The Lomasney Collection consists of over 800 hand-painted film posters originally displayed in the The Royal Hawaiian Theater in Honolulu. Painted in gouache on 44 by 28-inch artboard by artist John J. Lomasney (many incorporating actual studio film cells) these posters span over 50 years of cinematic history. The collection was acquired by tennis legend John McEnroe and displayed in his Soho, NYC gallery until McEnroe donated the collection to Lifebeat, Music Fights HIV/AIDS. The organization raises funds to support HIV prevention efforts by auctioning-off the pieces. The most recent offering is at Heritage Auctions, where bidding closes August 4, 2013 at 10:00 PM CT. Below are a few of the pieces up in the latest offering; however, the entire collection can be seen at Lomasneymovieart.com.
I spotted this vintage advertising premium set in an antique mall about two years ago now, I think. I was instantly charmed and really really wanted to look inside at the pages of uncut paper toys; but the old slim wallet prevented it. *sigh*
Here is your General Electric Refrigerator Wild West Rodeo
65 Pieces! Fun! Thrills!
Part of GE’s 25th anniversary celebration in 1952, this set has four sheets of paper toys you pop-out and assemble. Note, among the instructions, “How to Wear Mustache”!
Perhaps rather than saying “Here is your General Electric Refrigerator” this vintage toy kit should have said “Where is your General Electric Refrigerator?” for this toy set includes paper versions of GE refrigerators and food freezers! Sadly, no stoves are “at home on the range” of this wild west playset. *wink*
This and other photos of the paper wild west play set pieces are available here.
I’ll be clearing a lot more old photos off my phone, so keep an eye out for more of these quick photo posts!
Usually when’ there’s beer on a man’s clothing, we tend to ignore it — but who can ignore this vintage Pabst Blue Ribbon vest?!
Authentic vintage, from the Golden Threads line by Brill Brothers of Milwaukee, this is an incredibly rare piece of vintage fashion and breweriana. I’ve only seen one other piece like it; that was a sailor-style jacket. Neat; but not as wearable as a vest.
It’s for sale in the Fair Oaks Antiques (We Have Your Collectibles) case at Antiques On Broadway, so if you’re looking for something special to wear to Spring & Summer events, or for a unique Father’s Day gift, check it out!
Found here in North Dakota, this antique promotional booklet is an authentic piece of pioneering & homestead farming history! Compliments of Samuel Lange, a dealer in Farm Machinery, such as Buggies and Carriages, Cream Separators, Plymouth Twine, Defiance Listers & Plows, La Cross Disk Harrows, pioneer Buggies, Surries & Wagons, agent for Queen City Creamery Co. “Highest Paid Prices for Cream.”
Also noted inside the front and back covers, Mc Cormick Binders, Mowers & Hay Rakes, Plano & Mc Cormick repairs, Racine Cultivators & Plows, Wenzelman Steele Grain Dump, Empire Ball Bearing, Neck Bearing Cream Separator.
Inside, the little book from 1908 is filled with facts — from foreign currency conversion to census data, from color maps to business laws, and more. Plus, there are pages for the owner to write down addresses, notes, ledger details, and calender dates.
Booklet measures 5 and 3/4 inches by 3 inches and is available for sale in our Etsy shop. Also included, a small piece of handwritten ephemera which was found inside and we feel should remain with this lovely old piece.
On shows like American Pickers or Pickers Sisters, every once in a while the pickers go into some unassuming building and find themselves someplace surprising, a place where the outside doesn’t betray what’s inside. It might seem like TV magic, something that doesn’t happen in the real world, but my Wifey and I ran into our own “picker moment” recently.
Just after Christmas, Wifey was hanging out down at the antique mall. While she was chit-chatting with the manager, a guy came in looking to sell some things. His mother had moved into assisted living and he had been put in charge of liquidating the farm, so he was looking for a picker to come out and buy some stuff. Wifey said, sure, we’ll come out and take a look.
