One of the most appealing aspects of an atomic-age obsession is the constant discovery of little things. A matchbook here, a clock there, and everything in between. Sure, my home is adorned with mid-century accouterments, but what am I to do once I step out of the Belvedere and into the real world? Easy. I just walk over to my well-worn oak table and scoop up my daily essentials.
No. 1 - Field Notes - 2013
“Is that notebook from the 1960s?” the city editor said as I drew the battered yellow book from my front pocket. I looked at him and smiled.
That’s the appeal of Field Notes. They’re painfully classic — exactly how an everyday pocket notebook should be. Exclusively using Futura bold typeface — a la Wes Anderson, Vampire Weekend et al. — these 24 double sided pages can be lined, graph or polar bear-in-a-snowstorm blank. For some strange reason, I tend to use the graph motif for all my journalism work. Throwing my Field Notes into my back pocket has become second nature, and they follow me wherever I go. Taking notes with pen and paper trumps finger and LCD screen every time in my book, however small that book may be.
Field Notes brand is based out of Chicago, and they are available in packs of three. Some are basic, some are waterproof, some are colorful and some aren’t. But all notebooks are $9.95 for a three pack. And let me tell you this, as a person who uses these every day, it takes a long time to fill one of these little books. When they are finally filled out, they make for great mementos, ultimately giving you a chance to look back on a chapter of your life.
Still interested? Check ‘em out at Fieldnotesbrand.com
No. 2 – GG-W-113 Watch – 1969
I picked up this lightweight, “throwaway-style” watch back in August, realizing that I needed a timepiece other than my iPhone 4. After discussing watches with some of my colleagues, I scoured the Internet and came across this gem. It’s a full manual wind with a metal backing and plastic face. The font — Futura. Although it’s not waterproof, this nylon-banded timepiece holds up well for being manufactured in July 1969. I do not, however, recommend jumping through windows wearing this watch, because that sort of sporadic movement can scratch the face (both yours and that of the watch.)
Lucky for me, my GG-W-113 came from New Jersey at a pretty fair price, ticking and ready to be worn. If you’re into this sort of timepiece, shop around before pulling the trigger. You’ll be happy you did.
No. 3 – Fendall Glasses, c. late 1950s
Usually I’m a big advocate of my Tortoise Ray-Ban Wayfarers — but everyone knows their story. So here’s a little something different. I bought these things new and in original plastic packaging. Because they’re actually safety glasses, they’re heavy plastic with metal sides and shatterproof. But with their horn-rimmed design and great stamping detail, they’re one of my favorite pairs of glasses. And due to their rugged design, they’re DOT legal for motorcycling.
I dug this particular pair out of a toolbox at an estate sale somewhere in the Detroit suburbs, but they’re available multiple places online.
So there you have it, my daily mid-century accouterments. Like I say, with this hobby, the fun is in the details.