Antique & Collectibles Humor


This area deals with some humor and jokes, some pearls of wisdom and other trivia relating to the broad area of antiques and collectibles - dealers, collectors, auctioneers and most everyone else connected with the industry.

Cheap Travel

Three Irish antique dealers and three English antique dealers were traveling by train to an Antiques Fair. At the station, the three Englishmen each bought tickets and watched as the three Irishmen bought only a single ticket. "How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asked the Englishman. "Watch and you'll see," answered the Irishmen. They all boarded the train. The Englishmen took their respective seats but all three Irishmen crammed into a restroom and closed the door behind them. Shortly after the train departed, the conductor came around collecting tickets. He knocked on the restroom door and said, "Ticket, please." The door opened just a crack and a single arm emerged with a ticket in hand. The conductor took it and moved on. The Englishmen saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So after the fair was over, the Englishmen decided to copy the Irishmen (as they always do) on the return trip and save some money (being clever with money, and all that). When they got to the station, they bought a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the Irishmen didn't buy a ticket at all. "How are you going to travel without a ticket?" asked one perplexed Englishman. "Watch and you'll see," answered one of the Irishmen. When they boarded the train the three Englishmen crammed into a restroom and the three Irishmen crammed into another one nearby. The train departed. Immediately afterward (before the conductor made his rounds), one of the Irishmen left his restroom and walked over to the restroom where the Englishmen were hiding. He knocked on the door and said, "Ticket, please..."

The Horse Auction

Two idiots bought a bunch of horses at a country auction, paying $100 apiece for the entire group. Then they drove to another auction and sold all their horses for the same price they had initially paid for them. After counting their money, they realized that they ended up with the same amount of money that they had started out with initially. "See!" said one, "I told you we should have bought more horses!"

Old Country Auction

This public sales notice is from an 1849 Versailles, Kentucky newspaper for a farmer who had decided to dispose of his property at auction. "Having sold my farm, and as I am leaving for Oregon territory by oxen team on March 1, 1849, I will sell my personal property except two oxen teams (Ben and Buck, and Lon and Jerry,) consisting of the following: "Two milk cows, one grey mare, and one pair oxen, one yoke, one baby yoke, milk carts, one iron plow, 800 feet weather boards, fence rails, one 60-gallon soap kettle, 85 sugar troughs, 10 gallons maple syrup, one barrel Johnson-Miller whiskey seven-years-old, 20 gallons apple brandy, one 40-gallon copper still, two spinning wheels, 30 pounds tallow, one large loom, 300 poles, 100 split hoops, 100 empty barrels, four sides leather, pitchforks, one rifle with bullet molds and powder horn, soft soap, bacon, hams, lard, molasses, six head of fox hounds, all soft-mouthed but one. "Also six negro slaves, two men, two boys and two mulatto wenches, all together to one party as I will not separate them. "Sale will begin at 8am. Plenty to eat and drink."

Husband Talk

Mary and Jane are old friends. They have both been married to their husbands for a long time. Mary is upset because she thinks her husband doesn't find her attractive anymore." As I get older he doesn't bother to look at me!" Mary cries. "I'm sorry for you, as I get older my husband says I get more beautiful every day," replied Jane. To which Mary added, "Yes, but your husband's an antique dealer!"

The Lost Wallet

Bidding at a country auction was preceding furiously, when the auctioneer received a note from an assistant,"A gentleman in this room has lost a wallet containing $10,000. If it is returned, he will pay a reward of $2,000." There was a moment's silence, and then from the back of the room came a cry, "Two Thousand Five Hundred!"

Classified Ads

Classified ads can sometimes make for humorous reading. Here are a few relating to antiques: "We buy junk and sell antiques." "For sale: an antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers." "Antique Stripper to display wares at store."