We bought a vanload from him the first time out, and he had said that some other time we should come back and see what’s in the barn. Now that’s what we’re talking about: the good stuff is always in The Barn, at least from our perspective. We had been polite and taken time to talk with him about his mom, his family, and how hard it is to clean out a house, and we let him know how much we thought the various items were worth or how old it was, even if we weren’t going to buy it. It turns out he had talked to another dealer first — that dealer had been brusque, bought a couple things and quickly left. Little did that dealer know he missed out on the offer of The Barn by not taking his time as a picker to be polite and get to know the seller first.
Due to weather and other conditions, we couldn’t get into the barn at that time. Finally, this past weekend, Wifey got a text from him, saying we should come out to the farm again. We thought it was about some other stuff we were interested in buying but he hadn’t made a decision, but we didn’t go in the house — he met us in the yard.
Turns out, he wanted to take us out to The Barn.
The snow was a little over a foot deep, but we had brought our boots, so we started to trudge across the farmyard out to the classic gambrel barn at the north end of the property. The first floor was your average barn fare – bicycle parts, old farm tools, a rusty bedspring, so we made a pile by the door. While we were climbing on the piles of abandoned treasures, picking through buckets of doorknobs and pipe fittings, our host had disappeared. When he returned, he said, “all the good stuff is upstairs.”
He led us around to the side of the barn where he had pried open a door. We had to climb over an old rusty drag to get onto a steep set of stairs. As we climbed, D gazed at all of the old rough-cut gambrel rafters and said, “wow, all this wood is very cool.” I was just ahead of her, and when I reached the top of the stairs, I said, “if you’re impressed with that, just wait until you get up here.”
The floor of the hayloft looks like it hadn’t ever seen a single piece of straw. At the far end of the loft was a stage. The stairs we came up were the back stairs; on the other side was the main stairs, straight and not as steep, but blocked from the outside. Long benches flanked each side of the wide-open space. Signs warned against leaning on the hayloft door and advised care walking on the stairs. This wasn’t a farmer’s barn: this was a barn dance barn.
It didn’t take long for us to put two and two together. In the first batch of stuff we bought from this farm, we found a matchbook advertising Ida Carlson’s Barn dance-hall. I knew there were a bunch of barn dance-halls in the area back in the day, so I figured Ida’s barn had to be pretty close to Fargo. Standing here, at the end of a polished hardwood floor in the upstairs of a barn, I was actually in Ida Carlson’s Barn.
Our host was Ida Carlson’s grandson, and after Ida retired from the dance hall business his parents kept it going until the 1980s. The heyday of Ida Carlson’s Barn was the 1930s to the 1940s. The barn was built in 1934, specifically to host dances; it — and the outhouse, of course — were the first buildings on the property. Ida got her permit to run barn dances in May 1934 and ads for events at the Barn started appearing in the Moorhead Daily News almost immediately. She applied for a beer license, too, but the county declined, saying having beer and barn dances in the same place “would be against the public interest.” Ida Carlson’s Barn became a popular youth hangout for all the usual reasons that young people needed a place out of town, away from their responsibilities, to hang out with other youths. It’s where people met their life-long spouses, and the NDSU Spectrum even joked that the closest that their female students “have ever been to a cow, probably, is at Ida Carlson’s barn dance.”
The barn hadn’t seen a dance in about thirty years; our host’s brother has a band, and it’s his equipment on the stage today. Before we even started to look at treasures to buy, we got more stories about Ida’s barn and a brief tour, including the wooden railing where fifty years of bands wrote their names on the boards. When we finished our picking, as we drove away from the farmstead, our conversation was more about Ida Carlson’s Barn than any of the things we bought.
About a Union Oil credit card.
This ad was found in a 1960 theatre programme; hence the opera glasses and the “your season ticket to the finest performance” headline. Of course, the fine performance was also a reference to the new Royal 76 gasoline.
