As the U.S. Navy ramped up for WWII, its leadership began the unprecedented task of recruiting 27,000 female sailors called WAVES, or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. Previously, it was only during the first world war that the Navy accepted females into its ranks, and mainly for clerical roles and as nurses, not as officers. According to the USN History and Heritage Command, in 1942 the WAVES performed previously atypical duties in the aviation community, Judge Advocate General Corps, medical professions, communications, intelligence, science and technology.
Last week during my visit to Terrapin / Stationers Engraving & Printing Co. I had a chance to watch the engraving process first hand — something truly amazing to see in person. It was equally amazing to take a trip back in time via the Terrapin archive. The company has 50+ years of old business cards, stationery and other printed goods sitting around. The good news is, they didn’t mind letting me look through it.
In a beautiful episode of good timing, my trip to Los Angeles had me in town for Rose Bowl Sunday. A few friends and I went out to Pasadena to peruse all of the good vintage clothing, furniture and objects. The trip reminded me that the Rose Bowl is different than other flea markets I normally attend out East. Even compared to Brimfield, the Rose Bowl is all business, especially the clothing section. Those people are there for one reason only, and they take that shit seriously. I’m not saying it is bad — and you can totally find a deal here or there — I’m just saying the whole undertaking is just business. As long as you go into it with that mindset, you are okay. One vendor in particular was a total dick to me for taking pictures of his booth, which sort of set the tone for the whole day. But I understand how people are weary of folks at those shows. You never know who is who. Plus, every asshole with a camera and a computer has a “blog” now. Whatever the hell those things are.
One morning a few months ago I was thinking about donuts. That seems normal right? Thinking about donuts in the morning. Especially if you consider it was me doing the thinking. Well anyway, I was wondering who has better donuts, New York or Los Angeles? So I did what anyone would do, I took to twitter to conduct an impromptu (and non-scientific) poll of the best spots in their respective cities. One place that numerous people called-out in the Greater Los Angeles area (I just like how that sounds, Greater Los Angeles) was Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood. And man, I have to agree. Randy’s makes some tasty donuts. After a long flight in LAX, nothing is better than stopping at Randy’s for a cup of coffee and a donut.
At one point there were hundreds and hundreds of printers and engravers in New York. Varick Street was the center of the printing district and the buildings were packed with all sorts of different companies proficient in various specialties; but these days the New York printing industry is a shell of its former self and only a few businesses continue the tradition. The good news is, the art of engraved stationery is alive and well on 37th Street at Terrapin / Stationers Engraving & Printing Co. The family run business, operated for years by a husband and wife Lloyd and Cathy Harrington, and their son Ted, has fought off all of the challenges presented with a changing industry. Recently Lloyd retired and Cathy and Ted have carried on their company’s nearly 100 year tradition of producing some of the finest stationery and printed goods in the U.S. Even the recently shuttered (and well respected) Mrs John L Strong would send their engraving work to Terrapin. As would law and financial firms, and of course fashion houses; anyone looking for beautiful letterhead, business cards, note cards and or invitations.
All stainless steel made in Sheffield, England. Labour and Wait (one of my all time favorite stores and early ACL material) sells them, or you can get one direct from the manufacturer via their website. These knives are classic. Equal parts function and weapon. If you made a close inspection of The William Brown Project site, you would have noticed he saw them in London.
I suspect New York City police will not take kindly to their presence, but I suppose that just makes carrying one more fun. Same goes for the TSA, and no one wants to be on the full-body-cavity-search-list. [Update: British Military Knife $32 via Garrett Wade Thanks Tom]