Aug 052013

I love a good gadget.  And by that I don’t mean your ipads, smartphones, tablets and robotics of today but a traditional mechanical gadget. I am endlessly fascinated by doofers and thingymabobs from the past which existed to serve a very specific purpose but have now evolved or become obsolete.

I found a fine example of this recently. What is it? The handbag retainer; the answer to your handbag problems!

Forget Me Not Handbag Retainer

Forget Me Not Handbag Retainer circa 1960s [sorry, item now sold]

This nifty little device from the 1960s allows your to hand your handbag or indeed your umbrella on any table be you in a restaurant, bar or wherever, thus keeping it clear from floor grubbiness and in line or site. If you anything near ans suspicious ans paranoid as me about your bag when in crowded placed then this baby will be a blessing. Best of all it’s very small and folds up so you can pop it in your handbag.

1960s Brass Forget Me Not Handbag Retainer

…and here it is in action.

I found something similar a year ago in a department store and was so fascinated by it I felt compelled to buy it for the not-yet-mother-in-law as a Christmas gift. Of course now I have learned that is not a new idea at all and that John Lewis had done what many designers do and revived an great idea from the past. Based on the super cute card insert it appears that this above model dates circa 1960s.

I have scoured the internet trying to find other styles from different periods in an effort to disciver when such a thing was first used. Alas I have hit a dead end but did discover one on Etsy with a Butterfly motif although the date is undetermined.

What’s your favourite vintage gadget?

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