Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are Antiques Extint?

Here is a startling concept that I was exposed to while watching a video on hacker-space mods on typewriters.

 The initial fear was that the typewriter itself was on the verge of extinction.

Really when you think about it, that is a fair assessment of the plight of the typewriter. However a curious thing was said by one of the persons in the video. He said that there are no antiques anymore.

 What a curious statement! You look around and the world is full of them, that is until you realize where and from when they came from. Most of what we consider real antiques today are heirlooms that someone cherished and passed down. Most are from the 1800 and the early part of the last century.

Now I understand that to be a true antique one of the criteria is that the item should for the most part be old. That's fair. But as you get nearer and nearer to the 21st the antiques are less an heirloom and more manufactured, closer to collectible than true antiques.

Now as the 21st moves along valued items are the newest high tech gizmo and not something you would or is of value to pass on.

 The ipads, ultrabooks and smartphones that are coveted today will eventually age and fail to operate and ultimately become part of an ever increasing pile of techno-trash. It would seem that indeed the days of the heirloom - antique are at an end.

Here is the original video



Dave Tackett said...

Interesting, though I strongly disagree with video's implied definition of "antique."

Obviously the classic typewriter is gone, except as a specialty item, and good riddance. Like TV picture tubes, 8-track tapes, desk-top sized calculators, the abacus, the sun dial, and countless other inventions, it has been replaced by better technologies.

The argument I have with the video's definition is that it posits that an antique was passed down and cherished, yet regularly used. Items that were regularly used, like a typewriter, would not not have been thought of as antiques, they were tools to kept only as long as they were useful.

If an item was cherished and passed down, it was likely only used on special occasions, if at all. The so called heirloom-antique was,and is, kept for sentimental value, not for practical use.

About the only exceptions are jewelry and fine glassware which were, and are, passed down because their original value was in form, not function.

I go to antique stores around her rather frequently and just don't see the divide between early twentieth century items and mid twentieth century items. (For example, I see 1940's and 1950's radios alongside 1920's glassware all the time.)

Beam Me Up said...

Yeah, I am often melancholy about the passing of certain techs. The typewriter still has it's place though it is shrinking. Printers today can not make impact copies. These are often legal documents that have to be inputted with the same info. Where a DMP or Laser printer, a copy or each must be printed, but with documents that are already joined with the original and copies the best for small offices is still something like the good old IBM Selectric. But are these true antiques.... ehh, To me I had always thought of antiques and heirlooms as about the same thing and these were often cherished furniture and that ilk.

But what fascinated me was the tie in to the throwaway economy that has grown up around consumer electronics as they are viewed as useless once they are obsolete. They might still function and carry out the tasks they were constructed for, but they have no emotional value. Maybe I am looking at it wrong, but what do we pass on?

kallamis said...

We pass on the only thing we can. Our knowledge, and our books.
Except in my case. Since I'm never going to die, I'll just keep my books, and pass on my knowledge. And keep buying books till they all go to electronic stuff.

Beam Me Up said...

Of course we pass on knowledge. That should be part of the animal survival instinct. But it is the tangible the tactile that humans yearn for. It doesn't even have to be a family item. Antiques make a past eras come alive. I can remember listening to my farther talk about real antiques. It was so much more than an old piece of furniture. For him it was the level of craftsmanship and the beauty of the materials. Something that I am sure has gone the way of the Dodo and the Tasmainian Devil.

kallamis said...

The only way to get that type of stuff now is to find someone that take the time to build it by hand. The old furniture, chairs, stoves, etc have all been discarded by the young now. They don't want old, they want modern, and new and flashy. Even the old cars are looked down on by most of them, and not because of the horrible mileage either. I can't tell you how many kids I heard at the last car show here with their parents complaining about how big and ugly the cars were.
Face it folks. We're like a 1960's agent, put it into modern day. It's called being a dinosaur. And apparently we have all hit that point now.
But we still have a table handed down from the old farm that is over 200 years old now. That is going to be a blast to try and restore one of these days. And since my daughters live in germany, I have no idea as to where to pass that on at. They also love the new also, but not as much when it comes to the old cars. At least they got a little of me in there.

Beam Me Up said...

OMG Kall,the new cars are all cookie cutter except for the theme or retro style. The new Camaro, Mustang and Charger are breaking the mold somewhat but they are fringe cars for the enthusiast who couldn't afford a muscle car from the '60s will pay the long dollar for a memory. The rest are buying and driving cars that are all about moving air from front to back as efficiently as possible. I really stopped caring about cars when the '70s ended.

kallamis said...

