Posts tagged “wallet”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • The most misused SSN of all time was 078-05-1120 [] – In 1938, wallet manufacturer the E. H. Ferree company in Lockport, NY decided to promote its product by showing how a Social Security card would fit into its wallets. A sample card for display purposes was inserted in each wallet. Vice President Douglas Patterson thought it would be a clever idea to use the actual SSN of his secretary, Hilda Whitcher. The wallet was sold by Woolworth stores and other department stores all over the country. Even though the card was only half the size, printed all in red, and had the word "specimen" written across it, many purchasers adopted the SSN as their own. In 1943, 5,755 people were using Hilda's number. SSA acted to eliminate the problem by voiding the number and publicizing that it was incorrect to use it. (Mrs. Whitcher was given a new number.) However, the number continued to be used for many years. In all, over 40,000 people reported this as their SSN. As late as 1977, 12 people were found to still be using the SSN "issued by Woolworth."

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Digital Samaritans use the Internet to return cameras, wallets, etc. – For some, it can feel awkward to use the Web to track down a complete stranger. Peter Hill, a former network engineer at the University of Washington, found a wallet in the parking garage of a Seattle-area Whole Foods store and used his iPhone to enter Facebook, find the owner’s name and then find one of her friends on the site who had attended his university. Then he used the school’s online directory to call the friend, and asked her to alert the wallet’s owner.
  • Found Cameras and Orphan Pictures – Find A Lost Camera? Email at least four photos from your found camera. Include any other details, time, location, school, etc.

Walker on Poketo

Rob Walker’s Consumed takes a look at Poketo

The project that became Poketo began in 2003 with a show at a space called Build, in the Mission District, featuring work by six artists. This time, in addition to paintings, the exhibition included wallets. The physical objects were all the same (stitched-together vinyl and plastic, folding to 4 inches by 4 inches), but each artist printed his or her own design on a set of a dozen wallets, which were priced at $15 each. While it is not unusual for a well-known artist to dabble in consumer goods that are more accessible to a wider audience, the wallets essentially reversed that formulation. These consumer goods served as promotional items that might draw attention to the work of a lesser-known artist. “We wanted to expose our friends to the wider world,” Myung says. Wallets were a particularly good medium, in that they are carried around, not hung on a wall at home.

We bought two of these gorgeous wallets at WonderCon a couple of years ago. I got a lot of great comments for my interesting wallet, featuring a sci-fi cartoon scene with aliens and interplanetary landscapes.

Not my wallet, but similar, by the same artist, Martin Ignatius Cendreda.

But it was a piece of crap. It was horribly designed, with insufficient holders for cards and an extraneous change purse (change purse? In a wallet?). And it didn’t last at all. I repaired it myself with clear packing tape many times. I was thrilled to have an ordinary item that was made special by its visual and artistic appeal, but why trade off basic functionality? Eventually, I gave up. I bought a recycled rubber wallet that is more subtle in its beauty (and its story), and I won’t go back to something that doesn’t work for me. I’d like to have seen Walker (or anyone else that reviews the work of these darlings) acknowledge that the product isn’t usable and doesn’t last.


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