The “Ever Yours” invitation set by Taylor, Smith & Taylor Co. (TS&T) of Ohio, a 53-piece service for eight, including 10 hostess pieces.
Your choice of nine patterns by designer John Gilkes… all over-proof, dishwasher-proof, detergent-proof.
Made by the makers of Taylorton, Modern American Casual China.
Vintage ad found in the May 1961 issue of Good Housekeeping.
Cereal and cereal boxes hold a special place in my heart. They are as familiar as family at the breakfast table. Maybe more so. For when my sister was young, she went through this phase where no one, especially our Dad, was allowed to look at her in the morning. (Some weird Vanessa Huxtable stage — that’s still kind of around. Sorry, Jackie; but you know it’s true!) Besides her yelling in protest, one of her defenses was to place the cereal box in front of her, hunching herself behind it to hide from anyone who might dare glance at her. I don’t think anyone in the family knows exactly what she looked like in the morning during those years… But I readily recognize the cereal boxes from that time today.
My favorite cereal box was — and is — Ralston’s Freakies.
Freakies was a short-lived cereal, produced by Ralston from 1972 to 1976. But the impact of Freakies was huge. That’s because Freakies were more than a cereal; they were seven creatures with a story. Each Freakie, BossMoss Hamhose, Gargle, Cowmumble, Grumble, Goody-Goody, and Snorkeldorf (my favorite).
When little plastic versions of the Freakies started appearing in cereal boxes, I had to have them all. So did my sister — and everyone else under the age of, say, 16 years old.
Funny thing about Freakies; I don’t recall the cereal at all. Not eating it, anyway. I can’t even remember the flavor… I remember the Freakies, their story, and the box (often my sister’s “face,” remember?). But we must have eaten it, or I never would have had the little Freakies themselves. (Did I mention that Mom and Dad were serious about us eating the stuff?) I do remember having and playing with the little plastic Freakies. Sadly, I also remember selling the little Freakies online. It was one of my first big sales on eBay, way back in the marketplace’s early years. I was paid handsomely for them; but today I wish I’d never sold them. *sigh*
The Freakies and their story were the brainchildren of Jackie End. (How freaky is it that the face behind the Freakies had the same name as my sister who hid behind the cereal box?!) Sadly, Jackie End passed away in August of this year. You can read a great tribute to her here.
As a tribute to Jackie End’s wonderful creation, Freakies live on, inspiring cult fandom and collectors. Vintage or retro Freakies stuff sells. Figures, toys, magnets, animation cells, t-shirts, cereal boxes, advertising, and even Freakies cereal coupons are popular enough to make people pay.
I’m not exaggerating the continuing popularity of Freakies. In 1987, a new Freakies cereal was made. Without Jackie End. Now, the characters were aliens from another planet. And there was a change in the cast; while BossMoss and Grumble remained, the other characters were replaced by Hugger, Sweetie, Tooter and Hotdog. (Seriously? No Snorkeldorf?!) But the retro cereal re-do didn’t last long. If they had kept the original Freakies and their creator, maybe that cereal would still be around.
The good news is that you can still get official Freakies merch here, some of it signed by Jackie End herself. That’s because it’s sold at the official Freakies website, started by Jackie herself, where they are carrying on Jackie’s legacy. And that’s pretty sweet.
Now, if only I could get myself a vintage Freakies cereal box (with at least Snorkeldorf, please?) before the holidays… I’d love to set it in front of my sister during breakfast. (That’s a hint, Santa.)
Image Credits: Freakies Cereal box, 1973, and Freakies collection via Gregg Koenig.
Seven Freakies Cereal Premium Figures from Rob’s Vintage Toys & Collectibles.
Freakies Goods, t-shirts and Wacky Wobbler, from the official Freakies website.
