Thrift, conservation, and recycling are old New England traditions. The late Earl Proulx and Yankeemagazine captured those traditions well when they titled a householder's advice book Make It Last. We do our part by offering antiques that have lasted well and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Elizabeth Spano, an old friend and antiques lover in Maryland, calls antiquing "sophisticated recycling." We couldn't agree more. When you buy a wooden farm bucket or a copper boiler, you are buying a little piece of history, but also acquiring something useful for storage.
An antique wooden bowl is a fine container for fruit or evergreens:
Some people buy old chinaware not just for its beauty, but for everyday use. Kitchen items from the 1950s and even earlier--sifters, potato mashers, wooden spoons and more--still do sturdy duty in many kitchens today. Much country furniture from the 1800s and early 1900s is still used today.
Recycling, of course, can be pure fun. Vintage hats are great for a "Roaring Twenties" or Halloween party, and barbershop quartets often wear boaters.
Steamer trunks are wonderful for storing bed linens, clothing, and nearly anything else. They are one of the best storage solutions for old homes that have few closets.
Recycling old treasures helps save beautiful farmland and other green spaces from being turned into landfills. As Elizabeth likes to say, "Go Green--Go Antiquing!"
Sometimes, with careful shopping, you can even find lovely antiques that are less expensive than new items. And since they were made right the first time, they may last longer than things that are new but cheaply made.
In the old days, they made things to last for a long, long time. We are so grateful that they did.