Leader Board Ad

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Celebrating the Past in New England (1900)

Here is another glass negative I processed for the New Milford Historical Society. It depicts the Fireman's Parade from 1900, First the negative:
One of the staff of the society's museum held up a sample negative for me to transfer.
This image was taken before the great fire ravaged much of downtown.  Stay tuned for more Negatives and Positives from the New Milford Historical Society as the plan their Tercentennial Celebration in 2015.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Catching the Early Bird (video)



I have been looking for the odd, and strange, the unique and forgotten items from the past for many years. This weekend was no different.  I produced this video and documented what it was like to be the early bird at this very interesting sale. The first item I picked up was a German labor day badge from 1934. What it was doing in a Connecticut garage is the real mystery.

 Right next to it was an equally interesting commemorative medal (also German) known as the Centenary Medal.  This was established in 1897 by Kaiser Wilhelm the 2nd in honor of his father Wilhelm the 1st. It is made of captured cannon metal and awarded to veteran's of Germany's previous wars. Take a look at the Wiki article, Here.

There was more to this sale, so please watch this short documentary of my journey through it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A New Word For the Future...Or Not (1940's)

I love this partial ad from Bell and Howell. It's a cool graphic depicting their new technology. However, if you have to explain the derivation of the name, then you may have out-smarted your audience. 

Or under-whelmed them. It's a Mashup. (Big deal  Mash + Up.) Sadly, the word looks more like Option+ ics, which doesn't sound very technical.


Sorry "Optionics," you didn't make it to the future, unless you consider my shout-out to it today. I don't think Bell and Howell really made it to the future either, someone is using their name, but not as they might have predicted. It's cheap electronic gadgets being sold under the name these days. I recall they made an awesome 16mm projector back in the day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sunday, July 13, 2014

From Within the Tin...A Treasure!

Who doesn't love a mystery? A top genre in movies and books it seems we can get enough mystery in our lives. I know I can't. So much so, in fact, that I need to go out each weekend to discover something I don't know.
A tin full of treasure


An estate sale is just the trick to scratch that itch. The way I like to do this is to find something at a sale that is like a microcosm of the sale itself. Usually I prefer a box of old papers, but when none can be found I will look for the odd drawer or tin full of ???
Treasure revealed
When I got this home, I'll admit that it didn't look like much. The tin is interesting and has about 80-90 years of mileage on it. Then I remembered, I'm supposed to be this archeologist of the urban flavor. So, I began peeling away the items.
You have to dig for treasure
 It didn't take long before I found something to be hopeful about...
A gold chain, I hope
But under that was something even better...

 The Springfield Street railway ran from 1901 - 1927 in Massachusetts. The fare cost a nickel, but despite the great price, these trolleys and street cars were eventually replaced by the bus.  You can read a very long-winded report from 1917 all about it here

Moral: Leave no tin lid un-turned.




Sunday, July 6, 2014

Because Daddy's Car is Full of Strippers and Booze...

I miss the prominence of train travel. Once upon a time it was the only way to go, for many.

50's train ad
 I like taking a closer look at the illustrations in these ads. What were they thinking?


If you can come up with a better caption...and I'm sure you can. Leave it in the comments.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hiding Behind the Walls


The work of an Itinerant limner 1790
This is the conclusion of a story that begins in an article I wrote for Patch.com. If you would like to follow the odyssey from the top - Click Here! 

...I didn’t see an immediate pile or gadget that caught my eye, but i did hear the owner, Steven, say to another party, “There are some things in the house, if you want to look.” Steven, who was sporting a sticker that said, “NOT for sale” and a British accent almost talked me out of going inside, thinking I might not be interested, when he interrupted himself by saying, “Well, go ahead and take a look.”

The interior was almost bare, indicating that a closing was near and there seemed to be as many “NOT for sale” stickers as there were “For sale” ones. I wended my way around the rooms in the first floor finding an interesting mix of modern and antique items. The one that caught my eye were 2 paintings on what seemed like cement. I had to ask about their origin.

Hiding behind these walls
I reintroduced myself to the owner, explaining that I was looking for a story and believed I had found one in some items upstairs. Steven began sharing that when the demolition began on the original home, a structure built around1790, they had discovered these and other items behind the wall.

The work of an Itinerant limner 1790
As we walked, he continued, "Theses were done by an itinerant limner."
“What is a limner?” I asked.
The work of an Itinerant limner 1790An itinerant limner is a painter who travels the countryside offering his services to homeowners. This was fairly common in the 18th century and one had apparently visited this home and been given work. The images of the birds and the portrait (likely, the lady of the house) were carefully preserved and custom framed upon their discovery. 

The process involved drilling holes in the exterior of the house and pumping a resin behind the painting so that it could be removed in one piece.

Nice work, Steven! (Note: If no one purchases the paintings, they will be donated to the Newtown, CT Historical Society.)

Part II of this story is coming soon “What was that in the bottle dump?”

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Getting Gerties Garter...86 years ago!

(This is one of my tips for what I look for in a good antique store.  Bonus!! See if you can find the alliterative and titillating title in the images below)
When I have missed all the good weekend sales but still need my "fix" of old paper, I have a strategy and friends who will help me out. Let's call them "enablers." One of my regular stops, besides the local flea market (The Elephants Trunk in New Milford, CT) is "Just In Antiques," which, coincidentally, is beside the local flea market, and named for the owner, Justin Krul.

This weekend, his store was the site of a large outdoor mini-flea (I know, I used large and mini in the same sentence. So sue me). The sale featured a collection of bits and pieces from the many estate sales he has run in the past few months. Why did he open up the full garage and his over stocked house to the sale? To make room for more items to come. 

While picking through a box in the kitchen I came across a purchase Justin had made from, a once popular but now closed messy antique shop, "Connecticut Memories." The owner of that store had bought out an estate sale in the 1980's from a well known magazine editor who had lived his life mainly in New Milford.  Avid film and theater patrons Just had found some very old one-sheet programs from 1928, a Danbury Connecticut theater called the Empress. 

I don't mean to criticize when I say the house was over-stocked. For a picker like me, a somewhat messy set up means I can still find things that haven't been fully discovered. I don't go "antiquing." If I did, I would probably go to the many pristine locations where everything has been placed and priced just so. But since I am not looking for what has been found, more for what hasn't been found, "Just In Antiques" is tops on my list. 


Friday, June 27, 2014

This is a Girl You Have to Hear (video)

I could talk all day about how, "We're all connected." But I bet you knew that already, thanks to the internet. However, before the inter-webs, we were still all connected. I am not comparing us to ants in a colony all experiencing some level of group think. I am talking about the innumerable coincidences you can find even when you're not looking for them.


I'm in Connecticut, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to find a piece of sheet music in Connecticut with this title...or is it?  If I knew how to research something like this I would really like to know how it came about. The composer lived in the same city as (the Connecticut Girl I married) the music was found in, but I know little else about him. More than that, I really wanted to know what this song sounded like.
     A waltz for guitar or banjo, neither of which I can play beyond random plucking. Through a more interesting coincidence (a story for another time) I found a musician who not only could read this music, but play it with real passion. Take a listen to 2 minutes of this song and see if you can tell me "Who is the Connecticut Girl?"

 
The performance was courtesy of Caleb A. Wetherbee, whose skill with a guitar made this video possible. 
Caleb A. Wetherbee Biography
 Note: both the composer, Dominic A. Passerelli and the performance artist Caleb A. Wetherbee share the same middle initial...coincidence?