Enjoying Vintage Postcards

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Nobody writes anymore. In fact, kids are not even taught to write anymore and in another generation, we will only talk via computer.  In our small rural area, it was not unusual for friends to travel by train to a town 30 miles away and send a postcard back to a relative.  We have an old postcard book full of vintage postcards mailed from one small town to another. Postcards were sent, enjoyed and kept.  So why should we collect postcards?

They are simply a piece of affordable art that connects us with history in many ways. From a heavy paper to leather and even linen, these were mailed with postage stamps and were delivered as something special. They can be touched, looked at, admired, take up little space, inexpensive and even comical.  You can research a lot of history, such as fashion, architecture, historical events, artists and more.  Even Santa Claus’ history can be seen in postcards.

Do you remember summer vacations…every stop for gas you went in and got a souvenir postcard.  Every place you went there were souvenir postcards.  How about your city or town, I bet there were postcards of events and buildings.  My small town had stock postcards with their town name printed on the bottom.  I know that as there were not meadows and sheep, in the town we lived.  In fact, I recently found them in a paper notebook from an elementary school report I had to do on my hometown.

You do not have to be a history bluff to enjoy postcards.  You just need to enjoy times past. Why not collect holiday postcards and put them on a postcard display during the season. On icollect247 there are over 2400 different postcards for sale. Here are a few of my favorites which are currently for sale on http://www.icollect247.com. You can use the search function and just type in postcard.

 

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Anniversary Soon?

Anniversary Soon? Want to give something special for your Anniversary?  Well, we recently talked to a lady who had found a great bronze Texaco lock on our site and was giving to her husband for their 8th Anniversary.  You see the 8th Anniversary is to a bronze gift. This was going to be a traditional gift, not a modern retail gift.  A gift that showed she wanted something special and not just off the normal retail site.

If you want to make your anniversary special, here are some traditional ideas from icollect247.com.

1st – Anniversary

Paper:  For Her – Uncut Merrill PaperDolls or For Him: Motor Magazines

2nd – Anniversary

Cotton: For Her – Cotton Halloween Napkins or For Him: Cotton Baseball Uniform

3rd Anniversary

Leather: For Her – Leather Covered Courtship Ring Box or For Him: Leather Flying Cap

Make your mate feel special with a fun, vintage gift.  Check out http://www.icollect247.com and search for that special anniversary gift!

 

 

 

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Were you born in this hospital?

If you have used the DNA testing and found out where your roots are, you can then find postcards that connect you with your past.  Historically speaking, you can find many postcards from your birthplace or where you live now.

Perhaps this postcard of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston was your birth place.

Massachusetts General Hosp. Boston - Postcard 1938

Perhaps you went to Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa

Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa UDB- Postcard 1907

Perhaps you just love historical building architecture, like these.

I have a postcard display and change it with each holiday.

In any case, you will find almost 3000 post cards with ever subject and every holiday.

Check out these great postcards under the Paper Ephemera category and the subcategory Postcards.

 

https://www.icollect247.com/store/lca/sub/cat/Paper+Ephemera/subcat/PostCards

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Collecting 2 Gal Oil Cans

When one looks at antique automobilia and its many forms of advertising, one of the most diverse and colorful forms are vintage oil cans. Oil cans have become a dominant staple in any collection devoted to the oil and auto industry. The great graphics, rarity, and color scheme of many of these containers have contributed to their desirability. long life
When I began collecting, some five years ago, I decided to buy two gallon cans, rather than one quart. While the one quart is one of the most popular sizes, I liked the graphics of the larger and the rectangular format looked good on a shelf. rather than one 
quart. While the one quart is one of the most popular sizes, I liked the graphics of the larger and the rectangular format looked good on a shelf.  Many times they proved more affordable than a quart companion with identical graphics.

Two gallon cans were first produced in the early 1930’s around the same time asbullhsead the first sealed one and five quart tins. Two gallons were mainly created for the “do it yourself” type of motorist. While quart and five quart cans were easy to be opened and drained right at the source of purchase, two gallons were meant to last a little longer and taken home for oil to be added when needed. The two gallons were sold not only by oil companies and gas stations, but by home-auto type stores, department stores, automobile, tractor, and equipment dealers, even hardware and grocery stores.

