Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!

Speaking of tooting my horn, I made a couple additions to my noisemaker collection this year. First up are two horns made by the U.S. Metal Toy Mfg. company.

They're made by the U.S. Metal Toy Mfg. Co., but I could find nothing on their history.  I suspect they date from the late '40's or the 50's.  They have metal noise makers inside, so they should last for New Year's Eves to come.

This rattle noisemaker is made by the same company.  I loved the graphics on it:

Happy 2012 and here's to a new year of garage saling!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy 1967!

I found this calendar at an estate sale this past fall.  It was given away by the Gravois Drug Company located at 4912 Gravois, St. Louis 16, Mo.  Phone, FLanders 2-1234.  Do businesses still hand out free calendars?:

I liked the Santa Claus image on it and the fact that it was 1967 (my birth year and first Christmas).  In fact, here's a picture of me from that December of '67.  I'll let you guess which one is me:

It begins with December of 1966 and coincidentally, the days aligned with December 2011 and will continue to align in 2012 at least until February 29th, as 2012 is a leap year.
The calendar contains information like sunrise and sunset times and even attempts to predict the weather for the entire year.  Important historical events such as "Rotary Organized, 1905" are noted along with suggestions for gentle relief of irregularity (Nujol heavy mineral oil, if you were wondering).

The building is no longer there.  It appears to have been torn down and replaced by a bank.  It was located just across the street from Bevo Mill.

View Larger Map

On the topic of the calendar, two professors at Johns Hopkins University are proposing a new calendar system based on a 364-day year, allowing for the days to fall on the same day of week each year.  For example, Christmas would always be on a Sunday.  The advantage, they say, is the elimination of recreating calendars and schedules each year. I think that would be boring and it would elminate December 31st as New Year's Eve, replacing December with a 30-day month.  Tooting my horn on December 30th would just seem silly.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A 1950 Hit!

I found this record among some other 78's at an estate sale last Friday.  Initially, I thought it was a musical hit from 1950, but it's actually a promotional record for the 1950 Ekco Pressure cooker.

It's a fictional award ceremony supposedly hosted at the Waldorf-Astoria Starlight roof

where excitement is running high as our host, Ben Grauer, interrupts a musical program to announce the winner of the National Home Safety contest, the newer and safer Ekco Pressure cooker, better known as the Ekconomic Lo-pressure cooker/sterilizer.

You can listen to the audio here.

Popular Science also featured this pressure cooker in their September 1950 issue as one of their "Aids to Modern Living" where they explain the main safety feature is its use of 3 3/4 lbs of pressure instead of the usual 5 to 10 and the special locking device that prevents premature opening of the lid until pressure is below 1/2 lb.  I'll bet somebody still managed to scald themselves with it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Made in Japan

I went to an estate sale in South St. Louis City during my lunch hour on Friday and found these in a box of ornaments marked 50 cents.  They're all marked Japan and probably date from the '60's.  There were a few I wasn't particularly fond of, but I felt I couldn't leave them behind.  It would have been like banishing them to the Island of Misfit Toys.

The bases for these are made from a styrofoam bell halve

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry Pixiemas

I picked these 2 pixies up at an estate sale a number of years ago.  They used to sit out on a shelf year round, but now only come out at Christmas.  They're ceramic and unlabeled, but probably made by Treasure Craft in the 50's.  They're seated, appropriately enough, next to a Brownie camera (I'd like to pretend I was clever enough to do that intentionally, but it was purely coincidence.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fröhliche Weihnachten

I came across these in a huge lot of other post cards at an estate sale this past Summer.  Evidently, the person was a collector.  I dug out my favorites.  The fact that the majority are written on and postmarked adds to the attraction for me.  I find it hard to wrap my mind around the fact that there ever was a 2 a.m. of December 24th, 1908, as one of them is stamped.  I was also impressed that presumably these arrived in time for Christmas, despite some of them being postmarked as late as 5:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

The postcards were all sent to the same family at 2517 N. Market St., St. Louis, MO which is just north of downtown St. Louis and is apparently sketchy enough to keep even the Google-vagen away as I couldn't find a streetview of the address.  The best I could do was a look down the street:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Up on the Housetop

In this post, I'm featuring some of the foreign-made Santa Clauses I've collected over the years.

