Monday, June 13, 2011

Old verses new

Does anyone out there having these kinds of problems? Can I share with you some observations that I have been making over the last year? I don't wish to be mean in any way, it's not my nature, but I need to speak this out today. I am very disappointed with the "new" items I have been buying lately. I know we live in a throw away society, but this is ridiculous to have this many encounters with bad products. My antiques that are 50 years old are out lasting anything I buy today. Here's a rundown of my recently issues with the "new" stuff.
First, I thought I would replace my 20 year old can opener, it costed maybe .79 cents. My new can opener was on sale for $8.99. It opened THREE cans and broke! My husband said it couldn't be repaired!

Next up, furniture! I wanted to replace our 15 years ago couch. It lasted well and still looked great, but I wanted to replace it with something new. My "new" expensive couch has plastic feet, they broke off in 3 months!!! The fabric on the couch that I paid extra for is deteriorating and rubbing off. I have never seen this before in my life. The lazy boy chair, that we don't sit in very much, I bought for 800.00 dollars has a strange deflated look on one side, as if the stuffing is totally missing out of it.  I have never seen this before either so I called about it, but as you can see it wasn't repaired.  

Freezers, yes, when buying our house, it came with a freezer that was every bit 30 years old. It was rusty and a bit ugly, but worked great. I didn't like the rust so I asked my husband if we could get a new one. We bought a freezer, got it home only to find it was already broken. So, we took it back to get another. Bad idea! We brought this one home and I have to take it back, because it's not working!
If you look closely, you can see the water coming out.

This morning, I pull out my ROWENTA  Focus Professional iron, Yes, my Christmas gift. My old black and Decker iron I brought 21 years ago for about 15.00 dollars, it still works. My 100 dollar Rowenta is pouring water out of the electric cord! I called the company and they want me to paid to have it shipped. My iron will be in a service center for 4 weeks, it's hard to sew without an iron. I don't know if I will trust that it will last. If they are using the same junk parts, how could it?

Should I go on, there is more, but you get the point! I understand that companies need to make profits to stay in business, but  I don't want to buy a new can opener every third can, or a new couch every 3 months.  I guess after this year I really believe my antiques are the clear winners here. Some of my favorite antiques are, an old coffee cup I drink from Every morning, it's given me years of dependable service.
 I have enjoyed driving this 1978 Mercedes without any problems. It's been in our family for 30 plus years.
This phone has out lasted three sets of cordless phones. It works even when the electric is out. 

Am I having bad luck or do you have these problems? Okay, I feel better, thanks for lending me your ear.  I guess in the end, I am really a vintage girl. I like old, dependable things that last. I hang onto my things and enjoy wearing them out. So I guess I'll be hunting down any items I can find at the antique store.

Here's to the antiques in your life. Enjoy them! 

Have a fab vintage day,



  1. ohh i feel your pain! it is such a bummer to buy something nice & shiny & new (and probably expensive to boot!) only to have it fall apart after a short period of time. and most stuff isn't even repairable, and if it is, it costs more to repair than to just replace it! i feel the same way about clothes... i don't even like buying new clothes anymore, because even the cheaply-made stuff is too expensive.

    i too, prefer using antiques - they are just so sturdy & well-made. worth it, in my opinion!

  2. I'm having the same problems. For example, I've gone through several apple slicer/corers.

  3. I totally agree with you! Our new sofa (one year old) already looks "worn" and thats even when we bought the one with the fabric for rough wear because we have a dog ... And have you noticed how new clothes fade in color remarkably faster than vintage clothes?

  4. You are definitely not alone- we have noticed the same thing.
    The first thing we noticed, was that if it says 'made in China' chances are it will not last.
    Made in America, or South America or Europe is usually better BUT they have a tendency to use cheap parts- meaning even those things wont last very long :(
    Our house is full of antiques, and we talk about buying an antique couch to replace the one we have, or maybe antique wing chairs. Neither of us like the idea of buying new things because they just seem to fall apart. It is such a shame!

  5. I think your thinking what a ton of us do!

    In seven years, 2 new fridges, 2 new microwave vent a hoods. All managed to go out just after the warranty was up ya know. Is that ridiculous or what. We totally agree the older stuff lasted and the new stuff is junk. A new riding lawn mower that has had everything from the engine to just about every other part on it replaced, not overstating that.. not much original left on it. Thank heaven bought the extended warranty on it this all happened with the first three years and luckily the warranty did the work. But holy cow...

    Most of my furniture is all very old pieces that I have redone. I agree the newer stuff sure isn't made very well.

    We have the worst luck with computers of anyone I know. Yep seems stuff just simply isn't made to last at all! :O(

  6. I can give you a really good example of old stuff being better. My Mom was married in 1919 and at that time received a Universal waffle iron which I still have and can still use with the original cord believe it or not. All the waffle irons I had before inheriting this one are long gone as junk. When we moved to Alaska we sold our couch and chairs and bought new when getting the house built. One chair and a leather love seat are fine 10 years later but the other chair is totally worn looking with and needs recovering. Can openers are junk today. I read all the reviews and found one on Amazon an electric West Bend but I'm not thrilled with it as it's hard to get the can started on there. Yeah we have a disposable society, so sad for the environment isn't it.

  7. Yes, I have had this problem, too. Washing machines bought in the 80's that lasted 25 years; new washers that last 5 or 6 years if you are lucky, dishwashers the same way. I have had to throw away can openers and toasters that barely worked at all, even when new. It is exasperating. Probably if we bought things that were made the old-fashioned way, though, we couldn't afford them.

  8. Gina,

    No, you are not alone with this problem. The older items I have seem to out-last the new products. It's very annoying, indeed! It seems like the new things are made with cheap plastics, which don't last long. I hate to say this, but I suspect cheap labor is behind all these irritating issues. :(


    -L. Rose

    P.S. By the way, nice blue Mercedes. :)

  9. I love my 1959 Sunbeam toaster, that my parents got as a wedding gift. It's had one cord replacement, and still makes great toast.
    One thing I do have to say in favor of newer appliances, though. They are usually more energy efficient.

  10. I don't have a lot of antiques in my life, but I get what you are saying. My grandparents recently had to buy a new fridge (they still had their original one from the 50s!) And nothing will ever replace the one they had, it had lazy susan shelves that could actually be pulled out of the fridge so you never had to worry about not being able to reach for things in the back corner. And, it lasted over 50 years. I don't think there is an appliance today that could last that long. We should be progressing, rather that going backwards.

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  12. Well, I guess I am not the only one! I just sent my iron back today. We will see. I really enjoyed reading your stories of old verses new.

  13. Just discovered your blog via The Girl with the Starspangled Heart. I could not agree more about "antiques" versus new. When my husband and I got married, his dear grandmother had just had to move in with his mom and her fully furnished apartment was empty. No one else in the family needed/wanted to live there, so we moved in and thus acquired a whole house of old stuff, from can openers to couches to towels from her 1936 wedding trousseau. They all worked and still work better than anything we could have bought today. Same thing with appliances - my parents had the same washer and dryer for 40 years, I have been through two of each in the past decade. Argh!