What happened in the year 1880?

When I am on the internet looking for some info about an item that I just bought, I often run across things that happened during a certain year.  It’s always fun for me to see what I run across; I never know what I might find.

Here are a few things that I have run across that happened in the year 1880:

January 3 was when Francis Brown, the Irish Jesuit priest that became famous for the last photos of the doomed luxury liner RMS Titanic, was born on this date.

February 2 saw the first electric streetlight get installed in Wabash, Indiana.

March 31 was when Wabash, Indiana become the very first electrically lit city in the world.

November 4 was the day that the first cash register was patented.  It was patented by James and John Ritty of Dayton, Ohio.  They called it “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier”.

1880 also saw The British Perforated Paper Company debut a new item called toilet paper.  Not only that, but the English Inventor John Milne also create the modern seismograph.

This is just a handful of what came about in the year 1880.  What are some of the things that you have heard about?

Where are some of the strange places that you have found inventory to sell?

When it comes to finding inventory, the best rule of thumb is to keep your eyes open.  You never know where you will find something—it could be anywhere from the trunk of a Honda to a Church.

One weird place that I got some inventory was a neighbor’s trash can—a person was throwing away a TOMS countertop wire rack.  Another neighbor down the street from me was going to throw away a movie card that I asked if I could have (and I still have it).

Countless sheds, outbuildings and barns have also had many things that I have bought.  Make sure you even check the rafters of these buildings.

There was also the out of business grocery store.  There was a local auction company that was having a sale there—you could still see that the meat department still stocked with its slicer and tables there.  It was interesting to see all of that when I bought a wood Hayward Wakefield table at the sale.

One of the strangest places that I found a piece to sell is a chicken coup—it had a 4-foot tall by 8-foot-long enamel Coca Cola sign inside.

What was the strangest place that I have ever bought something out of?  It was a haunted house that was on the back of a person’s property.

This is a small handful of strange places that I have bought inventory to sell.  Where are some strange places that you have bought inventory at?

Paper advertising comes in all forms

Advertisers have always relied on colorful product labels, magazine and broadside advertising, and even giveaways to promote their products.  Periodical ads contain colorful product illustrations so that buyers can readily recognize a particular brand and model.

Collecting paper ads is an excellent way to document changing tastes.  Our social and technical history can be traced through the products offered in the ads of the time.

Pries vary with posters and signs being the most expensive.  Bookmarks, trading cards, and magazine ads are often affordable for the beginning collector.

The ads can even be used to decorate around the house.  You could even be creative about it as well; you can display ads for kitchen items in the kitchen and even ads for kid’s toys in a child’s room.

What ads have you run across that you could not do without?

What are some of the things that happened in 1984?

Whenever I look for info on an item that I buy, I try to find out some things about it (like when it was made, the value, etc.).  When I do this, there are times when I run across tidbits of information that happened during a certain year.

I knew that the Summer Olympics and the Louisiana World Exposition were going on in 1984, and there were some tidbits I saw that were really surprising.

On January 24, The Apple Macintosh was released to become the first mass-marketed featuring a graphical user interface and mouse.

May 14 saw the introduction of the one-dollar coin in Australia.

June 6 was the release date of the video game called TETRIS.  This immediately became popular, and the game has been recognized by The Guiness World Records as the most ported game in video game history (it has been on 65 different platforms as of 2011).

Do you know what really surprised me?  The Chrysler Corporation officially debuted the first vehicles that are to be officially labeled as minivans (I thought this one actually happened in the 1970’s!).

This is a small handful of what happened during 1984.  What were some of the things that happened during 1984 do you remember?

Tips to remember when you are buying inventory

When you are new to the world of buying and selling, you may not know where to buy inventory for your business.  What are some tips to remember when you are out and about looking for deals?

It might sound like I’m pulling your leg, but I keep an eye out for inventory wherever I am.  You never know where you might be when an item might turn up.  I have literally found items that people are giving away by the curb of a street that I have turned around and sold.

Carry pocket change—it can be a life saver.  When the summer rolls around, I throw a couple dollars’ worth of change in my pocket.  It is always welcome by the people running the sale.

Poke around online.  You can find cheap inventory for sale, even with the shipping added in.  You can also look online at websites like Craigslist for items that might be for sale that you could pick up and then sell.

This is just a handful of things to remember when it comes to buying inventory for you to sell.  What tips have you run across?

Stamp vocabulary for the beginning collector

Whenever you start a collection, you will quickly hear some interesting terms and phrases.  There are a ton of them that you will hear, and here are a few of them when it comes to the world of stamps:

Centering—this is the relative position of the design in relation to the margins.  This is one of the important factors when it comes to grade and value.