Advertising Pays

The antique shopkeeper was dismayed when a newly opened antique business much like his own opened up next door to the left and erected a huge sign which read BEST DEALS ON ANTIQUES. He was horrified when another competitor opened up on his right, and announced its arrival with an even larger sign, reading BEST QUALITY ANTIQUES AT THE LOWEST PRICES. The shopkeeper was panicked, until he got an idea. He put the biggest sign of all over his own shop. it read...MAIN ENTRANCE.

The Art Collector

An artist asked the gallery owner if there had been any recent interest in his paintings which happened to be on display. "I have good news and bad news" the gallery owner replied. "The good news is that a gentleman inquired about your work and wondered if it would appreciate in value after your death." "What did you say?" questioned the artist. "When I told him it would, he bought all 15 of your paintings." "That's wonderful!" the artist exclaimed. "What's the bad news?" "The gentleman was your doctor."

His Last Words

On his death bed an antique dealer named six bankers as his pallbearers, explaining that as they had carried him for so long that they might as well finish the job.

Antiquing in Italy

Italian Antique Dealer - "Here I have a very rare old revolver from the times of the ancient Romans." American Tourist - "But surely they didn't use revolvers in the days of the ancient Romans." Antique Dealer - "Ah, that is why its so rare." American Tourist - "How much...?"

The Grandfather Clock

A wealthy young man was moving from one house to another, a few streets away. Observing the carefree way in which the moving crew yanked his cherished antiques about, he was determined to save a tall grandfather's clock, which he prized highly, from any possible damage. Taking the clock in his arms, he started for the new house. But, the clock was as tall as him, and very heavy too, so he had to put it down every few feet, rest his arms and mop his steaming brow. Then, he would clutch his burden and stagger on again. After half an hour of these strenuous exertions he was nearly at his destination, when an intoxicated person who had been watching his labors from the opposite side of the road took advantage of a halt and approached him. "Mister," he said thickly, "could I ash you a quest'n?" "What is it?" demanded the exhausted young man. "Why the heck don't you just carry a watch?" the drunk asked.

Shell Collecting Humor

How to Become a Shell Collector, taken from the Conchologists of America website. One way to become a shell collector is to take a bag of marbles to the beach. Each time you pick up a shell, drop a marble on the beach, so the waves will cover the marble with sand. Keep doing this until all the marbles are hidden in the beach sand. When you've lost all your marbles, you've become a shell collector! ...and who said conchologists don't have a sense of humor.

And, one more - Is Shell Collecting Healthy?

A man went to a doctor for a medical exam. After examining the man, the doctor proclaimed, "You're in pretty good shape for a man of fifty." "Did I say I was fifty?" the man replied. "I'm nearly sixty. Shell collecting keeps me fit and healthy. I do a lot of snorkeling and diving, and walk the beaches regularly. Cataloging my shells also exercises my mind." The doctor replied, "Shell collecting may be a healthy activity, but your family's genetic heritage probably has a lot to do with your health. How old was your father when he died?" "Did I say my father was dead? He's nearly eighty-five and healthy as a horse. Of course, he's a shell collector too. Spends plenty of time breathing the fresh air at the shore, gets plenty of exercise turning rocks and walking the beaches. It's the shell collecting that keeps him healthy." The doctor still wanted to make his point, and asked, "Well, how old was your grandfather when he died?" "Did I say my grandfather died? He's one hundred and five years old, but he's still active with his shell collecting. Of course, he's had to cut back on Scuba diving and lifting heavy rocks due to his age, but he still walks the beaches, breathing the fresh sea air and getting plenty of exercise. In fact, he just got married to a lovely young woman." The doctor was astonished. "Your one hundred and five year old grandfather just got married?" Why in this world would he want to get married at one hundred and five years old!?!" "Did I say he WANTED to get married?..."

Getting Older

This is a true story overheard at an antiques flea market, on a very cold winter's day. One dealer to another; "I'm cold, I must be getting old". To which the other replied, "We're all getting older, dear - the only thing that's not getting older is these antiques."

