Wednesday, April 13, 2011

fresh finds: the Orbit Admiral

1960's souvenir cruise coasters & the Orbit Admiral, both from Buckaroo's
I guess you could say my love of vintage and antique items is part of my DNA.  I grew up looking forward to the days when I could escape school to visit my aunt in her amazing jewelry booth out at Brimfield, and my parents spent much of the beginning of their relationship packing and unpacking my father's collection of antiques and oddities that he peddled in his former life as an antique dealer.  Growing up, our house was filled with leftovers from these days (as well as many family heirlooms)...curvy Victorian armchairs, dark four post beds, old oil portraits, fiesta ware and vintage linens...

So, it comes as no surprise that vintage styling takes a starring role in my inspiration folders.  I've managed to amass quite a collection of bygone beauties that not only fill my files, but nearly ever corner of my house (and wardrobe).  Last weekend, I was thrilled to add another curiosity to my the Orbit Admiral!  In the mid 50's a syrup company produced 9 variations of this bottle (collect em all!) to fill with sweet ooey gooey syrup, but before they got around to it, they went under, leaving only these (super clean) glorious space age bottles!  The owner of Buckaroo Mercantile (the hot little shop where I grabbed this guy) is a vintage robot/space fanatic and collects them by the crate.  He informed me that a new round of space dudes would be in soon, and I promised to be back for can I resist?

Vintage packaging has long held its allure for me because each design is truly a piece of art.  In the days before computers and the internet offered millions of fonts and stock art, allowing almost anyone to try their hand at "design," actual artists had to sit down and create by hand the unique look for each product, complete with customized hand lettering.  The limits and restrictions(color, printing, etc) of what they could produce only made their work more thoughtful and beautiful (that and the fact that they were not required to churn out a new product every second of the day...ohhh this age of made in china makes me sad).  

Whenever Im in a design rut, I look to the pieces I've collected (as well as a fantastic book called Shelf Life - gifted from the jewelry selling aunt!) and get instant inspiration.  Unfortunately, I wont need to call on this inspiration today, as I finish taxes and do some computer color separation, but the Orbit Admiral will offer happy orange encouragement while guarding my cocktail collection(which could certainly get some use after this is all over)!


  1. hehe, me too! (in case you couldnt tell from that horribly long post!)



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