Sunday, February 1, 2009

The City Visible - Mr. Clean

OF all the collectors ferreting around flea markets and antique shops, Paul Swedlow may be among the most dedicated.

For more than 40 years, Mr. Swedlow, a resident of Greenwich Village, has searched the back racks for vintage cleaning gear to add to his collection. He was at it again one recent morning, picking up a rattan rug beater ($10) from Angel Street, a Chelsea thrift shop.

“I’m grabbing it before it ends up in the garbage,” said Mr. Swedlow, a gentlemanly 77-year-old of the old-school persuasion.

He began in 1966 with a rug beater ($1) and a Bissell carpet sweeper ($1.50) found at a Long Island flea market, and he has consulted the yard sale classifieds practically every Saturday since. “It’s like opening a new book,” he said. “You never know what’s going to be in there.”

The City Visible - Mr. Clean - By MICHAEL CANNELL
The New York Times, January 30, 2009

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