Things you rarely see these days.

Order yourself a latte, and a pastry (The virtual cinnamon buns are excellent today). And have a nice chat.

Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Gruney » January 7th, 2020, 6:19 pm

I was just nodding off in the chair, and thought about antimacassars. Do people still use them? There must be loads of things that have disappeared from common use.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Suelle » January 7th, 2020, 6:21 pm

Such as Macassar! ;)
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Busybee » January 7th, 2020, 6:23 pm

Not seen them since my Grans demise 24 years ago.

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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Gruney » January 7th, 2020, 6:23 pm

Wahey! Bdum tish. :D
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Pepper Pig » January 7th, 2020, 6:24 pm

I thought antimacassars died off after the demise of Brylcreem.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby suffolk » January 7th, 2020, 6:29 pm

I blame G Plan :rolleyes:
Ever tried keeping an antimacassar in place on the back of a leather armchair ? :lol:
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Pepper Pig » January 7th, 2020, 6:32 pm

Fish knives and forks.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby StokeySue » January 7th, 2020, 8:24 pm

I remember the highest level of antimacassar deployment - accompanied by matching covers for the ends of the arm rests
There was usually a nice Canterbury (magazine rack) nearby, often full of knitting patterns :D
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby PatsyMFagan » January 7th, 2020, 8:36 pm

StokeySue wrote:I remember the highest level of antimacassar deployment - accompanied by matching covers for the ends of the arm rests
There was usually a nice Canterbury (magazine rack) nearby, often full of knitting patterns :D


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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Grasshopper » January 7th, 2020, 8:56 pm

We used to have a magazine rack too. It used to be inhabited by the daily papers.
Nowadays papers either go into the recycling bins, are used to light the fire, or for cleaning up the occasional mess made by the mogs.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby earthmaiden » January 7th, 2020, 9:00 pm

Even my mother thought they were antiquated. We had Ercol chairs. That said, I had a sofa and armchair from M&S with loose covers around 20 years ago and they came with removable covers for the arms in the same material. They really did stop the arms from wear and grime. I would love them on the sofas I have now (a throw has to suffice when visitors aren't around!).
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby scullion » January 7th, 2020, 9:29 pm

Pepper Pig wrote:Fish knives and forks.

I have a set - the forks are useful as forks and the knives get used as spreaders for butter etc when I can’t be arsed to pick out the appropriate knife. I also have a set of fish servers - which get used as cake servers.
Wouldn’t dream of using them on fish - bleugh!
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Pepper Pig » January 7th, 2020, 9:35 pm

We have two sets, also some bloody enormous fish servers. He inherited them, I suspect because his sister didn’t want them. They are horrible. I keep waiting for them to become fashionable on Bargain Hunt or something.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby StokeySue » January 7th, 2020, 9:38 pm

I have a French set of cutlery. I thought the cake forks were a bit odd, then discovered they are actually oyster forks.

Not sure if they are outdated or merely niche.

Actually just realised it’s a long time since I walked into anyone’s house and saw an ashtray put out
I have a heap in the attic.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Pepper Pig » January 7th, 2020, 9:46 pm

Oh Lord. Us too. And neither of us ever smoked! :lol:
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby scullion » January 7th, 2020, 9:54 pm

I’ve never owned an ashtray!
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby scullion » January 7th, 2020, 9:56 pm

Er- a muff.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby StokeySue » January 7th, 2020, 10:04 pm

scullion wrote:Er- a muff.

There was for some reason a fash ion for them as First Communion accessories in the 90#s. Not seen one since. Also a bit niche.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Suelle » January 7th, 2020, 10:07 pm

I still have a magazine rack - it's a design feature of a 1950's Danish retro coffee table bought at an Antique Fair. I keep the Radio Times and the local information magazines in it.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Busybee » January 7th, 2020, 10:22 pm

We still have the inherited Canterbury - I hate it with a passion! But OH guards it when I’m on a de-cluttering session, it was his mother’s. As were the silver cutlery sets (which I did manage to get to the sale rooms). It certainly does not spark joy!

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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby aero280 » January 7th, 2020, 10:27 pm

We have a set of brass fire irons - and a coal scuttle. I think the fire was last lit about 40 years ago...

The things that become obsolete fastest are electronics and computers - floppy discs - dot matrix printers - cathode ray monitors (and TVs) - VHS and betamax - audio cassettes - etc. CD/DVD are on the way out now.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Seatallan » January 8th, 2020, 1:40 pm

Coffee percolators (the sort that made lots of gurgling and whooshing noises before producing a small amount of coffee hours later :) ). And soda siphons. :D
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby earthmaiden » January 8th, 2020, 2:32 pm

I've got a good many of the things mentioned. My mother's grapefruit knife seems to be a talking point these days but seemed perfectly normal when I was growing up.

Tin openers - the blade sort where you hack round the tin - are a rarity these days. My grandmother's even more so as it just has a blade without a guide attached, the handle is in the shape of a fish. A real museum piece!
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Rainbow » January 8th, 2020, 10:19 pm

Seatallan wrote:And soda siphons.

They're popular again these days - at least they are over here!
There was a thread on the other forum about the 'Sodastream' about a year ago and a few people had recently bought them!
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby earthmaiden » January 8th, 2020, 10:29 pm

Sodastreams are quite popular here - especially to make fizzy water.
I haven't seen a soda syphon in a while though, my grandmother had one and made the most heavenly ice cream sodas from it :chops:.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Herbidacious » January 8th, 2020, 10:43 pm

earthmaiden wrote:Even my mother thought they were antiquated. We had Ercol chairs. That said, I had a sofa and armchair from M&S with loose covers around 20 years ago and they came with removable covers for the arms in the same material. They really did stop the arms from wear and grime. I would love them on the sofas I have now (a throw has to suffice when visitors aren't around!).


Our three year old Multiyork settees have those loose bits for the arms.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Herbidacious » January 8th, 2020, 10:50 pm

We have a soda syphon somewhere too. Foolishly bought quite a while back, thinking we could substitute it for bought sparkling water. Our Sodastream does the job well, however.
I gather some of the yoof of today inhale the cartridges to get a high - one sees piles of empties on the street sometimes in London.

I am not sure what a coffee percolator is. Googling doesn't give me a definitive answer.

I could be vulgar here and say white dog poo... :? But I won't.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby StokeySue » January 8th, 2020, 11:05 pm

A coffee percolator is coffee pot, stove top or electrical, that has inside a metal filter basket on a hollow stem. The coffee is held in the basket, as the water heats from the base the water is pushed up the stem to the top of the basket and trickles (percolates) down through the coffee

Here’s a picture of one with the basket beside it, we had one very much like this ca 1960

https://www.etsy.com/listing/667740584/comet-2-cup-aluminum-coffee-percolator?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share&utm_term=so.lp.d2.v1&share_time=1549675903000
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby KC2 » January 9th, 2020, 4:26 pm

Herbidacious wrote:
earthmaiden wrote:Even my mother thought they were antiquated. We had Ercol chairs. That said, I had a sofa and armchair from M&S with loose covers around 20 years ago and they came with removable covers for the arms in the same material. They really did stop the arms from wear and grime. I would love them on the sofas I have now (a throw has to suffice when visitors aren't around!).


Our three year old Multiyork settees have those loose bits for the arms.


Our sofa has them and the difference in colour between the covered bit of the arm and the rest of it is striking! We wished we had them made when we re-covered a wing chair about 20 years ago as the arms are completely gone now and also grimy. The rest of the upholstery is perfect, and needless to say we haven't managed to find a fabric we like as much, not to mention then actually getting it done, and how much it will cost. So we regularly have the conversation about if only we'd had antimacassars .... :lol: :lol:

I remember the Russell and Hobbs coffee percolator!
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby StokeySue » January 9th, 2020, 5:44 pm

I think there's a bit of a difference between the wear protectors made of the same fabric as the cover and what I was thinking of, the pretty-pretty embroidered or lace trimmed matching antimacassar and arm rest cover sets I remember my great aunt Mabel making and using. You could buy them at the combined haberdasher and corsetiere in Upper Street Islington until about 1980 - when the prices were still displayed in £sd.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby earthmaiden » January 9th, 2020, 6:32 pm

Quite so Sue. I was a bit shocked when the nice matching ones came, it seemed so 'done' not to have anything (being sensible is another matter). Even my grandparents didn't have the sort you mention, though MIL did. Now they seem so sensible maybe they'll make a comeback! I think the sort of shops that sell bedding and net curtains still have them. There is a fabulous old-fashioned shop in Devizes which is filled with that kind of thing, everything really sensible too!
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby scullion » January 9th, 2020, 8:10 pm



we had one of those - how to ruin good coffee - although i seem to remember that the tin of lyons ground coffee we had, up on the shelf, said it was with added chicory so maybe it was already ruined. this may have been a tin from the early fifties and refilled.
the coffee the percolator produced was always 'overcooked' and a little bitter - which was a good lesson that you should never boil coffee.
i chose not to inherit the percolator, it probably went to a charity shop.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby StokeySue » January 9th, 2020, 8:23 pm

