Monday, April 9, 2012

A camera, a fan, and an old man's hat go into a bar...

After a full day of shopping at Wimberley Market Days in Wimberley, Texas, I came home with three awesome finds - a vintage Kodak Instamatic camera, a fan, and an old man's hat. They may sound like rather random purchases, but each of these three items is a treasure to me.

I love old cameras and have quite a collection. However most of my cameras are from the early to mid 1900s, so this later model Kodak Instamatic was a great addition. It now resides in a display cabinet among it's predecessors.

So what is it about old cameras that is so appealing to me? I guess it's two fold. I love the mechanics of them. I appreciate the simplicity of the science and design, and the fact that many of these old relics still work after so many years. When I pick up an old camera I imagine what images it captured for its owners - courtships, weddings, children, vacations. Perhaps they chronicled entire lifetimes. Fascinating.

I love a great hat. I longingly remember the days when a man or woman just wasn't quite dressed until a proper hat was in place. It used to be you could tell a lot about a person simply by his hat, and I guess the same can be said even today. The simple sight of a man in a baseball cap certainly provides clues to his probable sporty personality, whereas a man wearing a fedora is likely to be more the traditional outdoorsy sportsman. A man in a trilby is of an artistic nature - certainly Justin Timberlake, Ashton Kutcher, and Johnny Depp provide evidence to support such a statement. A newsboy cap summons ideas of an earthy, no-nonsense chap. And clearly any man wearing a Scottish Balmoral is a man with pride in is culture and one who possesses a great sense of humor.

So, yes, I love a great hat, and that is why I snatched up this brown felt trilby from the early 1900s. It now hangs with the rest of my men's hats in the hallway by the door to the garage. It elicits images of a time when the man of the house would select his head attire depending upon his activities for the day. He'd make the proper selection and set about his business.

My third purchase of the day was this mid -century Wizard Imperial 10" electric fan.  Again, what appeals to me is the fact that this thing is 50 or more years old and it still works - well! It's also a great piece just to look at. I've cleaned it up and have placed it atop my old baker's cabinet in the guest room. Its nostalgia inspires me when I work, and takes me to a different time and place.

You see, in my mind this fan once sat atop the desk of a trilby-wearing photographer who worked in an advertising agency in the 1960s.

Now you see how all just makes sense?

All photos by Paulette Rodriguez

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