No Egrets Antiques has just completed our third antique show of this new year. Our first was held in West Bend, WI in January. Cold, but the snow kept away and turn-out was very high! As always, the N. L. Promotions’ events are well attended and offer top-quality vendors.
The second was in Wausau, WI on a very cold winter weekend. At this time of year Wausau is snow ski country and the sport is for the hardy outdoor types. But we were set up inside the D.C. Everett High School and the droves of customers provided our booth with constant action for two full days. They came to buy! This show and our St. Norbert’s Show were put on by AR Promotions and Audre’ and Ray really do things right.
This last endeavor was a flip of what we had expected. Weather was kind to us, but buyers were not. The venue was at St. Norbert Collage in DePere, WI, and the gym was filled with many of the same dealers that were in Wausau. We were very pleased to see the crowds pour thru on both Saturday and Sunday. But!! After talking with many of our friendly competing dealers, the consensus was that the visitors left their purses and wallets at home. Still a good show, but not up to our expectations.
And so goes the life of an antique dealer. Wait until our next show. We’ll bring better antiques or maybe lower end items. Better glass, or depression glass? Probably not, it is not selling up to its potential. Victorian period? No, we need to bring more Mid Century Modern. Sports items? Always hot. Jewelry always sells so do post cards. Yippee! Post cards and jewelry. And probably some delightful prints and paintings for home decorating This is also a great show for outdoor items for your yard decor and also heavy-metal for your man-cave. That’s what we will bring to our next event.
Our next show will be in Elkhorn, WI, (another N.L. event) and it’s always a super show for both collectors and decorators and sellers, with Inherited Values and No Egrets in booths next to each other – Row two # 216.
These simple seed planters were quite revolutionary in their time. And they still work today! They are simple to use. Simply stab the end into the ground and when you open the handles, the end “shovels” open a section of earth as a single seed drops into the freshly made hole.
We know this seed planter was made prior to 1912, as that’s when the company changed its name to the James Manufacturing Company, using the “James Way” slogan.
This is an antique stamp hammer, and part of lumber history. A stamp hammer was used to make “end marks” on lumber and logs. These end marks are much like bands in that they are used to identify cattle. Like cattle brands, end marks and bark marks (cut with an ax), were symbols of identification and ownership. As such, the log marks were registered with the state. In fact, “sinkers” or “deadheads” with log marks still belong to the owner of the mark.
While your lumber doesn’t exactly mosey on off down the prairie, lumber was left to float on down the river to a sorting works (or boom, which had many divisions, called pockets), or shipped with other logs to a lumber company via railroad flat car. In either case, unmarked logs meant lost property. Like stray cattle found without a brand, a stray log without an end mark was a finders-keepers prize which could be kept. If unmarked logs were found, the finder could use their own stamp hammer to make it their own property; but when unmarked logs were found while sorting, the company would put the logs into a “bull pen”. The contents of the bull pen were auctioned off to the highest bidder and the boom company or mill would keep the proceeds.
As for identifying stamp hammers, you are looking for hammer with a three to eight pound cast iron head with a design on it. Like branding irons, the marks on stamp hammers are cast backwards so that the embossed design can be read properly when struck into the wood. The wooden handle of a stamp hammer is about three quarters the length of a common ax handle.
An old wooden crate that once held bottles of embalming fluid. I spotted it in an antique shop (and forgot I had on my camera lol). Printed on the side: Penetrating Beta-Dioxin Re-Concentrated Embalming Fluid.
This is a vintage glass embalming bottle. We’ve sold a number of them — and quickly, at that.
A product of the Embalmers’ Supply Company (ESCO) of Westport, Conn. USA. (“Manufacturing Chemists to the Funeral Profession since 1886”) the label reads:
Duo-Escohol (Pre-Injection) Incarnadines the Blood! Unit No.1 of the 1-2-3 System of ESCO Distinctive Embalming ~ Incarnadining Agents ~ Synergistic Increment ~ Balsam Principles ~ Double-Base Preservatives
Embalming primarily involves the replacement of bodily fluids with chemicals to prevent putrefaction. (Pre-injection chemicals break up clots and otherwise conditions vessels & bodily tissues, making them more receptive to the embalming process.) That makes this vintage bottle a hot little funerary collectible.
But even without the label, or knowing that this is a death and funeral related item, the old glass bottle itself is beautiful. It has such great art deco style! Look at that fabulous step-pyramid top, all the embossing, all the details, the measurement guide along the side… Just gorgeous! No wonder these ESCO bottles sell so fast! (Especially so when these bottles have their original paper labels, as all of ours have had.) They have to be one of the most beautiful embalming bottles ever made.