"Believe it or not..."

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors which would get slippery in the winter when wet. So they spread thresh (the leftover husks or stems of grain) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence a "threshhold."

The Parrot

An antique dealer went to an auction sale and was intrigued by a large parrot that was housed in a golden cage. The bird was large, very healthy looking, and brightly colored. The dealer was so attracted to the parrot's appearance that he couldn't restrain himself from bidding on it. Every time he bid another bidder countered and drove the price very high. Eventually, the dealer prevailed and was the winning bidder. While the dealer was at the check-out counter he told the cashier that he was so excited about the parrot's appearance that he had neglected to ask if it could talk. The parrot spoke up and said, "Who do you think was bidding against you?"

The Stamp Collector

A woman getting married for the fourth time visited a tailor to get a wedding dress made. When the tailor inquired about the color, the bride to be said, "White." The tailor was a bit surprised by this, and said, "Excuse me, I don't mean to pry, but since white is the color traditionally worn by a virgin on her wedding night, I can't help wondering if you might still be a virgin? How could that be?" The woman replied, "I'm sorry to say, but that's the way it is. You see, my first husband was a psychologist. He just wanted to talk about it. My second husband was a gynecologist. He just wanted to look. My third husband was a stamp collector...God, I miss him."

The Stradivarius and the Rembrandt

While cleaning out the attic of the family home, a young man finds a rather nice painting and a dusty old violin. Remembering that such things should never be discarded before being valued, he takes them to a local auction house to show an expert. "Well, this is interesting, sir," says the auctioneer, "what you have here is a Rembrandt and a Stradivarius. Have you heard of either of them?" The man replies, "Very vaguely, the names ring a bell somewhere, why?" "Well, unfortunately for you, Stradivarius wasn't a very good painter, and Rembrandt made rubbish violins."

A String of Bad Luck

The woman's husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, "My dearest, you have been with me all through the bad times. When I got fired from the auction house, you were there to support me. When my antique business failed, you were there. When I got shot by that burglar, you were by my side. When we lost the house in a bad deal, you stayed right here. You know what?" "What dear?" she gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth. "I think you're really bad luck!"

The Battered TV

A battered old television set was put up for sale at an auction. Although the auctioneer insinuated that he didn't think it would ever work, a man bid it up to $20. The man gave his bidder number as "45". Later in the auction, a woman bought an article and announced her bidder number as "45". Wanting to verify the number, the auctioneer asked if the man who bought the TV was her husband. "He was," she snapped, "before he bought that television set."

The Bible

A guy with a severe stutter problem applied for a job in an antique shop. The shop owner never believed he'd make it as a salesman, and was about to tell the guy to look elsewhere. The stutterer begged for the job, "P-p--ple-ease g-g-ive m-m-mee a ch-cha-a-ance. I-i-c-c-can d-d-o i-i-tt, h-hon-hon-estly." "Well," the owner said, "OK." He offered to trial him for the rest of the day to see if he could sell one or two items. "I have to go out for a few hours, try to sell that old antique Bible in the corner, I've had it here for five years. If you can sell it, you've got the job!" After lunch the owner returned to find the Bible had gone. The stutterer had indeed sold it. The shop owner was impressed, and asked how he had achieved such an impressive sale. "E-e-easy," said the guy, and explained that when a women came into the shop, he said, "G-g-good a-a-ftern-n-n-noon, M-m-m'am, I-i-'m s-s-selling t-th-this B-b-bible. W-w-w-would y-y-you l-l-l-like to b-b-b-buy it, or sh-sh-ould I j-j-j-ust r-r-read it t-t-t-to you?"