Last week Wifey and I were hanging out at our local antique mall when a woman came in wanting to sell a Tupperware full of bits and baubles. Among the jewelry and silverware was a small jewelry-sized baggie full of tokens. Although I’m no help when it comes to jewelry, Wifey was glad I was around to evaluate the tokens. As you may have noticed, money and money-like things are one of the things I collect. The baggie held some generic arcade tokens, a nice Sioux City transit token that went into my collection, a few southeast Asia Playboy Club tokens went into Wifey’s collection, but the rest were a variety of trade tokens.
Today, some retailers have gotten all high-tech by distributing deals by texts and the internet, but even paper coupons are barely more than a hundred years old. Coca-Cola is considered the creator of the modern coupon, offering free drinks in hopes of hooking a lifelong customer, and once it proved effective for Coke other products followed suit.
Soap, of all types and uses, was a commonplace product that was just growing in demand in the early 20th century — regular washing and bathing was an uncommon experience until Victorian times — and each new entry into the market needed to elbow its way into people’s kitchens and washrooms. The reason people still watch ‘soap operas’ hails back to one of the most successful soap marketing methods, making Procter and Gamble one of the more successful television production companies today. Coupons for free products, like Coca-Cola’s successful plan, became one of the soap industry’s more successful efforts to get their products into the hands of customers.
The soap coupon tokens I have are also rooted in an earlier type of token: the trade token. Trade tokens were issued by a business, municipality, organization, or other group as a sort of fiat currency. Regular customers could earn a trade token through repeat patronage, or as an encouragement to shop at an institution. They were often marked with the business’ name, and a value in money or product. These were truly tokens, not just coupons, made of metal and sized to be similar to other currencies of the time. People carried them around in their changepurse and used them as currency when applicable. Quite often they were good for fifty or twenty-five cents — a couple dollars in today’s money — at a general store or specialty shop, but you can easily compare a saloon providing trade tokens good for one drink to Coca-Cola’s coupon plan. Trade tokens lasted through the end of the nineteenth century, but slowly faded out at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Coupon tokens did survive in some corners well into the twentieth century, particularly if you remember Sambo’s coffee tokens or Country Kitchen coins. Those soap companies, who offered all sorts of freebies and offers in many different forms, found the greatest value in making coin-shaped coupon tokens. One benefit the soap companies found was that the metal tokens could be easily included in the packages of soaps, which often lived in wet places, without running the risk of damage that a paper coupon might encounter. The tokens also found their way into customers’ hands via mail, and their portability and resilience made them easily pocketable and carried about.
The Palmolive company and James S Kirk Co were the biggest producers of these coupon tokens, mostly during the 1920s. The tokens were often called “coupon checks”, because they had an actual monetary value to the retailer that accepted the coin. Retailers were welcome to accept the tokens if they chose, and could get a banner to show off their participation, but a review of old newspaper ads showed that the attempt to redeem tokens was so common that retailers who didn’t participate said so in their ads, to avoid having to refuse the tokens in the checkout line.
These coupon tokens were mostly aluminum, and some bronze, and they came in a variety of shapes and formats. Some were circles, like their money counterparts, but soap tokens could also be square, rectangle, octagonal, or oblong ovals. Most were on the large side, an inch or more in diameter, and many even had a hole in the middle. The wide variety of shapes and sizes makes for a collection as varied and interesting as any foreign coin collection, and the tokens are surprisingly common. This makes soap coupon tokens a cheap introduction into the art of exonumia, from an antique and unique perspective, without breaking the bank.
I think this vintage tin I spotted this weekend is completely $8 worth of fun — even if you’re not a record collector!
Manufactured by Ilsley-Doubleday & Co. of New York, this is “the perfect lubricant for all makes and styles of phonographs and talking machines.”
See also this Zeen with a collection of some of the articles on records, record collecting, and turntables that my husband and I have written.
Just a few examples of vintage lingerie packaging with great graphics seen recently on eBay. Lingerie blogger, A Slip Of A Girl, has written a post about why she collects vintage lingerie illustrations.
