Category Archives: The Atomic Home

Richard Nixon’s Paper Shredder…The 1984 Shredex Watergate Top Secret 2001

shredex watergate top secret 2001

This commercial-grade Shredex "Watergate" Top Secret 2001 desktop paper shredder is a heavy-duty piece of industrial equipment that was favored by US Military and Government offices. Made in West Germany, this 1983-1984 model was popular due to its compact size (8.5" x 8.5" x 6") and "affordable" retail cost of $497.00. Commercial units  could run upward of $8,000.00 during the shredder boom of the '80s. One of these Watergate 2001 models was reportedly purchased by none other than Richard Nixon for use in his New Jersey home!  Seriously! A true story from the president of Shredex in a 1984 People interview! The Shredex Watergate Top Secret 2001 quietly and powerfully destroys documents, checks, microfilm, and even microfiche into tiny particles. 

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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. A classic Grecian statue, typically a nude Venus, is usually located in the center of the lamp to "add to the elegance and luxury".  A spotlight located in the top shines down on the statue and illuminates the dripping strands.

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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.

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Adler J5 Typewriter Precision Portable

Adler J5 Portable Typewriter

The Adler J-5 Portable Typewriter

This German Adler J5 portable vintage typewriter has a cool 2-tone blue and light gray color scheme and distinctive 1970's styling. The Adler J5 Precision Portable has a rigid plastic shell and hood with shiny chrome accent panels on the carriage.  The plastic casing is off-putting to some collectors, but I personally think it adds to the unique retro look of the J5. Adler J5 typewriters were made in black, white and this classic blue & gray airline color scheme. It has a slightly offbeat clunky Eastern European Cold War-era look to it, but the West German made Adler J5 is actually a quiet and very smoothly-operating typewriter. It includes its original carrying case, a black textured hard shell case with briefcase latches and Adler logo. The typewriter pictured is in excellent cosmetic and working condition. We meticulously cleaned it (short of dismantling the unit), I used my personal stash of genuine vintage Dr. Scat typewriter cleaner to treat the platen roller and strikers, there are no sticky or sluggish keys, and everything still works great. The entire unit measures approximately 13"W x 14"D x 5"H. Scroll down for more pictures and to see Adler J5 typewriters for sale.

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Mid-Century Modern Lucite Chandelier

mid-century lucite chandelier

This stunning Mid-Century Modern lucite acrylic ribbon chandelier has a gold/brass metal frame with fifteen solid acrylic hoops that hang in a nested fashion. Inside is an elaborate sputnik-esque light fixture with nine separate sockets radiating outward. The fixture is attached to a 70-inch long swag chain with a ceiling cap attached at the end. We don't know the manufacturer or designer, but these lamps have an opulent turn-of-the-80's style that fits in perfectly with that decadent era. The assembled light measures approximately 20 inches in length and 14 inches at widest point. It accepts type "B" candelabra or small round vanity light bulbs rated up to 40 watts. A simple AC plug can be attached to the existing wiring to create a plug-in swag lamp, which can actually be done to most pendant-style ceiling fixtures.

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WWII Trench Art Ashtrays

WWII Trench Art Ashtray

This authentic WWII trench art ashtray was handmade by a US Army serviceman no later than 1945 out of a polished aluminum machine part and what looks like a cross-hair sight from a Browning 30 caliber machine gun. We are absolutely fascinated with trench art. Each piece is a handmade work of art...beautiful creations made by soldiers during a time when destruction and death are all around, and crafted with the same components that are used to destroy. The ashtray portion has machined cigarette rest indentions, and the sight is mounted through a hole drilled through the base. Really not sure what the aluminum piece is from, could be from an airplane engine, but we just don't know. The piece is in very good condition, was actually used as an ashtray for some time, but the base has been polished and still looks very good. The sight is firmly planted in the aluminum base, and after all these years is still completely solid with absolutely no give or movement. The ashtray base measures 3 1/8 inches in diameter and 7/8 inches in height, and the sight is 2 3/8 inches in diameter.

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Clover Lamp Company Mid-Century Modern Lighting

Clover Lamp Company floor lamp

This Clover Lamp Company mid-century modern floor lamp has a tubular metal body with a smooth 45-degree angled arm that holds three dome-shaped canister spotlights. It has a sleek space age design coupled with down-to-earth utilitarian usefulness and an unmistakable 1970's contemporary modern look. This all-metal lamp has a shiny brass finish and stands approximately 70 inches tall with shades measuring 4 7/8 inches in diameter and 5 1/4 inches in length. The spotlights are adjustable at any angle and the three-way switch on the pole lights one, then two, then all three bulbs. This Mid-Century Modern lamp was made in Royersford, PA by the Clover Lamp Company, who manufactured high-end contemporary lighting well into the 1980s. Finding any historical information about the Clover Lamp Co. is difficult, which seems unusual considering the craftsmanship and cutting-edge styles of these lamps. They are extremely well-made of heavy-duty, high-quality materials. They also have consistent design aesthetic that can only be described as "quintessentially retro", liberally borrowing from contemporary Danish and Italian styles from the 1950s-1980s. As far as design and quality goes, Clover Lamps are on par with Lightolier and other big manufacturers of the day. Some have misidentified Clover lamps as being made by the Italian Reggiani firm, and there are a couple of Clover lamps with a virtually identical design (it is possible these designs were actually licensed from Reggiani, which would make the confusion completely understandable). The Clover Lamp plant, located right on Main Street in Royersford, was the former manufacturing facility of Diamond / Anchor Glass. The building still exists today, though it has now been converted into an apartment complex. Scroll down to find Mid-Century Modern Clover Lamps for sale!

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Commodore C-8 Calculator

Commodore C-8 desk calculator

This circa 1973 Commodore C-8 vintage calculator is a classic desk model with large, easy-to-use keypad and 8-digit orange fluorescent gas display. Looking a bit like something out of a '60s Sci-Fi movie, the Canadian-made Commodore C-8 has classic retro style with an angular black casing and big and chunky keys. The fluorescent digital display has a Panaplex-like orange hue. A bold aluminum name badge is affixed to the top left of the casing, and the Commodore name also appears across the backside, too. It has a floating decimal point that adjusts automatically, and it has a slightly unusual display layout, calculating numbers and showing them at the left side of the screen instead of the right. The calculated answer is followed by a decimal and a series of zeros to hold the place of any of the unused 8-digits in the display. Its a sophisticated piece of machinery for its day, and its computer's calculations are executed in a half of a millisecond. This AC-only desktop model has a power cord hardwired in and does not accept batteries. Entire unit measures 9 inches x 6.75 inches x 2.5 inches.

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Brother 100 Portable Vintage Typewriter

Brother 100 Portable Typewriter

This Japanese Brother 100 vintage typewriter was manufactured in the 1960s for SS Kresge / K-Mart department stores. Originally conceived and manufactured in 1961, this is the first model 100 typewriter design and Brother's first portable typewriter. This one has a K-Mart badge with the classic "K" logo, and is correctly identified with the number 100. It has fab retro style, with an offbeat, yet happy and cheerful buttery yellow finish coating the all-metal casing. It is a sturdily-built and smoothly-operating unit with a deceptively simple design, and is a consistent and trouble-free portable typewriter. It is small and lightweight, and has a snap-on hard shell cover with carrying handle for safe storage and easy portability. The casing measures 12 inches x 11.25 inches x 3.25 inches.

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