Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Released in 1965, "Bash!" by Milton Bradley is a kind of junior version of Jenga or a vertical version of  "Don't Break the Ice".

Monday, July 27, 2015

Beer Can Memories

Believe it or not, beer can collecting was a legitimate hobby in the 1970's.  The father of the kid down the street from me had a huge collection which he displayed on the walls of their basement rec room. My father was a Busch man and my brothers Budweiser, so seeing the great variety of manufacturers and brands fascinated me -- and got me hooked.

Resolute on starting my own collection, but being 10 and extremely underage and with limited access to the Anheuser-Busch brands in my own home, I decided the best way to build my collection would be to scour the roads after the weekend and search the various impromptu garbage dumps in the woods around our house.

Enlisting the help of my younger neighbor Jeff (we'll share the collection!) we set out every weekend one summer and by the end had amassed quite a collection of different brands and variant cans.  We kept the cans in a 5 gallon drum we found at one of the dumps (and which probably previously held some now-outlawed toxin).  For some reason, rather than keep the collection at either of our houses (one reason probably being that our parents would throw them out and secondly, we probably couldn't work out an equitable agreement for co-ownership), we hid the collection in our neighbor's yew shrubs.

From Blatz to Hamms to Schlitz, we collected 7 oz, 12 oz and 16 oz versions.  Yet one can remained my holy grail.  One my friend down the street had in his collection.  The massive 25 oz Foster's Lager "oil can". Though I'd never seen one outside of his collection, they probably weren't that uncommon. They were an Australian brewer, but they had been imported to the U.S. since 1972, at least 5 years before we started our own collection.  But it was still elusive and we never did find one. Then one day that Fall, we discovered our collection was gone. We blamed Jeff's brother for stealing it, but most likely it was discovered by the owner of the home where we hid them and thrown away like so much rubbish.  The blow was too much and we abandoned our hobby.

Memories of those days came sharply into focus today in the garage of an estate sale where I found a box lot of beer cans, someone else's abandoned collection.  Curious, I looked through the cans, some common and other not so common brands.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Big Book of the Real Circus

Notwithstanding the black-eyed, nicotine-stain-toothed psycho clown on the cover, this "Big Book of the Real Circus" has some pretty cool painted pictures.  Not to be confused with that fake circus on the other side of town, from 1951 it's the Real Circus.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

In the News -- January 12th, 1942

I picked up this newspaper at an estate sale yesterday for free.  Some interesting articles and ads.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Magic as a Hobby

This "Magic as a Hobby" booklet dates from the 1950's and was sold at the surprisingly high price for the times of $1.  It contains some classics like the old "remove your thumb" trick that my brother used to pull on me (freaked me out) and "Dead Man's Finger", a trick I first saw "Ralph Malph" use to try to scare Marcia the Waitress on "Happy Days" and one which I attempted to employ in the days after (never scared anyone). There are also some cool Ripley-esque illustrations, some illusions, and a few tricks I didn't know.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Grand Canyon or Bust, 1963

Today's installment of the mystery family's vacation is the last on our trip west and begins with a stop at Hoover Dam, then moves on to Meteor Crater and ends at the Grand Canyon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Disneyland 1963, Part 2

Today we wrap up our trip to Disneyland 1963, but stick around for the remainder of the trip.  The one thing I noticed about these slides is you never see the person behind the camera, presumably Dad. And many times, he's not even on the ride with the family.  Little did he know that what he saw through his viewfinder would one day be seen by at least 10's of people from around the world (there's that many of you out there, aren't there???)


Storyland Canal Boat

Monday, July 20, 2015

Four Color Find

I was out doing a little garage saling Saturday morning (it's been a while) and came across some vintage '60's and '70's comic books.  Some were marked 50 cents, but most were in a box marked 10 cents each.  They're not going to put my kids through college, but there were some neat finds in there and make for excellent bathroom reading.  There were a couple that deserve a standalone blog post, so I'm withholding those for later.  Here are the rest, along with some of the more interesting ads.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Tower Comics, September 1967.  Gil Kane cover.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Disneyland 1963, Part 1

Continuing our mystery family's vacation slides from 1963 finds us in Disneyland. There were quite a few slides, so I'm breaking it into two parts.  Part 1 features Fantasyland, Sleeping Beauty's Castle and around the park.

