7 Retro Tech Designs for Modern Desks

7 Retro Tech Designs for Modern Desks

Gregory Han
Jul 18, 2013

My favorite item on my desk? A bright yellow vintage late 60's/early 70's mod desk lamp discovered from a long gone, local Parisian vintage dealer. Its vibrant presence offers a cheerful contrast to the otherwise monotone and metal finish of an Apple-aesthetic home office. In the same spirit, here are a few other decorative desk-sized vintage accessories to add a little of yesterday's flair and fun to nearly any workspace...

1. Vintage calculators: Look at all these calculation devices! My favorite are the 1970's models from Omron Tateisi Electronics Co. of Japan, sometimes available via eBay or Etsy.
2. Boya Table & Desk Lamp: Inspired by lighthouse beacons and marine buoys, the under-glass-design and wooden base is somehow calming like a miniature terrarium/aquarium, especially when partnered with the soft glowing Edison bulb.
3. Antique Antenna Glass Display: Yesterday's television antenna is today's conversation piece. Consider placing outdated technological designs like vacuum tubes, an old phone handset, or old lightbulbs under glass for a similar presentation.
4. Vintage Dial or Button Desk Calendar: Before the era of apps people would either turn to a wall calendar or one of these mechanical flip or dial desk calendars to check how long it was 'til the weekend. There's something charming about the idea of starting each day acknowledging a new beginning.
5. Phone Number Autodex: Jaws may drop a little when you refer to this desktop address book before calling from the desk, but I bet curious minds will also ask to check it out afterward.
6. Astronaut Space Ballpoint Pens: These can be found as vintage items or reproduced newer models. The design and construction of this pen hasn't changed since 1969: pressurized ink which works at any angle, underwater, over wet and greasy paper, and if you're truly special, in zero gravity.
7. Braun RT 20 Radio: This last design is on my personal wish list of industrial design classics I dream of owning one day. If there's anything vintage which would look right at home besides any current Apple products, it would be a radio designed by Dieter Rams.

(Images: as linked above)

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