01 Jun 2007

Lawn Flamingos Saved From Extinction

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AP reports that the most famous symbol of American bad taste has been saved from oblivion.

No, it’s not a politician.

The original pink flamingo lawn ornament, the symbol of kitsch whose obituary was nearly written after its central Massachusetts manufacturer went out of business, is rising phoenixlike from the ashes and taking wing to upstate New York.

A manufacturer that bought the copyright and plastic molds for the original version plans to resume production in Westmoreland, N.Y.

HMC International LLC will pick up where Union Products Inc. left off last year when it shuttered its Leominster, Mass., plastics factory after 50 years of flamingo making. …

Mr. Waszkiewicz’s firm expects to resume flamingo production by Labor Day. After Union Products ceased production last June, uncertainty surrounding the fate of the original led aficionados to snap up remaining stock in stores and secondhand Featherstone flamingos, in case those models became extinct. …

The ornaments hit the market in the late 1950s when the color pink was in vogue, and America’s exploding population of suburbanites sought to add flair to their lawns.

But the birds also came to symbolize bad taste, and some residential developments even banned flamingo ornaments from lawns. The bird became a target of pranksters, some of whom swiped the ornaments from front yards, took them on the road, and then sent photos to their owners showing the kidnapped birds in front of sights like the Grand Canyon.

The flamingos typically sell for $10 to $20 for boxed sets of two — one standing nearly 3 feet high with its head held proudly erect, the other bending over as if munching on grass.

Their legs consist of spindly metal rods that can be planted in the ground.

Whole article

I was always more of a glass ball man myself.


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