Thread Number: 70114  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
A phobia about new products
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Post# 930337   4/3/2017 at 12:15 (388 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

I wonder if anyone else looks at things like I do, ever since I can remember I always have equated new products with junk.....Seriously, I can remember looking at Hoover vacuums in the big downtown Belks store in Charlotte NC in the early 70s when I was a kid and thinking how cheap they looked compared to the older ones neighbors had, Now they look pretty darn good, but my point is, does anyone just despise most newer stuff, I know that if money was no object my daily driver car would be something with fins and pushbuttons on it, I really and truly do not have any desire for anything new, I recently thought about getting a new vacuum of some sort, but I didn't, the last newer one I bought, a Miele, I gave away because I hated it...LOL..Anyone else want to live totally in the past......

Post# 930342 , Reply# 1   4/3/2017 at 12:27 (388 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
right there with you...

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even the Future was better back then!

Post# 930344 , Reply# 2   4/3/2017 at 12:30 (388 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
when finished...

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hope this will be our daily driver in good weather:

Post# 930345 , Reply# 3   4/3/2017 at 12:31 (388 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I've always held great appreciation for old cars and appliances. That's what originally attracted me to The cheapening of American appliances and cars started in the early 70's and it has only gotten progressively worse over the ensuing years. Things used to be made so they could be repaired. Now we have a throw away mentality. Our county seat, Santa Rosa, Ca. still has an old time repair shop for small appliances and vacuums, Asef's, but when he retires I doubt their will be anyone left to fill his place. This kind of service is becoming a lost art.

Post# 930348 , Reply# 4   4/3/2017 at 13:13 (388 days old) by VacuumGuy99 (North Western PA)        

I totally agree with you,all though growing up in the 2000's never gave me a chance to see a Montgomery Wards or Woolworth full of 1960's anything (the closest thing I had was sears until it closed last month...) the longevity of a lot of the appliances from that time are so much better than most if not all things that you can get today.Not to mention the shapes colors and patterns that where used that are a far cry from the black,white, and stainless of todays things.

Post# 930350 , Reply# 5   4/3/2017 at 13:33 (388 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Here is a list of things NOT available at ANY price on a new range....
1 A fluorescent light....
2- A appliance outlet
3-Heavy quality surface units and porcelain drip pans..
4- A easy to set analog clock and minute timer,,,It takes a computer science major to use most of the new ones.
Heavy all porcelain construction..Ranges today have cheap painted bodies and the only real porcelain on them is on top and in the oven...and its very poor compared to vintage.
5-Quality oven units that unplug for cleaning or easy replacement.
A quality door that is actually insulated and has a sealed glass window that doesent get grease in between it.
6 A storage drawer that does not fall off the runners and actually will hold something.
7 A range that is heavy enough that you don't have to bolt it down.
Beautiful controls that were both functional as well as good looking..Example Westinghouse and GE/Hotpoint as well as Norge and a few others had color lit controls so you could tell at a glance what unit was on and at what heat.
I could go on and on..Oh yeah..A plug in griddle that actually worked...Just about everyone had one of these in the 50s.....I Miss the griddle on my Norge most of all.

Post# 930351 , Reply# 6   4/3/2017 at 13:37 (388 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Yep, I'm there!  I remember when my folks finally replaced their 1957 Frigidaire Super range with a 1974 Westinghouse-built harvest gold model, my father was quick to point out how flimsy the range looked.  Oddly enough the salesperson agreed with him and I remember him saying "This range is not going to last more than 10 years if you are lucky"...  It did though... LOL


When I was a landlord, I had to replace appliances from time to time and was just horrified by the models available.  I just couldn't help but think they were made to break down.  I was right, alas!!

Post# 930352 , Reply# 7   4/3/2017 at 13:37 (388 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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I'm pretty pragmatic about this. Technology improvements have brought us a lot of good and it would be sad to not embrace at least some of them. I do understand the market forces that have caused things to be made more inexpensively and that is indeed a sad thing. I despise the disposable economy. I am a fixer and I will repair anything electrical, electronic or mechanical and strive to keep things running.

I tend to be a person that will only buy high quality items that will serve a long life. A couple mantra's "The pain of poor quality long outlives the joy of low price", "Low price is only part of a good deal" and "Buy the best and you only cry once". When I buy tools I will spend whatever it takes to buy something that will last me the rest of my life, I won't buy Harbor Freight (or Craftsman for that matter) it just isn't worth it.

I believe that the best car or computer in most regards will be the next years model. I love the addition of electronics to appliances, I hope to never own a mechanical timer machine again other then perhaps for nostalgia. Simple old controls work, but they give up all the advantages that electronics and sensor feedback can yield. I also love the advances of variable frequency motor drives effectively replacing gearboxes and transmissions. So much more versatile and easier to fix. I do appreciate history and the way vintage products were made. I often use the analogy of how great it is to take a Sunday drive in an old classic car for instance, but I sure wouldn't want to drive one everyday. Modern stuff is just so much more refined in many ways.

My feelings likely don't slot in with a lot of the group here, but that is OK. We all bring good things to share at the table.