These date from the '50's into the 70's.  I recall disliking the cheap plastic displays when I was young, but they now hold a certain charm.

First up is Santa arriving on the rooftop, reindeer slightly overshooting and clinging for dear (or is that deer... bah dah bomp!) life.

Safely inside, without a care for his reindeer, Santa sits on the mantle waving presents.  I found this one still in the package and committed the collector's unthinkable: I opened it.

I recognized this ornament from Christmas Vacation in the scene where Uncle Lewis burns down the Griswold Family tree.  This Santa drops from the tree melted and singed:

This one kind of creeped me out, but I couldn't resist:

I think this Santa pre-dates the others.  I believe it's Japanese (To me he even looks Oriental).  He's decked out in an unusual gold suit.  I thought something about the sleigh didn't look right.  It was clearly much newer.  When I got him home, I found out why: he was missing a foot and someone had salvaged him by placing him in this wicker sleigh and covering his legs in holly and tinsel.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Wisdom

This was among the stack of children's magazines I acquired a few months ago.  The same stack as the Jack and Jill from October.

This is Wee Wisdom, November 1947 issue.  The cover shows the gang coming over for a game of football (or possibly picking the boy up) while the neighbor's dog looks on.

Monday, November 28, 2011

And How!

Here's my last minute desperate attempt at having at least one post in all of November!  I can't believe my last posting was Halloween.

Anyway, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and the Native American (okay, it's a bit of a stretch), I present a children's magazine from 1951 called "Here's How", a how-to guide for kids on subjects ranging from costumes to games to musical instruments.  Some of the projects would be deemed too dangerous for kids these days (oil drum fireplace, I'm looking at you!).

On this page, I learned the name for a Native American's loin cloth is a "clout".  I wonder how that relates to "having clout".

As indicated on the cover, this particular magazine belonged to Anna Meyer.  I picked this magazine up at an estate sale in Oakville a couple Saturdays ago.  In the garage, I saw this mural:

The resolution isn't the best, but you may be able to make out "July 31 1975 Anna" on the right side of the frame.  That means this book was already at least 24 years old before Anna received it (and a few more given the fact Anna wrote her name on the cover!)  I was a little perplexed by Anna's garage/nursery.  I wonder if they ran out of room by the time Anna came along.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

We just wrapped up our big Halloween bash and I thought I'd share a few Halloween-related items I picked up over the summer.

First up, some vintage Beistle Halloween cutouts:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Upwardly Mobile

I bought a stack of old Jack and Jill kids magazines for $2 from an estate sale over the summer.  I thought I would share the October 1955 issue.

Jack O Candles

I found these candlesticks at a garage sale last month.  It's an interesting take on the more traditional Christmas candlesticks.  They're not old, but still a cool addition to my light-up pumpkin collection.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Robber Kitten

I found this book at an estate sale last Friday.  It was in the everything's $1 section.  It's a little worse for wear, having been colored in and having loose pages, but I liked the art and it's an early Walt Disney, dating from 1935. The story centers around Ambrose, a kitten who longs for adventure rather than the bath his mother has requested he take. Escaping with cookies as his loot, he takes to the woods only to bump into Bully Bill (or Dirty Bill if you believe the wanted sign).  Spinning a yarn of how he held up a stagecoach that very morning and had the loot in the bag, Bill takes the bag from Ambrose only to find cookies inside.  Laughing, he sends Ambrose (gratefully) back home to his mother and his waiting bath.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Devil You Say...

I thought I'd start out October with a Halloween-themed post.  I frequently see the cherubic and angelic statuettes at garage and estate sales.  This is the first devil I've ever seen. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Windows to the Past or Time for Slides Again

I was going through my garage sale folders and came across the collection of slides I bought last summer.  I haven't posted these yet, so, here they are, in no particular order and absent of witty comments.  Oh, I'll make comments, they just won't be particularly witty.  I'm no Charles Phoenix, but I think there are some great scenes here.  Think of me as that annoying relative that invites your over to look at their slides.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How Are You Fixed for Blades?

