1940s stuff · About me · Home · Obsessions

Guess who got another antique radio?

Dear eBay, f*** you.  You’re going to kill me with all your thousands of RCA Victors, Philcos, Wards Airlines, etc.  I should have never gone to that damn site and entered “antique radio” into the search bar.  Since then, I can often be found gazing at my iPhone screen, cursing at my eBay app because some total creep used eSnipe and outbid me at the last second.

Anyway, I managed to win an auction finally (because I play fairly and don’t cheat like a big butthead) and scored myself a 1942 Firestone Air Chief Intercepter.  The seller didn’t know the year, but since he was kind enough to list the model number, I was able to locate it.  It was only $53 with shipping!  When it came, it was in a huge box!  Imagine my surprise to find out that this baby is 19″ long and 12″ tall!!! It’s a monster!

Here it is:

photo (2)And here’s the original ad for it:

7397-9-ad-bigSo I’m up to six radios now!  And I’m totally bidding on another because it’s an addiction!

1940s stuff · About me · Home

A Haunting (of sorts)

As my readers are aware, I collect vintage radios.  Roughly two years ago, my mom called to tell me that she and my dad had been digging around his grandmother’s old homestead, which was getting ready to be demolished, and they had snagged an old bakeware-style radio from the late 30s/early 40s.  It wasn’t in good shape, she said, and it had a crack running up the middle of it, but since it belonged to our family, she grabbed it for me anyway.  I was excited and thanked her for it.

A few days later, my parents delivered the radio to me.  When they got to my house and handed me the radio, I was excited because it was a pretty cool radio, despite the damage.  About the size of a loaf of bread, it was tan in color and was quite heavy.  I happily added it to my collection.  As she handed it off to me, though, she warned me that weird things had been happening the few days it was in their house.  She said that on the first day they brought it home, they sat it on top of their fridge.  Minutes later, they were on the other side of the kitchen when they heard this huge crashing sound that came from the area of the fridge.  It was very loud and shook the floor.  When they turned to investigate, nothing was there.

When the visit was over, my parents left.  I spent a few minutes admiring my new radio.  I had placed it in the living room next to my RCA Victor, which sat on top of my highboy Philco. These three radios were placed directly under the light that turned on the porch lights.  After that, Tim went into the kitchen and I went into my office.  Minutes later, we both heard a huge crashing sound right in the living room, directly in the area where the radios were.  It was so powerful that the floors even shook.  Tim and I both went running into the room but there was nothing there; everything was in its place.

Two days later, I was getting ready for work.  It wasn’t quite 6am, Tim was still in bed, and the pink light of morning was just beginning to peek through the windows.  My house was totally quiet with no TV or radio on.  All of the sudden, I heard the clear sound of a little girl’s voice say “hello?”  The sound came from the living room.  Even though I knew there was no one in my home that shouldn’t be there, I went dashing into the room.  Staring at the radios in that empty room, the sound of that little girl’s voice playing inside my head, I knew that this radio had “something” attached to it.

After that, we started to notice more things.  Every time I let the dogs out at night, I would turn the porch lights on.  When I would go back to let them back in a few minutes later, the lights would always be off.  Tim and I were both annoyed and accused each other of turning the lights off until we realized that neither one had turned them off. At that point, I decided to reason with the ghost I knew was now residing with us.  One night I said, “Okay, look, I know you’re here.  And now you know that I know you’re here.  So please stop turning off the lights, okay?”  After that, the lights stayed on when we turned them on.

Kyle, my dog who passed away last April (and who I still mourn each and every day), would lie on our couch, his eyes intently watching something right in the area in front of the radio.  His eyes would track whatever he was watching as it moved across the room, back and forth, up to the ceiling and back down again.  I would watch him watch whatever he saw in rapt fascination.  I saw nothing when I looked.