ESCO clearly had their own specific glass bottles made. This one is marked:
Made in U.S.A.
The patent pending means this particular bottle was likely an early example; Duo-Escohol was first produced by ESCO in 1926.
Such a beautiful, functional, bottle that it certainly is a great statement piece in any funerary or bottle collection. And quite the conversation piece in general.
PS One of our bottle did not have the original cap; instead, it had the cap from bottle or step number two in the process — the Duo-Raa-Co.
If you plan on lighting the candles, you should place them on an appropriate heat resistant/fire-safe container — antique saucers and plates work well for this and you can even mix and match leftover saucers or find a use for those in not-so-great condition. You might even want to weave some lace or ribbon in the holes to play up the textures against the old metal. …And if you are using ribbons and things, why not add some vintage buttons too? There are lots of possibilities.
I found this antique tin advertising piece at the flea market this past Sunday. The little clay marble or ball inside it intrigued me… At first, I wasn’t sure if it had inadvertently stuck itself in there, but it rolled back and forth freely and there was a hole in the back that looked like a manufacturing punch to insert the ball. I played with it a few minutes… Rolling the ball back and forth. Not the worst game ever; but not exactly riveting either.
An older man watched me playing with the piece, so I looked up and asked him, “Do you know what this is?”
“I know,” I responded politely, “But what was it for?”
By now another older man had joined us and they both simultaneously replied, “It’s a towel holder.”
Ah, so that was it!
Having played with it, I decided to honor the dealer’s time (and patience) by buying it. Then returned back to hubby, who was waiting in our sales booth (yeah, we were supposed to be making money, not spending it; but that’s how flea markets go!) I was pretty sure if I’d never seen one, I could stump him.
But since a huge part of my interest in collecting is learning, my enthusiasm didn’t stop.
This antique advertising piece is from the Mahlum Lumber Company of Brainerd, Minnesota, (the lumber business formed in 1904, but incorporated in 1914) and it promotes the company as “The House Of Dependable Lumber & Coal.” But, unless you collect such advertising pieces, that’s probably not the most interesting part.
Called “The Erickson Towel Holder“, this antique tin piece was made by the C. E. Erickson & Company of Des Moines, Iowa, “Manufacturers of Advertising Specialties” and, according to the original box of one of these towel holders, “Makers of the ‘Result-producing Quality Line.'” C. E. Erickson & Co. were also creators/owners of a number of patents. However, the only patent I see for a towel holder is for a paper towel holder (one I am quite familiar with). Yet that one doesn’t seem to bear the name “The Erickson Towel Holder”.
The Erickson Towel Holder ought to have been patented (and perhaps it was; I just didn’t find it), because it really is a neat contraption.
Good-Bye Unsightly Nails and Disfigured Walls.
No torn towels — no towels on the floor — increased life to the towel and a convenient place for it.
Through the use of this Holder the towel is held by either end — or by the center, increasing the service and life of the towel.
As a mom, I know the problems of towels which seem to “jump” from the towel bar; no one around here ever admits to pulling it off during use. And as a thrifty and environmentally conscious person, I like the idea of hand towels — if they are properly used. When hands are washed clean and dried on the towel, they do not get dirty; the towels merely get wet and dry in the air. (Something I remind my family about every time I find dirty hand towels — when you thoroughly wash your hands at the sink, there are no grubby prints or smudges on the towels!) Plus, this small holder (less than 7 1/2 inches tall and 3 inches wide) fits easily into small spaces; something more modern towel holders cannot.
Because C. E. Erickson & Co. was a promotions making company, they also made these nifty postcards for their customers to mail out:
This illustration of the Erickson Towel Holder will give you an idea of how handy and simple it really is — No home is complete without this practical, convenient device. We have one for your home and want you to call and receive this useful household necessity with our compliments.
Kindly bring this card
(The blank spot after “Sincerely” was where Mahlum Lumber and other companies using these advertising premiums would place their names.)
How this nifty towel holder works is best described on the original packaging: “Simply insert the towel under glass ball with an upward movement. Remove with the same.” As stated before, my towel holder has a clay ball; presumably this version is an earlier form of the holder, with glass replacing the clay in later versions.
