Category Archives: The Atomic Home

Mid-Century Modern Ny Chair by Takeshi Nii

Takeshi Nii Ny Chair

This Takeshi Nii "Ny Chair" was conceived in 1958 by the Japanese designer, who took inspiration from folding directors chairs and a particular chair from Denmark that had a canvas sling-style seat. The result is one of the most beautiful and over-engineered folding chairs in modern design history. The Ny Chair has been produced in one form or another for over 50 years now, which makes sense, as it is unbelievably comfortable, relaxing and deceptively simple. As Takeshi Nii stated, "...a chair where one can just sit and relax after eating a nice meal". This particular NY Chair was manufactured in Japan by Uchida, and is labeled as "Z Chair", which explains why this chair is often misidentified as a Z-Chair from unrelated Japanese designer Shigeru Uchida. Ny Chairs are designed with either flat base legs or a curved-leg rocking chair. This particular Ny Chair is a convertible model that does both! Just swing down the arched bars and you now have a cozy rocking chair. Flip them back up and you have super-low profile and sturdy seating. This model differs cosmetically than other models, too, with attractive bullet shaped metal caps on the arm hinges at the rear of the seat, as well as flat wooden arm rests instead of round ones. The Ny Chair is made of chrome steel tubing and is covered in a heavy-duty black canvas upholstery. It measures 23.5"W x 32"D x 30.5"H. The lowest portion of the seat sits only 5.5 inches from the floor (7 inches in rocking chair mode). You can find online retailers distributing the new Ny chairs, but authentic Ny Chairs can be found only on eBay. read more

The Electro-Pointer and Vintage Electric Pencil Sharpeners

Electro-Pointer Pencil Sharpener


Welcome to our collection of vintage electric pencil sharpeners, including the beloved Electro-Pointer pencil sharpener.

This is an original 1940s Electro-Pointer electric pencil sharpener, manufactured by the Triple E Products / Stile Craft company of St. Louis, Missouri. Wiith classic Art Deco Machine Age styling and an effectively-engineered design, the Electro-Pointer works as good or better than today's modern electric models. A beautifully-formed black phenolic or bakelite housing that looks almost like a front fender and headlight of an old Buick. The Electro-Pointer has an aerodynamic fin shape that travels down the rear and front drawer, and the pencil hole size is adjusted from small, medium, and large by turning the circular border around the hole. The housing covers a typically over-engineered piece of early-1940s American machinery that looks more like something out of an airplane engine than an office desk accessory. The Electro-Pointer automatically turns on by simply inserting a pencil. It moves a lever that tilts a large mercury switch, which causes the motor to spin when the mercury bridges the electrical current. Its actually very fun to watch in action with the cover off, the exposed inner unit is bolted to a heavy slip-proof base, and the Electro-Pointer can actually be used without the black outer housing. The entire unit measures 5 7/8 inches x 3 5/8 inches x 8 1/4 inches. These models, like old sewing machines, need to be oiled. Speaking of sewing machines, sewing machine oil probably a better way to go than standard 3-in1 Oil. It is less viscous and less likely to hold graphite and shaving dust in the moving parts, which will eventually gunk up your Electro-Pointer motor and sharpeners. read more

