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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

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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It’s not just an old Paint Can

Just as any collector, hunting for something to collect is half of the fun of collecting. I was in an old paint store over 20 years ago when I noticed an old can on the shelf with great old graphics.

Being in the billboard business, I used to paint on a daily basis and had never thought of the lowly paint can. I continued to look around the store and noticed an old Sherwin Williams “Cover the Earth Sign”, then another old sign with a boat, advertising Woolsey paint. At this point, I was hooked and thought this is for me.

Going from antique shop to flea market, I would ask for old paint cans, especially gallons. Of course, I got strange looks, as well as laughs, were common.  I quickly found that there was plenty out there and I needed to be more focused on what I purchased. I decided to collect the gallon cans with great graphics and only purchase smaller cans with colorful graphics when I found them.

Paint cans came in all shapes and sizes.  Older shaped cans including cone-shaped, triangular and rectangular are extremely rare.  The graphics on any of the older cans are wonderful with great attention to detail.  Some of the labels were printed on paper, while others were printed directly on the cans.  After collecting paint cans for over 20 years they are now extremely hard to find.

Watch for my other blogs on other paint advertising I collect! Share or like our blog and be sure to sign up when each new great article is posted.

Check out great vintage pieces on the website http://www.icollect247.com.  The site is all vintage with no productions and on limited editions.  Deal with quality sellers who are also collectors!

Sailor’s Valentine

Have you heard the term Sailor’s Valentines and wondered who and what this was? Interesting enough, this is a term that modern-day collectors assigned to what they thought sailors created during their free time. After doing some investigating, it was discovered that the sailors really did not make them, but purchased them for loved ones stateside.

sailor framed

This beautiful and interesting form of folk art came into being during the late 19th and early 20th century.  Hundreds of tiny seashells were glued onto a cotton backing.  Each type of shell was then separated by a partition.   Designs were colorful and creative.  Many had a message, such as “Thinking of You”, “Forget Me Not” and “Home Again” written on the shells.

star shell

Through research and examination, they found that most of the shells came from the same West Indies Island, with similar designs and workmanship.  They also concluded the island of Barbados was often the last port for many whalers, English, and Dutch traders.  Barbados is located to the east of the West Indies Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. So perhaps those sailors did buy these for souvenirs to take home.  They also found that these early turn of the century examples stopped during the time when whaling stopped and steamships came into fashion.

think of me

In the late 1930’s, these folk art shells were rediscovered in attics and collectors begin to see them as beautiful works of art.  From very simple designs to large ornate pieces we still enjoy them from the past as a piece of the “sea”. When you picture a rough and strong sailor, the last thing you think they would purchase is something so delicate, but the men longed for their homes and loved ones and this was a way to show their women how much they missed them.

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Does collecting sound fun?  Check out over 20,000 vintage pieces from postcards to furniture on http://www.icollect247.com.  If you enjoyed this post, check out our Antique Back Roads magazine, full of articles written by collectors – http://www.AntiqueBackRoads.com.  We enjoy your comments and like us on facebook.