Monday, February 23, 2009

Coveting the 1920's Kitsch

Our generation does not have a corner on useless, kitschy are a few lovely and ridiculous items sold by Lewis & Conger in the May 18, 1929 New Yorker:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...the ONE-LEGGED TABLE!

The One-Legged Table fits across the arms of your chair or settles comfortably down on your lap. One side of the top is padded soft--for cards. The other side is hard--for writing or what you will. Ours is finished in currant red. Also comes in apple green.
Red or green, I can't understand what advantage a ONE-legged table has over a FOUR-legged table, except that it falls over when you stand up.

And for those who love talking vegetables:

"GOSH! my figure absolutely ruined!" groaned the asparagus as it limply broke upon being fished out of a pot. Such tragedies simply don't happen if you use an Asparagus Boiler.
I have to admit that I don't own one of these myself.

And finally, for the parents who wish they'd given birth to a Picasso painting:

Step-Pup boosts the youngsters up to the wash basin. His puppy face forms one end, his jaunty tail the handle. He's painted pink and has oilcloth around his middle.
Got that? You can't just picture that object sitting on the bathroom have to picture it in PINK.

This stuff is far worse than the long-distance grabbers and toilet-paper coseys *I* grew up coveting.


Andrea said...

HAHA as if you just brought up long distance grabbers! my mom had about 8 of these, in various different forms. she thought she was hi-LAR-ious!

i do believe i died of embarrassment an average of about 8 times a day.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I do think that we have an Asparagus Boiler somewhere. The one legged table escapes me though, in either red or green.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with showing some inventive initiative, if not actual design talent?

There are some folks who need grabbers and the like. And show me a self-respecting asparagus who wouldn't like to keep his/her shape?

But seriously, ads for invention companies are big in the New York radio market ("Do you wish to safeguard your patent and submit your invention to industry?...).

The one-legged table might not be such a bad idea - maybe good for a laptop? More support than just a lap table (just don’t forget there’s a leg there to trip over!).

At least, these days, those not-such-a-great-idea products can be consigned to 99-cent stores, closeout centers, and those "As Seen On TV" stores and late-night marketing shows.