Shut the Front Door!

I love vintage. But I think you all know that by now. I love the elegance of pieces from yesteryear. It’s not just the pieces I love, though, it’s also the architecture of the past. Today where we have plain, spare lines where there was once ornament and grace. One of my favorite things to do is to go through old houses and look at the architecture. There is such elegance in the details. Something that always catches my eye in these places are the door knobs. I can’t help it. I love the old, glass door knobs that they used to use.

Clear Glass Door Knob with Flower (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

In houses and apartments that have been built in the last 50 or so years, we have these utilitarian (boring) metal door knobs. They lack any grace or style. So when I see a great door knob, I have to touch it! I began to think about this the other day and wondered when they started using glass door knobs and when they went out of style.

A Bevy of Beauties 12 Point Glass Knobs (photo courtesy of River House Designs)

According to Schlage, wooden doors and handles were used in ancient Egypt. They have traced doors back to Roman times with hinges that were discovered in ancient ruins. These were basic doors that pulled open. Then around 1830 until 1870 there were over 100 U.S. patents for door knobs. In 1878 the first patent for a “door closing device” (Schlage) was issued.

Italian Glass Door Knobs (photo courtesy of Rustic Italia)

What spurred this flurry of patents was that in 1826 the glass pressing machine was invented. This machine allowed mass production of glass items. Door knobs were one of the first items that came out of these presses (AntiqueHomes). The patenting of “mortice latches and locks” also played an important role in the wide-spread use of the door knob, which was replacing the thumb-press door latch.

Antique Lavender Door Knob (photo courtesy of The Silver Steam Trunk)

As the door knobs became important, the escutcheons became more ornate. Those brass or metal pieces that attached to the door and contain the keyhole were just as pretty as the door knobs they surrounded. During the Victorian times brass and metal door knobs were in favor. This Old House states that during WWI metal became scarce as it was needed during the war but there was plenty of sand for glass!

Glass Fluted Door Knobs with Floral Copper Plates (photo courtesy of Olde Good Things)

Many of these door knobs are collectible. According to Collectors Weekly, people look particularly for door knobs with company logos, school names and railroads. I personally like the glass ones with interesting designs and colors. The glass knobs that were produced usually featured 6, 8 or 12 facets and the faces were flat so you could see the design inside.

Victorian Style Glass Crystal Door Knobs (photo courtesy of Junction A Row)

There were star, flower and pin-prick designs molded into the glass. Star patterns and crystal globes with bubbles were popular during the Art Deco period. Around the 1950s these lovely glass knobs began to be replaced in new suburban ranch houses around the country which was sad.

1930s Glass and Crystal Door Knobs (photo courtesy of National Treasure Hunt)

These beautiful glass creations had style and elegance which you just cannot find today unless you custom build your own house. Even then, it is hard to find the grace and style that disappeared with the mass produced houses and developments of suburbia.

Antique Pink/Salmon Glass Door Knob (photo courtesy of BC Martins)

I hope you have enjoyed this short historical discussion of door knobs as much as I did learning about them. If you are looking for any other vintage treasures, stop by Vintage Eve’s shop and take a look around!

Fluted Beaded Glass Knobs (photo courtesy of Second Use Seattle)

Have a great week!

Check out the party at AdirondackGirl@Heart!

Amazing Art Deco

Well here is something I really didn’t know and found very interesting. Art Deco wasn’t actually named that until 1966! It was referred to by that name by Patricia Bayer on her retrospective of the 1925 exposition where it was first just an idea. Who knew?! Well, maybe some of you did but that was news to me. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let’s start at the beginning.

Art Deco Powder Jar (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

I decided this week to talk about the Art Deco design element for two reasons. The first being that I love, love, love Art Deco. It’s my favorite style, just above mid-century modern. The second reason is that I found this pretty little powder or trinket jar to sell in my shop (above). So I decided that I would delve into what made Art Deco what it is.

Demeyere Art Deco Tea Set (photo courtesy of Double Dutch 84)

You know me, I like the history of it all, so here is what I found. According to this Bryn Mawr College page on Art Deco, in 1925 there was an exposition in Paris called Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes. The expo was supposed to highlight nouveau design from around the world.

Art Deco Green Bakelite Drawer Pulls (photo courtesy of Sergeant Sailor)

Apparently, Herbert Hoover, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce at the time, decided America didn’t have anything new enough to enter. So he sent experts to the expo to basically take the shapes and designs they saw there and adapt them to American architecture.

Art Deco Spice Jars (photo courtesy of CGM Gallery)

There were members from the American Institute of Architecture, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The New York Times. Art Deco designs continued from 1925 to 1941.

