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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Kids, when I was age this was called an “App” for wine. No battery charge required just an odd sort of faith in Christian Brothers. Now, go figure. #found #wine #App #alcohol #estatesale #urbanarcheology


Kids, when I was age this was called an “App” for wine. No battery charge required just an odd sort of faith in Christian Brothers. Now, go figure. #wine #App #alcohol #estatesale #urbanarcheology

from Instagram

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Believe or not I found this old image actually in a dumpster. it was just lying on top among several other pictures that I found after digging through the house. I was able to dig a little bit longer before the person running the estate sale came out of the house and said, “I’m afraid you’ll fall in.” She was right, so I stopped. #found #photos #photography #foundphoto #dumpsterdiving #estatesale #urbanarcheology


Believe or not I found this old image actually in a dumpster. it was just lying on top among several other pictures that I found after digging through the house. I was able to dig a little bit longer before the person running the estate sale came out of the house and said, “I’m afraid you’ll fall in.” She was right, so I stopped. #photos #photography #foundphoto #dumpsterdiving #estatesale #urbanarcheology

from Instagram

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Old gags are the best gags? I’m not sure how you can depict this in a humorous way at a little girl’s party using just 3 cells. These are at least 50 years old and still won’t blow out. #found #novelties #gags #pranks #birthday #humor #estatesale #urbanarcheology


Old gags are the best gags? I’m not sure how you can depict this in a humorous way at a little girl’s party using just 3 cells. These are at least 50 years old and still won’t blow out. #novelties #gags #pranks #birthday #humor #estatesale #urbanarcheology

from Instagram

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

History Wrapped in a Celluloid Mystery

#photography #foundphotos #film #kodak #mystery #estatesale #urbanarcheology
A roll of exposed undeveloped film that could be as old as 106...what to do...what to do...
My next step is to research film developers - stay tuned!

Friday, March 30, 2018

A Guarantee That it's Going to be a Happy Easter

#greetingcards #danbury #art #easter #estatesale #urbanarcheology
An awesome find last weekend turns into a larger story yet to be told. And it was told...on my other website. Read it here.  


Monday, March 26, 2018

If you’re going to have a porch light you’re going to need..... Actually, some may recognize this as an added benefit from owning a Lane Cedar Chest. In 1937 this came with your purchase but you still had to send away for it - to have in in your name and get the $100 benefit should moths snack on the contents. #found #legal #insurance #aetna #1937 #estatesale #urbanarcheology


If you’re going to have a porch light you’re going to need..... Actually, some may recognize this as an added benefit from owning a Lane Cedar Chest. In 1937 this came with your purchase but you still had to send away for it - to have in in your name and get the $100 benefit should moths snack on the contents. #legal #insurance #aetna #1937 #estatesale #urbanarcheology

from Instagram

Sunday, March 25, 2018

“There no Cleanser like blood cleanser like no cleanser I know” Found a scrap book full of trade cards from the late 1800s. If they weren’t all glued I would have been tempted. I was able to take a few images and cure my need for old paper temporarily- another false Panacea. #found #tradecards #advertising #drugs #pharmacy #cures #quackery #1800s #Victorian #estatesale #urbanarcheology


“There no Cleanser like blood cleanser like no cleanser I know” Found a scrap book full of trade cards from the late 1800s. If they weren’t all glued I would have been tempted. I was able to take a few images and cure my need for old paper temporarily- another false Panacea. #tradecards #advertising #drugs #pharmacy #cures #quackery #1800s #Victorian #estatesale #urbanarcheology

from Instagram

Saturday, March 24, 2018

“Can I have a receipt for that recipe?” If you opened this booklet from 1879 you might expect to see Aunt Matilda’s ledger, and why would you? It turns out that the words Receipt and Recipe at one time meant the same thing. Both are derived from the Latin recipre which means “to receive.” A visit to the apothecary in 1400 would have been due to the recipe given by a physician. Before 1760 the word “receipt” meant the same thing - to receive ingredients for a specific combination and result. The little advertising booklet for The dubiously names “Dobbins Electric Soap” which combines recipes and testimonials shows that the word Receipt, even in 1879 was still in strong use - ultimately, the use of that word in this context would go the same way as “Electric Soap.” I wonder why? #found #advertsing #ephemera #soap #food #recipes #1879 #funny #humor #estatesale #urbanarcheology