Me as well. Had a couple in the days since that I liked okay. My 1987 Dodge Shelby Z Daytona that I modified the 4 banger to over 320 hp, and my 1976 Chrysler Cordoba. It was a boat and a half, but it was comfortable. That was my drifter car actually when I was travelling.
And yeah, most new cars all look the same to me. Like they've all been Volvo'd or something. All out of the same box

Beam Me Up said...

I had an 85 but didn't trust the unibody to slam in an engine. Last car I did that to was a 72 Nova that we put a sb 400ci into and it would get the job done. I figure we had about 425hp that I fed through a th400 long shaft turbo/hydromatic. Even as plain as the Novas were they were miles ahead of anything average on the road today.

kallamis said...

I didn't switch engines in the Shelby. I used the stock 2.2, changed the ehad, the throttle body, the inter cooler lines, and a few minor things to the head before installation.
Little smegger nearly put me in the backseat first time I jumped on it. I was not expecting that much of a difference. So I headed out for a dyno immediately. 323 hp. Two weeks later we did some more to it. Never did dyno it again though. I kind of miss that car. It had everything. I want it back as well. The idiot that bought it from me, destroyed it. Got drunk, downshifted and hit the gas in a curve. That was the end of the car.

Beam Me Up said...

Nope went the other way completely, 400 small bored 15 over trw pop up with chrome/molly rings, hi/rize 360 aluminum intake, ported on 2.0 heads shaved a 10 thousandth put the compression at 12:1. stock rods and crank though. Topped it with a 650 double pump holly...(I know...tuned up daily but I loved it) That engine could push the old Nova down the 1/4 mile in 13 seconds which isn't too shabby.... manual valve body and reverse pattern was good for the drag, hell on the street though because the 11 torque converter wouldn't lock up until 1200rpm so I was always chirping the tires but the traction bars kept it from breaking springs. Yeah I had a screw loose in my 20s when it came to speed and power. Used to burn AV fuel in it....

kallamis said...

I started in a souped up 1969 GTO. That and our dirt bikes were our life then. I had books, a bike, and cops to run. Oh how I love the country life. Didn't even have time to date in high school. Too much to do.
Buddy and I bought the car for 200 dollars. On the way home it looked like Bond's smoke cloud system had gone berserk.
2 months later it was the fastest car in the county, and we actually built it to go off road as well. Airline cables under the axle and front end for jumping. It kept the system from dropping all the way, thereby always keeping pressure so that landing didn't slam everything into oblivion. An old 4 wheelers trick actually.
Okay, thanks a lot. Now I miss that car again as well.
We really did beat that poor car to death. But it was a lot of fun. Even after the rebuild from the roll over. Stupid tire blew on landing. Oh well, what can you say. We won the jumping competition that day in the strip mines. Luckily we had access to a machine and welding shop at the time, and the junkyard just took a 20 from us when we went in, and let us take what we wanted.
Damn, that would never happen now. World has changed just too much.

Beam Me Up said...

well your going to love this then...Built the Nova for Street stock drag, but had a four point roll and a 5 point harness....even though it was an automatic you still had to shift I had a B&M slap ratchet. Exhaust exited just in back of the doors. 3 1/2 in pipe with flow masters on them. At night burning av we could throw 3 foot flames out the exhaust.... The car was so scarey that most people wouldn't drive it. When I bought the car, it was easily in worse floorboards...most of the body panels gone....I would go down to the sardine canners and get big sheets of can blanks and pop rivet them in. It was just something to hold the motor off the ground... It had a stereo but the solid core ignition wires created so much electrical noise that you couldn't play the thing unless the engine was off....and what a bitch to start! I had a special screw driver to short the bendix to get enough current running.... You couldnt get away with a car like that today... You could WORK on the old ones...not today!

kallamis said...

Sounds like the GTO we bought. Didn't have the body done yet when we got the rest of it done, so we fixed our floor boards the old fashioned way.
We stole the speed limit signs from both ends of town, and welded them in. We were teenagers. That's the only excuse I have on that one. Mom just shook her head, but helped put them in. It's amazing any of us are alive after those cars.
That thing of yours sounds like it was a beast indeed. But never, and I repeat, never wire your car so as to make it harder to hotwire. At least not like we did. We wired the entire car in black. Yeah, I know. We both did after we decided to put a new stereo 8 track in it. That was fun.