Vintage Adventures at Brimfield | A Continuous Lean.

Vintage Adventures at Brimfield

May 9th, 2012 | Categories: Brimfield, Vintage | by Michael Williams


Walking down Route 20 on a rainy day in Western Massachusetts, I spotted many a familiar face. Brimfield, the expansive outdoor antique show, has become it’s own little trade show for vintage lovers; a place to get your flea market fix and maybe even to buy something. The event is a bit of a phenomenon, some of the people at Brimfield are there for work (you’ll notice those people with their two-way radios), and others are there purely on a voyeuristic pursuit. I’m somewhere in between those two categorizations.

“We could all just meet in the city if we could coordinated better.” -Kings County Salvage

Brimfield for me is more about the journey than the destination. At this point I’m not looking for anything specific, I’m really just in-town on the ultimate browsing session. With that said, I was partially unimpressed with what was on offer yesterday, a feeling that also keep me away last year. Though, that’s the nature of flea markets — they are hit or miss. Often, the success lies in one’s quickness and persistence. You have to know good things (and prices) when you see them, and then you need to have the ability to get to stuff before someone else beats you to it. That’s just if you are crazy about it. I like to wander around and not worry about who gets what and if I buy anything. Lord knows I don’t need any more stuff.

The show goes on all week and through the weekend. So if you are into this sort of thing, head out for some vintage fun. At the very least, you’ll get to enjoy a Pilgrim sandwich and see all sorts of interesting people. You might even find a few treasures.

There was a very serious "girls in Barbours" situation going on.

Comments: 33

33 Comments to “Vintage Adventures at Brimfield”

  1. Dave
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 12:18 PM

    I live outside of Boston and I went last year for the first time. I think we only scratched the surface. So, I’m pretty bummed that I can make it there this year. Next year though…

  2. Garrick
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 1:14 PM

    industrial beauty

    Reminds me of browsing the modern50 website, though i’d rather be at Brimfield. If only I lived in the US

  3. jj
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 1:22 PM

    Great post! Looks like a lot of fun. May have been a flood warning that day by the looks of the rain boots (e.g., guy in blue coat 4th pic from the bottom).

  4. Jeff
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 1:49 PM

    how much were those leather chairs?

  5. Fjorder
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 2:29 PM

    The outboards are amazing; I haven’t seen anything like that since I was a kid.

    Thanks to the wabi sabi aesthetic that’s being curated by everyone and spearheaded by the likes of Roman & Williams, all of these codgers who steadfastly cling to all of this ‘stuff’ are now, hopefully, clearing away some of this Americana and making some money in the process.

  6. Harry
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 2:29 PM

    I love the “work wear” look on people who probably have never put in a day of hard work.

  7. Michael Williams
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 2:34 PM

    Harry — how hard are you working right now reading blogs all day? Or are you loggin in from the hood of your F-250?

  8. EJ
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 2:59 PM

    I worked here in my uncle’s “Village Stoneman” booth during the July session in high school. Such a neat place. Beautiful French club chairs. Thanks for covering Michael.

  9. TheDottedLine
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 4:06 PM

    A treasure trove indeed. We love heading there for inspiration.

  10. GOOG
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 4:23 PM

    zzzzzzzzzzing! one point for Michael
    I used to work at 40 Wall, that chemical tube would have been a cool addition to the office.
    And yeah, that Johnson outboard screams old time fishin with grandpa.

  11. Billy
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 5:15 PM

    Great pics! Looks like a good show this year. Love the metal boxes and wall O letters. Wish I was there.

  12. DmC
    on May 9th, 2012
    @ 6:21 PM

    The “workwear on people who don’t work” hate is getting really tired. Everybody works. Drop it already.

  13. Ted Harrington
    on May 10th, 2012
    @ 3:16 AM

    Kind of disappointed that my weekend is booked. Looks like a good time.

  14. randolph
    on May 10th, 2012
    @ 9:26 AM

    Cute girls in barbour should have its own tumblr.

    @Ted Harrington

    You get two more cracks at it this year.

