There was a Half Disme? Really?

When 1792 rolled around, the United States started to produce coins under the Coinage Act Of 1792.  Some of the coins that the United States mint (which is based in Philadelphia) include a half dollar, a cent, and even some gold pieces.  But did you know that they also produced a coin called a half disme?

*Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Pictured above is one of the early examples of a half disme, which ultimately became a half dime.  The face value of the piece is what the name suggests it was worth 5 cents.  The coin was produced in pure silver up to the time it was renamed in 1873.

The coin was renamed to 5 cent piece, which is what it is called today, and today one of the nicknames for it is “nickel” (which is a pretty good description for the metal which it is made of).

What kind weird names have you heard a coin called?

They’re going the wrong way!

There are times that you will run across a collectible that will have an interesting story.  There are even times that the collectibles that are tied to a famous person and event.  Here are some items that have a fun way to collect them by going the wrong way:

Wrong Way Corrigan—Douglas Corrigan was an American Aviator, and he earned the nickname “Wrong Way” Corrigan in 1938.  Douglas Corrigan was supposed to return to Long Beach, California on a transcontinental flight.  The problem was was that he landed in Dublin, Ireland instead of California.

There are article clippings, newspapers, commemorative stamps and envelopes and even a book about Corrigan that’s titled “That’s My Story”.  There is a lot a New York Post paper that is dated Friday August 5, 1938 that has a mirrored banner headline to commemorate Wrong Way Corrigan that you can start a collection with.

Roy “Wrong Way” Riegels—Roy earned his nickname for running the wrong way at the 1929 Rose Bowl football game.  Roy played for the California Golden Bears when this happened.  He was 30 yards away from scoring a touchdown and somehow got turned around to where he ran 65 yards towards his own end zone.

He was eventually tackled on his own 1-yard line.  Do you know what the bad part is?  When the team tried to punt the ball away, it was blocked, and the other team scored a safety.

It is considered the worst blunder in the history of College football.  Things like the program for the game are collectible, and there even was a picture book that came out in 2011 that describes a play-by-play description of the moment.

The Vaudeville acts that parodied his famous run also have items that you can add to your collection.

These are some of the fun ways that you can start a collection or add to your current one.  What kinds of items have you purchased because of the history that that is attached to it?

Technology introduced in the early 1900’s

Over the years, there has been technology that has was introduced that caught on amazingly fast.  Bakelite plastic, escalators and even disposable razors were some of the amazing items introduced in the early 1900’s, here are some more that was released around the same time:

February 1900—The brownie camera is invented, and this was also the start of the Eastman Kodak company.  This was the camera that popularized low cost photography, and it also introduced the concept of something called the snapshot.

1902—The neon lamp is invented by Georges Claude.  Claude started to work on neon tubes that could be used as ordinary bulbs.  In the year of 1912, his associate began selling neon discharge tubs as advertising signs.

1906—An early jukebox-like machine called The Gabel Automatic Entertainer is invented.  It was invented by John Gabel and it is the first machine to play a series of gramophone records.

1908—This is when Ford started to build the Model T.  This car is generally regarded as the car that “put America on wheels”.

This is a very tiny look at some of the technology that has been released over the years.  What other types of technology do you know of that was released during this time?

Fun facts for the year 1937

When I look for some information on an item that I am going to sell, there are times that I run across some fun facts that happened during a certain year.  Here are some fun facts I ran across for 1937:

Walt Disney premieres “Snow White And The Seven Dwarves” on December 21st.  The movie premiered in Los Angeles, California at the Carthay Circle Theater.

The popular Looney Tunes character Daffy Duck appears in the animated short called “Porky’s Duck Hunt.”

The German airship called The Hindenburg burst into flames.  The accident happened while the airship was attempting to moor at Lakehurst, New Jersey.

The “Waterman Aerobile” flying car has its first flight.  The Areobile came with a transmission drive system that drove the propeller in the air and the rear wheels while on the ground. This is only a small portion of what happened in 1937.  What historical items have you run across?

What exactly is the Hobby Protection Act?


The dime in the picture is from the website of Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation

One of the areas that I love to collect is coins.  Not too long after diving into coins, I heard of something called the Hobby Protection Act.  This had me baffled—what exactly is the Hobby Protection Act and how does it apply to coins?

The Hobby Protection Act was passed in 1973 by the United States Congress.  This act covers imitation political items (like buttons and posters) and even imitation Numismatic items (like coins, tokens and even paper money).

The Hobby Protection Act states that any imitation (or reproduction) political or numismatic item is made, it must be marked a certain way.  When it comes to political items, it must have the year it was made on it with all 4 digits on it.  With coins, it must have the word COPY somewhere on the design.

