Lurking in antique stores, you come across a lot of weird stuff. People sell stuff like spittoons and bedpans. No! Skeevy! Every day I learn something new. Skeevy is a word. Onomatopoeia – words that imitate sounds – e.g. honk. Umm….no spittoon, no bedpan. Who collects, saves, and sells stuff like that?
The only difference between your iPhone and my camera is that my inconsequential pics have a higher technical quality. My daily diary is not particularly interesting. I have shots of the cats, where we’ve been, and the food we consumed. Mundane. Boring, no doubt. The stories behind the picture(s)? It’s all an experience/experiment. Does the picture come first or does the narrative come as I take the picture? Both, all of the above, a gorgeous sunset is easy. But I experiment. There are few new pictures. It’s mostly reworking previous subjects in a new situation. Repeat? You bet. New? Some, too. By now I should know what I’m doing and never miss. I should not have to repeat my mistakes. I know what to do. But… most of my stuff (images) is mundane and not worthy of more than a glance. Throw stuff away? A friend told me recently that he dumps all his bad images. Clutter! No clutter! No, no, no. I have faithfully cataloged all of my clutter with a database. Database? Why not? And images are stored on hard drives. There’s no space taken up there. …except if you have too many redundant drives. Anyway, today was mundane. Anything but… Coffee in the antique store, antique store (another), ghost church/cemetery, dinner/anniversary with the cousins, and food! There’s a fine line. But, every day is a gift! Really!! You gotta be smiling by now, YTIMA spelled backwards is llits AMITY.
I don’t drink. And, I especially don’t drink beer. It’s bitter. Colleen likes to laugh at my scrunched up face when I taste (she makes me) hers. She got to collecting beer steins. Real ones. Not Bud or Avon or Japanese. German, there’s a difference. (I bet you didn’t know or care.) Price-wise, we limit our purchases to under serious money. That is to say, I won’t agree to spend $100 and usually we are well under $50, like more in the range of $10. It’s no sport to find old steins unless you make a ridiculous set of limits. Occasionally we will break our rule, but on the whole it’s no fun to just scoop up anything in sight. It’s the hunt! Some days we find a lot. It’s always random. And, I still don’t drink beer. … gonna have to build a bigger bookcase.
Colleen got one (ornament) a while back. There were still some on display and for sale when we returned (antique store) about a month later. Indulgence. I did (for her). I admit it. I’m helpless. So, I let her go wild. She got the rest…except for the pink one. She hates pink. Okay! What was the internet price for my moment of weakness? 2X. The ‘net price was double what we paid. Something only has worth if it is something you desire and will cherish. So, it was a bargain at any price, but, I do like a savings, of sort.
So, we were tasked with three white elephant birthday gifts: two guys and one lady. Off we went on a scavenger hunt. Antique stores. Why not? I found a reticulated plate. Okay! One down. Next, I found a reticulated (different) plate. Okay! Two! In between we found a whole of other things not quite suitable, but in the running. Colleen was after a teapot. ??? Okay? She found one finally. Nice! She liked the teapot. So, it was off the gift list; it was a keeper. Okay! But when we put all these things together – they matched. Really! Nah! Ha! Matched! Who’d have thunk it! What were/are the odds? Pretty slim. Neat, sometimes, things just come together. Related? Yes, they are all labeled Germany and have the same print pattern and reticulation. Imagine our surprise? I sure was!
They make fun of me. I take pictures, randomly, of everything. There’s no rhyme nor reason. Is it just to take something, anything? Why!?? Film cost $$. A memory card costs $$. But the bang for your buck… is incomparable. So, I shoot, whatever. Lately – for a while – I shoot old typewriters. Now, I shoot in three views – face on, top down, and the keys. Three pictures explain better than my description herein. I have seen many many typewriters. I have the view of them. Why? Dunno, but I do.