I cannot resist telling you that while writing this post, my daughter spotted this old towel holder, immediately picked it up, and began playing with it, rolling the clay marble back and forth just as I had! Even once it was explained to her, she still found the towel holder and its design as fascinating as I do. Best of all, she did it all right in front of her father. Hubby may have known what it was; but I was the one who knew how exciting this find was!
A few months ago I was driving down I-94, on my way back into town after a work assignment, and I got a call from The Wifey. She had gone to the Fine Arts Club‘s semi-annual rummage sale, and wanted to know when I would be home. She wanted to make sure I’d be back in time to go to the sale before they close, because my expertise and obscure knowledge was required. Never one to back down from a challenge, I knew I had better be back in time.
I made it with plenty of time to spare, and we got to the sale a few minutes before they were about to close. When I arrived, the lovely ladies of the Fine Arts Club, who had already briefed on my talents by my wife, were excited to hear what I could tell them. I was shown this small metal canister:
Everyone was all abuzz about this fabled expert in strangeness, and I wasn’t one to disappoint. I picked up the little container, turned it around in my hands, slid the little door open and closed, and made my assessment.
“I believe it’s a container that held nibs for fountain pens,” I proclaimed. ” See, they eventually wore out — you wanted to keep them sharp — so you had to replace them regularly. You bought a bunch of them at once and these came in this little tin. Usually the tin got tossed out I’ll bet, but this one managed to survive somehow.”
This revelation brought about gasps of “AHA!” and compliments to my wife on the accuracy of her claims of my ability to identify the little box. It had been brought in by a member to be sold, and it had been placed on the antiques table. Many customers had attempted to identify the little canister, but none had reached such a satisfactory description.
Of course, now that I had properly identified the artifact, I was, by their standards, the best possible customer to purchase the tin as well. I could certainly have declined, but I also felt the same curiosity and intrigue that the tin brought everyone else, so I negotiated the price down to $10, and took my new mysterious prize home.
Now, I may have shown an unshakable certainty at the rummage sale, but I wasn’t entirely certain of my answer. Nib packaging is still the best answer I have, but the name of the product made me more interested in the actual origins of the tin.
According to the tin, this belongs to the Atlantic Cable Pen, manufactured by Cutter Tower and Co. of Boston. It was patented in October 1856, and it’s identified as a No. 29 E.F., whatever that might be. It doesn’t give enough information to say whether the pen or just the tin was what the patent was for, and being such an early patent I could find no relevant patent from October 1856 in the online patent records. Cutter Tower and Co was an office supply and stationery distributor, who sold all sorts of writing implements, paper products, and other office equipment, often rebranded as their own. Still, the Atlantic Cable Pen eluded discovery.
The key to the tin came when I connected the 1850s with the atlantic cable — the Trans-Atlantic Cable, that is. Through the 1850s and 1860s several attempts to run a communications cable across the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean were made, with final success arriving in 1867. As a communications revolution, a cable connecting Europe to North America was a big deal, and, well, if I were running a company whose products revolved around interpersonal communication, I’d try to capitalize on it, too.
So, the tin remains a mystery, but here’s what I think it is: With the coming of trans-Atlantic communications, Cutter-Tower Company decided to capitalize on the new technology by branding one of their pens as the “Atlantic Cable” Pen, evoking the future of communications. Just as “HD” is used inappropriately or 7-segment displays were added to analog equipment to call them “digital”, piggybacking your product on the buzzwords of cutting-edge technology is a tried-and-true road to success. Had the 1857 attempt to run a cable succeeded, Cutter-Tower might have had a big-seller on their hands, but it was ten years before a cable made it from one end to the other intact. I’d also guess that the patent is on the unique and charming container design, but was displayed prominently to encourage the idea that somehow the Atlantic Cable Pen was a new technology. In the end, it was an average pen, needing new tips, and the tin, and all it’s fancy design, was to sell a rather commonplace pen to the masses.
As a bonus, here’s what was inside:
This tin one belonged to Bessie Bayless, from Pennsylvania and Ohio. From the Atlantic telegraph lines, to Pennsylvania and Ohio, to the Fine Arts Club in Fargo, North Dakota, and finally into the hands of someone who obsesses over trivial mysteries, this tin is more than just a holder of nibs: it’s a world traveller and a mystery for the ages — and it’s mine.
The first tip was to record family members about their experiences during a pivotal time in history. We’ve been making general (not historical event oriented) audio recordings of our own family members — and both my husband and I have been flabbergasted to find out how much we really didn’t know about even our own parents’ lives! (If you need help starting, check out StoryCorps.)
