Rescuing a Piece of History

Have you ever had one of those moments in life when you wanted to be a blessing to someone but in the process you actually felt like you were the one that was blessed? That’s how it happened in this story. It actually almost didn’t happen except for what I believe was “divine intervention”.

My husband and I decided we wanted to buy an antique cash register. We just loved the artistry and the detailed craftsmanship. We found one on Craig’s List and made arrangements to meet and purchase it. Only to find out when we arrived that the seller had already sold it to someone else who had come earlier. At the moment we were angry at the injustice, but turned back to Craig’s List in search of another.

Enter our friend into the story. A dear friend we would have never met had we not been double crossed by a creeper on Craig’s List. As it turned out, our friend worked his whole life for National Cash Register Company, as a cash register repairman. And as a side business, also restored and sold these beautiful registers. At one point in his career, he had an inventory of 900 antique cash registers.


Our very first cash register

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The Unexpected Lessons

We recently acquired this beat up antique cash register. The ones we’d collected in the past were already restored, so this one was a project. The excitement is in figuring out how to restore it!


We recently befriended an older gentleman from whom we’d gotten the restored cash registers. He’s been collecting and restoring antique cash registers for 50+ years. The 10 cent flag was missing so he graciously allowed us to come over and taught us how to install a new one.

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Make the Ordinary Extraordinary

[Get your vintage, repurposed home decor now in my shop!]

Making ordinary things extraordinary things. In high school I was very interested in fine arts and my high school art teacher used to talk about “making the ordinary extraordinary”. The assignment was to find an ordinary item and create a piece of artwork from it. I remember I chose this old, bent metal measuring spoon we had in our kitchen. (looking back it was the perfect piece of vintage decor and I wish I still had it!) I drew it on a giant piece of paper, noting all its beautiful curves and shadows. By doing that exercise, I first learned to appreciate the ordinary.

And now I truly appreciate old items from the past. Before plastic and mass manufacturing. Before things fell apart after a small amount of use. When things were handcrafted with care and precision.

Things that others would throw away I’ve given new life to. I see things that not everyone sees. Sometimes this keeps me awake at night, lol. Everyone has a gift of “seeing things” and seeing potential when others might not. And that’s what makes everyone so unique!

These wall hooks were made out of discarded, ordinary items. Drawer fronts, broken chair backs. An old wooden, non-functioning level. A once dusty and dirty drawer front now sits in someones bedroom holding jewelry. Holding hats and keys in a hallway.

Maybe I identify with “throwaway things” because for a long time in my life I wrongly believed that about myself. I let someone else define me as “not enough” or “unworthy”.
Since leaving that relationship it took a number of years to undo that kind of thinking. Making the ordinary into extraordinary really helped me in the healing process and believing in myself again.

Like what you see above? Get your vintage decor now in my shop!