THE BEST Vintage

HMS Victory Pens

HMS Victory Pens

UK leathersmith Victory Leathercraft is working on collectible pens made from oak timber from the famed ship HMS Victory. The wood was gathered during renovations of the British warship, which fought in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Available in ink or rollerball versions, and with an optional leather case.

Developing Vintage Film

Developing Vintage Film

Photographer and camera enthusiast Mathieu Stern got his hands on an old Russian camera that dates back to somewhere between 1954 and 1977. When he opened it, he discovered an undeveloped roll of film. He managed to get the photos developed, and attempted to decode the origins of its images.

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The Robot Sculptor

The Robot Sculptor

These days, using machines to carve and sculpt is commonplace, but back in 1957 it was anything but. Back then, an ingenious inventor named George MacDonald Reid came up with a process that would snap 300 pictures of a subject’s head, then traced those images to carve it into a block of plaster, one section at a time.

How Rotoscoping Changed Animation

How Rotoscoping Changed Animation

In the earliest days of animation, characters had movements which seemed stiff and unnatural. Vox explains how an invention came along that allowed animators to draw movements atop live footage, creating much more believable motion. If you haven’t seen it Minnie the Moocher has been impeccably restored.

The Art of Gold Beating

The Art of Gold Beating

In this vintage 1959 newsreel from British Pathé, we go inside a UK factory where they transformed gold bars into incredibly thin sheets of gold leaf. According to the narrator, a single gold bar could cover 9000 square feet with the leaf it produced. We’ve got tendonitis just watching the guys doing the hand-hammering process.

Fineday Retro Projector

Fineday Retro Projector

This tabletop gadget looks like a vintage film projector, but it actually packs a modern DLP digital projector inside. It’s made from sturdy aluminum, with a tilting base. Its 10000 mAH battery means it’ll run for up to 4 hours while unplugged, and it can mirror Android or iOS devices over WiFi in addition to its HDMI input.

Restoring a Creepy Clown Bank

Restoring a Creepy Clown Bank

Rescue & Restore does a great job taking rusty old items and making them good as new. But given just how creepy this mechanical clown bank is, maybe it was better left in the junk heap. We could totally see a horror movie starting this way, then the bank comes to life and kills anyone who attempts to take the coins inside.

Video Through a 136-Year Old Lens

Video Through a 136-Year Old Lens

It tooks some work to modify this 1880 still camera lens to fit a Sony A7II, but the results captured in Mathieu Stern’s Weird Lens Challenge experiment produced a wonderfully ethereal and dreamy look, while still maintaining an impressive amount of detail.

Retro Phone Lamps

Retro Phone Lamps

IDIDTHAT creates whimsical and functional art by reclaiming vintage objects. They have lots of cool stuff in their Etsy shop, but our favorites are these old rotary phones from the 1950s and 1960 which have been converted to desk lamps. Their coiled cords can be bent into various positions, and their LED light source is nice and bright.

Restoring a Tonka Truck

Restoring a Tonka Truck

There are few things more satisfying than watching old, rusted out objects made good as new by talented restoration artists. In this clip from Odd Tinkering, he takes a 1970’s era Tonka toy dump truck, and gives the yellow plaything a fresh new lease on life. Scrubbing off the old paint looks like a particularly satisfying task.

Video Through an Old Lens

Video Through an Old Lens

Camera technology has come a very long way since World War I, though a lens is generally still just a lens. Photographerr Mathieu Stern decided to see what kind of video he could capture with a lens he snatched from a 100-year-old Eastman Kodak camera. The footage is quite good, with a dreamy and warm quality to it.

Triplicate Dragon Playing Cards

Triplicate Dragon Playing Cards

Originally released all the way back in 1876 by Andrew Dougherty, these classic playing were the first known cards to feature a dragon back. They also have a unique “triplicate” feature – a tiny card icon in the corners of each card, verifying its suit and value. Choose from red or blue backs.

How to Sell a Vocoder

How to Sell a Vocoder

This little gem dates back to 2011, when Intromix decided to sell his vintage Bode 7702 Vocoder. Rather than just show some pictures of the device, he decided to perform a little sales pitch with the analog wonder. Perhaps he was inspired by its creator.

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Fascination Is Fun

Fascination Is Fun

Tom Scott headed to Hull, Massachusetts to check out Paragon Boardwalk, one of the world’s few remaining Fascination parlors, in which players compete in a game that’s somewhere between an early version of pinball and Skee-ball to win actual money.

Vintage Electronics Prop Library

Vintage Electronics Prop Library

When TV shows and movies want to go back in time, they head to an unlikely place, the LES Ecology Center. This Brooklyn, NY urban sustainability organization has found a new use for old E-Waste, operating a prop shop housing thousands of retro gadgets.

The Folding Spetum

The Folding Spetum

VirtualArmory introduces us to one of the more unusual medieval weapons. It starts out as a sort of walking stick, but flips open to reveal a set of deadly blades. It might not have been the most practical design, but it’s sure an awesome bit of 13th century engineering.

Keaton Music Typewriter

Keaton Music Typewriter

A brief demonstration of a rare piece of office equipment c. 1953. The Keaton Music Typewriter made it relatively easy to create sheet music much in the same way you’d type a letter. If you made a mistake, however, you’d have to wait until 1956 for correction fluid to be invented.

Retro Rocket Ship Sign

Retro Rocket Ship Sign

A fantastic addition to any home, artist Rory Rundle’s handmade sign looks like it landed from a 1950s amusement park. It’s made from bent sheet metal with a distressed paint finish, and looks great lit up with vintage bulbs. Measures roughly 6′(w) x 6′(h) x 11″(l)

1945 “Dashcam” Footage

1945 “Dashcam” Footage

These days, millions of cars are equipped with dashcams to record incidents on the road. But check out this black and white film footage from a camera mounted first on the front, then on the rear of a car as it drives through Manhattan more than 70 years ago.

Boomba: Peking to Paris

Boomba: Peking to Paris

Two drivers set off on an amazing adventure in a wonderful classic car. Their route? A 13,000 kilometer ride in the Peking to Paris Rally in a 1941 Chevrolet Business Coupe, nicknamed “Boomba.” Plus, they did it for a good cause, raising money for young womens’ education.

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The Old New World

The Old New World

We can’t imagine how much work it took Alexey Zakharov to create his short film, in which he created entirely new moving pictures using antique still photos digitally projection mapped onto 3D models.

The Literal Hammer Drill

The Literal Hammer Drill

Modern hammer drills get their name because they provide short, sharp, hammering action to help make quick work of difficult materials like rock. This crazy antique contraption uses actual hammers to smack a drill bit into a boulder, achieving a similar result, albeit more slowly.

Nuvitron Nixie Clock

Nuvitron Nixie Clock

Looking like something that belongs on a mantle in BioShock’s lost city of Rapture, these limited-edition handmade wood art deco clocks feature the warm orange glow of high voltage, cold-war era Nixie tubes to tell time.

Synchronized Motorcycle Drill

Synchronized Motorcycle Drill

Amazing vintage footage from an Italian police display, in which over 100 skilled motorcyclists drive in perfect harmony to create geometric patterns – without crashing into each other. Apologies in advance for the music. More here.

TMBG: You’re on Fire

TMBG: You’re on Fire

This unofficial music video for You’re On Fire, from They Might Be Giants’ latest album Nanobots, includes the usual odd but inviting TMBG fun – vintage school films, old cartoons and lots of combustibles.

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