Giving Him the `Gate'

An antiques appraiser was waiting to meet an important corporate client at the VIP lounge at Dulles International Airport, when he noticed Bill Gates sitting comfortably in the corner, enjoying a drink. The corporate client's plane was running a little late, so the antique appraiser had a few minutes to spare, and, being a straightforward kind of guy, approached the Microsoft chairman, "Hello, Mr. Gates, I wonder if you would do me a favor?" "Yes?" said Bill. "I'm sitting right over there," said the appraiser, pointing to an empty seat at the bar, "and I'm waiting on a very important client. Would you be so kind, when he arrives, as to walk by and just say, "Hi, Ray!" "Sure." the antique guy shook his hand, thanked him and went back to his seat. Eventually, the client showed up. They ordered a drink and started to talk business. A couple of minutes later, someone tapped the appraiser on the shoulder. It was Bill Gates. "Hi, Ray," he said. The antique appraiser replied, "Get lost Gates, can't you see I'm in the middle of a meeting?"

Raising Chicks

A New York City art dealer decides to leave his fancy gallery and move to the country. He buys a large house in Vermont with land and decides he's going to slow down the fast pace of city dealing and take up farming. He heads to the local co-op and tells the man, "Give me 100 baby chickens." The co-op man complies. A week later the man returns and says, "Give me 200 baby chickens." The co-op man complies. Again, a week later the man returns. This time he asks, "Give me 500 baby chickens." "Wow!" the co-op man replies. "You must really be doing well!" "Naw," said the man with a sigh. "I'm either planting them too deep or too far apart!"

Include Everyone

A lawyer was reading out the will of a rich antiques dealer to the people mentioned in the will: "To you, my loving wife Rose, who stood by me in rough times, as well as good, I leave her the mansion, my antique paintings, furniture and $2 million." The lawyer continued, "To my daughter Jessica, who looked after me in sickness and kept the business going, I leave her the yacht, the antique shops and $1 million." The lawyer concluded, "And, to my cousin Dan, who hated me, argued with me, and thought that I would never mention him in my will - well you are wrong...Hi Dan!"

Wacky Definition

Auctioneer - A person who looks forbidding.

Who'll Take The Son?

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire their great works of art. When the Vietnam Conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you and your love for art." The young man held out his package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think you son would have wanted you to have this." The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift." The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected. The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collections. On a platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel, "We will start the bidding with this picture of his son. Who will bid for this picture?" There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one!" But the auctioneer persisted, "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice shouted angrily, "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!" But still the auctioneer continued, "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?" Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. The auctioneer announced, "We have $10, who'll bid $20?" The audience shouted, "Give it to him for $10. Let's see those masters." The auctioneer returned, "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?" The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded his gavel, "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!" A man sitting in th second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!" The auctioneer laid down his gavel and said, "I'm sorry, the auction is over." The man asked, "What about the paintings?" The auctioneer replied, "When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!" God gave his Son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, "The Son, the Son, who'll take the Son?" Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything. (source unknown)

Old Man Mouse Doin' Pretty Well!

Yes. It's hard to believe that Mickey Mouse is now over 70 years old, on mouse social security (with free cheese everyday); and, looking better than ever!

Disney's Mickey Mouse collectibles are not only as hot as ever, but maybe the market is even getting stronger, particularly for the older, more unusual items. Let's hope the old boy is doing as well when he reaches the century milestone of 100 years!

Raggedy Ann Passes a Mile Stone, too!

And, Raggedy Ann turned 85 last year. Special events were held at the Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois and several toy manufacturers promoted new lines of Raggedy Ann and Andy merchandise.

Two Perfect Things in the World

Recently overheard at an antique mall as a young man behind the counter was attempting to make a sale to a rather attractive older lady and explaining that the item she had brought to the counter was "not perfect". She cut him off, rather abruptly, with the comment "My mother always said there were only two things perfect in this world..." then as she hesitated, everyone's attention was drawn to the lady as she continued, ..."a bachelor's wife and a spinster's child." We all had a chuckle and concurred that it was pretty good wisdom.

