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1970s Rain Lamp

rain lamp

The mineral oil rain lamp is among the truly quintessential oddities of the 1970's. The earliest rain lamp I can find appeared in a 1973 newspaper advertisement, retailing at a cost of $149.99 . Rain lamp ads came with tag lines like, "To see it is to love it", "A real conversation piece", "Fascinating to watch it work",  "A fresh new idea that dramatizes any room", and "One of the most unique designer lamps ever seen". This amazing motion lamp electrically pumps mineral oil from the hidden well in the base up to the top of the lamp, where it cascades down a series of thin nylon filament strands. The result is a beautiful display of continuous dripping and shimmering cross-patterns of tropical rain. read more

Akai AM-2200 Amplifier

Akai AM-2200 amplifier

The Akai AM-2200 was manufactured between 1976 and 1979. Its an integrated amplifier rated at 20 watts-per-channel and has quintessential 1970's style with all-aluminum face, knobs and buttons. The Akai AM-2200 is a slightly obscure model, originally designed to compliment the Akai AT-2200 AM/FM tuner, but is still well-respected by its past and current owners. It has dedicated magnetic phono turntable, aux, and tuner inputs, as well as two tape in/outs and an old-school DIN socket. Everything is housed in a classic faux walnut vinyl veneer cabinet, and the entire unit measures 15 inches x 8 7/8 inches x 4 5/8 inches. Like many higher-end hi-fi stereo amps and receivers of its era, it has dedicated outputs for two sets of speakers, stereo/mono output selector, a loudness booster, and high and low frequency cut filters. The Akai AM-2200 was never designed to blow the roof off the sucker, but it is a solid mid-powered amp and still sounds great at high volume.  read more

The Lasonic TRC-931 Boombox

Lasonic trc-931

The Lasonic TRC-931 boombox is truly the undisputed heavyweight champion of boomboxes. With two 8-inch woofers and an abundance of bells and whistles, its sheer size dwarfs the Magnavox and Emerson boomboxes I had when I was a kid.  A friend in middle school brought his Lasonic TRC-931 on a field trip, which I believe was the very first time I experienced the emotion of jealousy. I can still remember riding that school bus and listening to the holy trinity of 13-year-olds...the Fat Boys, the Beastie Boys, and Run DMC. read more

Par Picture Puzzle

par picture puzzle

The Par Picture Puzzle is among the most sought-after jigsaw puzzle brands ever made...and with good reason. The Par Company of Brooklyn, New York has been manufacturing these wood-backed jigsaw puzzles since the 1930's. The quality of craftsmanship in the intricately-cut wooden backed pieces is simply stunning, and the time and expertise it takes to assemble one is a challenge even to the most experienced puzzle solvers. However, its the figural silhouettes hidden in the squiggly biomorphic puzzle pieces that really make a Par Picture Puzzle different. Every Par Picture Puzzle has a number of highly-detailed figural pieces of people, animals and objects. Here are some examples of the figural pieces in our puzzle. read more

The Ronco Record Vacuum

Ronco Record Vacuum

The original 1976 Ronco Record Vacuum!  Manufactured for Ronco Teleproducts by Southbury Manufacturing of South Britain, Connecticut, the Ronco Record Vacuum is an ingenious battery-operated device that  seems like such a ridiculous novelty that you'd think it couldn't possibly work, and...well, the jury's still out. The Ronco Record Vacuum automatically spins your vinyl through foam rubber cleaning brushes and hidden anti-static foil sheets. During this process, a "powerful" vacuum cleaner sucks away the loose dust particles and blasts them out of a small exhaust vent. read more

Ted Williams Kangaroo Leather Sport Boots

ted williams kangaroo leather boots

Ted Williams Kangaroo Leather Sport Boots

This beautiful and classic pair of 1950's-1960's vintage Ted Williams Kangaroo Leather Sport Boots have a dark green stained kangaroo leather upper and an full leather inner liner with Vulcan crepe soles. The Ted Williams Sport Boot was made for the outdoorsman, and these boots have a classic vintage style and unusual green coloring that really makes them a unique choice of footwear for the rugged individualist. They have a quintessential American look similar to good ol' Red Wing crepe sole hunting boots. Perfect for hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, etc., they also have a swell finished look that makes them a genuinely awesome pair of casual shoes...forget those Dr. Martens! This pair was found only lightly used, though some light cracking, wear and darkening / discoloration could be seen in the outer surface. They did included their original box, cardboard tag, and care / cleaning instructions. We treated them with mink oil to protect that amazing green dye, and the leather ended up looking clean, soft and perfectly broken in. You can find Ted Williams Kangaroo Leather Sport Boots on eBay, though they are usually in a wide variety of conditions. Be sure to read the item descriptions before you think you just scored a huge bargain, as a pair like these in excellent used condition can sell for more than a couple hundred bucks. read more

1963 Admiral Playmate Portable Vintage Television

Admiral Playmate Vintage Television

Admiral Playmate Vintage Television Model P1110E

This 1963 Admiral Playmate P1110E portable vintage television has an 11-inch black & white screen and an ultra-slim profile. As a matter of fact, it was the smallest 11-inch TV manufactured at the time. The Admiral Playmate P1110E has an innovative design, with the picture tube poking out of the front of the cabinet in a bubble-like fashion. This allows the cabinet to stay so skinny, as there is no need for the extra bulk in the back to house the end of the picture tube. The dome-shaped picture tube also gives the Playmate a distinctive retro vibe that just looks swell. The following copy is from a 1964 sales ad: read more

Action Max Video Game System

Action Max Video Game System

Action Max Video Game System

The 1987 Worlds of Wonder Action Max video game was a revolutionary and short-lived "live action" VCR-based system. It allowed you to shoot at moving targets that play on a videotape through your television set. From the makers of the original Lazer Tag, the technology in Action Max seems to work the same way. A red light sensor, similar to the Lazer Tag Star Sensor, is stuck directly on the corner of the television screen to read where you are pointing and shooting the light gun. As you hit targets, the sensor lights up and the red LED counter on the Action Max game console goes up by one point. When you hit "civilian" or "friendly" targets, the score goes down by one point. The console has a built-in speaker that plays gunshots, ricochet sounds, and an ominous computerized voice that says, "Target Hit". Headphones and a special cord that connects from the VCR's or television's rca audio outputs into the console were included. These allowed you to hear Action Max in stereo without bothering others (aside from the click click clicking sound of the light gun and your shouts of frustration). read more

Sherwood S-7900A Receiver

Sherwood S-7900A Receiver

Sherwood Receiver S-7900A

This 1974-1975 vintage Sherwood AM / FM stereo receiver model S-7900A was a high-end unit from the Chicago company, clocking in at a respectable $479.95 retail price. This American-made unit has 60 watts per channel and a variety of unusual extras, including a dedicated mono speaker connection, front and rear "Dynaquad" speaker hookups, inputs for a four-channel quadraphonic adapter (and an FM quad adapter), and a tank-like build with a 3-piece brushed aluminum face and heavy-duty black steel cabinet. Bold blue backlit tuning dial and a lighted analog center tuning needle meter give it that unmistakably classic vintage hi-fi look. Entire unit measures 16.5 inches x 13 inches x 5.5 inches. read more