It’s Saturday. Guess What We Are Going To Talk About?

I pulled the vintage typewriter stand out from under its load of boxes and took it out onto the deck today to get a good look at it. And I love everything about it. It might not look like much at first glance, but you will have to trust me when I tell you that it is entrancing.

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Mr. Nosy checking out something different on the deck.

The wood top has what one might call character.The top is scratched, stained, and gouged. Its got pieces of tape that are almost part of the wood now they’ve been on so long. But I already know what this is going to look like after I give it a couple of good applications of Old English Scratch Cover and so I think I’ll just do that. Sami has offered to sand the top down and shellac it and I know he’ll do a good job and it will be beautiful and like new but I think I prefer to keep the evidence of a former life and leave the marks alone.

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Verging on just a little bit too much character.

Dudes, it’s a genuine Hi-Lo Typewriter Stand by METALSTAND. The hipsters love these things and there are dozens for sale at any given moment on eBay and etsy , in vintage furniture shops and on craigslist. Most people (young know-nothings) describe this as being made in Philadelphia but the blurry print below the “Hi” that you can’t quite make out here says

PAT. PENDING

TRADE MARK

REG.

PHILA., PA.

so I think that means the patent was registered at the U.S. Patent and Trade mark office in Philadelphia. I don’t know how old this is – all google searches produce links to these for sale not to anything about the item itself, but I think that the fact that this went into production before the foot pedal mechanism to adjust the height was patented is a clue that it was made before America became law suit happy. When was that? A bigger clue though is the excruciatingly correct punctuation. When was the last time it was considered proper to put a period after a state abbreviation? Before zip codes were introduced, I think. And the exquisite PHILA., – a period after the abbreviation plus a comma. So exact. This table was made back when there were rules and everybody stuck to them.

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A period after every abbreviation: PAT. PENDING REG. PHILA., PA.

It’s got full length brass piano hinges joining the  top pieces and a charming 1 2 identifying the top? or the size of the flap?. That sentence was a fine example of how sloppy punctuation can be in modern America and no one would bat an eye let alone criticize or refer to a “rule”.

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How it got scratched and paint-blobbed on the underside I don’t know.

The spacing and alignment of the stamping on each side is different so I think these marks must have been made by banging on two separate number-shaped chisel things. I love the idea that somebody’s job was stamping numbers onto table top parts.

12

1 2 plus some fairly vigorous scratching.

And so now that I am face-to-face with the beautiful reality of it,  I am abandoning my turquoise spray paint and woodgrain contact paper plan of last week. The largest majority of vintage typewriter stands on the internet are offered for sale as found (yard salers/garbage pickers), the next largest amount are refinished pieces in the $300-$500 range (hipster furniture refinishers) but there is also a disturbing amount of “upscaled” ones that the chalk paint and decoupage crowd over at Pinterest has gotten their paws on.

quel horreur

Quel horreur! Thank you Lord for helping me to dodge the turquoise spray paint bullet on this one.

Confession: I do kind of like the addition of a tray to the bottom of that gold and wallpaper one. I might do the same to hold the watering can and fish emulsion drops that my outdoor plants are going to need to make it inside for the length of a New Jersey winter.

UPDATE: I turned my back for a short spin through Goodwill and Dollar Tree and a helpful husband pulled out his sander and “helped” me with the tabletop.

  

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5 thoughts on “It’s Saturday. Guess What We Are Going To Talk About?

  1. Fish emulsion! My mom always used that for her giant jade plant (it bloomed once!) and the miniature orange tree she kept in the window of the dining room. I just inherited the orange tree and fear for its life in my care, but maybe with the fish emulsion there’s a chance. I really don’t know what I’m doing.

  2. That company – Metalstand – is still in business in Philadelphia!

    Great table. Etsy redos = awful. You’re on the right track

    Just say you like it to look “organic” and everyone will think you are oh so trendy…

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