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Monday, February 1, 2016

Hidden for 45 years - Vintage toys uncovered (video)

Despite the warm weather in New England this year I never really expect to find a good dig in the Winter. Though several are listed each weekend, it's anyone's guess as to which one may have a story for sale.  When I traveled to Southbury CT this weekend it was really just a desperate attempt to visit at least one sale.  Choosing a Sunday, the 3rd day of the sale, I really couldn't expect to find anything but the leftovers from a thousand other pickers.
What I did find at first was a fairly quit sale with a nice couple managing it to clear out what had been a parent's home. There were places to explore and I began the hunt. 
Full of old records this closet looked to be worth investigating...
This darker shelf was obscured by a fallen piece of burlap. Hmmmm...
Aha! Items undiscovered that reveal this as a toy storage shelf. What's in the box?
 A full slot car racing set from 1963. Take a look at the video I produced while at the sale. This was great fun and I am very appreciative to this nice couple for letting me dig through their house.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Urban Archeology. Look what I found! (updated Link below)

#found #oldtoys #estatesales
Urban Archeology. Look what I found! While hunting through the the last day of a sale I uncover not one but two undiscovered treasures hiding under some colored burlap under the stairs.
See the full story and video here!
#oldtoys #estatesales

from Instagram

Saturday, January 30, 2016

This Shouldn't even happen to a dog!

Greyhound racing has been around for over 100 years and according the the Greyhound Racing Association is still going strong. If you're a fan, that's good news. If you're like the rest of us. well, I've seen Greyhound rescues and it's not pretty. I'd prefer to watch the buses chase a rabbit skin around a dirt track. However, if you like old paper and illustrations and remnants of things gone by...
sports, 1950, Florida, gambling, Dogssports, 1950, Florida, gambling, Dogs
 Opened in 1930 this Miami area race track was part of a racing/gambling boom in the depression era. So popular that daytime races had to be moved or included at night because people weren't showing up for work.
The thing I want to draw to your attention here is the right column showing where the program is sold. Worse than losing all those daily papers (curse you internet!!!) was losing all those mom and pop (mostly pop it seems) news stands.
 From Balik's Sundries to Ray's Pine Oil Service Station, I am sure they are all gone.
More fun than reading the names on the news stands was looking at the names of the dogs in the races.
sports, 1950, Florida, gambling, Dogs
 Reminds me of a Bugs Bunny cartoon that should be embedded below:  Anncr: "Father's Mustache looks a little droopy! Motorman's Glove will have a hand in it!..."
Finally here is the News page for all the updates a Flagler.
sports, 1950, Florida, gambling, Dogs
 I'm betting on Beach Comber!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Money Found in a 1970 Envelope - Honestly!

Priceless! The opportunity to see a snapshot of good people being themselves as though in a museum. This is what Urban Archeology is to me. The letter below was found in a box of papers purchased at a sale some time ago. It reveals two acts of kindness - and maybe a good life lesson:
Found Money in a letter
Mary sold her fudge at the fair, but was actually picked up by a friend. Mary accepted money she was not due and upon realizing it (after the Fair had ended) wants to set things right and mails the money to the appropriate person.
$1.25 for a pound of homemade fudge, which today might cost anywhere from $6 to $16 is a fair amount to make off with, unintentionally in 1970.  Mary set things right. But I see a second act of kindness here in that, Miss Johnson didn't get it back to the Bakery committee. Why? Because after the Fair is over; the books are closed and possibly money can't be accounted back in. Rather than send it back to Mary, who has suffered some consternation (noted by the detail in the letter), she holds the money in limbo for more than 40 years. Hidden, until they are both gone and no one involved is ever again disturbed by the misunderstanding.
The way I have described this I think makes for a good life lesson when considering money owed and the protection and preservation of someone's feelings. Miss Johnson saw the value in weighing the "best" thing against the "right" thing. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Park It and Stick It. Right Here. (1939)

