Wow, Homer Laughlin made that?

The Homer Laughlin China Company of Newall, West Virginia opened for business in 1871.

From then to now, they have produced dinnerware (and even kitchenware), and many of the lines are still popular to this day.  Examples of these lines are Fiesta, Virginia Rose, Harlequin, Rhythm, Nautilus, Swing, Riviera and even Century.

Most of the dinnerware is marked by Homer Laughlin, so identifying a manufacturer is not a problem.  Some of it features the name of the pattern as well, which helps out a lot.  The HLC trademark is usually followed by a number series, the first two digits will indicate the year.  So, if you do run across a Homer Laughlin piece that doesn’t have the name of the pattern on it, you can most likely narrow it down with the year mark.

I’m partial to the restaurantware that Homer Laughlin made (a piece of it can be seen in the first two pictures).  I have always thought that the piece was made for extra ware and tare, so I don’t have to be so delicate with it.

What kind of finds do you have in your collection?

What are some fun facts on Auctions?

I have been attending auctions since I was 8, and I know that they have been around since the times of ancient Rome.  What are some fun facts when it comes to auctions?

Some of the first auctions were held in ancient Rome.  Like modern times, the people of ancient Rome would sell off household goods like furniture to pay off debts.  These auctions could last for months.

When the items that were seized by the Army during the American Civil War, they would be sold by the Colonel of the Division.  That’s why you see some auctioneers carry the title of “Colonel”.

With the invention of the internet, it is now very possible to find and attend any auction that you could ever want.  This is a great way to help you find that piece that can help you complete your collection.

This is just a handful of fun facts about auctions.  What fun facts have you heard?

Famous Shipwrecks that have inspired collections

Pottery, glassware, and enamel signs are some of the areas that people collect.  Did you know that one of the areas of collecting are items from shipwrecks? 

The Titanic has produced highly sought-after collectibles (like items used on the ship as well as ads for the ship) while the Atocha is known for the gold and silver coins that were on it.  One of the ships that you may not think of is the SS Central America.

On Thursday, September 3 in the year 1857, the SS Central America (a side-wheel steamer ship) left the port city of Aspinwall (located in Panama on the Atlantic Ocean side of the country).  The ship then made a stop in Havanna on Monday September the 7th.  The next morning, the ship continued onward towards its destination of New York City.

On September the 9th, the ship encountered a tropical storm.  By Friday, the weather went from bad to just plain mean.  The ship was in the grips of a hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas.  On Saturday the 12th of September, the ship was hit with a wave and slipped beneath the surface of the ocean.

Why is this ship so important?  The cargo of this ship was valued at the time of the sinking at $2 million dollars in gold coins and bars from San Fransisco (which was 10 tons of just gold).

This ship is sometimes called “The Ship of Gold”.  Many books have been written about the ship, along with the recovery and sale of the coins and bars.


Many collectors covet the coins of the SS Central America, and coin collectors still actively look for pieces from the shipwreck to add to their collections (even well after the sale of the cargo in the year 2000).

Over 7,000 gold coins were recovered from the shipwreck, and most of them are the $20 gold Double Eagle from the San Francisco mint.  Because of the discovery of the SS Central America, this type of gold coin is a little more available to collectors due to the amount that was found.

What other famous events or people have you heard of inspiring a new way to collect items?

What happened in 1792?

It’s always fun to find out what happened in a year, especially if you are a vintage and antiques lover.  Since you are always looking around to find out what happened during the time that a piece in your collection was made, you will quickly run across tons of facts.  Here’s a few that I have run across recently:

On February 20th, The Postal Service Act was signed by George Washington.  This established the United States Post Office–and not to mention all of the great stamps that collectors look for.

The 20th of March saw a new capital of North Carolina and county seat of the newly formed Wake County.  This was after North Carolina State Senator and surveyor William Christmas submits his design for the city.  A few months later, the capital is named Raleigh in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh.

On April 2nd, The Coinage Act is passed.  This Act established the United States Mint—it also led to the production of the half cent, cent, half disme (or half dime), dime, quarter, half dollar and even the dollar coin.  The were even gold coins with a $2.50, $5 and even $10 face value.

What kind of fun facts have you run across?

What happened in 1965?

Whenever I am looking for information on an item that I bought, there are times that I run across some tidbits of what happened during a certain year.