Be Cautious Serving Acidic Foods on Your Good China

Have you ever notices the blue color on some china appears faded while the other colors on the same piece have seemed to maintain their original intensity of color? The answer probably is that the piece was used repeatedly to serve foods with a high acidic content. Acid in foods attacks the blue colors in some china.

Chintz tableware frequently is so affected. You could expect to see faded blue in a bowl likely to have been used to regularly serve grapefruit. If all the colors are faded, however, it probably isn't from acidic food, but from excessive exposure to sunlight.

Selling the Cat

A woman browsing through an antique store sees a cat drinking milk from a saucer. She recognizes the saucer as a rare antique piece. Trying to be clever, she says to the lady running the store, "How much do you want for the cat?"

The woman says, "Ten dollars." The lady readily agrees and goes on, "while I'm at it, could I give you another dollar for the saucer? The cat seems to enjoy drinking from it." The shopkeeper shakes her head, "Sorry, ma'am, but I've sold 19 cats from that one saucer."

The Brass Rat

Then there was this guy who went into the antique shop to brouse around. He saw a brass rat and asked the proprietor what the cost was. The antique dealer replied "$10 for the rat and $100 for the story that goes along with it." The customer decided just to purchase the rat, paid the $10 and left the shop with the brass rat under his arm. As he strolled down the street rats started coming out of the alley ways and following him. More and more and more gathered at his footsteps as he walked towards the river. Upon reaching the river bank hundreds of rats had gathered around him. He climbed a tree and flung the brass rat into the river. All the rats followed, jumping into the water and drowning. The man decided to go back to the antique shop. Upon entering the door, the antique dealer had a small smile on his face as he asked what he could do for the man. The man replied, "Do you have any brass lawyers?"

A Different Era

You see a number of collector publications carry the monthly report from The Internet Antique Shop (TIAS), "What's Hot on the Net", a report on the collectibles that brought the most inquiries during the past month.

A recent month had the following listing: 1) cookie jars, 2) rings, 3) McCoy, 4) Limoges, 5) Depression Glass, 6) Roseville, 7) Hull, 8) Fenton, 9) Dolls, 10) Royal Doulton 11) Shawnee, 12) Noritake, 13) Lefton, 14) Plates, 15) Mirrors, 16) Fostoria, 17) Flow Blue, 18) Carnival Glass, 19) Gibson, 20) chairs.

Just for fun, here is a list from a publication 30 years ago under the heading "Some of the collections being sought this season" (not in any particular order as above): Avon bottles, political buttons, chicken leg rings, gas irons for clothing, steering wheel spinners, old boots, flattened out pennies with verses, Nazi items, Indian paint pots, shark's teeth and carvings, unusual shotgun shells, can openers, bottle caps, plumes from ostriches, high button shoes, old fishing tackle, telephone pole insulators, metal lunch boxes, old electric light fixtures, wind-up tin toys, corn drying metal racks and raccoon coats.

An Old Recipe

It seems like every antique dealer has their own remedy for covering up furniture scratches. (Our experience is that some work better than others!) Want to try an old one? In fact, from a publication dated 1671. Titled "Apothecary recipe for furniture scratches" here is the "recipe": One quart fishworms, washed. One pound hog's lard. Stew them together. Filter through a strainer. Add 1/2 pint of oil of turpentine and 1/2 pint of good brandy. Simmer it well and it is fit for use.

Male "Show-offs"

Are male hobby collectors genuinely show-offs? Colonial Homes magazine did a survey revealing the differences of opinion between men and women when it comes to what they would want in their ideal home. (Eighty-eight percent of the total respondents were collectors.) Twenty-seven percent of the men said they wanted a separate room designed to showcase their collections, whereas only seven percent of the women wanted such a room. According to editor Annette Stramesi, "Women perhaps blend their collections into the overall interior design of their home. Men seem to want their own `collectors' cabinets to show the results of their treasured hunts."

