Antique stores? Some are curated. Others are more junk shop with old rusty stuff. Curated? Well, this is where I overheard a customer bargain over a $1,500 duck decoy. Yes! The paint and other details changed after WW II and there are wood artists who crafted these items. $$$$ as in expensive! Huh! How about the silver antique store? it was full of shiny silverware and objects of great $$$ value. Really?! And who shined it all up? I laughed. There were a few bargains. And there were the Tiffany scissors for $395. Ummm, no. Junk shop? Well, not that either. We will just keep moving on. There are bargains waiting, somewhere. Otherwise, photo-ops are free.
Colleen is a good sport. We went back to the powwow for more… shots, and, a better vantage point (… and to roast once more). Our position on the day before was less than ideal. I got shots but… let us say that the second time around I was satisfied with our vantage (close enough to touch); it was blazingly hot. The crowd got to participate. Politicians made a cameo. Eastern war dancers (one) from Shinnecock got called out. The chief dancer has appeared in the same regalia in other pics in other years. Hoop dancers? … new to me. As I tried to absorb it, I captured some of the energy and motion. We even got a bird show. I am glad we went back.
The price? Dinner out. I got off easy. It was pizza. We were entertained (enlarge the image) with a wedding party – extra large – in the park across the way. Colleen, eagle eye, noticed the party. And, to finish? A “Bud” mug in the antique store. Priceless!
Jen had house guests who wanted to go to antique stores. But, of course, we would join them. For many reasons we did not come to this hobby until late in life. Cost was a big hurdle. Trolling for a bargain is a must. Otherwise, well, you know what happens when you squander a fortune on a bauble. One guest was in quest of duck decoys. Sigh. Everyone to their taste. Me? I shoot typewriters. I’m content. We don’t need one. Bed pans and urinals? Ummm. No thanks. A tiered Christmas pyramid ornament? We have one. Enough. Fun? Priceless! Duck decoy? $25, maybe. $275, (nope!!) ha ha! That would take away from the quest to find a hidden bargain.
A slice and a coke. What’s more American? This is/was my childhood. It has changed. The pizza is much more “craft” than of my high school days. We could get a slice and a coke by the subway for 35 cents. Games? Yeah, who’s looking for a Democrat Republican tic tac toe set? Old typewriters? In my lifetime they are obsolete. Striking mechanical keys? How quaint! Suddenly, things look so old…
There’s a shop we visit where the owners have been retiring for about five plus years. Everything is on sale 50% off. They wanna retire. Correct prices? How about 2X mark-up at ½ off? No? Well, whatever you buy is worth whatever you are willing to pay. There is a sense of scale to what things cost. Right? They specialize in Far East art, like Buddhas. Lee asked and was told depending on the culture Buddha has a different look. Some cultures believe Buddha is slim and in others, he is fat. I never paid much mind. I have learned something new once again. My cat? It could be Ray or it could be Nutley? Either way, they are well on the way to enlightenment. Does it matter which cat posed for me? Ummmm….
We go to antique stores. I pass the time by shooting typewriters. Do I like going to antique stores? Well, yes, it has grown on me (going to antique stores). So I shot typewriters to fend off boredom… well, I did collect one typewriter. It was an Underwood model like the one I typed all my term papers. Yeah, that’s a great memory?! But, anyway, I get three views now – front, top down keyboard, and the keys. So, I have a collection of typewriter shots. This is one set. Aren’t you thrilled? Yeah, yeah, the front view isn’t quite a front view. I am lazy. I don’t rearrange the displays to suit.
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.