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Posts Tagged ‘Collectibles’

my-plasco

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This is a great old hard plastic doll house kitchen furniture set, in white with the blue bottom, dates from the 1950’s. Set includes a fridge and stove. They are marked “A Plasco Toy Co, Made in USA”.

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Plastic became the choice material for American doll house furniture manufacturers, in the 1940’s during World War II. Wood and metal were necessary materials in the war effort and therefore the new process of plastic moulding became more widely integrated into the domestic marketplace. The hard plastic items could be intricately detailed including the maker’s name. Plastic is still being used today because of its durability and its low labor cost of production. Renwal, Ideal, Plasco, and Marx made hard plastic doll house furniture in the 1950s and, as the pieces are usually marked, can be easily identified by the collector.

There have been several standard scales in dolls houses over the years. Children’s toy houses during most of the 20th century were three quarter scale (where 1 foot is represented by 3/4 of an inch), also known as 1:18 (1′ equals 18″), 3/4-scale furniture was most often made from plastic.

For the last century, dolls houses have primarily been the domain of children but their collection and crafting have also fascinated a large number of adults.

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Some Examples of Plasco toys

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Plasco Toy Co. marks

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1950s American Kitchen

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About the Ford Mustang Grandé

The Grandé derivative of the Mustang was introduced by Ford in 1969 as a luxury variant:
“This was Ford’s answer to the buyer who wanted T-Bird luxury in a smaller, sportier package. Available as a coupe only, it provided as standard equipment the Deluxe Decor Interior, plus simulated woodgrain instrument-panel trim, deluxe three-spoke steering wheel, special door panels, padded interior quarter panels and special cloth-inserted bucket seats. Outside, wire wheel covers, dual mirrors, C-pillar logo, duo-toned paint stripe under the fender line, and a chrome trim molding along the fender well set the Grande apart from other Mustang Coupes.”  (Taylor, Don & Wilson, Tom, Mustang Restoration Handbook, HPBooks 1987).

According to Taylor & Wilson, only 22,182 Grandé models were produced in 1969 and 13,581 in 1970.

Ford Mustang Grandé 1969 coupe

Ford Mustang Grandé 1969 coupe

1970 saw no major changes to the Mustang lineup. Most of the changes were in the way of subtle refinements. The headlights became dual units again instead of the quad units used in 1969, front side marker lamps were moved up onto the fenders, the quarter panel “scoops” were deleted, and the rear taillights were now recessed into their housings. On the inside, high back buckets became standard equipment with the seat back release moved to the lower part of the seat, a new “oval” steering wheel (supposedly to ease entry and exit), and the ignition switch was moved to the steering column which locked the steering wheel when turned to the off position.

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“Wild, Wild, Mustang”

Many say Dick Dale invented sixties surf rock. His band, Dick Dale & His Del-Tones, performed the song “Wild, Wild, Mustang”.

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I love this yellow butterscotch bakelite hat pin! It’s carved in the pretty geometric art deco shape and is in fabulous condition.

My Hat Pin Collection

The Bakelite

Bakelite was invented in 1907 by Dr. Leo Hendrik Baekeland, a Belgian chemist, known as the “Father of Plastics”. Baekeland’s bakelite was made of phenol and formaldehyde to combine in a thermosetting resin. Once the resin hardened, it could not be remelted by the application of heat. Bakelite consumption was at its greatest in Europe and the US from the mid-twenties to about 1950. Bakelite comes in an array of dazzling colors, which is one of the reasons it became so popular. There were a number of items made from bakelite, such as pot handles, egg beaters, spatulas, bowls, dishes, and cups used for domestic purposes. Bakelite was also used for electronics, such as radios, phonographs and televisions. Shaver handles were also made out of bakelite, toothbrushes, buttons , telephones, alarm clocks, barrettes, toothbrushes, etc. Bakelite jewelry was originally produced as a substitute for more expensive materials, such as coral and ivory. It flourished widely during the Jazz Age of the twenties and thirties. Exotic floral and geometric patterns in the Art Deco style were popular. Bakelite was dramatically combined with rhinestones, metal, glass, or wood in the early thirties. Bakelite could be found in the most prestigious department stores around the world, including Saks of New York, Harrods of London, and the Galleries Lafayette in Paris. In 1935 it was estimated that two-thirds of all costume jewelry was made from bakelite. Bakelite jewelry included, brooches, necklaces, bracelets, compacts, purse frames, and Scottie dogs due to the President of the time, Franklin D. Roosevelt; also belt buckles, cufflinks, rings, dress clips and earrings. Some of the bakelite jewelry was beautifully, intricately, and heavily carved by hand, while others had a smooth surface.