Strange collections

Over the years we have come to the conclusion that for literally everything that exists in this world, somewhere there is somebody who collects it. We wish we had started compiling a list of these strange collections, but somehow never got around to it. We thought collecting airlines barf bags with the different airlines' logos on them was a wierd collection; that is, until airlines started using plain white generic bags. Now the old bags with the logos are highly sought after! If you have, or know about, really wierd collections, drop us a line. We would love to hear about them.

Plates as Garden Decor

If you "do" country auctions or flea markets, particularly if you occasionally buy box lots, you may always have on hand a stack or two of unrelated patterned porcelain or stoneware plates. A new use has developed for these pieces--no matter if they have chips or cracks and are of different dimensions--the plates can make attractive edging for flower gardens. Place them on end, partially buried in the garden soil or mulch.

Ronald Reagan Who?

For us middle-agers, or even all of the "baby boomers", I know its sometimes difficult to remember the vast number of "younger" people who don't remember when Kennedy was assassinated, or Watergate or that wonderful experience of watching the first steps taken on the moon. But I really heard a scary one the other day that made me pause... The average freshman entering college this year doesn't remember the Reagan years or the first President George Bush and was in grade school when Bill Clinton became president! Golly, to me, it just seems like yesterday.

Coca-Cola's Trillion

If the Coca-Cola Company constructed a sign like the ones McDonald's uses to count their millions of customers, by 1983 it would have read "over 1 trillion served". (Two out of every three soft drinks consumed in America is a Coca-Cola product.)

Social Jade is To Real Jade as...

Much of what is sold today as jade is perhaps best politely described by the term "social jade." And, "social jade" is to real jade as rhinestones are to diamonds.

Versatile Vinegar Used for Many Things in `Old Days'

Vinegar had many uses around the household years ago...and, probably they'll still work. Some examples: Vinegar added to water in which corned beef is cooking will help make it more tender. Rubbed over meat, vinegar makes it tender. When boiling old potatoes, add a spoonful of vinegar to the water and it will keep them from turning dark. When polishing a stove, go over it first with a bit of vinegar to remove the grease. Hot vinegar will remove paint stains from glass. Vinegar is a fine cleaner for pots & pans that have acquired an odor from cooking fish. Used with salt, vinegar removes ink stains from your fingers. When clothes have had too much bluing, give them another rinse in clear water, to which a little vinegar has been added.

A Collector... or An Accumulator

According to Martha Stewart, a collector is "someone who buys to creat a discriminating, selective, meaningful grouping of objects that have historical as well as monetary value." An accumulator is "someone who buys for the beauty or usefulness of a particular thing and not with the main objective of forming a collection."

Henny Youngman and Antiques

Some Henny "one liners" -- Have you notices how people who prize an antique for its beauty suddenly find it unsightly when it turns out to be a fake? I know a fellow in the antique business, to make sure all of his stock is authentic he makes it all himself. Antiques aren't always as old as they are cracked up to be. The trouble with most antique shops is that their prices are so modern. Anyone who thinks talk is cheap doesn't go to auctions. A bargain today is something so reasonably priced that they won't take it back when you find out what's wrong with it.

And, Not to be outdone...Milton Berle and Antiques

I walked into an antique dealer's shop the other day and he hit me. I shouldn't have asked, "What's new?" "My father has a Louis XIV bed." "That's nothing, my father has an Adam's apple." I bought a statue of the Venus de Milo real cheap because it was an irregular. It had both arms! The stuff in my house is all antique; the table is 1492, and the chairs cost a few bucks more.