Yesterday, I wrote about collecting vintage matchbooks at Collectors Quest, but I couldn’t find these photos; so here I am, adding a Post Script, of sorts. While matchbooks, with their small size, seem like a manageable collection, let me assure you they can literally pile up. Placing matchbooks in jars seems kind of lazy and a possibly unsafe way to display your matchbook collection. Organizing matchbooks in binders might work if you have the time and discipline — but it still relegates your collection to sitting unseen on shelves. But this idea, spotted at a flea market, seems rather ingenious!
Here matchbooks are slid inside the hollow plastic parts of a plastic poster frame. (These are the cheap frames you can find at Wal-Mart; the kind you just slide apart. Since you only want the plastic frame parts, just get the frames with the cardboard backs.) Since the matchbooks are about as thin as the poster with the cardboard backing, the plastic holds them in place and on display.
I would suggest that the plastic “rods” be set or hung inside a curio cabinet — that way, the antique and vintage matchbooks can be protected behind glass. The plastic frame parts are very easily cut.
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.
I should have known better. He knows pretty much everything.
“Guess what this is?” I goaded.
“A towel holder,” he said with barely a glance.
Arg! What a buzz kill. *wink*
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!
Image Credits: Photo of The Erickson Towel Holder box via The Oak Street Barn; photo of the Erickson advertising postcard via Card Cow; all other images and video copyright Deanna Dahlsad (use allowed with proper credit, including linking to this page.)
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.
Image via Shorpy.
Along with a national event to be held March 10-11 at the Mall of America, many troops are planning celebrations. For example, Girl Scouts from across southeast Louisiana will be celebrating with an Extravaganza on Saturday, March 17 in Gonzales. Part of this event will include a historic exhibit showcasing Girl Scouting over its 100 years — and volunteers are seeking memorabilia to include in this display. “Vintage Girl Scout uniforms, photos, books, newspaper articles, or any other Girl Scout-related items are welcome,” said Kevin Shipp, event coordinator.
If you’re a collector of Girl Scout items, or a former Girl Scout with goodies saved, contact your local Girl Scout troop or council to see how you can add to the celebration near you. You may also want to participate in their Oral History Project.
The first scene filmed for Gone With The Wind (1939) was the burning of the Atlanta Depot. And it remains some of the most iconic film images of all time.
Shot on December 10, 1938, using some nine cameras — including all seven of Hollywood’s then-existing Technicolor cameras, the 40 acre set was actually many old MGM sets that needed to be cleared from the studio backlot. Flames 500 feet high leaped from old sets, including the “Great Skull Island Wall” set from King Kong. The fire was so intense, Culver City residents, thinking MGM was burning down, jammed the telephones lines with their frantic calls. Ten pieces of fire equipment from the Los Angeles Fire Department, 50 studio firemen, and 200 other studio help stood by throughout the filming; three 5,000-gallon water tanks were used to put out the flames after shooting. This and other costs put the bill for this famous film fire at over $25,000 for a yield of 113 minutes of footage (some of which was later used in other films; for more on this and the special effects in Gone With The Wind, see Matte Shot).
Now it seems fire plays another role in Gone With The Wind; on February 10, 2012, a fire spread through Hudson Self-Storage in Stockbridge, Georgia. Though firefighters extinguished the fire, all 400 storage units and their contents were damaged, sustaining some degree of fire, smoke, or water damage. Among the storage units, was one leased by the Road to Tara Museum, containing rare memorabilia from Gone With The Wind.
While many items remain safe in the museum, such as the priceless signed first editions of the movie script, Frenda Turner of the Road to Tara Museum fears much of the $300,000 collection in storage was lost. Turner said that among the items not currently on display at the Jonesboro museum and stored in the unit included the large oval paintings of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh seen hanging prominently from the front of the Loew’s Grand Theatre during the movie premier — Loew’s itself caught fire on January 30, 1978, the damage led to the demolition of the historic venue.
Frankly, my dear, we do give a damn.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and local authorities are investigating for signs of arson.