The second was to “play the original song versions used in samples of your kids’ favorite hits” and discuss what melodies have been borrowed from yesteryear. Our kids tease us about the music we listen to (admittedly we are eclectic listeners!) and we tease them right back with information about how that music isn’t “new.” These discussions, however intended, have given our children a wider knowledge of music, culture and history than most of their peers.
Tip number three:
Identify longstanding Black-owned restaurants, retail shops or other companies, then call them up and arrange a visit. Many will have older equipment, as well as photos, so it will encourage interactive learning.
Tip number five was to have your child research a person prior to watching a biopic and then have them compare what they read to what they saw. I can tell you that I’ve personally done this dozens of times, including performing online searches during the commercial breaks when watching biographies and biopics on TV. (In fact, I just did this last week watching a biopic about Jessica Savitch!)
The last tip was actually quite a mind-blower…
Often we drive by local honorary street signs in predominantly African American neighborhoods but may not know the history of each honoree. Visit the local library and have your children research the real person behind the road marker.
Honest to gawd, hubby and I had just had a similar, though not person-related, discussion when he “discovered” the location of a “missing city.” He’s a prolific reader of old newspapers and read about one no longer on maps: Golden Gate City, in South Dakata. There’s a Golden Gate Street in Central City, South Daktoa, but sans town we bet there are people living there who don’t even know why the street has it’s name. How many streets do we all drive on of which we are ignorant to the street’s name’s origins?
Last Tuesday, August 2, 2011, Picker Sisters aired on the Lifetime Television. (If you were confused by the ads showing American Pickers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz promoting the show on the History Channel, that’s because both Lifetime and History are part of A&E Television Networks — but that really didn’t help those who went to The History Channel on Tuesday night and, confused, wondered why the TV promos weren’t as clear as they could have been.)
The show’s premise is that best friends and interior designers, Tracy Hutson and Tanya McQueen (of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition — Picker Sisters has the same producer, RelativityREAL) are on the hunt for what Wolfe and Fritz would call “farm fresh rusty gold” to turn into “stunning pieces for their Los Angeles home decor pop-up shop.”
To assist the designers in the creative process, there’s a third cast member, contractor, Alan Luxmore, himself with connections to Extreme Makeover and previous host of A&E’s Fix This Yard.
Despite early complaints or fears (primarily based on the American Pickers‘ promos) that Picker Sisters was going to emphasize pretty women (including the use of short-shorts and other feminine charms in order to get deals), I was looking forward to the show. Like Cash & Cari, I was hoping this series would emphasize decorating both in terms of objects and projects; much like Cash & Cari, I was to be disappointed. As with Cash & Cari, I was hoping we’d not only have the Picker Sisters show us what they transformed, but how it was done. But it misses that mark.
Since the success of these collecting shows is partially dependent on the personality of the cast, it bears mentioning that Hutson and McQueen come across as Valley Girls meet former professional NFL cheerleaders; perhaps a bit to bubbly and hair-twirly for most of us. (And those 80’s headbands only emphasis it.)
I don’t want to bash these beauties for how they look; that would be as wrong as saying someone isn’t good-looking enough to be on TV. But there are practical matters here…
Those of us willing to pick on farms, through old industrial items, etc., we don’t only have work gloves, we wear jeans or long pants to protect our legs — no matter how fab our legs look in short shorts. I get that they are on camera, but aren’t they annoyed enough by their own Farrah Fawcett locks, blowing into their eyes, sticking to the sweat on their necks, to put it up in a ponytail or something? I’m less worried about two grown women — complete with camera crew — getting hurt heading off with strange men than I am about cuts, infections and diseases from stumbling about improperly dressed in places where tetanus and hantaviruses make excellent bedfellows.
As I mentioned, I feel that Luxmore‘s work is slighted… But perhaps that’s because he’s an actor playing a character role. In the few scenes Luxmore is in, he plays the frustrated “daddy” to the two little girls on the road, ominous about projects, money spent, design ideas. Worse, he’s shown working while appearing straight out of some Gap ad or GQ photo-shoot, his black sleeveless muscle shirt taunt across his chest, tightly and neatly tucked into crisp belted green khakis. If he’s a master of the 100 hour build, why is he playing a stock masculine character, one part beefcake one part paternal male disapproving of his errant shopping sex kittens?
Like his female cast members, Luxmore ought to dress for the work at hand. We’ll notice he’s handsome, anyway, I promise.