Kirby Sanitronic Vacuum Cleaners

Kirby Sanitronic Dual 80

This 1967 Kirby Sanitronic Dual 80 vacuum cleaner has unmistakable vintage Kirby style. It should, as the Sanitronic Dual 80 was the last model of the first series of highly popular Kirby vacs. It retains that amazing Art Deco era polished cast aluminum alloy body, which looks more like something that fell out of the engine of a B-17 bomber than a common household appliance. After nearly 50 years, this Kirby is still alive and kicking.It has a fab green color scheme, slightly atypical to the quintessential red trim machines, and gives it a genuine '60s style. As with most vintage Kirbys, this thing has suction and power you have to see to believe. The thing jumps to life when the power button is stomped, and you know immediately that it means business as it tries to pull you along the carpet like an excited dog on a leash. They just don't make 'em like they used to! No wonder they called it "Jaws" in the American comedy classic Mr. Mom! Here's an important note about Kirby vacuum cleaners...I dismantled this thing, cleaned, polished and detailed it inside and out, and I got a most unpleasant surprise when I reassembled no longer worked! This has happened to me before on another Kirby that has been in storage for a long time. I decided that this couldn't have happened to me twice with two different models, so I finally decided to do some research. Turns out these Kirby vacs have safety switches that prevent them from turning on when not engaged! There is a little push button under the protruding motor shaft, and if you don' t line up the brush head just right, the switch won't engage and the vacuum won't turn on! We wrestled with the thought of discarding that other Kirby for a long time, and we are so glad we didn't! I will be pulling it out of storage before long for a rehaul. Check below for vintage Kirby Sanitronic vacuum cleaners for sale on the internet! read more

Fox Typewriter Model 24

fox typewriter model 24

This early Fox typewriter model 24 is officially the oldest typewriter we have acquired to date. Having no backspace key, this machine dates somewhere between 1906 and 1909. It appears to be complete, but it unfortunately shows its age and then some. It will require a considerable amount of restoration before its ready for everyday use. We did some fairly meticulous cleaning and dusting with a wet rag, toothbrush and a vacuum cleaner, and it is still not the prettiest thing in the world, but you really should have seen the way it looked when we first brought it home. Much of the original paint is intact, as well as all of the beautiful graphics and that fabulous full-color Fox logo. Some of the celluloid keys are missing their letter markers, which is apparently a typical cosmetic flaw with this style of key. There is moderate rust on some of the chrome pieces, and more rust on the back side of the typewriter. The mechanics are also in need of repair. As rough as this machine looked, all the key strikes worked (they actually work beautifully, even without having cleaned them). Only two keys needed to be worked back and forth a few times before they worked as smoothly as the rest. The carriage will not advance or turn. The culprit seems to be a leather strap or cord which is completely missing from the pulley wheel on the back. The key strikes are the only thing that appear to be functioning properly at this time. As-is, this Fox No. 24 makes an interesting rustic display piece with beautiful early Industrial Machine Age style. However, it looks like it could eventually be restored to a useable condion, too. The chassis of the Fox typewriter model 24 measures 14 3/8"D x 10 3/4"W x 8"H. read more

Vintage Rexair Rainbow Vacuum Cleaners

Rexair Rainbow Model B

 The Rexair Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner - The Machine of Tomorrow...Today!

The Rexair Rainbow has been "washing air" since 1929, starting with their Model A and Model B units, and continuing with the Rexair Rainbow vacuum cleaners that are still highly sought after today for their unique cleaning power. Here are a few Rexair Rainbow vacuum cleaners that span the long history of this company. You can also find some nice new, refurbished and vintage Rexair Rainbow vacuum cleaners for sale on this page. read more

Vintage Emerson Junior Fans

emerson junior fan

The Emerson Junior Fan

This red badge Emerson Junior fan model 2660-C vintage electric fan has a 12-inch diameter pancake blades, a ridiculously heavy cast iron base, and a beautifully-styled cage. First produced in 1939, it is finished in a classic Machine Age gray with a bullet back and V-shaped cage, and functions at two speeds with an optional oscillator function. This vintage electric fan shows its age, and has some discoloration and patina in the metal finishes, but it has been dismantled and thoroughly cleaned (as we do with all vintage fans we sell). The metal is polished and there is only faint rust or corrosion. The blades are clean and in excellent condition, and the paint is all original. Some of the wiring, however, does not appear to be original...but it's definitely old. Everything is sturdy and wired correctly, and the fan still works perfectly. Completely rewiring it is not a very difficult task, but it appears to be working just fine as it is. This is a clean and useable example of a classic American fan. It works as good as it did over 70 years ago, is stronger and quieter than anything made today, and the style cannot be beat. The Emerson Junior fan stands approximately 16.5 inches tall. read more

