Should we have snapped this up?

One thing we didn't buy at Kim's Kollectibles in Madoc, though I was sorely tempted. Do you recognize it? It's a telephone table, and when I was growing up in Queensborough many households had them. Phone (rotary-dial) on little table; attached chair, just for you when you're having your phone conversations; and a lamp so you can see to write down the jellied-salad recipe your fellow housewife is giving you over the phone!

I was sorely tempted to buy this last weekend, but in the end didn’t. Do you recognize it? It’s a telephone table, and when I was growing up in Queensborough many households had them. Phone (rotary-dial) on little table; attached chair, just for you when you’re having your phone conversations; and a lamp so you can see to write down the jellied-salad recipe your fellow housewife is giving you over the phone!

Yesterday I wrote about the wonderful day Raymond and I had this past Saturday, poking around the Queensborough/Madoc/Tweed area under brilliant warm sunshine. One fun part of the day was visiting the little antiques-and-collectibles emporium called Kim’s Kollectibles, on St. Lawrence St. W. in downtown Madoc; owner Kim Deline was having a sale, and we found some good stuff at a good price.

But there was one thing we didn’t buy – and I am wondering if I will be kicking myself for passing it up. It’s the telephone table you see at the top of this post, and if that doesn’t take you back, then you never lived in the Queensborough/Madoc/Tweed area (and many other parts of North America, I am sure) in the mid-1960s. I swear pretty much every household had one of these convenient all-in-one units.

The nostalgia! The design! The patterned vinyl seat covering! And all for only $20 – what a bargain!

What stopped me? Well, nostalgia is all well and good; but I couldn’t quite imagine actually placing that throwback piece of furniture in the Manse. Let alone using it.

12 thoughts on “Should we have snapped this up?

  1. A ghastly blight of 50’s kitsch. I cringe when I see this. The wonderful art deco era of the 30’s was halted by the needs of WW11 and the hiatus was followed by a design wasteland. So much wonderful architecture and interior design was ruined by the rush to “modernize” after the war.

    • Now now now, Gordon; I see (and know) where you’re coming from, and in many ways sympathize; but I do (as I’m sure you know from previous posts here) have a great affection for midcentury (i.e. postwar) design: Scandinavian-style coffee tables, for instance! But I really had to draw the line at that telephone-table unit.

  2. How amusing to see my kids, when presented with a rotary phone, having NO IDEA how to use it…! When we moved into the Old Railway Station in Queensborough (the Gordon Home!) in 2008, there were 2 rotary phones left at the house – we still have them – and they still work!, Would you like one?

    • That’s too funny about your kids and the rotary phone, Sally – and makes me feel old! It’s so kind of you to offer one up, but in fact I actually have one, and it’s (ta-da!) red. I like to say it’s the hot line – you know, when I need to get Khrushchev on the blower in a hurry. Haven’t actually used it in years, but I was thinking of taking it to the Manse. We haven’t got a phone line there yet; I am hoping that the 473-number we had when I was growing up there might actually be available, and that Bell will let me have it. Hey, hope to meet you in person in Queensborough sometime soon!

  3. How very 50s it looks! Not really comfortable, though, when you could be sitting anywhere with your cordless or cell phone 😉

    Sally Gale, how true! I was recently in an antique store with my daughter and grandson, and there was a fancy dial phone for sale. He was totally fascinated, once he knew what it was, and tried dialing every number he knew.

    • That is the sweetest thing I’ve heard all day, Sandra: I can just picture your grandson dialing up the numbers and waiting as the dial slowly, slowly returns to its place after each digit. Those zeros and nines were killers!

  4. I would much prefer to see a telephone table such as the one in Memere L’Heureux’s home when we were kids. It was dark wood, missionstyle furniture (no lamp attached) but with a bottom shelf for the phone book!-

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