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useful collectibles

Nothing quite cheers me up like vintage strawberry print tablecloths. Especially on a cold night, when Spring still seems like it’s forever away. Here are a few of my favorite recent “pickings”. This classic from the 1950s is full of red cheer! This one, also …

It’s rather rare to find these antique seed planters in such good condition — on this one, you scan still make out the original stenciled information. This one is marked “The Triumph” and it was manufactured by Kent Manufacturing Company of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. These …

If you’d like to put your antique & vintage irons to good use — without risking your clothing or textiles, or if you’d just like a neat way to display some of your old irons, consider using them as bookends!

Before electricity made its way into most homes, Christmas trees had the warm glow of candlelight. The candles were attached to the tree branches via little metal clips. Most often they were decorative clips made in Germany, like these shown here.  Since using candles to …

You may have seen these vintage wire desk sets, but chances are you didn’t know they had a name — or at least you probably didn’t know their name. Like many vintage items are found without the boxes, it can be hard to find out …

(You might want to catch up: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.) By the start of the 1900s, home sewing and clothing patterns were big business. One of the last to enter the fray at the turn of this century, would become another one of …

As you may recall from part two, fashion sewing patterns were still rather complicated in the mid-1800s. However, some, like Ellen Louise Demorest and her husband William Jennings Demorest, began to assist those who were interested in sewing at home –  assisting at a profit, …

As we left things at the end of part one, we were moving into the early 19th century and taking a closer look at how clothing pattern history closely parallels domestic sewing machine history. In the early 19th century, sewing machines were not only impractical …

I love using old refrigerator drawers and crispers for things. The old metal drawers make great planters. If you’re thinking you’ll be missing fresh herbs from the garden, get yourself one of these old metal fridge drawers and voila! Indoor herb garden! I have a …

For less important doodles in text, the kind that go no farther than your desk or refrigerator door, the tactile pleasure of typing old school is incomparable to what you get from a de rigueur laptop. Computer keyboards make a mousy tappy tap tappy tap …

Awhile ago I received an email from Emily regarding an antique trunk article I wrote roughly two years ago: I saw an article you wrote about antique trunks and there is a picture of one trunk that I would like to know if you know …

Combining two of my favorite things, vintage metalware wastebaskets and vintage paint by numbers, what’s not to love about this 1950s paint by number Tole Craft Wastebasket! Frankly, I had no idea metalware came in DIY crafting sets… So I searched, finding a vintage promotional …

But not just any trash cans, mind you; I love the smaller-sized, vintage and retro trashcans more properly called wastebaskets. At first glance, the uninitiated might dismiss these gems for several reasons. “Eeeiwww, they’re used!” the skeptics recoil. I’ll acknowledge that, like most vintage items, …

People have asked what the pretty floral fabric item is in this photo of the antique child’s chair: The long fabric piece which rolls up onto a tube (also wrapped in the fabric) is a part of textile history nearly forgotten.  It’s a doily holder! …

Having recently written about the various types of vintage sewing baskets and boxes (part one, part two), I was thrilled to find this vintage newspaper photo: The photo of Jan Norris (of NBC’s It’s A Man’s World television show) was featured above an article promoting …

Vintage dairy cream separator funnels have a great industrial look — and a great primitive look when rusty. They make great candle stick holders! If you plan on lighting the candles, you should place them on an appropriate heat resistant/fire-safe container — antique saucers and …

If I weren’t reading vintage magazines, I might have continued my ignorance of the Tater-Baker. I would have seen the (probably aluminum) dome and thought it was a cake saver, missing it’s platter. Vintage Everedy ad, found in Good Housekeeping (May 1961).

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