Archives for December 2008 | A Continuous Lean.


Dec 31st, 2008 | Categories: Americana, Vintage | by Michael Williams

There are certain things I can’t resist on eBay. Good army surplus from WWII, plaid thermoses (which I will discuss more later), dead stock items, etc. I have a book shelf in my living room that holds all of my acquisitions from eBay or the flea market — holds all of my treasures. Pictured below are some of my favorite items — descriptions after the jump.

LIFE Archive | Electric Boat

Dec 31st, 2008 | Categories: Americana, LIFE, Work Wear | by Michael Williams

Another great LIFE archive find are these color shots from Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut during the 1940s. Electric boat is the premier submarine manufacturer in the U.S., possibly in the world. My grandfather worked for General Dynamics (who owns Electric Boat) in sixties overseeing the construction of nuclear missile installations all over the country. Eventually, the family settled in the Groton area after he moved to the Electric Boat division. My father was stationed at the New London naval submarine base, which is how my parents met. Long story short, that is my connection to these images — not considering the work wear quality of the photos. You really have to hand it to the women of the era, they stepped up in a major way. This first shot below — the woman with the Acetylene torch —is a really powerful image.


A Look Inside Wm. J. Mills & Co.

Dec 30th, 2008 | Categories: Americana, Bags, Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

I discovered the nautical inspired Mills canvas bags way back in April. I was especially excited about the American made bags because they are sewn right in my back yard in Greenport, Long Island. On a recent trip to the North Fork, ACL reader Chuck Mauro stopped in to Wm. J. Mills & Co. to snap some photos for the canvas bag faithful. According to Chuck: “Greenport itself is a great throwback — good eats, wineries, nautical artifacts.” Sold! Once the weather gets better I am there. Until then enjoy the photos.

The Schvitz

Dec 29th, 2008 | Categories: Cleveland | by Michael Williams

When I was seven years old my father took me to a place my family calls ‘The Bathhouse.” The official name is “The Schvitz,” and my dad has been going with his high school buddies since around 1968. The Schvitz has been in operation since 1927 — when it actually functioned as a proper bathhouse on Cleveland’s east side. Back then, 116th Street & Kinsman was a thriving neighborhood full of Hungarian immigrants. Today the area has changed but The Schvitz remains in its original location. Tucked away in a windowless brick building on Luke Avenue that can barely be seen from the street. If you don’t know it is there, you aren’t going to find it. I clearly remember a run-in with the Cleveland Police as a seventeen year-old on my way to meet my dad and his friends for some steam. It seems Cleveland’s finest assumed the only reason I was in that part of town was to score drugs. When they pulled me over, I politely explained that I was in fact looking for The Schvitz and asked if they could point me in the right direction. Removing all suspicion, the cops were happy to let me go and escort me over to little Luke Avenue.

Living Off the Fat of the Land

Dec 27th, 2008 | Categories: Random | by Michael Williams

Looks like Mom and Dad read ACL — some of my spot-on Christmas gifts are pictured below. In addition to the items seen here, I also scored a classic Lands’ End attache bag in navy. Plus, a monogrammed set of Tervis Tumblers (the original, made in Flordia) from my biz partner and her wonderful mother.  Thank you, thank you! What did you all get? What did you want?

My nice union made Carhartt from Midwest Workwear.

One in the Books

Dec 26th, 2008 | Categories: Housekeeping | by Michael Williams

It was December 26th, 2007 that on a whim I decided to start this blog. My first post was just something that happened to be going on at the time. Nothing special and nothing really interesting. I wasn’t sure what to make of A Continuous Lean. I wasn’t even really sold on the name, but I stuck with it and eventually it grew on me. My first big break came twenty three days in, when The New York Times blog “The Moment” picked up a post I wrote about Vampire Weekend. That same post made its way to and ACL was, as they say, in business. Over the past year of blogging I was able to figure out where exactly I wanted to go with ACL. I tried to post five days a week if possible and always felt guilty if I went a day without posting. Although ACL proved to be a massive time suck over the past twelve months, I wouldn’t trade the friendships the site has brought me for anything.

I want to send out a note of thanks to all of the people that have supported ACL over the past year. Randy Goldberg, Benjamin Ferencz, Russell Brandon, Gabriel Bell, Jeff Carvalho, Nick Schonberger, David Fischer, Ryan Willms, Joanna Goddard, Hollister Hovey, David Coggins, Jared Flint, John Tinseth, Tim McKenzie, Paul Underwood, Matthew Schneier, Jonathan Durbin, Josh Peskowitz, Christian Chensvold, Rosecrans Bawdwin, Jonathan Paul, Steven Watson, Michael Macko, Eugene Tong, Erica Cerulo, Ryan Wenzel, Meredith Goldblatt, Andy Comer, Michael Hainey, Corey Wilson, James Jung, Andy Beach, Jeremy Dean, Brian Awitan, Josh Moore, Aaron Stern, Scott Solish, Cory Ohlendorf, Harry Sheff and Leslie Price.

It is important to also send a big thank you to my business partner Ali Paul for being so supportive and always listening to me talk (read: drone on) about ACL. Not to mention Stefanie Rogers who has to deal with it five days a week live and in person. Thanks to both of you for being such good sports.

Most of all I should thank you the readers for coming back and creating a community around ACL. There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon that I am excited to share with you all when the time is right. Until then, keep on keelpin’ on!

Kodachrome Christmas

Dec 25th, 2008 | Categories: Americana, Flickr Find | by Michael Williams

Aluminum trees, tinsel, wrapping paper, overflowing stockings and boxes everywhere. A peek into Christmas past in full Kodachrome color. Merry Christmas to all of you out there. Hope you got everything you wanted. —ACL