The joy of the old


The lure of the new is a looming constant in industrialized society. Shiny and fresh, novelties constantly beckon: giant glossy plasma screens, sweet-smelling candles, cute kitchen utensils, sexy shoes, and the next must-have gadget of the moment.

Against this relentless parade of newer and better, it’s occasionally nice to take a moment to appreciate the objects and stories of old. Ancient Industries catalogs an array of traditional arts, crafts, and designs into the simple categories “living” and “extinct,” reminding us of treasures we’ve lost and ones that we should appreciate while they still linger.

Perusing the blog is like a joyful history lesson told through beautiful and beloved objects, like those above. Some have cultural meaning, others just have personal meaning for the writers. See more here.

Hey, Guess What?

The Aesthetics of Joy is now a book! Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness is now available.

Learn more

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