Having attended the 70th Anniversary & Trade Show of the Federation of Window Cleaners a few weeks back, I stumbled upon a real nice guy called Kevin Dixon. Kevin is a hard core, traditionalist, his hands etched and stained black, definate signs of a traditional window cleaner.
Kevin displayed an amazing wealth of collected historic items at the event. These included amongst other things a music box that chimes the tune ‘When I’m cleaning windows’ to Journals, badges and window cleaning equipment. He had a fantastic selection of Chicago squeegees ( see the film below)
Suddenly one of those squeegees caught my eye. The stamp read ‘J Racenstein Co.’ – “Wow, its my friends company!”, I told Kevin and so I embarked on him a watered down history version of J Racenstein. Kevin was amazed too.
I was at the event covering it for Window Cleaning Magazine and so we carried on with making the Booth Talk film with Kevin and his amazing collection. Later that day Kevin surprised me immensely. He said that he would like for J Racenstein to have the 100 year old squeegee with the JRC stamp (JRC NY). “Are you sure?”, I said, “My friend would be really stoked with that idea”.
Kevin said, ” I would want to return it to where it would be really appreciated”. Kevin has my full respect for this decision, he is so proud of his collection. So I rang Steve Blyth of J Racenstein… I had already tweeted the pictures out for the event of the 100 year old squeegee. I remember Steve’s response was like, ‘that’s way cool!’
“What would you say if I could bring this to you in the States for your company to display and that it will cost NOTHING?”. After a very short, stunned silence he said, ‘That would be amazing!”.
Tomorrow morning I am taking this 100 year old squeegee, currently at my home in Skeffington, Leicestershire. I am going to drive it to Heathrow. We are going to fly it to the J Racenstein, New Jersey branch and personally deliver this piece of history to the company and its owners and staff. The 100 year old squeegee will pass the Manhattan skyline seen from Newark airport for its last journey back home with J Racenstein in the United States of America. NJ and not NY, but it is still where it would be appreciated just as Kevin so wished.
Watch Kevin and the 100 year old squeegee here: