Thursday, August 30, 2012

Famous Shipwrecks

On Thursday, September 3 in the year 1857, the SS Central America, a side-wheel steamer ship, left the port city of Aspinwall (located in Panama on the Atlantic Ocean side of the country) and made a stop in Havanna on Monday September the 7th.  The next morning, the ship continued onward towards it destination of New York City.
On September the 9th, the ship encountered a tropical storm.  By Friday, the weather went from bad to just plain mean.  The ship was in the grips of a hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas.  On Saturday the 12th of September, the ship was hit with a wave and slipped beneath the surface of the ocean.

Why is this ship so important?  The cargo of this ship was valued at the time of the sinking at $2 million dollars in gold coins and bars (which was 10 tons of just gold), and this ship is sometimes called “The Ship of Gold”.  Many books have been written about the ship, along with the recovery and sale of the coins and bars.

Many collectors covet the coins of the SS Central America, and coin collectors still actively look for pieces from the shipwreck to add to their collections (even well after the sale of the cargo in the year 2000).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wow, This Really Keeps Food Warm?

Over time, there have been plenty of items that have fallen out of favor for one reason or another.

Take this child’s bowl that has been designed with a built in container to hold hot water to keep the food stored in it warm.

It’s still very functional, but with the advancements of electricity and the invention of hot plates or warmers (or even microwave ovens, for that matter) it has become easier to keep your kids food warm.

It has a built in spout with a removable lid so that you can get the water in and out with no problem.

All you have to do is pour some warm water in the spout, seal it up, and you’re good to go.  It’s kind of like the modern travel mugs that we have today.

You can see the child’s bowl with a matching mug that I mentioned here in my TIAS shop here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cardboard Store Displays

Just about every company that has ever existed, they have used some form of advertising.  In the age of the internet, you find tons of ads online.  Before the advent of the Internet, one of the best forms of advertising was with a store display.  Companies still use them today.  They are made out of just about any material that you can think of, but one of the more common materials to use as an advertising piece is cardboard.

Once the sale on a certain item was over, or even when an item is discontinued, the display is taken down and discarded.  Sometimes the displays are kept, either in the store room of the business, or the person running the store takes it home with them.
The great thing for collectors is that these displays are put up for sale after a while.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to the products that are advertised on a display.  It could be Jell-O, Duracell Batteries, or even Kodak Film.
Store displays can be great ways to decorate a room since many of them have more than one color printed on them.  The ways that you could come up with to show your collection of displays are just as unique as the store displays themselves.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hurray! It's Live!

The last couple of days have been pretty hectic here, and the results are really cool.  I just set up a shop on the website called, and it looks great (if I do say so myself).

The picture above is what the banner looks like, so that you know that you're in the right spot.

It has a great varity of items in it, with things from advertising to primitives.  There's no telling what will be listed there, so make sure that you check in often.

You can check out what's for sale here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Josh Tatum Strikes!

In 1883, the United States released the 5 cent coin without one important word—CENTS.

The 5 cent piece quickly became known as the “Racketeer Nickel” because there was a group of people that gold plated the coins and passed them off as five dollar gold coins.

One of the most famous of people to gold plate the coins is a man by the name of Josh Tatum.  Josh would walk into a store and purchase an item for 5 cents.  He then would pay with the gold plated fake.  Sometimes Josh would get $4.95 in change, and sometime he wouldn’t if the clerk knew what the actual denomination of the coin really was.

He then would leave with his purchase, and the striking thing about the entire thing was the fact that Josh did not say a single word throughout the entire transaction.

Why?  It is believed that Josh was a deaf mute.

The law finally caught up to Mr. Tatum, and promptly arrested and tried him for fraud.  The charges could not stick against him because of the fact that he did not say a single word when the purchase was being made, so it was up to the clerk to decide if the coin was worth 5 cents or 5 dollars.

Some people even attribute the phrase “Just Joshing you” to this story.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bohemian Glass

Did you know that Bohemia was once part of the country of Czechoslovakia?  It now resides in the Czech Republic?  The area has been producing glass since the 13th century.

The glass makers in this region quickly discovered that if you mix potash with chalk it produces a clear glass that was more stable than the glass that was coming out of Italy.

When collecting or selling Bohemian glass, you need to keep a watchful eye on the quality of the piece.  The glassware is still being made today by quite a few companies.  Even in the Bohemia area, you will find lesser quality pieces that have been brought in from China and other locations.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Silver Dollar Counterfeits

When it comes to coins, you can ask 100 different collectors what they collect, and you will get 100 different answers.

One of the areas that draw a pretty good amount of people is silver dollars.

This area is really being turned onto its ear because of an influx of counterfeit coins coming in from China.
One tip to help with the weeding out the fake ones from the real coins is to use a magnet on the suspect coins.  Silver is a non-magnetic material, and the magnet will not stick to the coin.  The fakes more often than not will be made from a base metal, and the magnet will stick to the coin.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Man alive!  This has been one fun birthday, it wore me out!

I don't know what was more fun, the new toys or the dinner.  There was ribeye steak, vanilla ice cream and cake, peas, and rice.

And do you know what?  I went for a walk after dinner.  There was more fun than you could shake a stick at.

Turning the big Oh-9 is turning out to be more fun than ever.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Woah! That's Cool!

Curious to see what's behind the curtain?  Why, it's a Haynes Ware Creamer!


These suckers are really cool.  They can add a splash of color to just about anything that you use it for.  It's the perfect size to be a pencil or pen holder, or you could use it for a small vase to put in the center of your table, or the corner or your desk.

This is one of those pieces that you could use a million different ways, and it would look cool doing whatever it is.

You can still buy this piece in my Etsy shop.  Just use this link here to check it out!

Monday, August 6, 2012

What's Behind Curtain Number One?

I absolutely love these things.  I just can’t get enough of them.  But it begs one question:  What is it?

Let me give you a hint.  This item you can use to help with holding an additive for coffee (hint, hint, nudge, nudge), as a small vase, or even with holding pencils.

No, it’s not a hat!

But what is it exactly?  Stay tuned to see what the great item is!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Century Of Progress

When the Worlds Fair came to Chicago, it was called “A Century Of Progress International Exposition”.  It was originally to run from May 27th 1933 until November 12th 1933, but it was such a success that the Fair was opened again on May 26th the following year and ran until October 31st, 1934.
There were many exhibitors at the Chicago Worlds Fair, some of the exhibitors were automobile manufactures (some of the manufactures were Cadillac, Nash, Pierce Arrow, Packard, and Lincoln).  Another exhibitor was the Union Pacific Railroad, and they introduced their first streamlined train, the M-10000.
The Chicago Worlds Fair of 1933-1934 has a vast area of souvenirs that you could collect.  There are programs, buttons, flyers, coins, badges, ash trays, photographs, tape measures (I’m not joking on the last one), banks, and the list just goes on and on.
I can find plenty of different items here in the Ozarks when it comes to collecting the Chicago Worlds Fair.  The prices are all over the place, it really depends on how rare and well preserved the piece is.

The great thing about any Worlds Fair is that every piece that came from it is marked with the year and the name of the Fair that it came from.