The last straw (for Tim) happened about a month after we got the radio.  I got a call when I was at work and Tim was breathless when he said, “We’ve got to do something about this radio!”  I asked him why and he explained that he had been doing laundry when he decided to go run some errands.  He said he went into our utility room and turned off the drier.  “And Rachel,” he added with emphasis, “I know I turned the dryer off because it buzzed!”  Well, he left and ran his errands and when he got back home, the dryer was back on and running.

At that point, I told him to remove the radio from our house.  Having grown up in a house that I know was haunted, I knew the radio was to blame.  It was the first time I had experienced an item that had a spirit attached to it, but I knew, without a doubt, that it was because of the radio.  That day, Tim took the radio, went outside, walked across our backyard and into our detached garage, where he placed the radio in the very back corner of the building that.  After that, all “unexplained” events in the house stopped.  But when he was working in the garage a few months later, though, the lights kept going off and on the entire time he was out there.

In November, we decided to move.  And even though that radio had familial history attached to it, we made the decision not to take it with us.  As far as we know, it’s still sitting on a dusty corner shelf in that garage.  I often wonder who that little girl was and why her spirit was attached to that radio.  Part of me regrets that I’ll never know.  And with each new radio that I bring into my home, I have to wonder – who did it belong to?  Where did it come from?  What is its history?  And did it happen to come with any extra “baggage”?

1940s stuff · About me · Home · Obsessions

I can’t stop messing with my dining room…

Ever since we got the new table and then I bought the new radios, I just keep going back into my dining room and rearranging things.  I did it again today and I think I’m finally done (for now.)  I was keeping an old radio upstairs that needs restoration but I decided to finally bring it down, in all it’s shabby chic glory, to keep with my other radios.  I polished up and rearranged things that were already in the room.  I also did some research on it – it’s a Philco Model 38 Lowboy (because it has legs.)  My best guestimate is that it is from 1933-34.  It’s missing the dial and knobs and I’d like to find replacements and have it refinished.

IMG_0623And so my antiques display in the room changed yet again (thank you, iPhone panorama photo option):

IMG_0620Plus, I’ve had this poster for a while and I finally got a frame and hung it up today.  It’s my absolute favorite World War II-era propaganda/war effort poster!





1940s stuff · About me · Home · Obsessions · old time radio

Antique store finds!

Well, I went into Southport Antique Mall not expecting to find much and left two hours later with two new (but old) radios, a piece of Depression glass, and a vintage doily!

First, here’s my pink Depression glass ice bucket (sitting on the vintage doily).  I’ve seen a lot of Depression glass, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen an ice bucket.  It’s surprisingly heavy!

photo (13)Next, here is a Sonora brand radio, which I’ve discovered is from 1948.  I got it for a great price, considering it’s in really good condition!

photo (7)And finally, this is a Wards Airline radio.  This one is my new favorite radio. It’s gorgeous.  The problem is that I can’t identify what year it’s from.  These radios, sold by Montgomery Ward, were made by a company called Wells-Gardner.  This one is model number WG-193, and I can’t locate any information on it.  The closest I can find is model number WG-197, which came out in 1936.  So I’m guessing it’s from the 30s.

photo (8)So here are all four of my console-style radios.  (I also have a floor model radio that’s upstairs, but it’s not in good condition.)

photo (4)Also, due to starting my new website (details on that coming soon), I bought the cookbook below on eBay and it arrived today.  It’s a Mary Lee Taylor cookbook from 1941.  (And if you’ve never heard her, you need to look her up.  She read recipes over the air and repeated everything so the listener had time to write it all down!) She had a radio show for over 20 years and was sponsored by Pet Milk.

Anyway, that was my loot from the antique mall.  (I also bought a cute little Prada bag that I’m 99.5% sure is a knock-off, but I don’t care because it’s perfectly-sized!)

1940s stuff · About me

A sucker for vintage advertising

I have a problem.

I ordered an entire case of Pet Evaporated Milk.  12 12-oz. cans.  None of why I have an actual need for.
Why did I do this?
I blame Fibber McGee & Molly.





