Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TV Today From A World of Tomorrow

Needing a gimmick to boost sales, Philco came out with a line of televisions that embraced the atomic age. With its round semi-flat screen and petite but fashionable base, this electronic miracle was advertised as 'TV today from a world of tomorrow'.


Philco's 1958 commercial claimed that you'll feel like you're looking at 1965 when you watch a Predicta. Oh, so futuristic! Don Draper would have been proud.

So of course we had to have one.

Our chance came when David purchased a 1959 model at a local flea market after haggling with the seller about its poor condition. Filthy is too flattering of a word to describe the condition this Philco was in. Entombed in grime is more like it.

As found
With some elbow grease and an arsenal of cleaning products our Philco transformed back to its original atomic shine. Well, at least on the outside. Despite a few tubes lighting up when we turned it on it does absolutely nothing. No noise, no static. Just a pretty reminder of once was. Ironically, I do feel like I am looking at 1965 whenever I watch it.

Philco Predicta 1959

Dorothy Thorpe vs Queen's Lusterware


I almost kissed the seller when he quoted $3 as the price of this martini pitcher at a garage sale in my hood. Could he have been the only person on the planet who was unfamiliar with Mad Men? Had he not heard of Dorothy Thorpe? I walked away proud for my amazingly cheap find. My bubble burst when I cruised a local vintage collective and found the same pitcher on a shelf. Of course my motive was to determine the retail value of my find but something else caught my attention other than the price. The words Queen Lusterware.

What the f*ck was Queen Lusterware? The novice in me assumed that all 60s era barware with a chrome stripe had to be a Dorothy Thorpe concoction. I was so wrong.

Vitreon Queen’s Lusterware, Ltd. was started by Sidney Sigety in Broolyn, NY around the same time as Dorothy Thorpe's reign.  The design difference is subtle. Where Dorothy Thorpe's design has a solid silver stripe at the rim, Queen’s Lusterware features the signature ‘silver fade’ effect on glassware. Frankly, it looks like the silver stripe was smudged.

Regardless of who designed my new pitcher, I am still thrilled to own it.