What does "Vintage Industrial" mean? February 17 2014, 0 Comments

About two years ago, I would say somewhere around March of 2012, I wanted to build a nightstand. The nightstand I was currently using was plain, boring, and didn't tell a story. I felt that it didn't fit well into my life, as weird as that sounds.

I wasn't plain, I wasn't boring, and I frequently had a story to tell - regardless of whether or not someone wanted to hear that story.

Working in the material handling business, I had access to many, many wooden pallets - too many of which were being thrown away due to the overwhelming number of them in my workshop at any given time. I hate wasting anything, so I decided to take some of those pallets, break them down, and build my nightstand out of the materials left over. After gathering the wood, sanding that wood down, staining it, sealing it, and assembling it into the final product, I decided that I wanted to attach casters to the piece of furniture I had created.

I have been in the caster industry for more than a decade. If a caster or wheel exists anywhere in the world, I am very likely to know a lot about it and from where exactly to source it. I noticed that there was a tremendous lack of product available in what I referred to as the "vintage industrial" line, and that seemed odd to me. I defined "vintage industrial" as a product that seemed to be from a different era, or something that seemed to at least be an homage to a time which had long since passed.

I wanted a caster with a cast iron wheel that had a spoked wheel hub, and I wanted that caster to have a matted, non-shiny finish on the fork. I looked high and low, in every nook and cranny in the caster industry, and I couldn't find the product that I had envisioned in my head.

So I had two options. I could either accept that the "vintage industrial" caster I wanted didn't exist and use something in its place that I would ultimately be unhappy with, or I could create the vision I had from scratch. I chose the latter, and my line of Retro-Vintage Casters was born.

So, what does "Vintage Industrial" mean? I don't know that there's a legitimate, dictionary-type definition that one could assign to "Vintage Industrial". I suppose I see it as more of a movement than an actual physical, tangible product or collection of products. To me, "Vintage Industrial" means taking something that others consider useless, old, and past its prime, and making something wonderful out of it. Taking a torn-up wooden pallet, and making a really, really cool piece of furniture out of it. Creating something with a story to tell. Breaking away from the plain, the boring, the plastic nothingness of the typical consumer market, and planting your uniqueness onto something, or a collection of somethings, that would have been otherwise overlooked.

In short, "Vintage Industrial" means making something cool out of something that was not cool when you found it.

If you aren't plain, if you aren't boring, and if you have a story to tell, you probably know what I'm talking about. This is what "Vintage Industrial" means to me.