Sweet Potato Waffles

Not a great lover of sweet potatoes, here is a recipe from Vol 1 No. 1 of the "Royal Scarlet" put out by R.C. Williams & Co, producers of Royal Scarlet food products, circa late 1800s. Sweet Potato Waffles: Nearly everybody likes sweet potatoes, and this way of preparing them will be a revelation to those who have only known them in their plain form. Take left-over sweet potatoes and mash. To two rounded tablespoonfuls of the mashed potatoes add 1 level tablespoon each of butter and sugar, 1 pint of milk and 4 teaspoonfuls of salt. Mix together and add 2 eggs well beaten. Pass through a sieve and bake in a hot waffle iron or griddle pan. Serve with whipped cream, flavored with 4 tablespoonfuls of honey added before whipping.

Cream Walnuts

Since we're on "sweet tooth" recipes, how about this one from Dr. Price's 1887 Cookbook for Cream Walnuts. Two pounds of white sugar, a teacup of water, boil until it threads. Flavor highly with Dr. Price's Extract of Vanilla, take from the fire and stir until white and creamy. Have walnuts prepared, make the candy into small round cakes, press walnuts into the sides, drop in granulated sugar.

Sick Room Recipes

While we're on old recipes, the 1915 Watkins Almanac carries an interesting recipe for Apple Water--a pleasant drink for people with fevers. Carefully roast 3 good tart apples, preserve the juice, put in a quart pitcher, pour on it about a quart of boiling water, cover, and add a little Watkins Nutmeg or other of Watkins Pure Spices to taste.

Another favorite recipe for those who were sick seems to have been gruel. Their recipe for oatmeal gruel: Put four tablespoons of the best grits (oatmeal coarsely ground) into a pint of boiling water. Let boil gently, and stir often, till it becomes as thick as you wish it. Then strain it and add to it while warm, butter, wine, nutmeg, or whatever is thought proper to flavor it. For egg gruel: Beat the yolk of an egg with one tablespoonful of sugar; add one teacupful of boiling water on it; add the white of an egg, beaten to a froth, with any seasoning or spice desired. Take warm.

Daguerreotype Poses

There is a reason why Civil War era folks look so "stiff" in their posed daguerreotypes. The exposure times were long. The photographers held their subjects in place with metal clamps placed to the rear of their heads. For the same reason, hands were posed gripping the handles of military swords, chair arms, or tucked into pockets. the photographer wanted to avoid any movement that would ruin the daguerreotype.

The Slinky

That favorite toy...the Slinky. How was it created? According to James Industries, the Slinky, one of the most famous toys in history, originated in a meter for testing horsepower on battleships. A torsion spring used in a testing meter fell offf marine engineer Richard James' desk and tumbled end over end across the floor. James took it home to his wife Betty and said, "I think I can make a toy out of this." He did so by devising a steel formula that allowed the spring to "walk." Betty went through the dictionary for a fitting name for the toy and found it in "slinky," which was defined as "stealthy, sleek and sinuous."In 1945, as Christmas neared, Gimbel's department store agreed to provide counter space for 400 Slinkys. Richard James demonstrated the toy to a crowd of shoppers, and within 90 minutes all 400 Slinkys were sold. The 50-year old classic toy re-emberged in Disney's hit movie Toy Story It also ranked #6 in Toy Shop's 1998 story about the greatest toys of all time. Poof Products, a leading manufacturer of foam toys, acquired James Industries in 1998. But James' place in toy history is still secure.

Thoughts and Wisdom

I don't know about your experiences, but in our area it seems like the fortunes we get now in fortune cookies at the Chinese restaurants we frequent are someplace between stupid and dumb! We don't know who is responsible for creating these gems of wisdom now days, but we don't believe it is the Orientals... maybe Hollywood or Capitol Hill? Anyway, we decided to go back through some of our old Farmers' Almanacs and pull out a few thoughts of wisdom we particularly like.

Failure is no more fatal than success is permanent.

Education is what a fellow gets reading the fine print and experience is what he gets by not reading it.

The real measure of our wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost our money.

Time is the only thing we all possess equally.

Your character is what you really are; your reputation is only what others think you are.

Don't think that every sad eyed girl has loved and lost...she may have got him

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.