 Do the Dwarves still have those peep holes in their hats?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Las Vegas, 1963

These are from a lot of slides I bought at a sale today.  I'll be posting more later (from the same trip, but not of Vegas.  Think Las Vegas for kids).

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Down South 1954

This was another find at the big brochure sale from a while back.  From 1954, Down South on the Beautiful Gulf Coast featuring motels and attractions in and around Biloxi, Mississippi.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Knight Rider Activity Book

I bought this Knight Rider Activity Book at a garage sale a few weekends ago.


This home safety guide from 1966 demonstrates all the ways you can be killed in your home.  I grew up in a non-grounded house. I can attest to every one of these scenarios.  Fortunately, none ever killed me.  Working on vintage appliances as I do, I'm sometimes reminded of those days, quite suddenly at times.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Marx Warriors of the World

I found these Marx "Warriors of the World" figures at a sale yesterday for $1 each.  They date from 1963 and are part of a larger series of Marx figures that featured everything from Pirates to American Indians to WWII soldiers to Knights and Roman soldiers and gladiators like mine below.  They stand 6" tall and are really pretty cool.  I was shocked at the $1 price tag.  Somebody didn't do their homework.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Of Plates, Buttons and Woodpeckers

I was at the estate sale of a rabid plate collector this morning.  Her closets were filled with those collectible painted plates that were all the rage in the '80's and '90's.  In another room, I found a bag full of pin-back buttons that didn't really appeal to me and in fact it took me a minute to figure out what they were.  They were from a collector's plate convention in South Bend, Indiana in the early '80's and promote some of the manufacturers and depict some of the plates available that year.  I know, exciting stuff, but stick with me for a moment.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Santa's Village

I previously blogged a "Santa's Village" brochure among the others I found last Spring.  Recently, I came across yet another one with different pictures.  "Santa's Village" was a North Pole-themed amusement park that opened in the 1950's.  They had 3 locations; 2 in California and 1 in Chicago. In addition to Santa Claus, the park featured other fairy tale buildings, rides and characters.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Reader's Digest Condensed, June 1974

I recently came into a cache of old Reader's Digest magazines from the 1970's and you know what that means -- more scans!  If you're not a fan of old ads, move along.  If you are a fan of old ads, fasten your seatbelts...oh wait, this is the 1970's. No safety belts.  Well, just hang on for your dear lives then.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Camping by Coleman

Camping trips were one of the highlights of my summer growing up.  I loved the campfires, sleeping in a tent (I can still smell the wet canvas), fishing, hiking and those mysterious only-for-camping appliances my Dad used like the Coleman stove and lantern.  The sight of watching him add white gas, pump pressure into the tank and finally light it was like magic.  Of course, I wasn't allowed to handle  them, especially those silk mantles in the lantern that disintegrated on touch.

I found these Coleman owners manuals in the cabinet I blogged about here.

The first up is for the Coleman 425D Camp Stove from 1965.

Six Gun Junction

I don't recall when I picked up this brochure, but it would fit in nicely with those I blogged about here.   This one features "Six Gun Junction", a Ghost Town attraction in Biloxi, Mississippi.  I don't know about you, but I don't think of the Old West when I think of Biloxi.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer Time Comic Book Fun with Vicki (or at least the ads)

We didn't have air conditioning when I was little and when we did get it, we rarely used it.  So many of my summers were spent in our basement where it was cool (temperature wise, that is.  As basements go, it was as uncool as they get and was actually kind of scary).  I would spend hours reading comic books, a lot of which were from my older brothers who were alive during that sweet spot of years to see the birth of the Marvel Age of comics.  I guess what my rambling is trying to get at is that I've always associated summer with comic books and this being July 1st, I thought I'd bring one out that I recently picked up at a sale.

I was never a big reader of the Archie line, but I did have a few and when I saw this cover, I assumed it was an extension of those comics.

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