What is the reason for this act to get created?  The main reason is that it’s to help protect collectors from deceptive reproductions.

So, it pays to look at the design so you don’t over pay for an item.  Have you ever run across a political or numismatic item marked like this?

What are some fun facts for the year of 1827?

When I look for some information on an item that I am going to sell, there are times that I run across some fun facts that happened during a certain year.  Here are some of the fun facts that I ran across for 1827:

March 16—The Freedom’s Journal (the first African American owned newspaper in the U.S.) is founded by John Russwurm.

J. J. Audubon’s book titled THE BIRDS OF AMERICA is published in the United Kingdom.

The Original Delmonico’s restaurant opens in Manhattan.

The first English translation of Christopher Columbus’ Journal by Samuel Kettell is published.

This is only a small portion of what happened ion 1827.  What historical items have you run across?

What are some of the terms for pottery that you will run across?

When you start to collect pottery, you will run across quite a few terms that will make your head spin.  Transferware, majolica, stoneware and even salt glaze are a few of the terms that you will hear.  Here are some more that you will run across:

Crackle Glaze—this is a glaze that intentionally contains small cracks in the glaze.

Hollowware—this is also known as hollow ware and is describes vessels of any shape (like jugs or pitchers).  This does not include items known as flatware (such as plates).

Yellowware—also known as yellow ware and it is a type of earthenware that is named after its yellow appearance.  The color comes from the clay that is used when the item is made.  It came about in the United Kingdom in the late 18th century and started in the eastern United States in the 1920’s.

Delftware—This is a light-colored pottery that has a tin glaze and has an overglaze décor that is cobalt in color.  This was developed in Holland to copy the blue and white pottery that was made in China.

This is a tiny amount of what you will run across.  What terms have you heard?

What happened in 1876?

Whenever I look up information on the items that I have bought, there are times that I run across some fun facts that happened at the same time the item was made.  Here’s some of the facts that I have found:

February 2 – The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs is formed at a meeting in Chicago, Illinois.  This league replaced the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players.

May 18—Wyatt Earp started work in Dodge City, Kansas and he served under Marshal Larry Deger.

July 4 – The United States celebrates its centennial.

August 2—Wild Bill Hickok was killed in a poker game.  This happened in Deadwood, South Dakota and the cards that he was holding were reportedly the Dead Man’s Hand (it consists of 2 black aces, 2 black eights and an unknown hole card).

This is a small slice of what happened during the year.  What fun facts have you run across?

How do I find inventory to sell?

One of the questions that I get asked quite a bit is “How do you find inventory to sell?”.  I literally cannot count how many times that I have been asked this, and here’s a list of some of the ways that I find items to sell:

Auctions, garage sales and even estate sales are three of the easiest ways that I find inventory.  One trick that I do is to look in my local paper and online for sales that are in my area.  Another thing that I do is to look for signs that lead to a sale that may not be advertised as well.  I have found some good deals at sales that are not well advertised.

Here are some other ways that I have found some inventory:

I have also found items to sell that were thrown away.  There have even been a few items that I have gone into a dumpster after.  When you do this, you need to be careful because that could be something in the trash that could hurt you!

I also picked up items that have been put out with a FREE sign by them.  This could be someplace like the curb or in a garage sale—you never know where you might find a free bin!

There have also been a few times that people want to get rid of something and they let me have it if I haul it away for them. It always pays to look when you are out and about—you never know what you will find.  Where have you found items to sell?

What are some different types Of Sports Cards?

Think a sports card is a sports card?  Far from it.  There are a ton of different types of cards that you could find.  Here’s a few:

Retail Card—these are cards that are sold to major retailers like Kmart.  The cards will often have the name of the store printed on the card as well.  You might even find a card from a now-defunct retailer.

Insert Card—these are cards that are inserted into packs at a staggered rate (like one card being inserted into every 24th pack).  There is also a number on the back of every sports card.  The number on the back of the insert card will be different than the normal set numbers.  The normal set numbers will appear as 1-400 (or however many cards are in the set), the insert cards will have a number like ST1, or PL1.  When you buy a pack, you never know what kind of insert card could be in there.  There even could be a player who became much more famous later on.

Sell Sheets—these are not cards at all.  They are ads that are sent to distributors for cards that are for sale to the public.  This would show what cards you could get in the set and would show the players that are featured in the set.  You could get these ads from a sports cards dealer for pretty cheap, or even free if the retailer is going to throw them away (it never hurts to ask them if it’s possible for you to have it).  They’re also great to display along with a complete team collection!

So, what’s the rarest card that you’ve ever found?