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a scanned-in postcard of a motel

I look at modern furniture, fiberboard and featureless, and wonder if any of it will ever be worthy of becoming an antique in 50 years. It seems the cut-off for furniture and the houses that surround them may be that for automobiles, with the mid-1960s being the last manufactured expression of distinctive and, some would say, appealing design.

The Durable Moves Toward Disposable

Some of this is the durability factor. Many modern engines have parts that their manufacturers cease to produce after a few years. Shade tree self-taught mechanics which have been critical to the maintenance and restoration of vintage automobiles cannot invest in the equipment necessary to diagnose malfunctions in digitized circuitry.

Often on Porchlight, we speak about the shorter shelf life of consumer items, whether from their complexity or the cheaper materials or faster methods used in their construction. And so, the durable moves towards the disposable.

The result of this, intentional or not, is to have the consumer purchase more often and repair less often. Troublesome enough with razors and shoes. More critical when you’re talking square feet.

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