Read more of Lucas Kaczynski’s love of oil cans in Volume 11 of Antique Back Roads.  Visit http://www.AntiqueBackRoads.com and click on Back Issues.

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Making offers!

Most sellers and dealers will entertain offers on the pieces they have for sale.  While television shows such as “The Pickers” and “Pawn Stars” will haggle back and forth over price make it seem like a game…it is not a game to the person who is selling the piece.

money exchange transaction

Sellers and dealers have spent long hours learning about what they are selling, invested their money in purchasing, have expenses in travel to buy pieces to sell.  Most sellers are always happy to share their knowledge and help any collector to learn and this knowledge has come with a price.

money

Let’s face it, antique sellers, just cannot put an order into China and get another delivered next week. In fact, in our last couple of years, when sell a piece, we cannot replace it at what we sold it for.

Everything you collect is unique and the piece you buy has been used, loved and enjoyed in a different way.  Some come with chips, scratches, slight bends, while others come just like they were made.  So, those of us who lovingly buy to pass on to another collector should have some profit.  Offering a seller 50% of their asking price is an insult to them and if you get a “NO” don’t be surprised.  As a seller, I prefer to be asked “Can you do any better?”  Sometimes in malls you will see pieces marked “Firm”.  While as sellers we understand, trying to work with other collectors to help them collect is a positive to the industry.

Another comment, I would like to make here, many collectors go to auction, which is another place to find vintage pieces.  However, almost all auction houses add a buyer’s premium to the final price…they do not discount or offer it at a reduced price, you pay your bid, plus fees.

So, again, remember to be considerate of the person who is selling it and know they have searched for pieces for you and it has not walked through the door at a cheap price.

offer

Pinbacks all Shapes & Sizes

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If you are short on space and short on money, then how about collecting small advertising pinback buttons?  These were small token giveaways left by the handfuls from salesmen who visited the local country stores.  Remember there were no radios, no television and no Facebook.  The best way to get someone to buy your product was to put a picture of your product on a small lapel button.  Remember also that not everyone could read and so putting a picture of wringer washing machine would sell the piece.

Small pinbacks were produced by Whitehead and Hoag, Bastian Brothers, Parisian Novelty and The American Art Works.  You will often these names on the sides of the pins.  Everything was advertised on them including beer, whiskey, soda, stoves, paint and just about anything that could be sold.  In many cases they looked like small oil paintings, as the colors are deep and resolution wonderful.

 

These can be found priced from $5.00 to $95, depending on the advertisement.  If you want to narrow your search, you could look for the ones with a theme. Colors are deep and selection are wide.

airplanes

Find over 300 different of this great celluloid pieces on www.icollect247.com.  Currently the only website that is only vintage and seller’s guarantee their listings as old is icollect247.com.

Living with a collection!

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No matter if you have just a few pieces in your home or your whole house showcases your collection, it is unique and no other home will look like yours.  Just as your house has a personality, so does your collection. Collectors enjoy sharing their pictures of how they have decorate and used their purchases in their home.

As both sellers and collectors we enjoy seeing those pictures. Here are two Coca-Cola some recent vintage pieces we have sold on icollect247.

These photos show how a recent buyer has displayed vintage Coca-Cola cardboards and vintageCoca-Cola trolley signs recently purchase from icollect247 along side their newer pieces.

We featured a Drugstore collection of wonderful pieces that were breathtaking in our Antique Back Roads magazine.  Terry McMurray has a collection of early Drugstore pieces which are to die for.

Pictures below of Terry McMurray’s Historic Drugstore

         Read and enjoy pictures of Terry’s collection in our magazine –                       www.AntiqueBackRoads.com – Back Issue Volume 9.

Collections are as individual as a DNA, no two are a like.  Here is how this collector displays his passion in his man cave.

Please share and subscribe to our Collector’s Corner through icollect247.com as we show more pictures of other collections we have been privileged to enjoy.

 

 

Why do people collect?

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That is an interesting question and if you are not a collector, you cannot understand what drives this community.  It is something that happens unconsciously, it is not a decision you have made, it just happens.

You see something with your name on it.

carter

Remember the Share a Coke Personalized bottles?

Coca-Cola-personalised-bottles (1)

Remember a Christmas Toy from Santa?toy

A memory of a vacation?

Are you looking for a piece of the family business?