Art Deco French Vases (photo courtesy of Artemisia Decor)

Why it fell out of favor is beyond me because I love it so much, but times change. As the Bryn Mawr College  Art Deco page states, the movement went beyond just building architecture but found its way into furniture, flatware and interior design. It focused on geometry, machinery, botany, nationalism and color. It also incorporated American Indian models and Pre-Columbian structures.

Erté Print (photo courtesy of CMVintage Art)

It was beauty at a time when the economic depression of the 30’s left so many unemployed and angry. Many buildings during this time were decorated and built in the Art Deco style. I love the rounded shapes mixed with the geometric pieces. The design was meant to convey “wealth and sophistication” (

Noblesse Knives Grille Viande (photo courtesy of Treasured Silver Shop)

According to “its distinguishing features are simple, clean shapes often with a “streamlined” look.” They used a mix of natural and man-made (Bakelite, plastics, ferroconcrete) materials.

Rosewood Sunburst Chairs (photo courtesy of Screaming For Vintage)

Some of the influences of Art Deco came from Art Nouveau, Bauhaus (German) and Cubism. Many Art Deco items were not mass-produced, especially furniture and jewelry. Some popular names attributed to this movement include René Lalique, Erté, Donald Deskey (Rockefeller Center), and William Van Alen  (the Chrysler Building). Many examples of Art Deco architecture can be seen in Miami, Florida.

Art Deco Butterfly Chair (photo courtesy of Rehab Vintage LA)

This has been a short history of the Art Deco movement. I learned something while I was researching this for the blog and I hope you learned a little by reading it! If you are looking for some Art Deco treasures, stop by the Vintage Eve’s shop and look around or in any of the shops that are credited in this blog. I always enjoy hearing from my readers so drop me a note if you enjoyed this post.

Virden Slip Shade Chandelier (photo courtesy of Deconites)

Have a great week!

Don’t forget, if you like any of these items, clicking on them will take you to an awesome Etsy shop where you may purchase them.

Where do I party? At Adirondack Girl @ Heart of course!


Take a Powder

If you visit this blog regularly, you’ve probably noticed that I love kitchen stuff. I specifically love pottery and bowls. There is one other thing I like to collect that has absolutely nothing to do with these 2 loves. It’s women’s compacts. You know … the vintage kind. The kind of compact that conjures up Flappers in their beaded dresses powdering their noses at the table as they check out the people at the next table. Or the woman in the pencil skirt checking her makeup at her desk. I find them fascinating.

Lovely filigree steel and turquoise compact (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

There are so many designs and shapes. You can find them at estate sales, antique stores, junk stores, thrift stores, sometimes even garage sales (though I can’t say I’ve had much luck at garage sales for this particular item).

comp 1
Vintage Cloisonné Enameled Vanity Pouch/Compact by Evans (photo courtesy of Vintage ChicVa)

When did women start carrying around these compacts? For a long time in history any woman who wore makeup at all was considered to be of a “lower moral character.” Especially true during the Victorian era. Let’s take a little peek at the history of makeup.

Art Deco Rouge Compact (photo courtesy of Tuscon Vintage)

It’s well known that the Egyptians were one of the first societies to use makeup. Heavily lined eyes of both males and females can be seen in their culture. The classical Greeks used makeup sparingly. In the video “Best and Worst Makeup Moments in History” which is an interesting look at makeup through the ages, the Greek males felt that women were to remain virtuous and wearing makeup somehow did not convey that image.

DuBarry Compact by Richard Hudnut (photo courtesy of Buy Back The Farm)


Makeup began to be associated with deception through early Christian writings. Then in a complete about-face during the 1600s, really heavy makeup became the sign of the rich. Of course, many of their products were poisonous and damaged the skin. Hmmm, kind of counterproductive. The video mentioned above is a huge wealth of information on makeup through the ages.

Vintage Volupte Compact (photo courtesy of Vintage On Lime)

According to Collectors Weekly and Best and Worst Makeup Moments in History, in the 1920’s the new modern woman began wearing heavy eye makeup. The age of the silent film helped to boost the sale of cosmetics. Makeup became respectable as well as affordable for everyone. With its new status, it now also became respectable to primp in public. Enter the ladies’ compact as the latest accessory of its day.

Coty compact (photo courtesy of Butterfly Deco Design)

These compacts came in many shapes and sizes. Of course, like everything else in life, the status of the owner was reflected in these little mirrored cases. Some were ornate and set with jewels, others were fairly plain. As Collectors Weekly states, the more expensive compacts were made from gold or platinum.