Take a look at the back of any car and you will see that 8 out of 10 have some kind of sticker affixed to them. Candidates, pets, honor students and places visited in sticker form decorate vehicles old and new. In the 1920's with the growing interest in motoring and exploring, the National Park Service began to see more and more visitors at their gates.
Sequoia National Park Decal 1939
As you paid your entrance fee you would be given a commemorative sticker like one of these to adorn your scrap book. Though I understand that instead people would stick them to their windshields and use them like they were park entrance passes.
Zion National  Park Decal 1939
With their appearance and popularity they came to be know as Zoo windshield stickers as each featured an animal along with the name of the park and were handed out from 12 different locations. Crater Lake (black bear), General Grant (Columbian gray squirrel), Glacier (mountain goat), Grand Canyon (beaver), Mesa Verde (coyote), Mt. Rainier (Columbian blacktailed deer), Rocky Mountain (big horn ram), Sequoia (the American elk or wapiti), Wind Cave (antelope), Yosemite (mountain lion) and Zion (porcupine), Yellowstone (Bison).
Zion National Park Decal 1939
They eventually added more Parks, but there was some concern for public safety as collectors displayed these so much as to reduced the view through the windshield. The stickers were eventually reduced in size to the 2.25 inches you see above.
NPS Historic Photograph Collection
The stickers would be discontinued only a year after these were given out. To read more on the iconic items, take a look here.  
and while your at it - Visit Ranger Doug he has some neat reproduction items and good informaton about the way things used to be in our National Parks.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Greetings from Washington DC...1943..It's Beautiful Here...I mean it.

Another of the richly printed picture packs sent home to tease the relatives.
Washington DC 1943
Washington DC 1943

 Again, no space to actually write anything, just sign, lick, send.
Washington DC 1943

Monday, January 4, 2016

Cleveland... Born Great

Some eminent Geologist proclaimed long ago that Cleveland was "Born Great." Well, that may have been true if the city had anything to do with the printing of these familiar picture packs of the 1940's.
  The color and graphics are beautiful. These were common and if you were traveling the country to places you had never seen before - you might grab one of these in the train station - scribble a few words and send it back home.  
Cleveland, 1943
We get it, you're in Cleveland. How about a nice long letter?
Nope, Instead you got the full story of Cleveland and more attribution to some eminent geologist, "Born Great." Yeah, I bet you say that to every city.   How about that personal letter?
Cleveland, 1943
There was actually no room to write anything except a few quick words. Nice pictures of pictures... no photos though.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

She Died on Stage...Margaret Mather 1898

I wouldn't have had any idea who Margaret Mather was if I hadn't found a lithograph of her.  From one brief Wikipedia entry it doesn't seem as though she led a happy life.
Margaret Mather, actress; b. 21 Oct. 1859 in Tilbury East Township, Upper Canada, daughter of John Finlayson, farmer and mechanic, and Ann Mather; m. first 15 Feb. 1887 Emil Haberkorn in Buffalo, N.Y.; m. secondly 26 July 1892 Gustav Pabst; she had no children; d. 7 April 1898
 She made her NY debut in 1886 at the Union Theater as Juliet. The play ran for quite some time and while it was popular the critics weren't so nice. This is something that seemed to plague Margaret throughout her career. It was thought that her reputation was more manufactured then earned. Having grown up in poverty she would never escape her upbringing and this likely caused her to exert herself beyond her abilities. In the end her exhaustive schedule and a a battle with Bright's disease (a form of Kidney disease) caused her to collapse on stage in West Virginia never to regain consciousness.   She died and was brought back to Detroit where she was buried.

 for more on Margaret Mather - go here.

Friday, January 1, 2016

I'm going to the Orange Bowl....61 years ago!

#found #orangebowl #1955
I'm going to the Orange Bowl....61 years ago! #orangebowl #1955

from Instagram

And here is the reverse of that ticket
#found #orangebowl #1955