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Showing posts from May, 2013

Antique Junction Boxes in Lviv

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I have found quite a few prewar electrical junction boxes in Lviv. They are typically located on the left-hand side of a building's entrance way, near the front door. They are not quite obsolete as I think they still function, but the inscriptions are no longer relevant.
M. Z. E we Lwowie Zakłady Elektryczne S. Kleiman Warszawa
M. Z. E. stands for Miejskie Zakłady Elektryczne (Municipal Electric Plant)
Własność miejskiej elektrowni (Property of the Municipal Power Station)

Anchor Plates in Lviv

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Anchor plates are ubiquitous in Lviv as they are on most of the eigteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings in the city.
Anchor plates (also called wall washers, pattress plates, masonry stars, etc.) are used to reinforce the structure of masonry buildings. Made from cast or wrought iron, these plates are connected to rods that penetrate the building. Sometimes the rod is exposed, which can be seen on balconies. The plates are generally symmetrical as to evenly distribute the tension created by the anchor point, thus further stabilizing the wall. Due to new construction practices and technologies, anchor plates are rarely used anymore for reinforcement.

As they are typically visible, anchor plates are generally used as a decorative element of the building. Less ornamental ones can be found on more modest buildings, or on sides of buildings which originally were covered by another building.
In Lviv, the most common shapes are S’s and X’s but range from an elaborate design to a simple …

Ghost Sign Liberation

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Looks like someone has been uncovering the Kryva Lypa ghost sign adversting typewriters.
And this one in Przemysl.


Forgotten Peoples of Europe: The Hutsuls

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As part of the German television series called Vergessene Völker (Forgotten Peoples), a documentary film was made about the Carpathian Hutsuls, "Vergessene Völker: Die Huzulen in der Ukraine."
There is also a French version, "A la rencontre des peuples oubliés: Chez les Houtsoules d'Ukraine,"
and a Ukrainian one, "Забуті народи Європи: Гуцули" (embedded below).  


The Ballad and Orchestra of St. Nicholas

Ballada o Św. Mikołaju is beautiful song about the sad fate of the Lemkos (a Carpathian ethnic sub-group), who were forcibly resettled from their ancestral homeland in 1944-46 to the Soviet Union, and in 1947 under Operation Vistula to western and northern Poland.
Remnants of their homes, churches, and cemeteries still remain in south-east Poland, as can be seen in this video.


Ballada o Sw. Mikołaju W rozstrzelanej chacie Rozpaliłem ogień, Z rozwalonych pieców Pieśni wyniosłem węgle.
Naciagnałem na drzazgi gontów Błękitną płachtę nieba Będę malować od nowa wioskę w dolinie.
Święty Mikołaju, opowiedz jak tu było, jakie pieśni śpiewano Gdzie się pasły konie.
A on nie chce gadać ze mną po polsku Z wypalonych źrenic tylko deszcze płyną.
Hej ślepcze Nauczę swoje dziecko po łemkowsku Będziecie razem żebrać w malowanych wioskach.
Święty Mikołaju, opowiedz jak tu było, jakie pieśni śpiewano Gdzie się pasły konie.
The Ballad of St. Nicholas I lit a fire in a ruined hut From the broken-down st…

Vintage Photo of Italian Store Sign

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I love this picture because of the hand-painted sign and the bike.


Hand-Painted Liquor Store Signs

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On my street there are some freshly painted signs advertising a liquor store and its products. I really like how they used the old panels, whose original function I believe was precisely for advertising, and that they used a nice vintage font.




Antique Locks in Rzeszow

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This is a unique find for me. There are about 8 of these antique locks still attached to a building in Rzesow, Poland. They were made by a company L. Russ in Drohobycz, Ukraine, maybe in the interwar period. Looks like whatever they were attached to (doors, shutters) have been long gone.


Roller Shutters in Rzeszow

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A few antique Vienna- and Rzeszow-made roller shutters and locks in Rzeszow, Poland.






Boot Scrapers in St Andrews, Scotland

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St Andrews, a historic town a few hours away from Edinburgh, has its share of boot scrapers –including some rather unique ones.



Cisterns in the Old Town, Edinburgh

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Starting in 1676, water from several springs near Edinburgh was piped into a reservoir at Castle Hill, from where it was conveyed to a total of 14 cisterns on High Street and the nearby area.

In about 1820 these public wells went out of use with the introduction of additional water from another spring and as water was conveyed by pipes to houses.