May 23, 2012

What I'm working on Wednesday : Vintage Lockers

I acquired a set of vintage lockers last month - from the same beautiful old factory where I got my clock.
They're old, and fantastic.  Four units with eight lockers in all. 
Mine turned out the winning bid by a whopping twenty-five cents!  I was pretty excited.
Over the years someone had started painting three of the four units in a fairly messy fashion, right over the original number plates & all.  They had also acquired some nifty stickers that were the heavy duty kind & very stuck.
My new lockers were awesome, but needed a little work.
I finally spent a day dedicated to tackling them on Sunday. (between seven baseball games, and several events last week & this week.) 

We had picked up a wire brush attachment for the grinder (for another project of mine) and decided that was the best method to get the bad paint off. 
Mitch is certified in the lead handling department, and we went about things in a lead cautious manner without kids around, just in case. 
It took some time & elbow grease, and after getting stuck in the leg with loose flying wires again & again (ouch!) then finally getting hit in the cheek with one, I smarted up & found some safety glasses, not really wanting a wire in my eye.   But the wire wheel did the trick.

The (amazingly cool) hardware and doors are riveted on.. but I was able to remove the number plates to clean them up. 
Along with their number, they each read:
Waterman Waterbury Company
Minneapolis Minnesota

So I did some looking for the name while waiting for new paint to dry.
After searching vintage lockers vaguely off & on for a couple of weeks I hadn't seen anything similar to these.  But with the info from the hardware, this turned up; lockers identical to mine in an old advertisement.

I love the reference to "cloak rooms."
The ad is found in the American School Board Journal, Volume 59, dated July 1919!

It's actually a really fun publication to look through.  Some good history.  Many of the ads for slate, desks, pianos, and every kind of vintage school supply you can imagine- are downright charming. 

And so are my lockers now that they're shaped up!

Today I worked on prepping the space where they are to go in our entryway, and then they'll be moving in.
Can't wait!
Better photos to come.  (maybe even a before & after reveal)

PS: Yes, I've been creating my own witticisms on the popular "What I Wore Wednesday."
I must say, I wore my pink rain coat this evening to the awards/sports banquet at the school, and I even managed to feel fashionable. But I'll stick to where we went & what we're working on.
I guess that's more my style.

Here's a photo of the lockers installed in our entryway.
I posted an update here. 


  1. Cool! I am glad there are no wires in your eyes. Goodness!
    Hooray for rocking the raincoat. :)

  2. Hello. I am very interested in purchasing some lockers made by this same company. My school had a couple but the are already gone. Do you know of any more?

    Thank you!

  3. Celi,
    I got these from a factory building that was closing - these few were all they had.
    I was unable to find (via internet searches) any similar lockers, and very difficult to find any info on them or the company. This 1919 information was all I could find! I'd love to learn more about the company.
    Sorry I can't be of any help.
    It was a stroke of luck that I came across these.
    Hopefully with patience, you'll find some too!