Worley & Co Lockers from the 1930's
Last Friday I was up early and heading to the lovely town of Orinda in the Bay Area to attend an estate sale. It appeared to be a time capsule home, built in the 60's and filed with vintage wares. I didn't see anything modern except an updated refrigerator.
When I walked in the door I headed straight to the garage in search of these lockers. They had some wear but were so fabulously old school industrial. I adored them. I learned later that they came out of a Hayward High School.
Each locker had a number with the name of the company Worley & Co. It appears to be a company based out of Southern California. They had lockers in high schools, universities and libraries. I'm pretty sure this set is from the 1930's.
Ornate Metal Handles
These photos were taken with the lockers leaning against the back edge of my van. They only just fit when we loaded the set. They are also very heavy so moving them a lot was not an option. In this photo and the one below you can really see the wear on the metal. These were used in a garage for jars of canned food as well as some tools. The previous owner had installed shelving inside some of the lockers.
My father who stays with me a few months of the year helped me with this project. We first washed them with Dr. Bronner's soap to clean the dirt and dust. After they dried we used #7 Rubbing Compound - Heavy Duty which restores the oxidized paint surface and mitigates light rust. I rubbed the metal down with a cloth and the rubbing compound, changing it often for a clean cloth. Next I buffed it out and then my father applied SC Johnson's Paste Wax. This was also buffed to give it a nice overall sheen. We spent about two hours overall working on these lockers.
It was my first project bringing something so large back to life. My father who has built a few homes, rebuilt car engines (we are talking old school engines without computers) and has invented the most incredible helpful farm gadgets has really been my inspiration for this new path of reselling. Before, I'd simply dust things off, probably clean something up with some soap and water. When I was a child, my dad taught me a lot about working on a farm. Now as an adult I get to be his apprentice and learn the skills needed to lightly restore these lovely relics.
We delivered them to the Antique Society on Saturday morning and by Sunday they were sold. Although they were in my life for just a short time, I feel very honored to have bought them, gently restored them and found them a new home.
Can you imagine the stories these lockers would tell?