The other day, we stopped at a local Goodwill. As always, I’m on the hunt for some good vintage duds—harder and harder to find, but they do pop up from time to time!—and fun things for the home (and, yes, Jell-o molds). No Jell-o molds today, but there were two goodies I was quite happy to bring home:
The chalkware rooster is probably my favourite of the pair, just because he’s chalkware. Our city still ill-advisedly and ignorantly bans hens, but I don’t think they can do much about this handsome fellow!
Of course, unless we had several acres, I don’t think I’d want a real rooster either—cruelty to one’s neighbors is unfailingly a bad idea—but this one is guaranteed to make no noise. As you can see, he even came with his (somewhat amusing) original packaging:
The gift of the CENTURY!
Well, I like my new rooster, but am pretty sure I wouldn’t go that far (a ’57 Fairlane Skyliner? Now, that would be a good start on the “gift of the century”!). Hubby keeps teasing me, asking if I’m actually going to hang the rooster up or leave him in the box. For now, everything is fine just as it is! I quickly looked up Century Products, but there doesn’t seem to be much about the Phoenix company.
And the price for such mid-century fun? Just fifty cents!
My other find is this rather abused but still nice old rosewood Kromex serving tray. I’ll have to think about it, but can almost certainly improve its appearance with a good polish. Someone cut right through one of the chrome handles, but at least it’s still intact, and the damage isn’t terribly noticeable. Besides, if I’m approaching you with this tray and it’s full of cocktails, are you going to notice a knife-thin cut? I doubt it!
According to Mid2Mod, Kromex was actually a division of Alcoa Aluminum, and started producing things like my rosewood tray in 1957.
Products included canister sets, salt and pepper sets, coffee and tea services, drinking glasses, spice sets, ice buckets, cake servers and trays of all sizes. Although very popular, the items were produced for a very short time.
At the time Kromex was manufactured, Alcoa was already primarily an industrial firm. In the early 1960s the company was purchased by Reynolds Aluminum, who phased out production of items for household use and concentrated on industrial production.
You can a cute ad featuring Kromex here—apparently they, too, had a high opinion of their product, just like Century. A Cleveland company, Kromex made its products out of surplus aluminum and brass shell casings. What a shame they stopped making these cute things! I’ve always liked their canister sets—so clean-looking, and no doubt they add real sparkle to a kitchen. One of these days I’ll find a set loudly calling my name!
The enormous price tag for this goodie? Only two dollars! I don’t know or really care if this is “worth” anything; it’s a great piece, even in its rough condition, and for two bucks…well, who amongst us could have walked away?
Have a great weekend, reader—and if you do intend to go out on St. Patrick’s, please be careful, whether you’re imbibing or not.