Overall, the show feels far more Hollywood glossy than “unscripted” (the new word for reality shows). While this may appeal to a certain part of the television audience, I feel it’s a disservice to the cast — showing them more as pretty and, due to the lack of “reality,” more bumbling than the educated and experienced people they are. Coupled with the absence of any shop or announcements of where it will appear, the pretty posing makes me feel the shop is simply a premise. Television does blur with tinsel town, you know, so it all feels too glossy, too fake…
Perhaps we’re supposed to enjoy the fashionista-fish out of water thing… But McQueen, Hutson and Luxmore are build and design heavyweights, so maybe they should have left them a little more raw and saved all the polishing for the finished project pieces.
That said, there are good things in the show…
There’s less of a monetary focus on the show; though that could simply be due to the too-small price / sold graphics.
And it is fun to see the before and afters — even if it is at sacrificing how it’s done. I consider myself a creative person, a visual person with an eye for seeing the potential in “junk” and I’m not bored with what I’ve seen so far — far from it, I’m inspired by all the repurposing of industrial items!
I won’t be glued to episodes, but I will watch more of Picker Sisters. Even if I am hoping the show format itself will undergo a transformation of it’s own.
PS Because Lifetime quickly signed on for a seven-part, one-hour series (originally entitled To Live and Buy), I’m not sure we’ll see any changes in Picker Sisters; the slick format’s likely set.
PPS Check out the comments below for more & updates!
My hubby, Derek Dahlsad (who I continue to try to get to write here at Inherited Values) had another one of his stories on NPR’s Dakota Datebook today.
Nail Picking In Langdon, 1931 is the early story of dirt roads and automobiles — and the magnetic vehicles used to keep the roads clean for tires in the 1920s and 30s. These maintenance trucks were also used to assist in wartime efforts during WWII.
Here’s a snippet:
The nail picking machine consisted of a one and a half ton truck with three electro-magnets mounted below the chassis. The magnets were powered by a generator mounted in the box. Each magnet had a lifting power of two hundred pounds per square inch, enough to pull iron and steel from deep beneath the road surface.
The driver of the nail picker would turn on the electro-magnets and make three passes over each stretch of road. Then the driver parked the nail picker over a tarp, the magnet was turned off, and all the scrap fell onto the tarp. Railroad tracks posed a special problem for the nail picker. The electro-magnets would temporarily magnetize the steel tracks when the truck passed over, pulling metal away from the picker and leaving the rails bristling with nails and iron.
To hear the story as it aired, click the “play arrow” at the top of the story, just below the headline.
Andrea Porter, an honors graduate from Fashion Institute of Technology, spent over 14 years working in the textile business until one day she found herself in need of a new coffee table. Unhappy with the current options available in today’s commercial design world, she decided to look into the past and created a coffee table out of an old rusted gear she’d previously found at a flea market. When the newly repurposed piece came home from the local welder and friends began to express interest in having their own, gears began to turn in Porter’s mind… Now, with the help of her sister, Ameri Spurgin, Porter cranks out repurposed items from the past into new functional pieces of home decor via Arms and Barnes.
The company’s name honors the sisters’ childhood nicknames while the company itself honors the American past in (re)purpose and motto, “Finding the beauty and potential in things forgotten.”
Old industrial, factory and farming items (such as iron fence pieces, old gears, thrasher wheels), architectural pieces (like scrolled window grates, register vents, fire place covers) and even more domesticated pieces (cast iron cookware and the wooden harness of weaving looms, for example) now find themselves converted into practical, conversational, chic tables for your home.
I just wanted to share this photo of an antique street cleaner because it reminds me of one of my fondest memories. Every Forth Of July, I love watching not the parades, but my dad‘s face. He always has such joy watching the street cleaners or street sweepers clean up all the crepe paper, bullet casings, horse poo, and other stuff left behind by the parade participants.
You may have heard about it, sometimes promoted or promised under other names such as Rick’s Restorations and Rusty Nuts (I prefer the title Rusty Nuts, but with the success of American Pickers, I guess the corporate guys figured American Restoration was more bankable). This latest show to join the History Channel’s Monday night lineup for collectors follows the work of Rick’s Restorations, the Las Vegas business owned by Rick Dale.
You’ll remember Dale’s appearances on Pawn Stars; he’s the guy who’s restored such things as old gas pumps and soda machines.
