Monday, 14 May 2012

Wooden. Duo

Finally, within the hall, in a narrow space between the door architraves nestles another inherited piece – the barometer from my grand parents house. This was positioned in a similar place in their house, although it wasn't a conscious decision to imitate its placement.
In contrast on the opposite wall is a pinball table; I’m particularly partial to the cowgirl-themed design; we weren’t responsible for dismantling an entire pinball machine, there were a pile of these being sold in a junkyard, and regrettably we only bought one. The painted woodwork is in really good condition, considering they were in a shed, although the metal casing is a little rusty.


  1. I like the way the shape of the barometer is echoed by the curved top edge of the pinball machine. The barometer is a beautiful piece, and reflects a particular era, when most people had one in their hallways. Makes me feel nostalgic, as I found them such fascinating objects when visiting my grandparents' houses. I don't think we would find many that grace a hallway these days, so somehow comforting to know that you have one.
    Ace cowgirls on the pinball machine, and as you have it hung on the wall, I read it as a three-dimensional print. I wonder where it came from originally, and also, what were the themes of the other junkyard pinball machines up for grabs?

  2. Because my Mum grew up with the barometer, whenever she visits, she automatically taps it to get a reading - I have never got into the habit, and so it just sits on the wall – largely for nostalgic reasons – but I do find it a pleasing object.
    The junkyard where we found the pinball was near to the East Coast, so I suspect that they could have come from the seaside arcades. I can’t remember the other themes, but we have since bought another one, it is not quite as nice so it is on an upstairs wall.
    I quite like the fact that by putting them on the wall it totally changes the context of the object.

  3. Arcades, oh yes, especially on the seaside. They all seemed such magical places full of excitement, colour and lights. I found these wonderful nostalgic view on the Pathe archive. It really bring alive the feeling and atmosphere of a past generation. Great graphics too.
    I'd forgotten about the Penny Falls machines - I remember being completely mesmerised by them!
    Various shots of the colourful pinball and other machines inside a large amusement arcade - different machines in play with shots of the people playing. Montage of flashing neon signs advertising the amusement arcades at night.
    GV. Exterior of the Crystal Rooms Amusement Arcade in Leicester Square, London. Various shots inside the arcade. People playing various machines, pin tables, car racing, etc.

    Looking at your pinball machine, it comes across how animated the figures and colours work, to make your eyes scan the scene from side to side then up and down - a whole kinetic experience - even without it actually working!

  4. Great films - but looking incredibly dated when you consider todays technology in terms of arcades - we were easily pleased with the Penny Falls, I loved those too! however absolutely fantastic graphics - particularly the pinball machines, and it is really evident from the styling which decade they belong to. The cowgirls that we have is probably late 50s/60s - but the other one upstairs is later - 70s. We did own a 1950s American Baseball themed pinball machine many years ago - I worked with someone who had a friend who renovated pinballs and juke boxes, I bought it for D as a Christmas present, and we spent all Christmas with friends playing it for free! However as usual a house move forced the sale of it - we sold it to a friend who still owns it, perhaps we should buy it back!

  5. Due to there being a lot less choice, back then, and that new technology wasn't moving at such a speedy pace - it seems a lot more 'innocent' fun - rather than the hard selling market, drawing on the addictive nature of our contemporary culture. I know it's easy to look backwards fondly, and be selective on the 'good old days,' but in terms of social engagement, it looks a lot more interactive in some senses!
    The pinball machine present sounds like a blast, I bet that was such an 'ace' Christmas!
    I am really interested to see your 70's one later on, as a comparison.

  6. I agree that it looks more 'interactive' - which I guess could sound slightly ironic, but the good old days definitely win on styling... yes other pinball to follow later in the tour.


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