Leader Board Ad

Friday, May 30, 2014

Hiding in an Attic - Where to look

If you look for treasure, eventually you will find it. I always have my radar up and ready to detect a dig. I was driving down the road and saw a sandwich board outside an old house. There I saw an estate sale being set up.
Items from the garage were being piles up outside into groups that would later be sorted and priced. I asked the owner of the service setting it up if he would allow me to take pictures and write a story. "Sure." was all I needed to begin shooting. The result is the video below, which also contains a nice find in the attic.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Type of Bondage (Prepare for PUN ishment!)

I could dump this whole "Searching in America's Junk pile" thing I do and just post these ads from Popular Mechanics from 1916, and I'd be happy.  Who can resist an ad with this illustration?
Is this how E.L. James wrote "Fiddy Shades of Grey"?
Just from this ad I learned a new word, the first sentence and you will see that your salary will "treble!" I had to look it up, and find a site that would explain the difference between treble and triple. The former means something three times the original size, and the latter, means something with 3 components. Am I the last to know? Here is the full column:
 Mail order awesomeness. If you came here looking for prwn, keep looking...I may have left some around here ... somewhere...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day: Icons of Service

This lead soldier is an analogy of my father. I don't know the military history of either. I found this during one of my digs and in a place that was likely never going to provide any background to its origin. Similarly, I barely know any of my father's military history. He served in WWII as either a navigator, or bombardier on the B-24 in the 15th air-force. 
He told me once of a mission in Italy: their plane was malfunctioning and losing altitude; as the cruised along the countryside they were able to see people inside apartments. The exact details of that story elude me now, but I was a young teenager at the time. I also know that he was given the Air Medal. 
I regret not having sat him down to record all his experiences while serving. Being that Memorial day is here, I get to thinking about my father and all the people who have and are serving, and wonder if they have relatives who wish the same thing. As I was pondering this post I tried to think of some of the random pieces of military memorabilia that I have not posted and the one that came to mind was this:

It's only a little cotton bag measuring 4" x 5.5" empty with only the printed face to go on as a clue. I finally spent a little more time researching it and was finally able to solve the mystery. It was a sewing kit issued to soldiers for making repairs in the field. It seemed an odd thing to call it and "Army Housewife," as I understand it, the Army does not have a sense of humor. I learned of this item through the detailed story of one man who did sit down and write of his experience in WWII, from leaving high school, to training, and finally leaving the service and returning home. Though it is rather long, it gives a terrific first-person account of what it was really like. Read it here!

Thanks to all members past and present of the armed services for your contribution to America.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Things Found in Books - "What the muckle!?"

1933 letter from Webster's 

As I have revealed in other posts my favorite pastime is reading, well, at least flipping through the pages of books to discover the items that were left for safe keeping and forgotten. It is hard to pick a favorite but this is in my top ten "finds" list. Years ago, I used to drop by the local recycling center on odd Saturdays when the were no sales to be found. The free table was always a potpourri of odds and ends, but among those I noticed was a large and sad looking 1930 edition of Webster's dictionary missing the boards (covers). I flipped through the pages and out pops a letter:

I am absolutely amazed at how often people made carbon copies of their correspondence. All I can say is "thank you." Read the letter and you will see that it is a very interesting request for a ruling on the usage for "was" and "were." The letter goes on to request clarification on another writer's use of the phrase "Many a mickle makes a muckle". I won't go into the meaning of the phrase, but the discovery of the letter was grand. I immediately thought, "I wonder if they ever replied?" A little more searching gave me my answer.

Again, I have to thank the owner of the dictionary for using it as his personal filing cabinet, because it provided me with a gem of a father's day present for my dad who had retired after many years as an English teacher. He has since passed away, but the display I created for him at the time was a living homage to his love of word play.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

'Til Death Do Us Part

Here are a couple more glass negatives. I found them in 2 different places but they seemed to go together. They represent a beginning and an end. Small disclaimer: these are not the best transfers I have ever done (for a better transfer go here) but these were negatives I couldn't buy. In both cases they were held up to the light so I could take a picture of them and the rest is up to computer magic.

This negative was found at an estate sale in New Milford, CT, which has me believe they are from New Milford, but there is no way to be sure.

  This next one was found today at one of my favorite stops, "Just In Antiques" run by my good friend Justin Krul. His shop is right across from the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market also in New Milford.
Quietly morbid, the church is decorated by numerous plant and flower arrangements, one which reads "asleep."  The two images are not related, in case you were worried about the married couple.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Your Papers Please! (Part 3)

If your going to go looking for old papers, let me give you some advice: You're going to find some. These family papers (Someone else', not mine) are beauties. 2 groups one from 1903 the other 1929.
These paper came from the same family whose scrap book I uncovered in the basement of an antique shop. I wrote about some of the items I found in this post here.
There is more genuine amazement that these documents which clearly reflect the journey of not one, but 2 relatives from Italy to America.
The image above looks to be a birth certificate for someone who was born in 1845 but traveling in 1927. I could be wrong, can you translate it?
A really nice selection of important documents which provide a look at the ordeal immigrants needed to endure to enter the country. 
  If you know anything about these documents or the family of the people that should be holding them (not me) - please add something to the comments or email me directly.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bonfire (starter) of the vanities

I have found many a matchbook in my travels. Some I have kept. I love the artwork, the long gone businesses and products they promote. Take a look at an early post on the topic here. These 3 below have been sitting in and around my desk for a while. 
This one interested me because of the age and the location. The St Moritz opened in 1930 and closed in 1999. It reopened as the Ritz-Carlton in 2002. I like the descriptive phrase that says' "Transients and Residential."  

The Martini cover may be of interest to a collector of cruise ship memorabilia, and the coal cover below was just interesting because I dug it out between to walls in a Ridgefield, CT attic. I didn't plan on pulling it out, but when I slide a "fishin" pole in a nook or crannie, you never know what you're going to catch. 


Sunday, May 4, 2014

History captured on a pane of glass (video)

Ever since I found my first glass plate negative, I have been mildly obsessed with finding more. You may have seen one or two; they aren't much to look at in daylight.
I have recently heard two people tell me that glass negatives have been found used as window panes in greenhouses! How could that be when they look so good as positive images...
...when you can zoom in to a portion of the image and get even more detail?
 They have a story to tell, but only the image chemically etched on the surface to tell it. This negative was just one of 30 I was able to photograph and process. The rest were just as good, despite being north of 100 years old. Please enjoy the short video I created to share the rest.

Have you found any glass negative in your searches?