Freihofer's

So, if you have started reading this, you must be interested in becoming a collector.  Only you can decide on what to collect. What are you drawn to? What makes you feel comfortable? Do you like to hunt for things?  With all of this in mind, the key is to buy what you like and what you can afford.  Collecting can be a fad, remember the Beanie Babies, so don’t buy something to get rich, buy to enjoy.

While we have mentioned Beanie Babies we also want to make you aware of Limited Edition items.  The dictionary says it is…a collector’s item, as a doll, plate, coin, die cast models, etc. of which only a given number is made.   Often manufacturers will make over ten thousand pieces of one item so there will never been of real value in your lifetime.

After you finish this article, look around you home, do you have three of anything?  If you do, you are a collector.  While there are a lot of places to buy and shop, we hope that you will check out the only vintage marketplace on line at http://www.icollect247.com.  Looking to learn about what people collect, check out our magazine http://www.AntiqueBackRoads.com. Be sure to share our blog and like us on facebook.

 

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Wow! Coca-Cola Chewing Gum

Coca-Cola chewing gum??? Why yes, there was! It was made from 1910 to 1917. The sticks of gum were shipped in the cardboard box that held the packs of gum. The gum was sold in packs for 5 cents each. After all the gum was sold, the store owner tossed these out, but luckily this one was saved. Amazing to look at something that is over 100 years old. If you know a Coca-Cola collector, ask them if they know about Coca-Cola gum!

coca cola box
Rare 1916 Coca-Cola Chewing Gum Cardboard Box

Really the first commercial chewing gum in the US was in 1848 and made from the resin of spruce trees.  Then in 1869, after a lot of trial and error, a new gum was introduced as Adams New York chewing gum.  From there new flavors emerged including a licorice favor called Black Jack.

blotter
1911 Franklin Caro Coca-Cola Chewing Gum Blotter

So Coca-Cola jumped in to join the many chewing gums offered.  Lots of advertising was done to promote the Coca-Cola gum, including die-cut cardboard pieces, bookmarks, and paper fans.  Due to the short time, the gum was produced, these early pieces of advertising are very hard to find.  However, you can still find it today on websites such as icollect247.com.  Feel comfortable with buying from the sellers on the site as they carry only “real” vintage pieces with no reproduction or limited edition items.  If you want to learn more about collecting, please subscribe to our blog.

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Bicycle Plates and Old Bikes

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I was following my wife through a “junk store” several years ago when all of a sudden I found something that peaked my interest. She would take me to several antique stores on weekends and I went along for the ride but never really had any interest in the available items until the day when I saw what appeared to be a miniature license plate. For the first time, I spoke up and asked the store clerk a question. Until that moment, he had to think I was a deaf, dumb mute whose only job was to carry around my wife’s wallet! I asked, “Was this plate for small cars?” That is when he explained to me it was a bicycle license plate.

This peaked my interest because I am an avid road bicyclist. I ride on average 5,000 to 7,000 miles a year and I ride all over the East coast. The first thing that I found funny about this plate was its sheer weight. It was made of metal, was about six inches long and two inches wide and even had a reflector on it. You see, high-end road bikes made today are carbon fiber. You can spend hundreds of dollars more for a gear or a tire just to save a few ounces in weight. Having to bolt a plate to my bike would send me into shock! I bought that plate because it was cheap and intriguing and because I wanted to learn more about it. Little did I know that was the beginning of me becoming a collector.

Read the complete article, written by John Summer, in our Volume 11 magazine.  Check it out at AntiqueBackRoads.com. Use the tab “Back Issues” and look for Volume 11.

 

Hmmm Neon….It makes most grown men weak in the knees

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Gentlemen… do you knees get weak then you hear that hum and see the soft glow of a beautiful neon sign? It brings back some great memories of when life was much simpler and gas was cheap!

Neon was first used in 1898 with the discovery of the element Krypton. In the sign industry it was first demonstrated in a sign in 1910.  From gas stations to shoe stores, inside and out, neon became used in every type of advertising.

While the tubes were clear, it is the different color gas discharged through the tubes that gave the sign its color. Signs with the most colors are the most expensive due to the amount of tubing and colored gas.  As the sign industry has changed and modernized, now neon has been replaced with fiberoptics.  Sign companies no longer have the demand for neon and no longer offer it.

