Here we have our own articles originally published in the Orillia Packet & Times plus links to other articles you may find interesting and helpful.
Batteries power portable lights, phones, cars, radios and satellites but while we may think of the battery as an adjunct to these wonderful devices it’s actually the other way around; this rather simple invention enabled all our modern communication and even transportation.
There is a whole area of collecting that revolves around professions. The medical profession has been an area of intense interest, doctors’ bags, instruments and old medicine bottles have been hotly collected but lately there has also been more interest in the nursing profession.
The office has been a pervasive part of our culture for some time now; office buildings still dominate the skylines of large cities. Today many of us have an office at home or a private office at work that we can decorate ourselves so there has been an increasing interest among collectors in vintage office equipment.
As recently as a hundred years ago pretty well anybody could claim anything had therapeutic value. Their success depended not on how well the medicine or device worked, but on how convincingly they presented the claim.
We might think it odd that a simple thing like a light bulb would stir up controversy but in fact it has a tumultuous history; with enough intrigue and drama for several movies.
We think of Nashville as synonymous with country, but it also played a big part in the development of blues, R&B and gospel. Popular myth has it that Allan Freed’s radio show in Cleveland turned white teenagers on to R&B but in fact it happened in Nashville first.
As I write this, the darkest day of the year has passed. Winter will not be quite so dark and depressing from now on. We can light a room by flipping a switch but the darkness must have been much more profound in the days before we had cheap, reliable and safe indoor lighting. Amazingly, that was just over a hundred years ago.
Before the advent of radio and television many clocks didn’t just tell the time, they entertained. They played music, did a dance and were visually entrancing.
Most musicians who play traditional music, and even some who don`t, like to play it on vintage instruments. There are a lot of very focused musicians out there so we are all aware there is a good market for quality, vintage musical instruments. Even beat up ones can be highly sought-after if they play well.
We old guys love classic cars, though how you define “classic” depends on just how old you are. We’d love to collect dozens of them if we could but that just isn’t practical unless your name is Jay Leno. However we can collect car stuff, or in my case, we can collect books about car stuff.
The world of knife collecting can be a complex and murky one indeed. There are so many different kinds of knives, and radically different collecting motivations, that nobody can say they just collect knives. You must specialize and the deeper you get into it, the more specialized you become.
Great inventions often become part of our daily lives very quickly because of a combination of innovation, convenience, style and necessity. Once something better comes along, or it goes out of style, it will just as quickly become a relic, or a collectors’ item. The pocket watch fits nicely into this neat theory.
The antiques hobby is full of cycles; trends that come and go and come back again. The current big buzzword is “repurposing” – altering an object to use it for something else. It’s a great concept; finally you can find a use for those boxes of vintage Mason jars or typewriters that don’t work.
We do things at Christmas that we would never consider doing any other time of year; such as cut down a perfectly healthy tree, drag it in to the house, prop it up and decorate it with lights. Putting up a tree is actually a relatively recent Christmas tradition but its roots, so to speak, go back to ancient times
In the United States especially, there is a very active market in collecting presidential memorabilia. Theodore Roosevelt is the most sought-after presiden however, if we include casual collectors and the general public in the pool, President Kennedy is by far the most collected and revered.
One of the perks of owning an antiques store is you get to buy weird and unusual stuff. Neither one of us is expert in any field of antiques, we learn as we go, and that’s the real joy. A while back a young lady came into our store with a cardboard box full of broken and grimy clay figurines. They were strangely compelling.
One of the most memorable and successful expositions, The Chicago World’s Fair, opened just over 80 years ago on May 27, 1933. The fair celebrated the latest in design, technology and entertainment. Oddly enough, what is most noted today is that it was the venue for the introduction of the Mickey Mouse watch.
With the torrent of so-called reality TV shows about antiques and antique hunting these days, there’s been a renewed interest in the hobby. These shows have also kindled a burning desire on the part of many people to know just how much their stuff is worth.