Dale and his staff focus mainly on the classic restoration of vintage and antique mechanical Americana. I think I may have just made that category of collectibles up, so if you don’t know what I mean, it’s vintage appliances, motorcycles, radios, pedal cars, railroad memorabilia, candy dispensers, pinball machines, jukeboxes, barber chairs, bicycles, and all sorts of things made in the American Rust Belt — you know, back when we made stuff in the USA.
(Not that their work is limited to made in the USA only; but you will see a lot of what America once manufactured, both for retail as well as to sell items at retail, i.e. advertising, service tools, and salesmen’s stuff.)
Rick and his staff are a colorful bunch of personalities (something I’ve admitted I love about Pawn Stars), however it’s clear that they not only know what they are doing, technically speaking, but they know the importance of what they do: they are reclaiming the history of objects, both in terms of an owner’s personal nostalgia and the workmanship of yesteryear.
While it is made quite clear that what Dale and his team mainly do is classic restorations, restoring antique and vintage items to their former glory keeping the item’s integrity by keeping the item as original as possible using parts specific to the object, viewers of Pawn Stars will recall that Dale himself has pointed out that some items can and should be modified or customized to make them more usable.
The example that leaps most vividly to my mind was a Coke machine which Dale made more useful by modifying the old machine to dispense modern bottles. I recall being surprised because I’m so used to being told not to ruin a patina, let alone update such vintage things, especially if you want to resell the item. But when Dale explained, I totally understood it. This is exactly the sort of thing I want to learn more about, and why I’ve been looking forward to the show!
Along with seeing so many old things once made by hand &/or manufactured with pride, Dale does a nice job of informing us about the item, its purpose, and who made it. (You know I’m a sucker for such context!)
Dale also tells you the cost of what he and his team have done, as well as the retail value it now has; especially useful if you are considering or justifying the restoration of something you own.
But perhaps the biggest thrills (and bulk of the show) revolve around the actual restoration process of antiques and vintage collectibles.
If you aren’t the handy DIY restorative type, you’ll gain a better understanding of just how much work and man hours go into classic restoration. Because the majority of the items are metal, there’s the removal of rust and old paint (do you use sand blasting, walnut blasting or sodium pressure washing?), general body work, painting, recreating or replacing graphics and logos — and that’s not even getting to the mechanical parts!
This is what Rick Dale calls the “grunt work.” But there’s still the time and money spent searching for authentic missing parts. (And what can’t be found might have to be recreated too.) Whew!
The amount of work shown in American Restoration may not inspire you to restore your own antiques and collectibles, but it will help you as a collector of mechanical Americana. You’ll learn more about the collectibles you covet and how to appraise their condition; you learn to understand the price tags on restored collectibles and antiques as well as appreciate the fees charged by professional restoration companies.
If nothing else, collectors will enjoy seeing such classic and iconic Americana.
One of the things I find most interesting about collecting as a hobby in general is the vast differences in object availability and appeal by geographical area.
Having moved from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area to Fargo, North Dakota, you might not think (as I did) that there’d be so many differences. But there’s roughly a 100 year age difference as well as cultural differences — and the evidence of this is found in every rummage sale, antique shop, estate sale, flea market, and thrift store.
On Saturday, I found the sort of thing one typically does not find at thrift stores in Milwaukee: a rather large display of what I ignorantly yet affectionately call “rusty junk” at a Fargo city thrift shop.
Hubby, being both male and a former farm kid, can identify this sort of stuff. Not me.
But I am drawn to the sense of mystery of each piece and the artistic appeal of tools Vs. natural consequences (wear from use, nature, etc.). And I know from years of collecting just how popular such pieces are.
At farm auctions here, I’m never really sure if the (mostly) male bidders who gather around the old rusty tools and parts are buying solely for the sake of collecting (either for their own collections or as dealers who serve as middlemen to collectors or interior designers of T.G.I . Friday’s), if they intend to use the tools and parts to repair other collectibles, or if they simply want to use these old rusty tools “because they don’t make ’em like that anymore…” But I do know people want these old used and rusty tools.
And I know how they found their way to the thrift shop to — or at least I have a pretty good guess.
One old farmer moved to the city, and when he passed away (may he rest in peace), these things either didn’t sell at the estate sale or, because it’s too cold here to have a garage sale, were directly taken in for donation at the thrift shop. Because if these things had been available at a farm auction, they would have sold. And it’s rarely ever too cold for a farm auction here in Faro, North Dakota.
I know, because I’ve been to plenty of them. Even if I can’t identify half the things being sold in front of me.