Here are a few of the things that I ran across for the year of 1965:

September 25 saw The Tom & Jerry carton series make its world broadcast premiere on CBS.

The Pillsbury Doughboy was introduced on November 7, 1965.

The Television shows HOGAN’S HEROES, THE DATING GAME and LOST IN SPACE made their debut in 1965.

The famous Gateway Arch that is based in St. Louis, Missouri was completed in October of 1965.

This is a small portion of what happened during the 1965 year.  What are some of the things that happened that you heard of?

What was introduced in 1929?

For 1929, the year is known for being the start of The Great Depression and the crash of the stock market.  Even with all of this going on, what items were introduced during 1929?

During 1929, Pine-Sol cleaner was invented while both the Tarzan and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century A.D. comic strips debuted.

In January, the comic character POPEYE made his debut in the “Thimble Theatre” comic strip.  Popeye is often credited with encouraging children to eat their vegetables as the character often ate a can of spinach to become stronger in dangerous situations.

The book titled “The Magic Island” By W.B. Seabrook debuted in 1929.  This book is credited with introducing the idea of a zombie into pop culture.

In August, British inventor John Logie Baird began conducting experimental television brodadcasts at the British Broadcasting Company (also known as the BBC).

This is a small handful of things that debuted during the year.  What items have you heard of that debuted during 1929?

What are some of the popular toys from the 1980’s?

Every decade sees toys become extremely popular for a certain amount of time.  The Barbie doll started to gain popularity in the 1960’s, and the pet rock was popular in the 1970’s.  What toys were popular in the 1980’s?

1983 saw the Cabbage Patch Kids hit the toy shelves, and the rush was on to grab one anywhere that it was sold at.

When 1984 came about, The Transformers cartoon hit the airwaves.  The toys quickly followed, and they were as popular as the show was.  The race was on to find figures like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and even the evil Megatron.

Nintendo released the Gameboy in 1989, and you quickly saw people playing games like Super Mario Land and even Tetris.

This is only a handful of the toys that were popular in the 1980’s.  What do you remember playing with?

What happened in the year 1950?

There are times that when I try to get some info on an item that I recently bought, I run across some bits of interesting information.

Here’s a few things that I have run across for the year 1950:

January 15—The Red Wings’ rookie goalie Terry Sawchuk records his first of 115 career NHL shutouts when Detroit beat the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

March 4—the movie Cinderella was released by Disney.  Based on the fairy tale of the same name, Cinderella is the 12th animated film by Disney.

October 7—The first of the collectible Peanuts comic strip was published on this date.

The fall of 1950 saw the release of the Broadcaster and Esquire electric guitars made by Fender.  These two guitars were the first mass produced electric guitars with solid bodies.

This is a very small look at what happened during the year 1950.  What have you run across?

Fun vintage accessories for the television to look for

The television has been around since 1927, and there have been quite a few items come about for you to use with the television.

Here are a few of those items that you can run across:

When 1950 rolled around, the first remote control designed for televisions appeared.  Zenith was the first to release it, and it was called LAZY BONES.  It allowed you to control the TV from as far away as the couch (as long as the wire on it could reach).

In 1975, Sony released an item called the Betamax.  It was in direct competition with the VHS machines, and this eventually became a flop.  The great thing about this is that you can still find big name movies like STAR WARS to add to your collection or to watch.

Inventor Hugo Gernsback released his invention called the “teleglasses”.  This invention allowed you to wear a television like a pair of eyeglasses, and this item anticipated virtual reality.  Hugo Gernsback is also best known to science fiction fans as the founder of Amazing Stories magazine.

This is a small handful of accessories for the television.  What items have you run across?

What happened in 1957?

Whenever I buy an item that I don’t know a lot about, I do a little research on both the internet and in reference books that I have around the house to see what I can find out about the item.  There are times that I run across fun bits of information about other items.

Here’s some of what I ran across for the year 1957:

January 6th—Elvis Presley appears on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW for the 3rd and final time.  This broadcast is known for Elvis being only shot from the waist up.

January 13th—Wham-O produces the first Frisbee.

September 4th—this is when the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel.  When the car was released, Ford proclaimed September 4th as “E-day”.

October 12—on this day, the famous Christmas book HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! By Dr. Seuss is published.

This is just a handful of all the things that happened in 1957.  What have you run across?