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.
Perhaps you went to Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa
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.
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.
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 as 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
If you were to go back in time and look through the window of a 1900’s Drug Store, you could have seen a pharmacy full of bottles and medicines. In fact, this was the setting of Dr. John Stith Pemberton, as he experimented with a wide range of proprietary medicines to sell to the public. Some of his products included Gingerine, Indian Queen Hair Dye, and Triplex Pills. On May 8, 1886, Pemberton created and served Coca-Cola in his pharmacy, Jacobs’ Pharmacy. He served an average of nine drinks a day during the remainder of 1886.
In the 1890’s an “advertising push” for this new drink took place in New England. Businesses were offered premiums such as clocks, fountain urns and more, as a way to entice them to buy more gallons of Coca-Cola syrup. Coca-Cola salesman had a lot to do. Besides taking care of their current customers, they would call on new businesses, show
how to properly mix this new Coca-Cola drink and put up store displays (known as the point of purchase advertising).
The salesman also had to contact the local billposters in each town and contract with them to put up the Coca-Cola billboards. It was a lot of hard work but this new approach
to marketing worked and sales skyrocketed. A rare piece of advertising from those early years is a mosaic Coca-Cola hanging light half globe. As I understand it, only two of these are known to exist.
One sold at the Schmidt Museum Auction and the
other is in a private collection. The only record of them existing is a photo of an old soda fountain with two mosaic half globes on the mirror of a back bar. Perhaps these two mosaics were the ones in the photo, no one knows. Both of these globes have been compared and are exactly alike. These are not shown in any Coca-Cola price guide.
Most collectors are familiar with the Coca-Cola Vienna Art Plates which were produced and distributed by the Western Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Early bottlers often did not contact Coca-Cola for approval on advertising items. They just produced it and gave it away. While these were not “Authorized by Coca-Cola”, they are still part of the Coca-Cola collecting and history. Up until 1924, independent bottlers had no guideline for any advertising. In that year the Coca-Cola Company formed a Standardization Committee.
The committee’s booklet titled Coca-Cola Bottler’s Standards gave bottlers new rules and actual standards to follow in marketing Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola Chewing Gum items, while not soda related, are extremely rare and are part of Coca-Cola history and highly sought.
Two rare pieces of Coca-Cola history are a girl drinking from a straw and an old fashioned Santa.
Neither of these pieces are shown in any price guides. The girl drinking Coca-Cola from a straw is shown in the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Current Price List September 1927. It sold to bottlers for .06 each and was called the “Girl with Straw Hanger”. These are rarity seen. Perhaps they were not ordered by retailers and thrown away or was a short production run. The old-fashioned Santa Claus was a cardboard bottle display. The piece is die cut and made of very thin cardboard. With the scary look of Santa and the thin cardboard, I doubt that many retailers kept them around long.
As early as 1907 window displays and festoons were used to advertise Coca-Cola. In small towns across the USA, downtown stores had large glass windows in which to advertise. Coca-Cola took advantage of this open space and created elaborate Coca-Cola displays. Inside the stores were soda fountains with back bars, a perfect place for festoons. These elaborate window displays and festoons were made of cardboard and often had many pieces to the display. Super rare festoons and window displays are from 1907 to 1918.
Other rare ones from the 1920’s such as the 1926 “Chinese Lanterns” and 1927 “Leaves” festoon. Due to direct sunlight, heat and humidity, not many of these survived. They were just thrown away after taken down. Little did they know that this would be a valuable piece of history and highly prized by collectors.
The 1950’s and 1960’s saw the largest number of festoons made, as they followed trends such as Square Dancing, Auto Racing, Beach Girls and Birthstones. Many collectors shy away from these due to size and if framed they do take a rather large wall. I have seen
collectors use them as they were originally intended, in separate pieces on the wall.
As well as the continual use of festoons during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s large advertising cardboard signs, like mini billboards begin to appear in businesses. These cardboard signs were inserted into wooden frames often referred to as “Kay Displays”. These wooden frames had metal rods on each side, a Coca-Cola bottle emblem at the bottom and were manufactured by the “Kay Display, Inc.”.
If you enjoyed this article please check out our magazine, Antique Back Roads online at http://www.AntiqueBackRoads.com to read over 30 articles written by collectors for collectors. If you are interested in find an online place to buy guaranteed, original vintage advertising and antiques, check out http://www.icollect247.com. There are over 40 sellers online just waiting to serve you.
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Watch for additional blogs on Coca-Cola coming soon!