Awesome Vintage

The Mini Mutoscope

The Mini Mutoscope

Created by Tentacle Media Ltd., the Mini-Mutoscope is a 3D-printed replica of a 19th-century mechanical flipbook. The display works like an animation flipbook, only its movements are smoothly controlled by a crank. It holds up to 42 squares that you can load with your own animations, or one of the samples provided by Tentacle.

ROKR Wooden Gramophone Kit

ROKR Wooden Gramophone Kit

Vinyl records are all the rage thanks to their warm, analog sounds. But if you’re going to go retro, why not go vintage? ROKR’s 424-piece kit gives you everything you need to build your own hand-cranked gramophone. A centrifugal governor helps maintain the record’s speed, and it can play 33s, 45s, and 78s.

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Silent Movie Special Effects

Silent Movie Special Effects

Today’s movie VFX rely on green screen and CGI, but in silent movie times, neither of those existed. Pedro Cinemaxunga created this fascinating analysis of vintage moviemaking techniques that shows how in-camera effects managed to fake out audiences. We always thought Harold Lloyd was really hanging from that building.

Inside the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

Inside the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

With locations in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines is filled with vintage arcade machines that date back to the Soviet era. Incredibly, the machines have all been restored and are playable. Baklykov. Live takes us on a tour of the museum, its machines, and other artifacts.

The Typewriter: A Supercut

The Typewriter: A Supercut

Typewriters may have gone the way of the dinosaur for most people, but they served their purpose well and provided the basis for today’s computer keyboards. Editor and film buff Ariel Avissar compiled this great supercut of movie and TV scenes where typewriters played a major role. The track is The Typewriter by Leroy Anderson.

Atoll K: The Fan Edit

Atoll K: The Fan Edit

In 1951, Laurel & Hardy made their final movie, Atoll K (aka Utopia). The production was a disaster, and the finished film a disappointment. Film buff Joe Ramoni at Hats Off Entertainment worked tirelessly to re-cut the best footage and replaced the soundtrack, resulting in a fun slapstick comedy reminiscent of the duo’s classics.

Core Memory

Core Memory

Photographer Mark Richards and author John Alderman offer a visual guide to some of the earliest examples of computing devices. The 176-page hardcover book features artistically-composed images of machines like the Eniac, Cray 1, and the original Apple 1, which call Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum home.

Restoring a Toy Cash Register

Restoring a Toy Cash Register

Fully-mechanical cash registers are relics of a bygone shopping era. But there was a time that they were so popular that they even made a version for kids to play with. Watch as Rescue & Restore takes on the challenge of tearing down and rebuilding a rusted-out Tom Thumb model that dates back to the 1950s.

USB Cordless Light Bulb

USB Cordless Light Bulb

We love how they’ve figured out how to make LED light bulbs that look like vintage filament bulbs. But this one has another trick: it doesn’t need to be screwed into a socket at all. Suck UK designed this glass and metal bulb to run wirelessly. Its rechargeable battery provides about four hours of light per charge.

Win a Restored 1966 Chevy Impala

In 1966, Chevrolet produced just 1856 of its Impala Sport Coupe, rocking a 427ci Turbo-Jet V8. This Regal Red Impala has a 4-speed manual, cranks out 425 horsepower, and looks as good as the day it left the factory. One lucky entrant will win this awesome car while helping to support charities. Plus, Awesomer readers get double entries.

Restoring a Rusty Skee-Ball Toy

Restoring a Rusty Skee-Ball Toy

Even though we’re weren’t very good at it, we always enjoyed playing Skee-Ball at Chuck E. Cheese. If we had this vintage Skee-Ball toy, it might give us a chance to perfect our skills. All we’ve got to do is watch and wait as Rescue & Restore sandblasts off the old paint and rust, and makes it as good as new.

Victorian Snowball Fight

Victorian Snowball Fight

In the earliest days of moving pictures, filmmaking pioneers Auguste and Louis Lumière captured footage of a serious snowball throwdown on a city street. More recently, not.bw restored the original footage, bringing out detail and colorizing the wintry scene. Man, they really nailed that dude on the bicycle.

The Gambler’s Holdout

The Gambler’s Holdout

Chris Ramsay spends most of his time checking out the world’s most beautiful and complex puzzles. But in this clip, he takes a moment to get up close with a century-old Gambler’s Holdout, a device used to cheat in card games by hiding extra cards up the cheater’s sleeve.

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Restoring a Mechanical Coin Bank

Restoring a Mechanical Coin Bank

The cast iron toys of yesteryear were subject to rusting and corrosion like nothing else. But in the capable hands of Awesome Restorations, old things can look as good as new once more. Watch as they breathe new life into an old 1930s coin bank, sandblasting off the caked-on rust and giving it a shiny coat of enamel paint.

The Flying Train (1902)

The Flying Train (1902)

MoMA posted this mutoscope footage of Wuppertal, Germany’s Schwebebahn, a suspension railway that opened way back in 1901. The train line has changed over the years, but still is in operation. The juxtaposition of the overhead rail cars and the horse-drawn carriages below is like something out of a Jules Verne story.

The Babbage Difference Engine #2

The Babbage Difference Engine #2

Today’s computers are largely solid state devices, but some of the earliest examples of computers were mechanical. In this clip, you’ll get an up-close look at Charles Babbage’s 2.6-ton metal computer, a machine its 19th century inventor never got to see, but was eventually replicated in 1991 to prove that it works.

General Admission Playing Cards

General Admission Playing Cards

Inspired by the look of vintage ticket stubs, designer Jackson Robinson’s playing cards for Kings Wild Project definitely stand out from the crowd. Each card is splashed with a patchwork of colors and halftone patterns, while the court cards feature full-body images of the royal crew. Also available in a special limited edition.

Views of Tokyo, 1913-1915

Views of Tokyo, 1913-1915

Video technician Denis Shiryaev of Neural Love took some early 20th century film footage from Tokyo, Japan, and processed it to increase its resolution and frame rate, repair damage, and add colorization. The result is sort of a living postcard of the time and place. The ambient sounds were previously added by Guy Jones.

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.

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