What? More. The baby pram? Um? Colleen has admired them. We don’t need one. Right. There are no kids at home. Old Singer sewing machine. Don’t ask. I’ve got too many to count. Don’t laugh. Old typewriter. Ditto. Old writing desk. Curious. Neat. And a harp? That’s something you don’t see often.
We do antique stores. Shop, browse, pick around. Mostly we see stuff and wonder who it is that would want to take it home. There are some good ideas. There was a wooden ruler to measure height. I had marks on a wall for both my kids. When we moved I couldn’t take the wall. The ruler is a great idea. Old adding machines? And, there are things we have no idea what they are/were for.
I shoot typewriters. Funny, does anyone else? You gotta have a plan. I shoot them in two views – looking down on the keyboard and front on at the machine. Now, I have a third view – looking at the keys. I will adjust my angle slightly to get the brand name in the image.
I was surprised to see that a machine had keys for 1, 10, 100, 1000. Neat trick. I did not check to see if the numbers printed out from one key in one stroke. That would require some kind of different key.
Typewriters? I got ‘em. Two. The first was when I dropped David at college. The sucker had to have weighed 25 pounds and I made him ship it home. He was going to trash it – too heavy to ship home. The other was identical to my college Underwood. It and I spent many a night finishing a paper at 3AM. I got that machine. As for the rest, they are generally in poor shape and expensive $$$. Nope, I do not need a paperweight. I still shoot them. It’s a nice collection of images. Now I will shoot 3 images each time.
It was explained to me. This little box is used to collect marbles. Each voter in the room is given a white and black marble. The box is passed around and each person drops either a white or black marble into the hole. The box is opened (slide) and if there is one black marble the issue/vote fails to pass. Blackballed! Who knew?
They (old cameras) don’t sell. They have no inherent value except as a dust collector. Film is gone. I know I’m being extreme in saying this. You probably can find film and even get it developed. But, film cameras are really mostly a curiosity nowadays. Soon enough few, if any, will remember how to load film into a camera. The Argus C3 (the “brick”) was my first ever camera – that I shot a picture. It was dismal. There was nothing automatic and I shot with nary a lesson. I shot in Charleston, WV when I won the Golden Horseshoe award. Nada! Not a single frame could be printed. I’ve never used a folding view camera. No box camera. And just like that … iPhone. We’ve come far. I have a collection of old cameras. Someday someone will try to sell them for money. Right now they are overpriced paperweights loaded with nostalgia.
There seems to be a market for anything and everything. Old tins – spice, tobacco? Empty! There’s a price. Someone buys? Ha! A day bed – never been used? At night? But during the day? Cameras? Film? Nope! No one’s gonna be shooting film anytime soon. Aficionado? I should be. Not me neither! Either! The prices are astronomical. Well, there’s no price really that anyone should pay for a film camera without film. Uh uh, nope, nada. How about a yardstick? The solid 3D one on the left is “different.” How much? $7? No! No way! I’ve seen people selling them for $26. In other words… someone is selling, but no one is buying. It’s why the junk stays there forever and a day. Don’t laugh too hard. I find it hard to toss away stuff too. But at least I’m renting space in a store to let it catch dust. A metal spice tin, imagine that? Empty! Maybe? Somewhere there is someone out there who wants to pay too much for something because…. I have a cupboard full of old spices… some are in metal tins…
The gloves are off. No more pretense. I was never one to frequent bars. Now I hang out in breweries. It’s not quit the same? You belly up and have beer. Not me. But, the idea is to try out the brewer’s brew. Then take some home. Or not. We used to frequent liquor stores. But breweries are much more scenically entertaining. It’s not Bud! Nope. No commercial. It’s crafted. Small batch! Good? Hey! I said I don’t drink. Sorry. I just don’t have the ability to appreciate the crafted stuff any better than a Bud light. We do see interesting stuff. Uranium glass? It’s called Vaseline glass. I’ve mused about this stuff before. This time I have a better image? It’s manufactured with real uranium and glows under a black light. Otherwise it’s not particularly dangerous. I don’t care for it too much. So, we have beer but no green glass. Our car has more than 100, 000 miles. It’s from all the beer tours. Ha ha. Maybe we will need to trade in for younger “wheels?”
