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Awesome Vintage

LEGO Icons Retro Radio

LEGO Icons Retro Radio
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This cool retro LEGO kit is based on the design of a 1970s portable AM/FM radio. The 906-piece kit has working power and tuning dials, a movable antenna, and a carrying handle. It includes a Sound Brick with fun vintage radio sounds, and you can place your smartphone behind its speaker grille to listen to your own tunes. Drops 6.1.2024.

Restoring a 1960s Spaceship Toy

Restoring a 1960s Spaceship Toy

Old Things Never Die picked up a rare and rusty U.S.A.F. GEMINI X-5 toy spaceship on eBay. After disassembling all of its parts, he got to work sandblasting away the rust, polishing the plastics, and then painstakingly reapplying paint to make it look as good as new. He also had to replace its motor and rebuild its driving mechanism.

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Exposed Circuit Nixie Tube Clock

Exposed Circuit Nixie Tube Clock
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This unique desk clock combines vintage tech with natural looks. At its center is an exposed circuit board with vintage IV-9 Nixie tubes. A hardwood frame complements the warm orange glow of its tubes. Its circuitry includes a DS3231 clock chip and an ESP8266 wi-fi module to maintain accurate time via the internet. It measures 4.92″ x 4.92″ x 2.12″.

Vintage Logo Design Inspiration Compendium

Vintage Logo Design Inspiration Compendium
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Designers and artists looking for a source of inspiration would do well to add Vault Editions‘ idea books to their library. This two-volume series features nearly 1000 engravings, etchings, and woodblock prints from the 17th through 19th centuries. It’s loaded with skulls, animals, and vintage objects and includes high-res downloads.

A Brief History of Vintage Pencil Sharpeners

A Brief History of Vintage Pencil Sharpeners

We don’t use pencils nearly as much as we used to, but we still enjoy sketching and drawing with a real-world writing instrument and not just on our iPad screen. This YouTube playlist of short videos from Rescue & Restore shows off a few very different antique pencil sharpener designs that date from the 1880s to the 1930s. Which is your favorite?

Driving Through Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s

Driving Through Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s

NASS took archival footage from Los Angeles and used digital restoration tech to sharpen, brighten, remove noise, increase frame rate, and add faux colorization. It’s a wonderful time capsule of life in a different era, from how people dressed to the cars they drove to how retailers marketed their wares. The footage comes from the Prelinger Archives.

Datcrazy Pencil Sharpening Machine

Datcrazy Pencil Sharpening Machine
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Datcrazy dusted off the designs from a Victorian-era pencil sharpener to create a version using modern techniques. Constructed from precision-engineered metal and wood, this 6.6-pound, hand-cranked contraption is the ultimate conversation piece for your desk. It’s being made in batches of just 100 units.

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How Early Movie Special Effects Work

How Early Movie Special Effects Work

Today, movie studios have powerful computers dedicated to creating visual effects. But in the early days of motion pictures, special effects had to be created practically, in-camera, or via editing. Film Riot looks back at classics like Metropolis and The Wizard of Oz to see how they pulled off their memorable illusions.

How a Player Piano Works

How a Player Piano Works

Player pianos have been around since the 1890s. Modern models use electronics and servos, but vintage ones use a pedal-powered pneumatic system that forces air through holes in the music roll, actuating pushrods that move its hammers. Chris Plaola shows off an example of this Victorian-era engineering genius.

Lo-Fi Celluloid Recording

Lo-Fi Celluloid Recording

Musician Hainbach got his hands on a 1930s recording device called a Kosmograph. This vintage dictation machine translates spoken vibrations through a tube directly onto a spinning celluloid disc. Its scratchy, low-fidelity recordings add an ethereal texture to music.

Vintage Milkshake Mixer in Action

Vintage Milkshake Mixer in Action

A modern milkshake mixer is a pretty uninteresting appliance. Apparently, it was much more entertaining to watch milkshakes being made back in the 1890s. Rescue & Restore shows us why with this video of a vintage, hand-cranked milkshake machine that shakes milk and ice like an earthquake.