  15. Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com
    on May 10th, 2012
    @ 3:10 PM

    I spent my formative years and beyond with my dad at Brimfield. He and my mother started going there in the 60s “when it was one weekend and one field” – and it was a bittersweet visit to go there last year just after he passed away. I don’t think he would’ve dug the industrial items that are now in vogue, as he was more into decoys, sporting prints and post cards. We’d often separate but meet up at the chuck wagons for lunch. Good memories!

  16. Chris R
    on May 10th, 2012
    @ 3:14 PM

    Wondering if someone could tell me what kind of jacket that is on the young guy in the pic above the (headless) girl on the bike. The navy blue barbour-ish looking one with the brass snaps? Looks very sharp. I’m also in the Boston area, and though I probably won’t be able to get out to this this weekend, but definitely next year! Looks like heaven to me.

  17. Ryan
    on May 10th, 2012
    @ 4:52 PM

    mr. chapman looking snazzy. these taken with that x100?

  18. Michael Williams
    on May 10th, 2012
    @ 5:35 PM

    All of this was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II 35mm 1.4L

  19. Harry
    on May 10th, 2012
    @ 5:43 PM

    “Brimfield for me is more about the journey than the destination…”

    You are such a tool, but I still like reading….

  20. Michael Williams
    on May 10th, 2012
    @ 5:50 PM

    Thanks Harry. ACL has a distinguished history of idiot commenters and you are definitely keeping that tradition alive.

  21. Mariano
    on May 10th, 2012
    @ 9:50 PM

    I dig the scoreboard and fuel board. Those would look nice at the shop.

  22. Luke
    on May 11th, 2012
    @ 3:14 PM

    @randolph

    http://fuckyeahgirlsinbarbour.tumblr.com/

    you’re not alone.

  23. Bob Corrigan
    on May 12th, 2012
    @ 5:53 PM

    I think the photo Brimfield_2012_03.jpg is a cabinet of Elliott Addressing Machine card drawers. Wish I were there to snap it up.

  24. ThePeanutVendor
    on May 15th, 2012
    @ 1:00 PM

    Yup those drawers a sweet. Slightly obsessed with storage at the minute.

    @Garrick – nice heads up on the Modern50 website, just had a lovely little browse.

  25. Brad
    on May 15th, 2012
    @ 2:19 PM

    I live in Williamsville NY. I want that jacket lol.

  26. great zamboni
    on May 16th, 2012
    @ 4:47 PM

    forget buying one of those chairs- id be happy sitting in one for an hour? where do i do that?

  27. BENJAMINLEEPHILLIPS
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 12:57 PM

    WILLIAMS GETTING LEAN AND MEAN. WHATS UP MAN. SEE YOU AROUND. MAN.

  28. BENJAMINLEEPHILLIPS
    on May 17th, 2012
    @ 12:58 PM

    ALSO, CHAPMAN IS A BEAST. FTW DUDE!

  29. Bredlo
    on May 19th, 2012
    @ 9:51 PM

    Think this is my first comment here… thanks so much for the inside look at Brimfield. Really appreciated. Absolutely worth the trip from Chicago, and golldarnit the next one is goin’ in the calendar.

    In ink.

  30. JL
    on May 20th, 2012
    @ 3:54 PM

    @Chris R: That guy’s jacket looks like a Barbour International (http://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/JCrewingoodcompany/Barbour/PRDOVR~49279/49279.jsp)

  31. mel
    on May 22nd, 2012
    @ 11:04 AM

    How amazing are those leather chairs? I wish we had a fair like this over here in Europe, jealous!

  32. markf
    on May 28th, 2012
    @ 12:47 PM

    looks like he is wearing a Bellstaff, no? and red wing logger boots…

  33. Nicolas
    on May 30th, 2012
    @ 5:25 PM

    Anyone know what you’d call the hat on the dude — Asian, looking at a shoe — in the third photo from the top? I’ve always wanted a hat like that but have lacked the vocabulary to search for it. Any help? Thanks!