Green glass of non-descript green color (of little interest) until a recent trip to Wilmington. It “glows!” under black light. It’s not radioactive. There was a time when they used real radium on watch dials to get them to glow in the dark. The numbers were painted with radium and the workers got tongue cancer and died.
From a net search: “Also known as uranium glass, Vaseline glass glows bright green under ultraviolet light, thanks to the uranium oxide added to the glass in its molten state. In natural or indoor light, Vaseline glass has a yellow or yellow-green tinge with an oily sheen, which is where its name comes from.”
Don’t have any. Don’t want any. But, I learned a new useless fact to clutter my mind.
Cylinder phonographs – they are still around. I see the cylinders separately. Cool. I admire them. I’m not in the market. We’re full up. No room. Ha. Old typewriter? This one is about as old as I’ve come across. I don’t see many of these. Rare! We hang out in antique stores. The advantage over a museum is that you are allowed touch things. They usually admonish you not to sit in the chairs. Otherwise, I get to touch and feel lots of neat old stuff.
No no, it’s not a bomb. I hesitate to post “bomb.” These days someone will be there breathing on the other end of my phone. Except… I don’t have a hard line any more. That’s another story… My saga continues. About a year ago I got a tall clock (grandfather) in a flea market. It was a real bargain – around $100. It had a German Kieininger movement. It actually worked until it didn’t. That’s another story posted elsewhere. In between I took it apart and rebuilt it. You know? … as in boing!! Yeah, it was in (complex little gears) pieces all over the dining table. Resurrected? I got a used Keininger movement on eBay. It didn’t work. Damn. I rebuilt the “boing” part. Really! And now? Well, the rebuilt clock doesn’t work. I puzzled it out. There was a broken part. I knew what I needed but did not know how to describe it or search for it on the ‘net. Okay! The clock sat as a very large paperweight until… Mike went to a clock repair shop. The clockmaker was so booked that his next appointment to repair his (Mike’s) clock is two years hence. Right! A hell of a profession. Not too many (clock guys) around? But! I described my problem using Mike’s clock as an example. Voila! He handed me a part and told me how to install it. It didn’t work! Yeah, yeah. But I pieced it together. I improvised. When in doubt, make it up. I did. It works! It ticks! I still don’t believe it. It chimes. It ticks. Damn! And my cats? As soon as the cabinet opened they climbed in and out.
PS – this clock works with heavy weights not a key wind. The weights are a good 15 lbs each. After three hours of running peacefully, one of the weights crashed to the bottom of the cabinet. After disassembly, the darned runs like clockwork. And! It chimes! And it’s off by about 5 minutes/hour. Hey! I never expected it to be perfect. It ticks!
It’s an old sewing box. The holes? Inside, there are spools of thread. The ends are passed through the holes for use as needed. It’s a neat arrangement. Of course, we don’t sew or use thread much. Certainly, not at this price ($175). What I’ve learned? There was a time when folks used sewing boxes quite a lot. The kind I usually see are the wicker ones with Chinese bangles and decorations. No, I can’t lay my hands on one (picture) instantly. (Ha! I took one instead.)
This box (right) is one of the more unusual specimens – one of a kind for me. The one with the beads and rings (bangles) is one I see with some frequency. Sometimes there’s stuff inside and other times not. They don’t seem to have much cache as collectable or much worth.
What’s antique? Technically, it’s more than one hundred years old? Loosely, it’s anything that’s old. Oh boy! The photograph is black and white with some colorization. Your parents? Hey, it’s for sale. $18. Sad? Oh yeah! All of the family has passed on? I find it sad that this picture is for sale and there is no one left to care. I once saw and entire family album of black and white photos for sale in Camden, Maine. I suppose the family is all gone. It haunts me still.
