Hm… ping pong ball place holders…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s weather will feature perfect tiny spheres of wetness, wraith-like grey gusts, grassy moistness underfoot, and occasional pale discs visible in the sky.

Now, where are those really useless items?… I remember folding the corners of the pages over, it’s called ‘dog-earing’ them I believe… Yes, I have taken that old junk shop book The 1954 Gadgets Annual, a rather drab red hardback with a cream spine, down from the shelf again. Here is a picture of the title page; good old W. N. Shaw!…

DSCN3900This was only nine years after the end of WWII, and from what I’ve heard, times were hard – people didn’t chuck stuff away like we do now, they looked after things and mended them when they went wrong. They were keen on saving what money they had, and making useful items for the home themselves. Let’s flick through these fascination pages and look what ideas are on offer:
A Novel Pencil Sharpener; Repairing Cracked Linoleum; How to Strengthen Paper Tubes; Loose Fit Canvas for Deck Chairs; A Novel Tool Holder; A Use For Old Keys; Cure That Noisy Latch!; Midget Chisels for Modellers… Great!… But today, lets’ look at:

WP DSCN3903‘Damn! Damn! Damn and blast!…’
‘Albert!… Language!…’
‘Sorry Madge, but I just nipped the end of my thumb with this bloody knife.’
‘No dear, the knife, it is bloody.’
‘Hm… Anyway, what is it that you are messing about with? I hope you are not scratching the top of the dining table!’
‘I saw it in this week’s Gadgets Magazine, you can make attractive table-place holders from rubber balls with a slit in them…’
‘Yes, and for party use it suggests ordinary table tennis balls, which can be later painted in gay colours with cellulose lacquer…’
‘Look Albert, let me get a bandage for your thumb – and how about a cup of tea?’
‘Oh, that would be nice… Now, where did I put my pipe and tobacco?… We don’t really throw many parties, do we Madge?…’
‘No, not that we’d require place markers for anyway… Rhubarb crumble?’
‘Oh, yes please my dear…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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2 Responses to Hm… ping pong ball place holders…

  1. julie harms says:

    Interesting ideas…it’s the old version of DIY. With today’s DIY projects, you always need to go back to the shop to get those plastic spoons to make that vintage- like chandelier or those empty containers you can make light fixtures from…They’re almost like those elaborate recipes in women’s magazines. You always miss one or two of the ingredients and have to go back to the shop…

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Most of the things in the book seem like good ideas, but would be very difficult and time consuming to make, and would be pretty damn useless when they are finished…
      Thank you JH!…

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