What happened during the year of 1946?

Whenever I am looking up an item that I have recently bought, I will occasionally run across a fun fact that happened during a certain year.  You never know what you might run across, and I always find what I run across interesting.

Here is what I have run across for the year 1946:

The movie IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE was considered a failure at the box office when it came out in 1946.  What helped make it a Christmas classic was a clerical error that put the film in the public domain.  This let many local TV networks to play the movie for free starting in 1974.

The Cozy Dog made its debut in 1946.  This was the first corn dog on a stick, and it was invented by Ed Waldmire Jr.

The Magic 8 Ball, Lionel Trains with ‘steam’ and even the Streater Steam shovel truck were popular Christmas gifts for 1946.

This is a small handful of what I have run across for the 1946 year.  What interesting tidbits have you run across?

ITEM SPOTLIGHT:  Fenton Grape Leaf pattern pink milk glass from the 1950’s

During the 1950’s, the Fenton Glassware company produced many patterns and pieces.  One of the patterns that was produced is called the GRAPE LEAF pattern.  It comes in many colors like white and pink milk glass to name just a few.

The pattern was made for a couple of years, and one of the pieces that was made in this pattern was this footed decorative plate.  You can tell that it was made by Fenton is the fact that some of the pieces were marked on the bottom of the plate.  If it is not marked on the bottom, one of the giveaways that it’s a Fenton piece outside the pattern itself is by the styling of the handle and the edge that is on the plate.

Even though desert, salad or even Buffalo wings are only a small portion of what you can serve on this plate; it was described by Fenton as a decorative plate (so most likely you will see this item displayed on the top of a piano with either candy or potpourri).

What kind of interesting pieces of Fenton Art Glass have you seen?

It happened in 1947

It happened on April 15th, 1947, and it happened to be a Tuesday.  The first day of Major League Baseball is a day that people always look forward to, but this year was special.  Spring was in the air, the smell of hot dogs was wafting around, and Jackie Robinson was making his Major League debut.

When Jackie Robinson took the field on this day, he became the first African American to play baseball in the majors.  He succeeded in every way possible, and he eventually found his way to Cooperstown (this is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame).

When it comes to the collectibles area that features either Jackie’s name or likeness, it is very wide-ranging.  It includes everything from hats to jerseys, ads or even bats and gloves (this doesn’t even begin to cover how much is out there).

One of the areas that is very sought-after are baseball cards.  Not only are they easy to store, but they can also command a very pretty penny.

The downside of the collectibles that feature Jackie Robinson is that there are plenty of reproductions or fantasy pieces on the market that you will run across.  You need to do your homework to see what an authentic piece looks like so that you don’t get taken for a ride.

One of the best ways to tell if the card pictured above is authentic is to look for the TOPPS copyright information on the card.  One of the best areas to find it is on the back of the card where the players stats are.  Another way is to look at the paper stock that the card was made of.  For 1956, TOPPS used paper stock that had no sheen to it, and the card itself is a little bigger than modern cards.  If you have a question about a certain card, lay a modern card over it to compare the sizes.

The picture above shows what to look for about the size differences on the cards.

What kind of Jackie Robinson collectibles have you run across?

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?

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?

What are some of the things that happened in 1974?

Whenever I am looking for some info on a purchase that I made recently, I often run into some fun info that happened during a certain year.  I never know what I might find—it could be anything from what happened in sports to a little history on Fiesta pottery to even something about coins.

Here are some of the things I ran across that happened during the year of 1974:

The Magna Doodle made its debut in 1974, and there were millions of this art pad sold (this was a decade and a half after The Ohio Art Company introduced an item called the Etch A Sketch).

April 8 saw “Hammerin Hank” Hank Aaron hit home run number 715, breaking Babe Ruth’s lifetime home run record.  Two fans ran onto the field to congratulate Hank on the home run while he was going past second base.

August 8 saw the resignation of President Nixon because of the Watergate scandal.

This is just a handful of what happened during 1974.  What are some of the other items that you have heard that happened during this year?

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.

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?

A little history of Goofus Glass

When I was younger, I was at a flea market one day and I saw a vase that was decorated differently than the others that were on display.  The person that was at the cash register told me that it was a piece of Goofus Glass.  I loved it, but it had me asking one question.

What exactly is Goofus glass?

Goofus glass is also known the names Mexican Ware, Holligan Glass, or even Pickle Glass.  It is a pressed glass with relief designs painted either on the front or the back of the class.  It was very popular from 1890 to 1920, and it was used as a premium at carnivals.

The glassware was produced by several companies such as Imperial and Northwood.  It lost its popularity when people found that the paint tarnished or even wore off after repeated washings and wear.  If you find a piece in good condition, treasure it.

The color of the glass also varies just like the manufacturers as well.  Green, crystal, and even milk glass are some of the colors that can be found.

Even though there has been no record of its manufacture has been found after 1920, there are plenty of patterns to show off anywhere in your house.  Patterns like Cabbage Rose, Peacock In A Tree, Three Mums, or even Morning Glory are but a small examples that can decorate any room in the house.

There are a wide variety of pieces also on the market right now, you never know which one you will run across next.  It could be a dresser box, a vase, a bowl or even a plate.

Which patterns of Goofus glass have you run across while shopping at your favorite flea market or antique mall?