The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 February 2007

This stuff just flat works

Inspired by Lastango, here's a list of things I have that simply refuse to die:

  • Ace Clipper 702: Ace describes this as "the stapling plier that all others are modeled after. It's perfect for laundries, dry cleaners, checkout counters and factories. Built to Ace's traditional high quality standards for commercial use, the Clipper features all steel construction, chrome finish and 2½" throat depth. It loads a full strip of Clipper undulated staples which have twice the holding power of normal staples." I bought mine in 1969; I'm convinced it will outlive me.

  • Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 720C: This came out in the late 1990s, before HP had perfected the art of the disposable printer. The drive belt on this model can shred, I am told, but so far mine's going strong after nearly a decade.

  • Onkyo CP-1036A semiautomatic turntable: This 1980s relic is as smooth and quiet today as it was when it was new, despite constant cartridge changes (and head swaps to make those changes simpler), and short of actually screwing around with the leads, it's seemingly impossible to get it to produce any of the dreaded 60-Hz hum that indicates improper grounding.

  • Realistic 12-181B "Weatheradio": The infamous Radio Shack VHF receiver in the shape of a cube, tuned to the National Weather Service. (Photo here.) I've had this for about twenty-five years; it asks only for a fresh 9-volt battery twice a year.

  • Hoover 1248 upright vacuum: I bought this new in 1976. It's on its third drive belt ($3), and God knows how many bags (type C, not too hard to find) it's been through. It's getting less use now that I have hardwood floors underfoot, but it still knows how to deal with a rug.

  • Casio SA-53 digital watch: Purchased circa 1984. A succession of crummy bands, though the current one has now lasted ten years. (Photo here.) It keeps fairly indifferent time, and 362 batteries are no longer ubiquitous, but I refuse to start buying watches on Woot.

Addendum: While rooting around in the bedroom, I found the original Casio clasp-type watchband. I have no freaking idea how this thing ever worked.

Posted at 9:09 PM to Entirely Too Cool

Lordy, Charles, I still have one of those Deskjet 720s. I keep on using it because the ink cartridges are so readily available and easy to refill. It's never let me down.

Posted by: Bill Quick at 10:56 PM on 6 February 2007

IBM keyboard, Model M, buckling spring design. At 5 pounds (primarily due to a metal backplane) it can also be used for self defense.

Ages of two in current use - 16 and 18 years.

Posted by: Mel at 11:07 PM on 6 February 2007

That HP DJ720C was and is a workhorse. I probably sold more of that model than any other ever, and many of them are still in use. It is slow, but fast enough for most...

I have a Craftsman 3/8 variable speed electric drill around here that goes back to the 1970s. It has been used and abused and driven a milliion miles. Still works great, with more torque than the wimpy models sold today.

Posted by: Winston at 6:33 AM on 7 February 2007

I had one of those vacuums too! I replaced it with a Kirby in the late 80s and then an Oreck purchased at Wampy's insistence in '97. And I do love it as she said I would :)

My incredible relics are my Sanyo manual turntable purchased around '79. My JC Penney microwave purchased in '86 and my Toshiba 27" color tv purchased in '90. That is the one that boggles my mind the most. Oh and I still wear a Seiko watch that I bought in '82. It has been worked on twice. It was pricey at the get-go so it's longevity was not unexpected.

Posted by: ms7168 at 9:01 AM on 7 February 2007

Sony Trinitron 27", purchased in 1994.

Posted by: Tat at 10:08 AM on 7 February 2007

On the other hand, today I tried to get a replacement battery for my 3 year old Verizon phone. They laughed at me as if the thing had vacuum tubes in it. Humiliated, I bought a new Razr. (Is it obsolete yet?)

Posted by: Mister Snitch! at 5:48 PM on 7 February 2007

I bought a battery last year for my four-year-old Nokia. (Batteries Plus, about a mile from me.) It's a perfectly wonderful phone: you can't download insipid ringtones to it, it contains relatively few non-communication modes, and so long as I can keep it going, I can keep my dirt-cheap wireless service at its current unreal pricing. I can take an awful lot of humiliation for $250-odd a year.

Posted by: CGHill at 6:59 PM on 7 February 2007