Article contributed by Meaghan Rodel. Meaghan volunteers at the ReStore, leads the affiliate’s social media efforts, and assists with public relations content.
I am always amazed by the generosity of the community and by seeing what people donate to the ReStore. Everything from a few books and housewares to a complete apartments’ worth of furniture make their way through our doors to find new homes. And to help us build homes for others. But it’s the more unusual items that fascinate me.
This is one of my favorites:
It’s one of the earliest examples of a mixed media unit – the Motorola Golden View Television (Model VF102M) circa late 1940’s. It is a beautiful piece, all dark wood and aged brass fixtures. It needed a little work, nothing major but it is almost 60 years old and there was a little wear. But what fascinates me the most about it is how it represents the technology of the era. Here’s the text from the 1948 original print ad:
6 in 1
TELEVISION on a big screen
AUTOMATIC PHONOGRAPH for new “Long Playing” records
AUTOMATIC PHONOGRAPH for student records
FM RADIO (Frequency Modulation)
AM RADIO (Standard Broadcast)
ROOMY RECORD STORAGE SPACE
The “big screen” Television is 9”. “Long Playing” records are 33’s. “Student Records” are 45’s. Having any of these things in your home in the late 1940’s may have been becoming the norm by this time, but having a piece that included them all, plus the radio and the record storage, would have been impressive.
It’s not just the piece itself that makes it worth mentioning. It’s the connection to a local family that makes it truly special, this glimpse into their family life. The original paper work was donated with the piece. That and the condition of the piece itself, shows the pride that the owner must have felt for being able to take it home to his family.
I was working on the day it was sold and had the rare opportunity to speak with the woman who donated it and the woman who purchased it. Two things these women said stuck with me.
Ruth H. could have taken this anywhere, and probably gotten a good price if she tried to sell it. The reason she chose to donate it to us is humbling. “It was bought by my grandfather in 1949. When we found it this January, we knew someone would enjoy it and brought it here.”
Cathy T. came to the ReStore for something completely different. But when she saw this it was love at first sight. “This piece is amazing and has found its new home in my living room. I’m looking forward to giving it a little TLC.”
Ruth and Cathy might not have met that day, but they are now connected by this piece. Getting a chance to see that connection made, to see the comfort Ruth found in her donation being able to help others and the joy Cathy found in being able to take this piece home, is one of the things that makes coming into the store fun.
It reminds me that what we do at The ReStore helps build homes in more ways than one.