Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ABC Wednesday Challenge - V

It's ABC Wednesday again, and this week, the letter is

As I get older, I have realized a certain affinity for older things. I listen to the oldies station, reminisce about the good old days, and find myself admiring old things at flea markets garage sales and thrift stores.

Because of my recent fascination with older things I have come to notice a term that gets used, overused misused and abused on a regular basis.

VINTAGE. What does it mean? I see it on ebay, I see it on dishes at the flea market, I see it on blogs, and yet I have never been quite sure I understood it.

Way back, in my youth, an antique car was a car that was 50 years old or older, while a VINTAGE car was 25-50 years old. At least that was how the DMV differentiated in regards to license plates. But I wondered if that was an official meaning, or just a handy way for them to decide which taxes to collect.

So I did me some investigating and I discovered a few things.

VINTAGE originally was a term used to describe a wine. A particular VINTAGE referred to all of the grapes that came off of that particular VINE, that particular year. Later it was expanded to become a general reference to the year a wine was made.

When used properly the term VINTAGE should be followed by a year. So, one does not drive a VINTAGE car, one drives a VINTAGE '65 Mustang.

You don't buy VINTAGE glassware, but rather VINTAGE '58 glassware (or VINTAGE 1958).

If used properly, one would not have to wonder if something qualified as VINTAGE, because my VINTAGE 2001 truck would be self explanatory.

But alas, somewhere along the line, the practice of including the year was dropped, and the term has been hijacked by junk dealers, and used to make sales. The impression that I got, from my research was that the term VINTAGE generally means, "This is old and dirty, I know nothing about it, but I want you to buy it thinking it is really VALUABLE, so I will put a tag on it that says VINTAGE".

I have seen items at the local antique mall marked VINTAGE, when they still had the TJ Max sticker on them, I guess if you can't sell them as antiques, you call them VINTAGE and convince people they are worth something.

It seems that there is no official determination of how old something has to be before we can call it VINTAGE.

So, I have come up with my own definition of sorts.

For me, VINTAGE is an item or object that is old-fashioned or obsolete representing a past time or bygone era.

So, now that I have a definition I can live with, I want to show you a recent VINTAGE find.

I will also be joining
at The Coloradolady
for Vintage Thingie Thursday

Recently one of the towns in our area had a city wide garage sale weekend. What an adventure. I was just minding my business, driving home from somewhere when Diann called me, it seems she had filled up the back of her truck, and need me to com find her, so she could fill up the back of mine too.

It seemed like everyone in town was selling things. The local congregational church even had tables of stuff for sale, along with a bake sale. Who could pass up a deal like that?

We found a few odds and ends, but this one was my favorite oddity of the weekend.

It is a metal file box, the front hinges forward, for easier access to the files,

and there is a "secret" locking compartment built into the lid for additional storage.

It was sold by a company called New Process Company, founded in 1910. The company changed it's name to Blair Corporation in 1989, meaning that this box is at least that old, but wait, there's more.

It indicates that it came from "Warren, Penna". Since USPS standard two letter state abbreviations were implemented in 1963, I am guessing that this box is at least older than that.

I cannot find much other information out about it, but I did find an identical box for sale on an Etsy store and a similar box on eBay, both for around $15.

I was particularly impressed by the frugality of the previous owner. Not only are the original file folders, (also marked "Warren, Penna") inside,
but you can see where they have taped over the tabs, and used white out on them so they could be reused multiple times.

It was an interesting find, a VALUABLE VINTAGE item, and will be a fun conversation piece.

I am guessing it is VINTAGE 1955/60-ish...

Please take some time to check out what others were INSPIRED to blog about this week, at

ABC Wednesday,

and feel free to add your own blog to the list as we work our way through the alphabet.

Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.
Read all about it here


  1. inventive and fun v post.

    here is mine:

  2. I love how you can find out more and more about an object if you know where to look. Perhaps one day you will find something and discover it's a proper old antique!

    But in the end it all comes down to 'do you like it or not'?

  3. I really like your file box. I would agree with the age you put on it. Vintage, very over used! I was surprised on ETSY that they say Vintage anything over 15 yrs old?? Well they want you to be ale to sell your junk I guess. Me I think I'm approaching Antique status!!

  4. Vintage clarification! Good for you!

  5. and if you have a 16 y.o car, it's just OLD!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  6. Very informative! I once read that antique is anything at least 100 years old, but I have never heard how old something is to be vintage. Your explanation clarifies for me.

  7. I agree-vintage is seriously overused. I've always taken it to mean something newer than antique-1930s and 40s and I'm even willing to go 1950s-60s but no higher... 25 years seems silly-that would be 1985! (That's just kind of funky!)

    Great file cabinet/box! Like your detective work on the age.

  8. Great detective work! Great find!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  9. You need to meet your friend more often, if you can find vintage treasures like this. That is a very interesting and useful box.

  10. Interesting post. The comment about "old and dirty" is funny but true.

  11. Hey, that's a cool old file box! I saw a similar one at Goodwill last week and was intrigued, but I left it there. There's just something about them though, isn't there? Enjoyed your analysis of the word vintage, and I like your definition.

  12. Bravo for the definition. I guess that makes me a Vintage 1960 me. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Fun post! Loving the name "My Strong" and the secret compartment!

    Happy VTT,

  14. Loved the vintage definition.... I've always wondered just where you draw the line..is it or is it not vintage. I try my best to find out about
    whatever it is, and I'm sure I've misused the term vintage. Love that safety file box..it's a womderful piece. Happy VTT, have a lovely day..

  15. Thanks for visiting my garden blog - you asked about a bush - this is what you said:
    Troy @ I Refuse to Recede said...
    Happy Birthday!

    I have to ask...

    The yellow flowers, the bush, right above your pink... The one you have a close up of... What is that?

    It looks just like a plant I got at a plant swap this spring that I have not yet been able to identify.

    It is a variety of Artimesia. Hope that helps! Paula (buckets of Gardening Ideas)

  16. I love your old file folder, it certainly seems more practical than many of the junky ones they have on the market today. Since it's metal, I wonder- is it fire proof?

  17. Great, great post! I simply love all of the details. Great file folder box too, love that! Have a great VTT!

  18. I enjoyed your thoughts and definition of the term vintage. The filing box is a nice old thing.

  19. OK I love these finds, thanks for sharing on VTT.
    I'm now following you and would like to extend the invitation to become a FOLLOWER on my blog as well.
    Hope to see you tere,

  20. Whnever the word vintage is used the price tag doubles! lol! Thanks Troy! Dx