Sometimes, I go to Dollar General Store to buy over-the-counter medicine.  Rexall brand to be exact.
Why do I do this?
I blame The Phil Harris – Alice Faye Show.

I ordered an 18-count pack of Lux soap.
Why did I do this?
I blame Lux Radio Theater.


You see, I am highly susceptible to 1940s & 1950s radio advertising.  Modern advertising doesn’t get me so much (save the Apple computer ads in 2003 with Verne Troyer and Yao Ming that suckered me into getting my first Mac.)  It makes me giddy that I can still get the same products that were advertised 70+ years ago.  Through the 1940s, the sponsor of Fibber McGee & Molly was Johnson’s Wax.  In the early 50s (1952 to be exact), Pet Milk took over as the sponsor.  I’ve been listening to the 1950s episodes of FM&M on my way home from work lately and their slogan for Pet Milk – “sweet, country milk condensed to double-richness” – just resonates with me for some stupid reason.  Like, so much that I searched for Pet Milk and was first dismayed that I couldn’t buy it locally and then overjoyed when I found out I could order it from the Smuckers website.  I did the same thing for Lux soap because I’m a huge fan of Lux Radio Theater, which aired from 1934 to 1955, and imagine my frustration to find out that it’s neither made nor sold in the US anymore.  I ended up ordering it from Amazon, but it was made in Egypt!  Both the Pet Milk and the Lux soap came today, which was my biggest bright spot during an otherwise cruddy afternoon.

So anyway, beginning tomorrow, I’m going to use Lux soap when I shower (it smells divine!) and add Pet Milk to my coffee because, after all, it’s condensed to double-richness!!!

About me · Home

A short tour –

So now that my dining room is complete, I thought I’d give a little tour since I have modern mixed with vintage and I really love the way it’s come together.

First, here is the complete dining room from the view of the hallway.  The table is brand new and the oil lamp is only a year old, but the doily it’s sitting on is vintage!

Dining Room


Along the back wall are my antiques and book shelves.  In the corner is a 1941 Air Chief Music Master radio, the Merry Game of Fibber McGee and the Wistful Vista Mystery from 1940, and a small Longaberger basket.



In the middle is my bookshelf of cookbooks and recipe binders.  The pitcher is an antique (unsure of the year), as is the doily.  The trivet was handmade by a friend, and the jar candle only looks old.  I have more Longabergers, one of which is filled with antique cookie cutters.



The final shelf is topped with an RCA Victor radio that is, from what I can tell, from the late 1930s, a 1950s Starline train case that belonged to my great-grandmother (and the inside still smells like the powder she always used), and an antique candle holder.  Underneath all that is a small yo-yo quilt made by me using both modern and vintage fabrics.  And on the shelves is my 1938 Syracuse China in the Millbrook pattern.

IMG_0528So there you have it.  It’s not much, but it’s a growing collection of pieces that have personal meaning, which I cherish!



Books · Reading

What I’m reading right now….

For full disclosure, I’ve been a fan of MaryJane Butters for well over a decade.  Each issue of her organic lifestyle magazine feels more like a piece of art in my hand than an actual magazine.  I keep each issue and love to flip back through them so that I can be re-inspired by the stories and tempted by the delicious recipes.  I subscribe to her “farmgirl” precepts, regardless of where I might be living at the time.

This is her latest book:


In true MaryJane fashion, it is fantastic.  Gorgeous photography.  Practical advice.  It tugs at the heartstrings.  I’ve wanted a vintage camper for a very long time (and even owned one for a while, until we realized it was too damaged to be able to practically restore) and this book makes it seem possible. Not only is it full of delicious recipes, there are adorable craft projects scattered throughout.  And the restoration tips for vintage campers are so helpful to a total novice like me.  Thanks to this book, I can honestly say that 1958 Airstream Bubble will be mine eventually!