Post# 930356 , Reply# 8   4/3/2017 at 14:10 (388 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

When I was in Taiwan I noticed that consumer goods were actually good quality (either Japanese products or their own), I would've sent a bunch of counter top appliances and other goodies home with me if I had the room. When it comes to electronics they are very repair friendly, Taipei has a tech mall 6 stories high full of gadgets and electronics parts for anything you could imagine, and people willing to do the repairs for reasonable prices.
In many ways they are like us in the 1950s when it comes to goods and the quality of them, but of course modern and fully embracing technology.

It would be nice if we weren't such a throwaway society, and visiting somewhere that isn't, shows me it's still very much doable in 2017.

This post was last edited 04/03/2017 at 17:03
Post# 930435 , Reply# 9   4/3/2017 at 18:41 (388 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Im glad

There is something for everybody......If I win the lotto I will show you the 1950s..LOL And I mean right down to the furnace and ac in the house!!LOL...NO NEW gizmos for me!

Post# 930449 , Reply# 10   4/3/2017 at 20:02 (388 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Old stuff for me and keep it going fine because you usually can. Not having a stove to push buttons and crap out or a washer to decide what load should it be set on for the next couple of hours on electronically, no refrigerator with a camera, I have my grocery list, and I write it out by hand. Thats my story and I'm stickin to it. Old school for me.

Post# 930456 , Reply# 11   4/3/2017 at 20:51 (388 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

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Old school here as well.  I learned the hard way a 40 buck grinder from China Freight does not carry the freight come blade sharpening day.  Enter Baldor.  Same with the cheaply made battery chargers, enter Rizk.


Some new stuff is ok, but overall, much of today stuff is built to a price point, not to last.  And I wretch at the astronomical prices charged for something made with 3rd world labor in a sweatshop.

Post# 930478 , Reply# 12   4/3/2017 at 22:15 (387 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

As far as appliances are concerned, you can't beat the quality and reliability of vintage. Yes, new ones tend to be more efficient (but not always), but rarely last as long, and aren't really made to be repaired. Vehicles on the other hand, as far as I can see have (for the most part) improved on reliability, safety, and efficiency. My dad (who was born in 1950) has told me that vehicles way back when had to have a tune up twice a year, had to have the carburetor adjusted for winter and summer, were less reliable, and were generally considered worn out at 100,000 miles. Newer cars need a tune up every 100,000 miles, don't require adjustments for the seasons, and are typically pretty reliable. Most let you know if there's a problem, and can diagnose themselves. Some have been known to run several hundred thousand miles (my 2004 has 198,000 and runs like new, and hasn't had any repairs in over a year) Newer buildings/homes tend to be built more tightly and more efficient, but are rarely as solid as older homes. Some things have improved, some things have declined, but the way I look at it, we all have our preferences, we do what makes us happy. If you want the newest appliances, go for it. If you prefer vintage, great. If you want to drive a car straight out of the 50's, so be it. You understand the pros and cons. Want to drive an all electric, self driving car, good for you. Want a new home, great. Old home, wonderful. We have several appliances, small and large that are vintage, and we love them. I drive a gas/electric hybrid car and love it. Our house was built in the 50's, and we love it through it's quirks. I have a fairly up to date smart phone, but we still have CRT TV sets, which work fine. Why replace something that doesn't need to be, just to keep up with the latest and greatest if you're happy with what you have?

Post# 930503 , Reply# 13   4/4/2017 at 02:43 (387 days old) by iej (Ireland)        

Somethings have improved absolutely beyond recognition, just not washing machines and vacuum cleaners.

In general I think we've seen white goods become cheaper and more about gimmicks than quality. There are a few exceptions like Miele and Speed Queen but people are expecting to be able to buy pretty technically complex appliances at unprecedentedly low prices.

What has changed is that compared to the 1950s and 60s a lot of these appliances are now absolutely ubiquitous. If you go back to the days when a dishwasher, for example, was a serious investment rather than something you just could purchase without thinking about it too much, many households just did not have one.

Likewise, microwaves are now absolutely take for granted, that wasn't the case well into the 1980s as they were seriously expensive pieces of kit.

Where things have really improved is information technology and display technology. I can't imagine a world without the internet, computers, smartphones etc.

You can be all nostalgic about Ma Bell and her European PTT counterparts but they all provided extremely expensive, very basic telephone service and data was still something unheard of outside of a business or academic environment until the 90s really.

Yeah, they had pretty pink 50s telephones and TVs with valves (tubes) but the technology is just so much more developed now.

Also, technology aside - we have a lot more freedom to be whatever we want to be these days. It's easy to look back on those middle 20th century days as a golden era. They were in some ways, they weren't in others. Perspective is everything!

Post# 930509 , Reply# 14   4/4/2017 at 04:27 (387 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Perspective is everything. But perspective is formed in part by fact externally verifiable fact. Just as there's a generation of Americans who cannot hear the "Ride of the Valkyries" without an urge to sing "Kill the Wabbit. Kill the Wabbit!", there's a generation who went to the 1977 Auto Shows and were horrified to find that the 'new and improved' downsized GM 'full-sized' cars were so cheap and flimsy they made the Japanese 'tin cans' seem Mercedes-like in comparison. IMO, that was the blow that sent Detroit and the American auto industry into a tailspin from which it never did fully recover.