Art Deco Hat Pins

"Le Chapeau Epingle" by Auguste Renoir

"Le Chapeau Epingle" by Auguste Renoir

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THE U.S. MILITARY ACADEMY COAT OF ARMS AND MOTTO

“Duty, Honor, Country,” a striking expression of West Point ’s time-honored ideals, is the motto of the U.S. Military Academy and is imbedded in its coat of arms.

Though not as old as the institution they represent, the USMA coat of arms, also referred to as the seal, and motto have a long and interesting history.

According to archival records, the coat of arms and motto were adopted in 1898. Col. Charles W. Larned, professor of drawing, headed a committee to design a coat of arms for the Academy and stated several criteria for the design. The committee decided that the design should represent the national character of the Academy, its military function, its educational function and its spirit and objectives.

Symbolism in the Coat of Arms
The committee began with the creation of an emblem that consisted of a sword, a universal symbol of war, and the helmet of Pallas Athena. Athena, a fully armed mythological goddess, is associated with the arts of war, and her helmet signifies wisdom and learning. The emblem is attached to a shield, bearing the arms of the United States , and on the shield’s crest is a bald eagle, the national symbol. The eagle’s claws hold 13 arrows representing the 13 original states and oak and olive branches, traditional symbols of peace.

Duty, Honor, Country

The eagle is grasping a scroll bearing the words “ West Point , MDCCCII (1802), USMA,” and the motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.” The motto as such was never previously stated, but in writings of early superintendents, professors and graduates, one is struck by the recurrence of the words “duty,” “honor” and “country.” Colonel Larned’s committee believed Duty, Honor, Country represented simply, but eloquently, the ideals of West Point .

The committee did not express an opinion as to the relative importance of the three words; however, there is perhaps significance in the fact that “honor” is in the center of the motto. As Maj. Gen. Bryant Moore noted in a 1951 article in Assembly magazine, “honor” forms the keystone of the arch of the three ideals on which West Point is founded.

The coat of arms was used without change until 1923, when Captain George Chandler, of the War Department, pointed out to Superintendent Brig. Gen. Fred Sladen that the eagle and helmet faced to the heraldic sinister side. The helmet, eagle’s head and sword were soon turned to their current position.

Since 1923, the coat of arms has been in regular use at West Point and is carved on many of the older buildings. In 1980, the coat of arms was registered with the Library of Congress as an “identifiable logo” for the Academy.

West Point cadet shako, early 20C, in leather and black wool with brass rimmed visor, gilt-brass chinstrap, and stamped-brass face badge with West Point crest.

Charles Adelle Lewis Totten as pictured in 1873.

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Whilst attachments for European made Singers came in cardboard boxes or tins, in America attachments could be supplied in a wooden fold out box which was patented February 19 1889. Usually associated with treadle machines the box was well made with dove-tailed joints and brass hinges.

Singer Treadle Sewing Machine Attachments Puzzle Box – Patent 1889

This is a reproduction copy of the 1889 patent for this famous Puzzle Box. It consists of one detailed drawing page giving all the details on how it was made.

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August Stukenbrok, Einbeck – Sewing Machine

Arminius, Deutschland

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This is a watch-winder compact with a very intriguing mechanism and a screw-in section in the bottom to hold the powder in place.

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