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
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
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.