And? WWF wrestling Santa? Oh my! Is that old? Not too much is around that doesn’t have a twist? Some good, some bad. Bad taste?
I got lost. Lost track of time. I had scheduled posts back in December until now and did not realize that I have not posted in several days. It’s been hectic. But not too bad… catching up. I know. I know. It’s long beyond Christmas. But I just came across this image. Origin: Antique Store – Ohio. We had one growing up. It’s not exact but a close facsimile. Enough to trigger a memory. We fought over it. I know this. I do not remember what the dispute was about. By default my brother Eric has the Santa. He’s the last one home. I’ve seen him light it at Xmas time. Nostalgia.
Speaking of tardiness: We did not return home from travel until December 20. Try and buy a Christmas tree in Rehoboth, Delaware then. Nope. We did Lowe’s and Home Depot. They carry fresh trees at reasonable price. Nope. There were a few “Charlie Brown” trees. Sadly. And for $60. Oh boy! Plan B. We drove 50 miles north to Dover. Ha! Double ha ha! We found a few trees at Home Depot – $60 – semi acceptable. And Lowes? As we walked in, the sales clerk said, “Half price, everything just went half price.” Clearance! We got a tree, a large poinsettia, and several other small live trees/bushes for the mere price of $39. Yes! A fortuitous bargain. The tree turned out to be perfect after we trimmed it. I’m too OCD to wait again. Next year I’ll remember to get a tree sooner.
Did you know he was a neurosurgeon? Not me. His show was black and white TV from the ‘50’s. It was still showing on cable in the wee hours in the 80’s. Huh? Well, Jules would be up. She was an infant. I got out of getting up with her. I followed certain rules: Sleep on the side of the bed farthest from the door. If you hear the baby cry, don’t move (in the bed). And finally, “Honey, I’m operating in the morning.” Lisa would watch bleary eyed as Ben solved another medical neurosurgery mystery. Then I would get queried in the morning to “solve the case.” Amazing! He did it all without CAT scan or MRI. Yes, he was a true legend. When Dave was born, he never cried. Lisa was too exhausted from Jules, so she left him alone, and he stopped crying.
We were in an old one room schoolhouse. It had been built by a millionaire in tribute to his mom. That made it a bit fancier than your ordinary school. But it was old and finally moved and restored. It was fortunate. We don’t keep most things once they are abandoned. There was an old Seth Thomas clock on the wall. I’m a bit more conversant with old clocks now. It’s amazing what a year of experience brings. There’s a label behind the glass door. What’s goofy is that I have the same clock with the same label. My door has a mirror (the old one was probably replaced). But, it’s neat to see something old that I have reference with. Yawn! But to me it’s special to realize that my bargain purchase is legitimate. I paid so little I was afraid it was a complete fake.
This address book stopped me in my tracks. Nostalgic! Oh boy. Le Madeleine – Proust. This is old. It’s old fashioned. It’s not in use any longer. Does anyone use anything but a smart phone? You move the tab to the “letter” and open the pad. It shows you the name address and info you wrote there. Not only is it for sale, but all the contacts are still inside. My mom had one. She filed my ‘Auntie’s” name under “A” for “Aunt.” That worked fine for me. But, they were her sisters. So they weren’t her Aunties? Go figure. Nowadays we have caller ID. No one gets past unless I know who’s calling. Funny, I don’t get too many calls. All them “800” callers are SOL.
If you are a certain age you might remember Howdy. That would make you old and of black and white TV age. The last episode of the show – Clarabel was supposed to do something special – speak? I was sick and never saw the episode. It is a regret of my childhood that I still remember. The old Comet sign is about to be covered. It will never be seen again. I figure the next time, the building will be demolished and this bit of history will never come to light. Ringling is gone. No more three ring circus. That’s recent. And Yearbooks? Who wants old high school yearbooks? Really? …just don’t throw ‘nuthin away!