Vintage Patio Party Lights

patio party lights

Vintage Patio Party Lights are a popular collectible among lovers of retro decor and people who just love the nostalgic memories of the campgrounds visited during family vacations. String lights, RV lights, or Tiki lanterns are just a few of the alternate names this fun retro lighting goes by. Check out our personal collection of vintage patio party lights, and find some amazing sets for sale on the internet. read more

Morimura Nippon Moriage Beaded Ware

Morimura Nippon


Morimura Nippon Beaded Ware

This antique Nippon beaded ware porcelain bowl has a peaceful hand painted landscape scene with sail boat. It has a green M in wreath mark of the Morimura family, dating the piece to anywhere from 1911 to 1921. In 1921, US Congress passed a law forcing Japanese firms to change the Nippon stamp to Made in Japan. Vintage Japanese beaded ware, also known as Moriage, has intricate raised slip decorations that range from simple trim embellishments to stunning all-over decorations. This bowl is in excellent condition with no chips or cracks, and no wear in the painted surfaces. There is a small black blemish on the side of the bowl (see last photo below). The surface is not scratched or damaged, but we could not get the black mark to disappear after rubbing it with a microfiber cloth. Its a very pleasing understated piece, with decorative raised Moriage scalloped border and accents on the handles. It measures 5 inches in diameter (minus handles) and sits approximately 1.75 inches in height. Scroll down to see a picture of the green Morimura mark. read more

Westinghouse Riviera Vintage Electric Fan

westinghouse riviera vintage electric fan

This Atomic Age Westinghouse Riviera vintage electric fan is not only one of the neatest looking fans ever designed, it is also one of the best-working fans we have ever experienced. The Westinghouse Riviera vintage electric fan has a powerful wind tunnel effect that seems to shoot a blast of air in a straight line. The futuristic aerodynamic quality of the housing and blade cover grill not only look a jet engine, but must have something to do with the sheer power in this compact 10-inch blade fan. This Westinghouse Riviera model R-1500 is an early version, with solid steel chrome tubular legs and hinges. The all-plastic housing is molded in classic Machine Age putty gray, and the metal blades and motor are painted to match. We meticulously cleaned this Westinghouse Riviera inside and out, like we do with all vintage electric fans we rescue. read more

Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer

alessi juicy salif lemon squeezer

Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer...a Modernist Kitchen Tool

This Philippe Starck designed authentic Alessi Italy Juicy Salif lemon squeezer citrus juicer measures 11.5 inches tall, with a polished cast aluminum body and a futuristic design that looks more like something out of Mars Attacks! than a practical kitchen utensil. The highly polished silver aluminum surface only adds to its aerodynamic style. The Juicy Salif is less a utilitarian piece than a true work of sculptural art and a fine example of modern design. It really isn't easy to find truly beautiful useable foood prep utensils that look like they were made for this millenium (and where's the jetpack I was promised?), but the Juicy Salif is a great intro piece for you new forward-thinking kitchen. The Juicy Salif has been on display at the New York Museum of Modern Art, and limited edition commemorative models have been produced since the original was first intruduced in 1990. Starck allegedly designed this squid shaped lemon squeezer on a restaurant napkin, doodling his sketches in red tomato paste! The Juicy Salif pictured here was never used, but has received some scuffs from sliding around in its cardboard box over the decades. It also has a noticeable hazy spot on the bulb. After reading the instruction manual, I learned that this is a natural occurance that happens over time in the polished aluminum surface. When purchasing an unused vintage Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer, understand that there may be similar cosmetic flaws on the one you choose. In any case, this faint damage really does not detract from the undeniably striking appearance of the Philippe Starck's Juicy Salif. read more