Technology has improved but I don't think that's the issue. The issue is design and execution thereof. Until the mid-70's it seems the 'best' design was the one that made the consumer's work lighter. Doing the job better was what sold your product. Then seemingly overnight came this whole flip of mentality. "New and Improved" stopped meaning it did the job better and started meaning flashier and prettier without any thought to whether or not the thing actually did the job any better.

The end result is that technology might have brought the product 5 steps forward, but the lower quality and poor design brought you 7 steps backward so you've lost 2 steps and the older product does the job better.

Yes, there are many exceptions and some have been pointed out: If you add 5 and subtract 2 you have a net gain of 3 so you have a better product. However, for most you have a net loss.

Just think of washers. Would even exist if design and execution weren't sinking faster than technology is moving forward?

Post# 930515 , Reply# 15   4/4/2017 at 06:52 (387 days old) by iej (Ireland)        

There was also a fairly fundamental technological journey in the early to mid 20th century where appliances were new and exciting and the basic designs were still developing.

You're seeing that now with smartphones. The ubiquitous shiney, black, glass, fondle slab with a cover stick on that we all carry around.

Go back a few years ago and you had all sorts of quirky sliding keyboards and invitation. Now all we want is a minimalist touch screen with two cameras and similar sets of sensors.

You can pick iOS or Android amd different sizes , but all in all the devices are not radically different.
You're presented with a touch screen and a grid of icons and window blind menus etc to interact with it.

Cars are also rather samey samey compared to the old days.

Even French cars are boring and boringly advertised compared to the 80s

Can you imagine anyone deciding to advertise a car like this now?!

Post# 930537 , Reply# 16   4/4/2017 at 10:41 (387 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
Roger, is that a...

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1958 Oldsmobile Super 88?

Post# 930543 , Reply# 17   4/4/2017 at 11:28 (387 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

That is all well and good, but vintage appliances are just not very doable because you can no longer get parts for them. If you could, I would have many of them. Once you have a big mechanical failure in most cases you are done for. It's a real shame because many of the appliances of yesteryear were excellent.

Post# 930566 , Reply# 18   4/4/2017 at 13:39 (387 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        

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yes, 51k original miles and no rust, but she has a ways to go before getting that lovely lilac paint job!

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Post# 930606 , Reply# 19   4/4/2017 at 16:20 (387 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Would even exist if design and execution weren't sinking faster than technology is moving forward?


Perhaps it would. Old appliances would still have historical interest. Much like many people are interested in--and even own--really old computers.


But if new appliances were definitely overall much better, one would probably not have the chorus of "give me vintage for my daily driver, or die!"

Post# 930609 , Reply# 20   4/4/2017 at 16:26 (387 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Hoover vacuums in the big downtown Belks store in Charlotte NC in the early 70s when I was a kid and thinking how cheap they looked compared to the older ones neighbors had, Now they look pretty darn good


I've had that same sort of experience, except my time frame is different. Stuff in the 80s/early 90s didn't seem to have good quality. At least, not to my eyes, which were used (at that time) to 60s quality in appliances. Now, however, 80s/90s stuff looks much better to me than it did back then.


Scary thought: in 2040 I might be mourning the "good old days of 2017 quality." LOL

Post# 930612 , Reply# 21   4/4/2017 at 17:06 (387 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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As for my own views of old vs's mixed... I'm not sure that there is any 100% view with any product.


The one time I do really tend to embrace new products is with computer technology, particularly the Internet. It's been a huge plus overall for me. But, at the same time, I still have some interest and liking for old computers, and I think some things were possibly better once. I hate some of the software bloat with unnecessary/useless features in basic office suite software, for example. And some hardware seemed longer lasting, although it was also far more expensive when new.


With cars, I have not owned anything newer than about mid-1990s. In buying, I find price very compelling--I end up with old, used, but hopefully with some service life left. And also not so old there is collectible value. I have no idea what will happen in the future, but I have to admit I worry about the long term durability of recent cars, given all the features they have. More features=more things to break. Also they seem harder to even maintain, which means higher costs. (Although routine maintenance is less frequent.) If I had the money, I might buy something now as a long term keeper that's old enough to be fairly simple, and yet new enough to have passable mileage and safety features. Say ca. 1990.


I will also comment I really don't find most newer cars very interesting. At best, I find something practical. But some modern cars have styling that is too much for me, and it repels me. (But I bet some said the same thing about fins in the 1950s!)


With audio equipment, I remain locked in the past with the vinyl as my primary source. I am interested--no, very interested--in better than CD digital audio...but the practical reality is LPs are more affordable. Hmmm...a used LP for $1, or a digital download for $20. Which is easier on my budget? I am, surprisingly, getting slightly interested in CD...but that's fueled entirely by dirt cheap CDs. Past costs...I still find old, familiar LPs to be a comfortable format.


With appliances, I guess more often than not I take the "older is probably better" attitude. I admit energy savings are attractive--but energy use and cost to own is probably far greater on appliances that last only a short time.


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