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Caution Optional » Blog Archive » Dinosaurs and Robots (and other hidden gems)

Okay, on the surface, this may seem like an even further departure from this blog’s charter than normal, but I assure you, it’s not. I’m often asked why I collect the things I do. The castoff and outdated traffic equipment, signs and ephemera that should by all rights be actively biodegrading, I have saved from destruction. Why? Because these items have value beyond their original purpose. They hearken back to a simpler time when quality and design were more than just advertising buzzwords but instead, were necessary qualities evident in even the most transitory and utilitarian of items. What purpose do the fins on a CH AD adjustable serve? Or the plating on the old Newark signal tower? Or the embossed Conestoga wagon on a Nebraska state route sign? They serve no quantifiable purpose other than satisfying the original designers’ sense of aesthetics.

Mister Jalopy (Hooptyrides author) shares this passion beyond the intrinsic value of discarded items. He is a Jedi Master of garage sales, a resourceful restorer of anything needing restoring and an innovative melder of the previously unmelded. He can show you the beauty in a discarded oil can or a jar full of dimestore toys from the fifties. You really need to set aside a couple of hours to go through all of the Hooptyrides entries.

HooptyTruck

Mr. Jalopy has just released an ezine (beyond his blog and in concert with BoingBoing’s Mark Frauenfelder) that touches upon some of the aforementioned topics and presenting them in a very appealing format. It’s called “Dinosaurs and Robots Dispatch” and you can find out more about it (and a link to a free download) here:

D&RDispatch

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