Thus the demand for old neon is growing.  Just like everything in life the less of it the more expensive.  From clocks to signs, gotta tell you this would look great anywhere in the house or man cave!  Check out http://www.icollect247.com for a selection of old neon!

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How to enjoy vintage in your home!

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Looking to add a little bit of class to your mundane kitchen? How about some vintage counter ware? This great looking Borden’s malted milk glass jar would look great on your counter. You can use it for just about anything you would want. Cookies come to mind…must be close to dinner, lol. But really, cookies, wrapped candy, chores for the kids (too funny), etc., you could use it for lost of things and bring a vintage feel to your home!

For example, a Malted Milk Jar would be perfect to hold breakfast bars or other snacks. The jar is extremely heavy and with a metal, top will not chip the glass.borden

Or how about this late 19th-century wooden rack mounts to a wall and has three tiers that fold up when not in use. The tiers have open bottoms with rungs for hanging drying herbs and milk glass finials on the nail heads that attach the rungs to the end brackets.rackThis decorative copper four cup teapot would dress up a shelf and dates from the nineteenth century. Has unusually ornate brass handle brackets with a dark wood handle.

teapot

My favorite pieces in my kitchen are my Prayer Ladies.  These were made in the late 1950s to early 1960s and come in blue and pink.  Easy to keep clean and are always a reminder that God is there in my kitchen.

prayer lady

Using vintage pieces in your home gives it a warm, fuzzy feeling, as well as useful.  The pieces above as well as fresh to the market pieces are available at the “Only All On-Line All Vintage Marketplace” – icollect247.com.

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Collecting Easter Memories

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When I was growing up Easter was a special day of the spring season. I always knew what was important about Easter, which was the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  While church came first, our family would then made a trip to Ocean City, Maryland to walk on the boardwalk with our new Easter outfits. Back in the 1950s, we called it the “Easter Parade” and my dad would sing about our Easter bonnets.  I wore my little white gloves, pink pocketbook and pink hat with flowers.

But as a child, I also knew that the Easter was important as the Easter bunny would be putting candy in my Easter basket.  Back then, I kept that special basket and put it out each year for the bunny.  In fact, it is now over 60 years old and I still have it. Nowadays, the baskets just get thrown away.  As I have shopped antique shops, I have accumulated a lot of old Easter baskets, in all shapes and sizes. I am sure that the size of the basket depended on what the parents could afford to fill.

From postcards to fuzzy chicks there is a lot of collectibles to bring back childhood memories.  From left to right: 1950s Vintage Easter Egg Candy Container Paper Mache; Vintage Easter Decoration Chick On Nest Honeycomb Body; Rosbro Easter Bunny On Wheels Candy Rabbit Container; 1950s Easter Bunny Plastic Bank Knickerbocker; 1940s 1950s Germany Easter Candy Container Pink Duck; Knickerbocker Vintage Easter Bunny Plastic Bank and 1950’s Woven Reed Easter Basket Bamboo Trim Japan.

I often put a few of the baskets around the house and put the milk glass Easter eggs in them. These are just a few of the great Easter pieces you can find online at http://www.icollect247.com.  Come visit our site for all vintage pieces offered by quality sellers. .

 

 

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Uniforms in Miniature for Men

Have you ever heard of a salesman’s sample? No, what is it? Well way before the internet, salespeople traveled to sell their companies products and needed a miniature version of what they were selling. The could not carry a huge item with them into different stores to sell the store owner their product. So they made smaller versions of the real deal with working doors and the store owner could see the colors and style in order to decide if he wanted to stock the item.

One of the favorite salesman samples was a Buddy Lee Doll.  The dolls were dressed in everything from Lee Jeans to gas station uniforms and more.  These were carried to large companies to show them exactly what material would be used, how they would be labeled and more. Popular with Gas and Oil Collectors are Buddy Lee dolls dressed in Texaco, Phillips 66 and Shell.  These little guys were made to look exactly like the “Real Deal” even down to the small patches on their hats.  From composition dolls to hard plastic, they are happy little guys with a round head and side glancing eyes. Due to uniforms going out of style, these were discontinued in 1962.

However, when they became a pricey collectible, they were reproduced in the 1990’s. Once you see an original you can quickly tell a reproduction from a mile away.  The real vintage pieces can be priced from $350 for common uniforms to $700 for rarer ones.