Coty Compact with Lipstick (photo courtesy of Mountain Thyme 1)

The middle-class had compacts of sterling silver or steel with enameling. They could be quite expensive, also. A big name in the compact industry was Richard Hudnut (I have one of his creations and it’s my favorite). One of his compacts was sold in its day for $5 which doesn’t seem like a lot now but, back then, could buy a week’s worth of groceries. Times how they have a-changed!

Vintage Compact Set (photo courtesy of Magpie Apparel 78)

There are also different types. There are compacts made just for powder and in a day when disposable was not the way it was done, they were refillable. Then there were rouge compacts, some even had a compartment for lipstick.

Heart Shaped Compact by Elgin (photo courtesy of Puppy Luck Art)

Some had extra little hinged doors in them to cover the contents. I find these the most fun. I love trying to figure out how they open. I have pared down my collection to just a few and have some left for sale in my shop but, as with all collectors, I’ll be keeping my eyes open for a new one to add. I think they are a beautiful piece of history we can hold in our hands.

Vintage Guilloche Compact Blue Enamel Powder Compact (courtesy of Whimzy Thyme)

Thanks for taking this journey through time with me. I love hearing from all of you that visit my blog so leave me a note if you have a chance. If you are looking for some great vintage compacts or other vintage treasures, be sure to visit the Vintage Eve’s shop on Etsy.

Have a great week!

Where do I party? At Adirondack Girl @ Heart of course!


Getting Gas Can Be Fun!

Anybody who is over the age of (ahem) 50 will remember your parents talking about saving green stamps. I “vaguely” remember my mom collecting them and the books that they went into. Believe it or not they are still around! But like everything else, they are now part of the virtual world. You can get gift certificates with them at the Green Stamps Website. But in the “olden” days, you collected them in these books.

Postcard of S & H Green Stamps Saver Books (photo courtesy of The Jelly Jar)

Green Stamps though, were not the only way to get stuff. Way back when, gas stations were trying to build brand loyalty and in order to stand out they offered premiums. You could get all sorts of things; knife sets, dish sets, toys, glass sets and all sorts of odd ball things … like cactus bowls.

Blakely Gas Promotional Bowl Arizona (photo courtesy of Happy Hoarder Hollow)

There were mugs that were handed out by Exxon.

Exxon Promotional Mug (photo courtesy of Auntie Qs Vintage)

Knife sets by Shell. If you saved the cardboard pieces, you could turn them in and get a carving knife to go with your set! The premise being that if you went there enough times (brand loyalty) you could collect the whole set before they moved on to another promotion. These ones below have a 5-year warranty! Don’t see that much anymore!

Shell Gas Promotional Steak Knife Set (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

There were pens.

Enron Promotional Pens (courtesy of Lost Treasures 2 You)

And needles.

Needles Compliments of Esso (photo courtesy of Offbeat Avenue)

And glass and pitcher sets.

Blakely Gas Promotional Pitcher & Glasses (photo courtesy of HH Quilts Collectables)

This advertising booklet for Mobil shows Finlandia Glass by Anchor Hocking. Not only did it promote the gas station but the companies that made the products were well-known, too.

Mobil Gas Premium Booklet (photo courtesy of The Old Milk Barn)

There was even a promotion for bar paraphernalia (a little mixed messaging there!)

Enco Gas Barware (photo courtesy of Brindle Dog Vintage)

I find it interesting that a lot of these promotions were geared toward women. The promotional items really began getting creative in the 1950s and lasted through the 70s and into the very early 80s. According to Automobile in American Life and Society, which was an interesting read, women really began to take off in the work force during that time. Coupled with people moving to the suburbs and the need to get to shopping centers and work, the car really became a second home to women.

Sunoco Birthday Candles (photo courtesy of CutieMart)

They needed to get around and shuffle their kids as American children began to get into organized after school clubs. It is an interesting progression. The freeing of American women as they made it through the 60’s created a driving force of women in more ways than one!

Sinclair Gas Promotional Glass (photo courtesy of Vintage By The Pound)

Well, that was a quick peek back at a fun spot in history. It was also a time when self-service gas stations were not the norm and you could get your windshield washed, your oil and tire pressure checked while you sat in your car with the air conditioner or heater on (depending on the time of year). Ah, different times.

I hope you have enjoyed this walk down memory lane (for some of us – for others it may be news to you – what?! they used to pump the gas for you?!). If you get a chance, leave me a comment. If you’d like to take a look at some more early advertising treasures, stop by Vintage Eve’s shop!

Have a great week!

I like to party at Adirondack Girl @ Heart!