“Can I have a receipt for that recipe?” If you opened this booklet from 1879 you might expect to see Aunt Matilda’s ledger, and why would you? It turns out that the words Receipt and Recipe at one time meant the same thing. Both are derived from the Latin recipre which means “to receive.” A visit to the apothecary in 1400 would have been due to the recipe given by a physician. Before 1760 the word “receipt” meant the same thing - to receive ingredients for a specific combination and result. The little advertising booklet for The dubiously names “Dobbins Electric Soap” which combines recipes and testimonials shows that the word Receipt, even in 1879 was still in strong use - ultimately, the use of that word in this context would go the same way as “Electric Soap.” I wonder why? #advertsing #ephemera #soap #food #recipes #1879 #funny #humor #estatesale #urbanarcheology

from Instagram

Sunday, March 18, 2018

In these waning days of the winter doldrums I have been listening to REM and relaxing to the song “Man on the Moon. I ” It wasn’t until I listened to the lyrics and wondered the significance of the line “Mr Freddie Blassie and the Breakfast mess...” It was around the same time I was pulling this gem from one of my unsorted piles of found paper. I don’t know who the future champ “Kyle” is, but I wish I did. Classy Freddy Blassie went from top wrestler to top manager of Hulk Hogan and others. I remember Andy Kaufman’s obsession with wrestling and watched some of the spoof film he made called “My Breakfast with Blassie.” It was a Mess indeed, mainly ultra dull on purpose as a jab maybe at the film “My dinner with Andre” with Wallace Shawn. Andy and Freddy have a lot of questions to answer, I guess we’ll see them heaven if we make the list, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.... #found #autograph #freddyblassie #andykaufman #foundpaper #REM #movies #obscure #estatesale #urbanarcheology


In these waning days of the winter doldrums I have been listening to REM and relaxing to the song “Man on the Moon. I ” It wasn’t until I listened to the lyrics and wondered the significance of the line “Mr Freddie Blassie and the Breakfast mess...” It was around the same time I was pulling this gem from one of my unsorted piles of found paper. I don’t know who the future champ “Kyle” is, but I wish I did. Classy Freddy Blassie went from top wrestler to top manager of Hulk Hogan and others. I remember Andy Kaufman’s obsession with wrestling and watched some of the spoof film he made called “My Breakfast with Blassie.” It was a Mess indeed, mainly ultra dull on purpose as a jab maybe at the film “My dinner with Andre” with Wallace Shawn. Andy and Freddy have a lot of questions to answer, I guess we’ll see them heaven if we make the list, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.... #autograph #freddyblassie #andykaufman #foundpaper #REM #movies #obscure #estatesale #urbanarcheology

from Instagram

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St Patrick’s Day! This image was a gift from the New Milford Historical Society after my presentation there. Somewhere around the turn-of-the-century and between Kilkee and Clonmel, Ireland artist photographer Peter Collins would take your picture and then offered to enlarge it to “life-size“ or paint it in oil or water-color. I don’t know if anyone ever took him up on the offer but this tiny Irish lass might have. I wish I could find more about him but alas, it’s a long long way to Tipperary.... #found #photography #newmilfordhistoricalsociety #foundphoto #stpatricksday #lass #estatesale #urbanarcheology


Happy St Patrick’s Day! This image was a gift from the New Milford Historical Society after my presentation there. Somewhere around the turn-of-the-century and between Kilkee and Clonmel, Ireland artist photographer Peter Collins would take your picture and then offered to enlarge it to “life-size“ or paint it in oil or water-color. I don’t know if anyone ever took him up on the offer but this tiny Irish lass might have. I wish I could find more about him but alas, it’s a long long way to Tipperary.... #photography #newmilfordhistoricalsociety #foundphoto #stpatricksday #lass #estatesale #urbanarcheology

from Instagram

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pry-A-Lid Kitchen Gadget

#gadget #kitchen #wilton #connecticut #estatesale #urbanarcheology
Hanging out at a Windy Cats sale in Wilton CT. I found this item in a mini-dig. Now I can open all my jars with this “Pry-a-Lid” from Housewares Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland. And, if my hat’s on too tight I'm sure this would be the tool to have.

from Instagram

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Glass negative processing In The Wild!

