Good morning! As we wind down the year, I’m going off-uni today to tell you about something I’ve been working on here at Uni Watch HQ
So: Four weeks ago I told you about my new collection of vintage moth vaporizer tins. Today I want to tell you about another new collection I’ve recently started displaying: vintage typewriter ribbon tins.
As you may recall, I mentioned back in early November that I’d acquired one ribbon tin but wasn’t planning on starting a full-on collection. One reason I didn’t plan to collect them is that the ribbon tins are fairly small, so they have to be displayed pretty much at eye level or else all the nuance and detail are lost. Although I’ve admired the tins for many years at vintage shops and on eBay, I never had a good way to display them, so I never started collecting them.
But I recently came up with a good solution to that problem. I’ll explain that solution in a minute, but first let me show you the nine tins I’ve amassed — first the fronts, then the backs:
As you can see, the tins have spectacular Art Deco-style designs. Here’s a closer look:
Aren’t they cool? I really love them. So gorgeous! Much like the moth vaporizers, they’re pleasingly graphic and industrial in equal measure.
So how am I displaying them? I went on eBay and found myself a cash drawer from an old cash register:
The drawer itself is a really nice object. It was made in 1928, as spelled out on the underside:
My plan was to put one ribbon tin in each each of the cash drawer’s nine compartments (that’s why I got nine tins) and then use the drawer as a shadowbox to display them.
And how did that idea turn out? Take a look:
Not bad! I’m pretty happy with this little project. Much like the moth vaporizers, these tins feel related but distinct — a unified category, but plenty of graphic variety within the category.
There are lots of additional good-looking ribbon tins out there, so it’s tempting to acquire more of them, but this collection was space-limited by the number of compartments in the cash drawer (which is probably for the best), so I consider it complete.
So what did this cost? The tins averaged about $18 apiece (including shipping), and the cash drawer was another $32 (ditto), so the whole shebang was a smidge less than $200 — not bad, especially considering how much fun I had along the way.
That concludes this show-and-tell. Thanks for listening!