An error becomes a mistake when we refuse to admit it.

Cheerfulness is what greases the axels of the world.

Observe your dog. If he's fat, you're not getting enough exercise.

Statue Education

Statues of men on horseback in local parks or town squares are sculpted as follows: If the horse's four feet were on the ground, the rider died a natural death. If the horse had one front leg in the air, the rider was wounded in action. If both of the horse's front legs were in the air, the rider died in battle. Interesting story (although we have heard it's really a myth.)

Barbie Running for President

Mattel launched "Barbie for President" dolls in various toy and doll outlets in 2000. The doll was the result of an effort by the White House Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that promotes women candidates. Barbie comes with a copy of the Girls' Action Agenda, produced by the White House Project, urging girls to seek out leadership roles. (We could add a whole additional paragraph to this piece...but probably better if we don't.) NOTE: Since Barbie's split with Ken, there was no Barbie race for the White House in 2004.

Fantasies for President are Popular

The Barbie for President concept certainly isn't new. You can hardly pass through an antiques & collectibles mall without seeing at least several Archie Bunker for President items. During presidential election years it has traditionally become very popular to have advertising campaigns launched for all types of people (or things) for president. This idea goes back several decades and these "fantasy" or "spoof" items have become a whole collecting segment of their own among the political items collectors. (Visit the American Political Items Collectors website at

Among the hundreds of these fantasy buttons and other items you can find those promoting Steve Urkel, John Travolta, Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lassie, Charlton Heston, Bill Gates, Dr. Laura, Alvin the Chipmunk, Yogi Bear, Ziggy, Tammy Faye Baker, Big Bird, Bullwinkle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Elian Gonzalez, Joe Camel, Morris the Cat, Miss Piggy, Michael Jackson, Tiny Tim, Elvis Presley, J. R. Ewing, John Lennon, Cary Grant, Sophie Tucker, Mary Hartman, Jimmuy Durante, Larry Flynt, Bugs Bunny, Emmett Kelly, Big Boy, Springsteen, Mike Douglass, Bart Simpson and even Ken Starr. (And, we wonder why everyone else in the world says "those crazy Americans!").

Marilyn at 75

Marilyn Monroe will always look like Marilyn Monroe. I firmly believe that some people just weren't meant to get old. Who can rightly imagine Marilyn Monroe at 75...the age she would have been this year?

Toy Collectors...Try These Trivia Questions

Most popular Hot Wheels vehicle. the Corvette.

Since 1983 over 90 million Cabbage Patch Kids have been adopted in homes all over the world.

Barbie's full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts.

More than 105 million yards of fabric have gone into making Barbie fashions. That makes Mattel one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the world.

The Slinky was invented in 1943 and over 250 million have been sold. The original wire slinky has over 80 feet of wire.

Mr. Potato Head was the first toy ever advertised on network television.

An estimated 500 million people have played Monopoly since 1935, and an estimated 200 million sets have been sold world wide. Monopoly is published in 26 different languages.

The longest official game of Monopoly played in a bathtub lasted 99 hours (4 days 3 hours)

Collecting Tupperware

Collecting Tupperware is hot! Well, maybe not hot, but before turning up your nose, you might be surprised to know that it's not just flea market frequenters and yard sale addicts who are collecting it. On the contrary, such venerable institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris and the Victoria & Albert Design Museum in London are looking for the stuff to add to their collections. Perhaps they should try eBay, which listed over 2200 pieces of Tupperware for sale at last glance.


I'd love to go on, but in the immortal words of King Kong, I've got to catch a plane.

If you have any miscellaneous "tidbits" of information (or non-information) you think might be interesting to other collectors, and want us to consider them for this listing, send them to us via...


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      %Americana Resources, Inc.
      18222 Flower Hill Way #299
      Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Copyright © 2017  Americana Resources, Inc. - All Rights Reserved
This page was last modified on: Monday, November 12, 2012

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