Restoring a Mini Soccer Game

Restoring a Mini Soccer Game

We love watching videos of old things being made as good as new. In this clip, Old Things Never Die got their hands on a vintage mechanical soccer game, disassembled it, sandblasted off the paint and rust, fabricated custom replacement parts, and painstakingly repainted its playfield and players.

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Making a Swivel-Jaw Alligator Wrench

Making a Swivel-Jaw Alligator Wrench

Hand Tool Rescue loves to take old patent drawings of unusual tools and recreate them in his workshop. This time, he made a wrench unlike any we’d seen before. It features a rotating jaw with grooves to help grip and turn tapered, smooth, and standard fasteners. The Canadian snow quench was a nice touch.

Automatic Candle Snuffer

Automatic Candle Snuffer

A little candlelight can really enhance the mood. But an unattended candle will burn all the way to the bottom. Rescue & Restore shows us a clever 19th-century invention that could be placed atop a burning candle and that automatically cut off its oxygen supply after it had burned for a set amount of time.

Restoring a Vintage Foosball Table

Restoring a Vintage Foosball Table

Table football aka table soccer aka Foosball dates back to the early 20th century. MW Restoration got their hands on example from the 1920s that needed some TLC. The table was in extremely rough shape and had a gaping hole in its hardboard field. But by the time MW was done, the game looked as good as new.

1948 Bowling Trick Shots

1948 Bowling Trick Shots

Long before Dude Perfect was posting trick shot videos on YouTube, bowler Andy Varipapa was knocking down pins with such skill that he could target specific pins on two separate lanes at the same time, throw backward strikes, and even bowl with his foot. This vintage newsreel’s voiceover is as entertaining as the bowling.

Inventions We Don’t Use Anymore

Inventions We Don’t Use Anymore

It hasn’t been that long since people used landline telephones, tape players, and VCRs on an everyday basis. But like so many other devices, they’ve been replaced by smartphones or other technology. Rhetty for History looks at these and other inventions which were popular in the 20th century and are now obsolete.

Why Boxers Used to Stand Like This

Why Boxers Used to Stand Like This

Vintage pictures of boxers often show fighters standing in this silly “fisticuffs” stance. But that position served a purpose, as Primo – Boxing explains in this short video. Basically, the lower arm protected the torso since gloveless fighters took way more body blows and aimed for the head less frequently to prevent broken hands.

Restoring a Mechanical Horse Racing Game

Restoring a Mechanical Horse Racing Game

We’ve always been fascinated by mechanical arcade games. Old Things Never Die shows off a vintage game where players placed bets on horses racing around in circles. It required extensive restoration work to fix its mechanism and return it to its former glory. It’s wonderful to see how fast it spins now.

Bentley Through The Years Drag Race

Bentley Through The Years Drag Race

Bentleys are among the most extravagant cars ever made. Carwow lined up four of the British luxury cars to see how their performance has evolved. The drag race between a modern Continental GT Speed, a 1990s Continental R Mulliner, a 1980s Bentley Turbo R, and a 93-year-old Bentley Blower goes just as you’d expect.

Driving an Analog Tank Simulator

Driving an Analog Tank Simulator

These days, the military uses powerful computers and high-end graphics cards to simulate missions. But in the 1970s, one of the ways to simulate driving a tank was using a miniature city, a motion camera rig, and a remote screen that displayed the first-person perspective to the pilot. Tom Scott took this vintage sim for a ride.

Restoring a Mini Flamethrower

Restoring a Mini Flamethrower

We’re not sure what this compact German flamethrower was originally used for, but it is a fascinating bit of kit. When SlivkiShow got their hands on it, it was in pretty rough shape, but by the end of this video, it’s looking and working as well as it ever has.

Fractal Jaw Vise

Fractal Jaw Vise

Hand Tool Rescue shows off an amazing workbench vice that can hold oddly-shaped objects. Made by Mantle & Co. in the early 20th century, the vice uses a series of rotating semi-circlular jaws to hold items firmly in place. See the fully-restored vice at 34:00, then check out the original patent for the design.

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