Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Dazey 160 Interplanetary Atomic Ice Crusher

While not actually "interplanetary" or "atomic", can you think of a better-looking way to crush ice either in outer space or in a fissionable state?   Sometimes a high sense of design is most striking in an application where there's not much demand for design at all.  Take the humble ice crusher for instance - not an appliance we see much of anymore, and when I have seen them they are often a bland affair.  Like a mini-Norge fridge screwed into the wall.

Crusher02 Enter the Dazey 160.  Not only do it's multiple scary blades still make short work of ice cubes, it's housed in an unmistakable rocket shape.  The late 40's brought with it an exuberant movement in design that fans call "Populuxe". 

With eyes on an optimistic future, consumer products were designed to look ready for that Jetsons push-button age that sadly never came.  Even this little household appliance has daring curvaceous lines, a mix of heavy aluminum and rocket red plastic, and four fins... oh, the fins!

The reason I don't have this up in my kitchen is that (besides having coped so long with ice in its naturally occurring uncrushed form) it's hard to have the rest of the room live up to the coolness of this one household implement.  Maybe one day it'll inspire me to install a bubble shaped porthole in the kitchen, replace all the dinnerware with multi-colored aluminum & melamine, and finally put up that sputnik wallpaper - all because of a little ice crusher that looks ready to blast off!

Real swell Populuxe book from Amazon


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