan Starburst. It has a blue and green color scheme similar to Starburst, and there are little atomic designs and squiggles inside oval and square shapes. The quality is not as good, but it’s much more affordable and that means you can use it without being afraid of making knife marks on it. This platter is from a large set that I bought in a thrift store. I sold most of it to make room for my other collections, but I still have this platter.

Blue Heaven by Royal China is another very affordable dinnerware pattern with a mid-century modern design. One thing I really like about this pattern is that it had matching drinking glasses. These plates are another thrift store find.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Southern Gardens Ranch Homes Added to Site

I've just added the Southern Gardens neighborhood to the 1956 Parade of Homes section of my website, Wedgwood Tulsa. There were 6 Southern Gardens model homes in the parade, all of the houses are ranch style. The images on the website are from the plan book, which Parade of Homes viewers could purchase for $1.

The house in the drawing above is called "The Haven." This modernistic house boasts pink terrazzo floors throughout the house, stained mahogany paneling, and exposed cedar beams in the ceiling. The kitchen had (has?) hardwood cabinets with peg board doors and Formica countertops.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

'50s Kitsch Prints

My latest thrift store find is this sweet pair of kitschy prints that I bought at Goodwill. One has a very 1950s abstract design, and the other has a snowy street scene. They fit in quite nicely with the pink and aqua color scheme in the bedroom. Francie the poodle sits close by, giving her approval.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Vintage Westinghouse Kitchen Timer Thing

One of the more unusual features in our 1955 ranch house is this Westinghouse kitchen timer and retractable electrical cord thing. I don’t know what this thing is called, but it is recessed into the wall and has a clock, kitchen timer, retractable electric cords, and electrical outlets. There are three of the retractable cords that each have a different plug to fit various vintage appliances.

The clock stopped working, but still makes a soft humming sound. We’d really like to get it repaired, if possible. The timer relies upon the clock working, so it isn’t functional at the moment, either. The electrical cords and outlets all work, though. I plugged in my vintage aluminum West Bend Flavo-Matic percolator and is was HOT in no time.

I’ve looked through 1950s magazines for ads, scoured the internet, and I’ve even searched Ebay for ads, manuals, anything. My search has come up completely empty-handed. Surely, someone out there has one like it. Any readers have any information about this Westinghouse kitchen timer thing?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vintage NuTone In-Built Food Center

One of the original features in our vintage kitchen is this NuTone In-Built food center. This space-age device is a combination mixer, blender, juicer, and knife sharpener. The motor sits underneath the kitchen countertop and the various appliances can be changed at the top.

Ours is still works perfectly, but it’s missing the original 1950s appliances. We have a replacement set from the 1970s. We’d like to replace them with the 1950s attachments, but so far we haven’t been to to find any for sale. The original stainless steel mixing bowl is visible in the 1955 model home photos of our kitchen.

Above is a scan of the original instruction manual, which I found in the garage shortly after we bought the house. The photo below shows the countertop with the built-in appliance center. The dial on the top is removed and the attachments are placed in the slot. The dial below turns to adjust the speed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Reproduction Barkcloth from Melinamade

One of the projects I’m working on now is to make new drapes for the family room. The room has a large wall of windows, typical of modern homes built during the mid-century period. While I have some experience sewing drapes (I’ve already sewn 3 sets) this set is the biggest challenge simply because of its very large size.

The fabric I’ve chosen is a reproduction barkcloth from Melinamade. I’m really happy with the fabric. It has a boomerang design in pink and turquoise. The fabric quality is outstanding- the barkcloth is thick and has a nice heavy weight that seems to make it easier to sew.

In the 1950s, Sears sold curtains made in this very boomerang pattern. The Fall and Winter 1956/1957 catalog shows the drapes available in the same pink and turquoise color scheme. It was also available with a charcoal grey background and pink, turquoise, and chartreuse boomerangs, or with a beige background and pink boomerangs. A pair of unlined, 50X84 inch drapes cost $9.79.

The reproduction fabric costs considerably more, but at $40 a yard, the price is reasonable. Melinamade has a great selection of barkcloth fabric for anyone looking for vintage reproduction fabrics. One of particular note is a pattern that mimics the Starburst pattern from Franciscan dinnerware. They also have a good selection of wallpaper in retro designs. They specialize in modern designs from the atomic 1950s through the mod ‘60s and ‘70s.

The curtains are partially finished. I just have one more section to complete. Once they’re done, I’ll post the pictures.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Patrick Henry Added

Today I added the Patrick Henry neighborhood to the Parade of Homes page on my site. Patrick Henry had 11 homes in the 1956 Parade of Homes. You can see architectural drawings and descriptions of these homes and their builders in the Parade of Homes album.

Be sure to look at the house called “The Aurora.” It’s the house shown on the cover of the Parade of Homes book. This unique house still stands today.

While you’re there, you can also look at the Wedgwood homes from the book. There are 3 more neighborhoods that I’ll be adding soon.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Vintage Bar Stools

My latest purchase for the house is this pair of bar stools from the 1950s, which I bought at the I-44 Antique Mall in Tulsa. The original upholstery is in perfect shape and the seats swivel. They were just what I’ve been looking for. I’ll admit that they don’t compare to Bertoia barstools that I’ve had my eye on for so long. However, they cost a lot less, and they look pretty good, I think.

They were part of a set of four. Unfortunately, there’s only room for two in my kitchen, so I had to break up the set. The other two barstools are still at the antique mall.

Welcome To Wedgwood

Wedgwood is a Tulsa neighborhood that has mostly mid-century modern ranch houses. celebrates living the mid-century modern lifestyle. Photos of my home's interior as it appeared in 1955, scans from an architectural plan book from 1956, which includes model homes in Wedgwood, as well as Tanglewood, Partick Henry, Southern Gardens, and Southern Hillds View can all be seen at

Friday, July 3, 2009

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