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Entries in old is new (8)


redefined: telephone poles

photo by: Orin ZebestAs America opened up to the wild west, and later to suburban sprawl, telephones replaced the telegraph and telephone poles laced a vast new interstate highway system and kept us hard-wired for communication.

Today, satellites orbit the earth providing wireless technology—transmitting voice, data, video—and which leaves iconic telephone poles soon to be a thing of the past.

Not only does the telephone coat rack remind us of breezy family road trips with the car windows wide open, roadside picnics and scenic routes, it brings natural wood and concrete elements indoors as a whimsical storage solution.


redefined: the abacus

photo by: tsc_traveler The abacus is typically Asian but references from ancient Rome, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Persia, India, Russia, Korea—even Native Americans—exist.

Trade between the two regions may explain the similarity of the Roman and Chinese versions— or it may be pure coincidence that both derived from counting the five fingers on one’s hand— but trade with India and the Middle East in the 1st century A.D. changed everything when the concept of a zero and a decimal point spread.

Replaced by modern calculators performing complex equations, the abacus not only remains a graphic icon—it continues to be manufactured and used to teach numerical systems and basic math.


redefined: the vanity

photo by: LindaHUsed for hundreds of years, dressing tables as a piece of furniture declined in popularity as rooms for toilets and bathing moved inside the house and included cabinets for perfumes and make-up and wardrobes or closets for small accessories; and vanities—which included a large ceramic pitcher and bowl for washing up—became today’s faucet and sink.

Although dressing tables or vanities remained popular in modern homes—until as recently as the 50s and 60s—as time has become a most precious resource, and women spend more time out of the house, more often than not we’re multi-tasking and rushing to get ready. But good storage for our little luxuries will always be necessary, hence, the modern vanity.

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