You may be unfamiliar with the jingle in the title.  The only reason I know it is from a Bugs Bunny cartoon in which he asks the question of an executioner.  It's from an ad for Gilette razors from the 1950's.  I found one at an estate sale this weekend.  You can actually still buy the razor refills for these.  It was in a nice, original case and priced pretty decent at $2.

You Spin Me Round Round, Baby, Right Round...

Just a week after coming across the Burger Chef Frisbee, I found more frisbees at another estate sale.  Odd, because they're not something I typically see.  And one of them brings back more memories.  I'm guessing this was also a premium from the Kmart cafe.  I bought many a bag of popcorn or soft pretzel and Coke Icee there.  This frisbee features their logo from the early '70's and is surprisingly a genuine Wham-O product.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Saturday Morning Cereal Memories

I was pondering my previous post regarding collectible McDonald's plates from the 1970's and how we didn't have them when I was a kid.  I realized a major reason was we only went to McDonald's a couple times in a year.  Another reason was my parents would never spend extra money on such frivolity as a collectible plate.  What we did have were these:

If you grew up in the 70's, you probably did as well.  These were margarine bowls.  The brand is somewhat disputed.  My first thought was Imperial.  Others on the internet recall Blue Bonnet or Parkay.  I'm almost positive it wasn't Parkay, as that was too expensive for my family.  When the margarine was gone, voila, cereal bowl.  These were a favorite for Saturday morning cereal in front of the television.  I seem to recall fighting over which color my sister and I would eat from.  I'm sure I always ended up with the pea green one...

Anyway, when I saw these sitting on a shelf in the basement of a recent estate sale, that all came back to me.  I grabbed 6 of them (there were a couple others that were too far gone) and brought them up to check out.  The person hosting the sale looked at me and said, "I'll bet you ate cereal out of those bowls when you were little."  She went on to say she had shown them to some younger people (20's) and they had no clue.

Whatever happened to jelly jar glasses, margarine cereal bowls, and butter tub Tupperware?  It seems nobody repurposes used containers like they once did.  Seems like a pretty smart thing to do.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Would You Like a Frisbee with That?

Saturday I was at an estate sale.  Frankly, a pretty messy estate sale.  Not much good there.  But in the rubble, I spotted something that sparked a memory.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Would You Like a Plate with That?

Frankly, I always found Ronald and the gang to be a little creepy.  Their Sid and Marty Krofft-esque features were a little too much for me and apparently for Sid and Marty as well as they sued McDonald's in the 1970's for copyright infringement.  The lawsuit forced McDonald's to retire Big Mac the cop and Mayor McCheese and soften the features of Captain Crook, the Hamburgler and the remaining characters.

These plates must have been offered prior to the settlement as they feature the earlier incarnations.

I bought this plate at the same sale.  It's not McDonald's, but equally creepy.  This plate is from Schnuck's, a local Missori grocery store and dates from 1980 which is about 4 years late for the Spirit of '76 vibe.

The plate is also a tie in with Six Flags over Mid-America and features non-descript characters from the theme park.  I vaguely recall these.  The one with the goggles went with the antique car ride.  The other two look like muppet knockoffs.

I paid 50 cents a piece for the plates.  They're not worth much, so they've been added to the rotation of kids plates in our house.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back to School

I was hesitant to buy this since it was such a large piece, but when the seller agreed to lower the price from $8 to $6, I decided to get it.

My youngest daughter who hasn't started school yet has taken ownership and enjoys drawing at it.

This Just In

I was at the garage sale of a couple who were both elementary school teachers.  They had some old newspaper issues they said they had used for lessons in school.  I bought some of the more recognizable headlines.  Most are related to Apollo 11.  They were 50 cents a piece.  Most are complete editions including all sections.  Fun to look through and they really are a lesson in history viewed at the moment, rather than through interpretation of historians.

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