About 15 years ago I remember being on the subway and seeing something that shocked me: a woman got into the car at 57th Street and, affixed to each of her 10 fingernails, were highly sculpted, three-dimensional unicorns. All different. All really pronounced. At the time I just stared. What I didn’t know is that the image would continue to haunt me this long after. I wondered at the time whether this was some crazy new trend in nail art. Why yes, yes it was. Here is but the teensiest smattering of nail art paraphernalia. The first image is fascinating. Photos are from here, here, here and here.
When we moved back to the Lower East Side back in July, this was one of the first photos I took. I saw this small-ish rodent (rat) on Division Street, on my way into the depths of Chinatown. He looked rather peaceful. And while I know this is a picture of a dead rodent, I love all the geometry going on here. I have had encounters of this sort before. See here.
Lendy’s Electric, on Grand Street in Manhattan, is one of those holdouts from an earlier time when small scale manufacturers and their accompanying tradesmen (tradeswomen?) dominated the downtown landscape. I always enjoy my visits there: so many unfamiliar things to look at, and I always learn something new. Even if that means appropriating some strange slang for a particular electric receptacle or seeing these schematics for plugs and whatnot. These Select-A-Spring photos are from a visit a couple of years ago.
On a recent visit to my parent’s home, I spotted these two volumes sitting on the shelf: very very old and well-used French dictionaries. Another couple of specimens from the analog world. This time, the realm of words, not design.
How about this for a work ID? A far cry from the crap plastic things hanging off one’s neck these days. My best guess is that my stepfather worked at Nash-Kelvinator Corporation sometime between 1937 and 1954. Kelvinator is now a brand owned by Electrolux, with many iterations of the company in between its founding and now. If you didn’t look closely enough, those lines behind his photo are a height chart. Oh, beauty really is in the details!
Box of plastic gloves found in my mother’s attic. They were most likely my step-father’s. Pretty sure they pre-date my mother. Each glove is affixed to a sheet of what looks like butcher paper. Strange and graphic. Subtle variations in color and shape, not to mention the odd hand shape, add to their intrigue. I may frame them all together. And…Sensi-Touch appears to still be going strong when it comes to the manufacturing of surgical gloves.
I came upon this box of wooden eyeglass models when going through my mother’s house. The pieces were stacked on end, so it wasn’t immediately obvious what they were. Holy crap!!! What a crazy wonderful surprise. Howard G. Jones, my stepfather, was an industrial designer who was born in 1910. He knew how to do things the old fashioned way, and these treasures are perfect examples of his world of analog design.