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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Punk Rock Found in a Box of Nuggets!

I learned something new with every item I uncover.  This card was in a pile of images from 50-100 years ago.  
This is a 1977 (approximately) promo card for Canadian punk rock group "The Diodes." It is a classic pose from the punk era and the closer I look the more I see.  Notice the random pieces of tape used as a fashion accessory - functional and non-functional.  Different from most bands, these guys actually started their own club in Toronto called "Crash and Burn." The first punk rock club. 

In 2011, the band was voted "Best Toronto Band Ever" in a pole by the Toronto Star, beating out RUSH. The released 3 albums and there song "Tired of Waking up Tired" reached #23 in a list of top Canadian songs in 2010. You can read more about them here, and here

So, You went to Bermuda and left me on the Pier! (1940's)

More photos from my latest acquisition. These were 2 photos from a perspective I had not see before.
 I was wondering...Who wants a picture of a crush of people? Maybe a last reminder of what you're leaving behind?  Or, Maybe is just an opportunity to scan the photo onboard and look for a hint of jealousy in that half-hearted wave of "Bon Voyage!"
This one is more clear, and the closer I look the more I think I see someone famous...I thought I saw...
That looks like Billy Crystal to me...maybe. Here's another close up:

Oh well, I hope they had nice weather.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Found Photos Tip: Buy 'em!

A good friend once advised me, "When you see a collection of buttons at a sale - Buy 'em!" The advise was to become a button collector, it was another place where things can lost or left behind. If you look through the tin or jar of buttons from a sewing kit, 9 times out of 10 you will find something that didn't belong there - a coin, a campaign button, etc. 

This week's find was the home of a collector, and among the variety of items were selected groups of photographs. I am someone who enjoys photo forensics - the art of interpreting the elements intentionally captured by the camera and unintentionally captured. Sometimes a great story or slice of life worth sharing is hiding in the pile. I advise treating them like buttons  - buy 'em! See below for just one of many more examples to come from this pile. 

If you're going to read Glamour magazine on the pot...do us all a favor and lock the door. Thanks!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Aw! Your Great Grandma Wore Roller Skates!

No really, if she wanted a good leisure activity, there's a good chance she went skating. I had no idea she would dress this well to do it.
There's a coincidence here, because her last name is Gildea and her image was found in a Danbury home. 2 years before this I found several pieces from the Gildea family on the other side of town. There's another mystery to be solved...

This Stamp Should Be Priceless...Why Not?

The hardest part about collecting paper is that, when you really start looking back at different eras in printing and illustrating, the images all begin to look priceless. 

Look at this stamp I picked it up off an attic floor. I didn’t know what to make of it. Using a magnifier, also found in the attic, I could make out the words on either side of the portrait. 

Confederate States of America. 

Wow!  Wow?
One small web search and I discovered that it was indeed a stamp printed during the Civil War and the value is around $700 dollars. Not bad for just looking around in an attic, right? Digging deeper I found a specialist Trish, who has been collecting all kinds of CSA stamps cancellation mark, etc for some time. I reached out to her mainly because I knew that these kinds of stamps are rare - rare that they would just show up on an attic floor for yours truly to find. The first thing Trish wanted to know? Was it gummed?

Seeing the discoloration on the back I concluded that, yes, this was a gummed stamp. Interestingly, this was the first test to see if it was worth the big bucks. The non-gummed version is very common among collectors and worth about $7. 

The next test was the one that usually kills all hope of early retirement in these finds…Is there any kind of odd color or cancellation mark? …..No!

Well, that ends the game right there. Although, because it passed the first test and because the quality is pretty good, the stamp (Scott catalogue # 230e93) is worth about $16.  Now, that is not bad for the fact that it only cost me a deep knee-bend and some time at the computer to make $16 - but, I'm not a dealer, so I never will see that money.

The real lesson came when I found out that the stamp collection I had the opportunity to inspect, but didn’t have the knowledge or the time - likely had several more of these stamps and possibly the really coveted ones. It was sold early in the sale to someone who did know what they were buying. Rats! 

You can learn more about CSA stamps by visiting Trish, here

Friday, May 1, 2015

Were you on the Safety Patrol? #found #1930s

Were you on the Safety Patrol? #1930s

from Instagram

And now for this important Church Bulletin...from 1888

 For some reason this scanned in black and white, but the post mark is all that is needed to share the story of this early post card. In 1988

I have other papers from the 19th century from the First Church of Lynn, MA. that I will be posting soon.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

It may be Dinky but it's still mine...

I'm still learning the ins and outs of Instagram and the whole picture cropping thing is making me minor-ly mental.  Until I upgrade my phone I think I am stuck with whatever I can get for any image captured while out on the hunt.  

This is the Dinky Toys "Scout Car" I found it in  a great hiding place for toys - a box of old toy trains.     I remember that while I played with one type of toy, I would often introduce other kinds of toys in the mix. I think I used to call it imagination. I don't know what the kids call it today.

If these were my trains I would have expected to see a number of crippled plastic soldiers as well, but when I saw this Dinky Toy, I remembered what playtime in the basement was like...INCOMING!!!! KAPOW!! BAM!! CRASH!! KABOOM!!!

Dinky toys were a British manufacturer's product with a long history and great detail that collectors look for today. If you see one of them don't keep walking - pick it up and appreciate the detail and the potential value.  Even in this condition the Scout Car is worth about $10 dollars more that I paid for it ($1.00).


It may be Dinky but it's still mine... #vintagetoys #dinkytoys

from Instagram