I suspect that the bitterness of percolated coffee may have explained the 50s and 60s obsession with serving coffee with large amounts of hot milk. Or cream

Yes, always Lyons coffee, green tin I think if just coffee, blue with chicory?
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby mum-at-the-oven » January 11th, 2020, 9:00 pm

I have a tomato knife and a grapefruit knife and anyone who has seen them in the cutlery drawer don’t know what they are for, even my dear Mum thought I had managed to bend a knife in the drawer. I never use them but they are still there :oops:
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby StokeySue » January 11th, 2020, 9:53 pm

:wave: mato

I have both those.
As I have lived in this flat 20 years today, and they were far from new when they came here, I assume they are at least 30 years old. Once in a blue moon I decided to buy and prep a pink grapefruit, other than that they are in retirement
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Herbidacious » January 11th, 2020, 10:59 pm

As mentioned on the other thread, clocks in shops and pubs etc. Not been around for well over a decade though.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby KC2 » January 11th, 2020, 10:59 pm

mum-at-the-oven wrote:I have a tomato knife and a grapefruit knife


I used to have a grapefruit knife but what's a tomato knife?
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Herbidacious » January 11th, 2020, 11:20 pm

Ihave a tomato knife. It's not old. Ab=nd very good it is too.

My mother had a grapefruit spoon. (One side serrated.)
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Herbidacious » January 11th, 2020, 11:20 pm

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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby aero280 » January 11th, 2020, 11:24 pm

My mother had a tomato slicer. It was really a frame with a few hacksaw blades!! :)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tomato-Slice ... 2631950305
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby scullion » January 12th, 2020, 1:57 am

my mother had one of those as do i - and we both had/have an egg slicer.
i also own two cheese slicers - one that i bought years ago and one, inherited, which was bought in scandinavia when i was two or three.
i haven't seen a butter curler since leaving 'home'.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby liketocook » January 12th, 2020, 10:55 am

I have and egg slicer, cheese wire and tomato knives. The slicer and wire I've had for many years but the knives are recent purchases. I used to have a butter curler but the kids either have it or it's disappeared.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby StokeySue » January 12th, 2020, 11:32 am

My tomato knife is a bit different to Herbi’s, it’s this one
https://www.nisbets.co.uk/victorinox-tomato-knife-red-110mm/c984?vatToggle=incvat&gclid=1&gclid=CjwKCAiApOvwBRBUEiwAcZGdGMww0cHxkCIOH_kTXhZh4u3MuIPR1AMYmqpiGEK5-wZ8LnziECP43RoC05QQAvD_BwE&cm_mmc=PLA-_-1665275005-_-63901012026-_-C984&cm_mmca1=go_1665275005_63901012026_321523756465_pla-854364040761_c_

I think it’s an admission of how poor British kitchen equipment used to be, we just assumed that an all purpose knife with a straight blade would never be sharp enough to cut tomato skin. :rolleyes: but my knife is really redundant since I got an electric knife sharpener, any knife will slice a tomato with a lot less effort than sawing away with a serrated blade. Good for taking on picnics though.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby scullion » January 12th, 2020, 11:50 am

my cheese slicers are this type rather than wires (and the old one is a little more ornate).
i have always kept my knives razor sharp - you are more likely to cut yourself with a blunt knife/scalpel.
i didn't know there were such things as dedicated tomato knives
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby earthmaiden » January 12th, 2020, 1:23 pm

Ex OH had an egg slicer when I moved in with him in the '70s. He had never seen an egg sandwich made with mashed egg and salad cream and I had never seen one made just with sliced eggs. I don't think I have ever had any desire to slice an egg.

Tomato knives are new to me too, especially the odd shaped one.What do you do with it? My grandmother always removed all the skin and seeds before serving tomatoes.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Seatallan » January 12th, 2020, 2:10 pm

I used to enjoy playing my mother's egg slicer (in the manner of a harp). It was rather tuneful... :D
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby Pepper Pig » January 12th, 2020, 2:40 pm

We inherited one of these which I used for a few years. I’d have kept it if I’d known what in might fetch.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/192884783232
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby scullion » January 12th, 2020, 3:01 pm

i have one of these cream makers - makes a good bookend.
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby earthmaiden » January 12th, 2020, 3:47 pm

How do cream makers work?
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Re: Things you rarely see these days.

Postby StokeySue » January 12th, 2020, 3:56 pm

They emulsify butter and milk together to give you the cream

Given the current price of butter, I’ll stick to buying cream.
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