#foundphoto #glassnegative #estatesales #technology #photography #urbanarcheology #newyork #portchester
Glass negative processing In The Wild! What tech we possess! I’ll be posting a video how-to later today, because although it’s rough, I was able to demonstrate at the sale in Port Chester, NY how easy it is to take found negatives to the finished state.

from Instagram

Friday, March 2, 2018

Gas light Me Will Ya!? Not without a Union Card!

#unioncard #gaslight #connecticut #1900s #urbanarcheology
In the gas light era you had to be in the union. This Danburian was a member for 3 years. I wonder who did the letter design for this card? ...Awesome! Do you think the words "United Association" are designed to look like pipes? It's ornate, but I wish someone had gone over the top to make it more obvious.  I also don't see the apostrophe after the "S" in Steam fitters Helpers...after all possession is 9/10th of punctuation law.

from Instagram

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Matchbooks from the Past - The Helmsley Palace New York City

#matchbook #NYC #helmsley #hotels #collectibles #urbanarcheology
“...Guests of the Urban Archeologist stay at the lovely Helmsley Palace...where the owner’s wife will yell at the staff while they make your bed!”

Not so poor Leona Helmsley was known as the Queen of Mean for the way she would treat and fire the hotel staff for small errors. There is plenty of history to review regarding the original railroad magnate’s mansion and how Leona's husband Harry Helmsley built a 50 story hotel on the site.

Image from WIkimapia


This jewel in the crown of Harry’s real estate portfolio, which included the Empire State Building and the Flat Iron Building, among others, ultimately lead to his and Leona’s downfall. When cost overruns and shady billing to contracting companies owned by the Helmsleys lead to indictments on tax evasion the couple were headed to court. Harry, by this time was too ill to be tried, but Leona wasn't. Exhibit A had to be these matchbooks -they clearly spent too much on them, the tips are gold! (Colored). Both Helmsley's are gone, but their legacy lives on as a very large and successful charitable trust in their names with annual giving in the 10's of millions.

from Instagram

Saturday, February 24, 2018

This map of Florida is gold!

#travel #oldmaps #Florida #ephemera #vacation #Cuba #precastrocuba #urbanarcheology
The map of Florida is gold. First, it’s Florida “PD” ( pre Disney), I mean it’s likely late 1940s and Walt was only just thinking of the names of the “Shell” companies’ names he would use to begin buying up property south of Orlando to keep from drawing attention to his master plan. This stitched image is a tiny taste of all the great little illustrations of sun and fun activities in each part of the state. What image of Florida travel would be complete without reference to Cuba as a real destination for Miami vacationers? If only these maps could be loaded into a time-machine and take you back... where’s my typewriter? This is a Sci-Fi story I have to write.
from Instagram

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

Well if it looks like a hoax and is spelled almost like “hoax”

#medicine #quackery #humor #ephemera #urbanarcheology
Well if it looks like a hoax and is spelled almost like “hoax”....there has to be a quack somewhere. This is definitely going to be an exhibit in my live presentation.

from Instagram

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Warm baby’s bottle on a hot engine in 1937? WCGW?

#popularscience #foundpaper #invention #1930s #UrbanArcheology
Warm baby’s bottle on a hot engine in 1937? The idea was by strapping a tin can one size larger that the bottle you could capture the heat of the engine in an area where electric service and convenience items like bottle warmers didn’t yet exist. Ingenious? Yes! Unsanitary? Probably.
from Instagram

Monday, February 12, 2018

Sorry Abe! It’s all about George today.