Want to see more of the little guys for sale?  Check out http://www.icollect247.com and use the search  – buddy lee.  The website only offers original pieces for sale and all are guaranteed old.

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Prison Purses and Wallets

Prison Art Woven Cigarette Pack is Folk Art is a collectible from the 1920’s thru the 1950’s.  If you think it is a funny term or never heard of it, you will find this article interesting.

Back in the 1920’s and 1950’s weaving items was a way for idle inmates to pass time, hence the prison art term was born. Leftover cellophane wrappers became the material that was used when the cigarettes had been smoked.  These were woven from any brand that the inmates had available.  They were arranged in colorful panels and woven in an array of patterns.

Wallets and purses were made to give to their family and friends.  Wallets were quick and easy and the inmate did not have to have a lot of the packs. These had slots for cash and 2 pockets for I.D.. and photographs. Large purses and pocketbooks were also made.  Cigarette packs that were used included Pall Malls, Camels, Kools and Lucky Strikes.

Above are pictures of recently sold pieces on icollect247.com.  A hand-printed note inside of the wallets stated that they had been made in the 1920s by an inmate at the old Virginia State Penitentiary on Spring St. in Richmond.  Mint pieces, like the above, are hard to find.  Kind of reminds me of “Tramp Art”.

 

 

REPRODUCTION OR REAL?

If you are new to collecting there are a lot of pieces out there that you will consider buying.  In the last 30 years, we have seen a large number of reproductions enter the market.  Some reproductions are made in the same shape, size and style of the original.  Some are easy to tell from the original, others are exact replicas and made to deceive the buyer.  Some are the exact same size but others are larger and you may think it is a variation.

As the price and demand go up on any collectible, reproductions will appear.  Back in the 1960’s reproductions were being made of Depression glass, cast iron toys, cast iron banks and cast iron door stops. Reproduction signs started being seen in the 1970’s and continues today.

indian1

As for reproduction signs, do your homework on any item that you are investing your money in.  First and foremost, ask the seller if it is an original piece or a reproduction.   Ask if the seller guarantees the item to be an original.  Look at the piece for manufacturer marks and don’t assume just because it has a marker’s mark. We know that reproductions are being made by several companies including Desperate Sign Company and AAA Sign Company.

If you look at the number of holes there will be difference between the original and the reproduction.  Also look really closely around the grommets.oilzium copy

Sign companies who made the old signs used metal that resisted rust.  Grommets were used to protect the corners. If you see rust or lots of chipping around the grommets, beware.  This is not normal with an old sign.  Be conscious of size.  Is the size different from what you have seen…is it smaller or different?  Are the more holes than normal? Reproductions will often be a different size than the original.

Don’t forget to look at the back.  Porcelain does not rust and you can see from this picture it is made to rust to look old. The back of American made porcelain signs WILL NOT look like this. Note lots of rust around the holes. back

Lots of reproduction signs are from India. There are of low quality, feel grainy and the seller will “rough up” the holes and edges, including breaking off the porcelain and rusting them.  These are being shipped in quantities.  Where the problem comes in when they are purchased at a cheap price by US buyers,  than offered at auctions or on line for a high price as the original.  Here are some reproduction signs we have seen available for sale.packard

Willys Overland Whippet

reproduction sign1

reproduction sign2

 

Your best bet is to buy from a reputable seller / dealer who knows what they are selling and can even give you some history of the piece. If you are buying on line, contact the seller and talk to the seller to very they guarantee the sign is old.  At the current time, the only online marketplace to only sell only original pieces (not reproduction)  is http://www.icollect247.com. The sellers on the site only sell original pieces.  There are no reproductions, no limited editions and nothing later than 1980.

cropped-new-logo-2017.jpg

By the way, if you are just using is as a decorator piece or a barn hanger and you don’t care if it is a reproduction, go for it! Reproductions are an inexpensive way to enjoy collecting and decorating.  Just know what you are buying!

 If you end up buying a reproduction piece you thought was real, don’t give up on collecting!  Use it as a learning curve as part of collecting.  No matter how long you collect you will be fooled., believe me there is someone always out there reproducing something to fool the buyer.  Believe me when I tell you that it happens to even the best of us!