Pair—this is  two stamps that are still connected and have not been separated.

Dummy stamp—these are officially produced stamps that are imitations of the real thing.  This is to train employees or to test the machines that dispense the stamps automatically.  These are either blank or carry special inscriptions to distinguish them from the real thing.

This is only a few of the terms and phrases that you will hear in the world of stamp collecting.  What have you heard?

Weeding out the reproductions

Homeowners this time of year begin to get rid of lawn weeds in hopes of having a lush green yard.  Likewise, shoppers need to learn to “weed out” those items which typically show up on flea market and antique shelves this time of the year.

Weeds are what I like to call reproductions, and they can be quite convincing.

It could be an advertising sign that is rusted and looks to be ever so real.  Damage to the corners, fading to the paint, and even dents are all applied to a brand-new sign to help make it look older than it is.

There’s glassware on the market that copies Depression Glass and art glass patterns.  It is so convincing that the pattern and the color are the spitting image of the old items.  There are some manufacturers that have figured out how to make a piece of glass “glow” in a black light like the old stuff without using Uranium.

Brass imports such as spittoons or candle holders already come with tarnishing.  Wooden boxes and furniture furniture that is hammered, faded and well-used are also plentiful without much looking around.

So, buyer beware and do your homework!  You can never have too much information when it comes to antiques—it always comes in handy.

What’s in a maker’s mark on pottery?

There’s a ton of pottery out on the market that you will run across, but how do you know what’s what?  And how do you read the mark on the bottom of the piece to know what you have in your hands?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking at a mark:

A maker’s mark will run a wide variety on how much information it will give you.  It could be just the name of the name of the company, or it could be loaded with information like the Frank Beardmore piece pictured above.  Since 1891, all pottery that is made to be exported (especially into the United States), it must be stamped with a country of origin near the maker’s label.

With artist’s being hired on by the pottery companies to hand paint some items, the artist could sign their name to the piece as well.  I have seen an artist signature to either the bottom of the piece or on the side of the piece (I would look near the bottom of the piece to see if the artist signed there).

There are times that the name of the pattern is written on the bottom of the piece as well.  The Frank Beardmore creamer’s pattern is called “A Sussex Homeland” and the name of the pattern is listed at the top of the mark on this piece.

A good tip to remember is that the marks on pottery are not that hard to decipher; it just takes about a minute to figure out how the maker laid out the mark.

What kinds of pottery have you found something out by looking at the mark?

What are some glass pieces that you may not use anymore?

Whenever you sit down at the table, you will run across items like saucers, plates and even serving bowls that are made of glass.  What are some of the glass pieces that you may not run across on a modern table?

Epergne—this is a centerpiece that is ornamental, and you will find it on a dining table.  This item is used for holding flowers or fruit.  The horns in the center of it are detachable, and there are examples with as many as 5 horns.

Finger bowl—this is a bowl that has water in it for you to wash off your fingers during a meal.

Cream soup bowl—this is a two-handled bowl.  The reason for the two handles is so you can hold them while you drink the soup instead of using a spoon.

This is a small handful of the pieces of glassware that you may not see on a modern kitchen table.  What are some of the other items like this that you have run across?

A little history of Fiesta Pottery

The pottery line known as Fiesta dinnerware was started by the Homer Laughlin company, and it made its debut in January of 1936 at the Pottery and Glass Show that was being held in Pittsburgh.  Fiesta dinnerware has been produced since then, with a small hiatus from 1972 to 1985.

The reason for the hiatus was the fact that Homer Laughlin actually retired the set.  Collectors started to get interested in the retired pottery, and in 1985 Homer Laughlin was approached by the Bloomingdale’s Department Store to bring it back.  The pottery was indeed brought back, and a new line of Fiesta dinnerware and a new color palate was introduced in 1986 in Bloomingdale’s.

Homer Laughlin originally produced this pattern in Red, Blue, light green, original green, yellow and Old Ivory (Turquoise did not hit the store shelves until 1937).  In the history of the Fiesta dinnerware, there have been a total of 52 different colors in the line.

The great thing about Fiesta is that Homer Laughlin has been known to retire colors along the way.  This gives collectors a totally new way to collect Fiesta—they can now collect their favorite pieces in a retired color.  Homer Laughlin also introduces a new color every year, and it is always fun to me to see what the new color is.

When you start to collect Fiesta pottery, you will see how diverse the set is.  You will see that you can use different pieces in different parts of the house.  Not only that, you can also use one color in the kitchen, one color in the living room and a totally different color in a bedroom.  This gives you a great way to match the colors in the room or to even add a splash of color if you want.

This is a small look at the history of the Fiesta Dinnerware.  What have you heard about the pattern?