#matchbook #history #longisland #roslyn #nostalgia #roadfood #breakfast #urbanarcheology
Sorry Abe! It’s all about George today. In preparation for Washington’s Birthday (feb 22) and Presidents’ Day, which I call the great holiday compromise, I thought this matchbook seemed appropriate. The GW Inn in Roslyn, Long Island has long been a stately manor with a single claim to fame, “GW stopped here to eat breakfast.” This place has changed hands several times keeping the name until 2012 when it became Hendricks Tavern. It is documented that George enjoyed a breakfast of Hoecakes - not a misspelling, and not as salacious as it sounds. A “hoe” was a griddle for frying and the batter was flour and yeast and water. Is that what he ate that morning on Long Island?
from Instagram

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Mickey Mantle's Holiday Inn

#yankees #holidayinn #roadtrip #nostalgia #mickeymantle #urbanarcheology
Mickey Mantle was still a yankee when he partnered to have his name attached to this Holiday Inn. Some of his endorsements were not successful, but this one was and now items from this hotel - post cards, ashtrays, menus and matchbooks are very collectible.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Once upon a time.....

#found #nosmoking #flying #smoking #matchbook #collectibles #urbanarcheology
Once upon a time..... I saw these a though how odd it was that you probably couldn't smoke in the bathroom then, but the cabin? Sure! no problem. I know I'm likely wrong about that, I'm sure there were ashtrays (as well as ass-trays) in the bathrooms on board, but I couldn't resist.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Matchbook 411: Captain Starn's Atlantic City NJ

#matchbook #atlanticcity #tourism #nostalgia #urbanarcheology
Clarence Starn built this tourist paradise just off the boardwalk in Atlantic City in 1940. I was lucky enough to buy a matchbook collection and this was in it. Captan Starns lasted 40 years and was demolished, but a Facebook page lives on dedicated to its memory.

Monday, February 5, 2018

I love this illustration

#newyorkermagazine #futurology #illustrator #williamcotton #Newyork #transportation #1940s
I love this illustration by William cotton from a 1940 New Yorker magazine. Not sure if these pictures are of 1960 from the eyes of a futurist in 1940 or maybe he was just fantasizing what a view of 1960’s transportation might look like as the New York World’s Fair was taking place. Personally, I love the inference to a commuter looking to get to White Plains, NY - that’s my home town.

The one thing he certainly got right was the rise of the "bubble car." Sure aerodynamic designs are not new but it seems to me that if I want a utilitarian vehicle that I can place a snow thrower in the back of - I am going to have to buy a pick-up truck. Everything else on the road is curved at the back like a bubble.

Friday, February 2, 2018

A good friend let me clear out an old family desk...

#NYU #pinback #collectable #1950s #newyork #urbanarcheology
A good friend let me clear out an old family desk. Among the many treasures was this pin-back from 1950. The NYU school of commerce has gone through many name changes opened in 1900. The owner of this pin was a captain of industry and it is interesting to wonder where it has been and what it has seen.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

In 1920 a shop keep would review the pages of the Butler catalog

#pencils #catalogue #1920s #urbanarcheology
In 1920 a shop keep would review the pages of the Butler catalog and make an order to fill his shelves. My love of writing implements caused me to share this page. They are all awesome and I am determined to excavate a sample of each.


Friday, January 19, 2018

The tercentennial of Greenwich CT

#woodennickel #greenwichct #ephemera #1940s #urbanarcheology
In 1940 to celebrate The tercentennial of Greenwich CT these wooden nickels were distributed and allegedly considered legal tender. Made of the thinnest slice of wood it is amazing that it has survived another 78 years.

from Instagram

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

In 1947 the Savoy-Plaza was the place to be seen.

#newyorkcity #hotel #1947 #magazine. #urbanarcheology
In 1947 the Savoy-Plaza was the place to be seen. A Ritzy Hotel near the entrance to Central Park. What I found inside this rare magazine is worth another blog post.

from Instagram

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018