Have you ever heard a parent or grandparent say “They just don’t make em’ like that anymore.”  Well I have and it’s true! Here are some items that are actually better than the modern versions in my humble opinion:

Frying pans. Sure the new Teflon coated ones are great for awhile, but they get easily dinged up, scratched, and lose their non-stick coating after a few high heat recipes. The old cast iron skillets will last a life-time. Once you prepare them for use by coating with a little vegetable oil and season them well, they are good to go virtually forever!

House fans. They used to be made with metal blades and housing that was virtually indestructible! The ones that I see now are the cheap plastic variety. One slip off the counter or table and it’s more garbage in the landfills!

Vintage furniture. Older furniture is generally constructed with quality wood  and expert craftsmanship. If you stroll through the furniture isle at Wal-mart, take a closer look at that neat futon, entertainment center, or nightstand. You will notice how cheaply made the items are, mostly constructed with particle board and other cheap materials. Buy something vintage for a bargain and refinish the piece yourself. You will likely have an item that will not only last forever, but will be your very own one of a kind creation!

How about a writing pen? The old-fashioned  fountain pen was built to last and be refilled. The modern ballpoint pen is generally made to be disposable!

Doors: Many modern doors consist of a molded vinyl skin on a particle board and MDF core. Back in the day, this would have been a solid wood 6-panel door with mortise and tenon construction.

Hand tools: Pre-1975 tools were built to last. Newer cheaply made versions must be replaced. An example would be a common framing square. The older version was likely made out of machined aluminum. New modern varieties are breakable plastic.

Jewelry: Vintage jewelry has great appeal to me! With the exception of cheap costume jewelry, vintage pieces can be cleaned and shined up and offer a beautiful classic style. I don’t know if it’s the process of melting the precious metals or what exactly it is, but my new jewelry (rings especially) seem to bend and break more easily.

Telephones: Have you ever seen an old-fashioned phone? They are built like tanks! You also need not worry when the power goes out. In our home, we have gone through about 6 phones in 10 years!

Lumber: Many people assume that newer wood is better than older wood. This is not always the case. Purchasing reclaimed lumber is often a higher quality than the new wood found in stores. Often much harder on the Janka hardness scale.

Next time you are attending a local auction, thrift store, or rummage sale, why not keep your eyes open for some quality items from the past?

What do you think, do you own older items that function better than new?

6 responses

  1. We have an old house fan, typewriter, adding machine, waffle iron, and many more old, quality items. They are substantial, and I bet ALL were made in the USA!! You can’t find anything today that isn’t made in China or somewhere in Asia.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i will take any thing pre 75,i myself love my cast iron cookware i just have to make sure i do not drop it on my foot (ouch)!

  3. slowborg says:

    I agree! I have an old handbeater of my mother’s that is at LEAST 25 years old because I don’t remember her not having it. It goes and goes and goes and never lets me down, whereas everything I’ve bought in my lifetime has had to be replaced. Everything.