Tag "collectors"
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. – Toy Soldier Collector (Feb, 1950)

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. – Toy Soldier Collector

A CAREER that embraces acting, diplomatic missions and gallant war service, might well be termed colorful. Not resplendent enough for Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., though. He finds relaxation from his daily work in a collection of diminutive fighting men—3000 of them which he likes to prod into battle and parade positions. They fill four shelves in a special showroom in his Hollywood home.

Oregon Woman Has 2457 Spoons (Jan, 1931)

Oregon Woman Has 2457 Spoons
WHAT is believed to be the largest collection of spoons in the world is owned by Doctor Ella Kyes Dearborn, of Portland, Oregon. The collection contains 2457 spoons which completely cover the entire area of a large six-leaf cabinet, no two spoons being alike. Among the tiniest spoons in the collection are 120 made by a Chinese man that are the veriest fraction of an inch long and were made under a microscope. Her largest spoon is made of aluminum and is 23 inches long with a bowl capacity of one and one-half cups. Doctor Dearborn values her collection at over ten thousand dollars.

Treasure in Your Attic (Mar, 1951)

Treasure in Your Attic

Maybe your ancestors didn’t realize it but the pile of trash they accumulated yesterday may yield you a handsome fortune today.

By Ralph Coniston

NOBODY except some curious mice ever paid any attention to the box of false teeth in the attic. One of the family ancestors had been a dentist back in the days when they bought store teeth in assorted sizes and then rummaged around to find a pair that would almost fit the patient. Eventually the family got tired of having the old metal teeth around and decided to get rid of them. A friend suggested taking them to a jeweler to find out what the metal was. It was a happy idea! Those false teeth were almost solid platinum, a metal formerly so cheap that, until it came into use for jewelry in the early part of this century, it was used even for lightning rods. The teeth were worth around $300 a pair and the lot brought nearly $8,000.



A rare find in a dusty attic led to Louis Kernstein’s role as an expert on old music machines.

TWENTY-FIVE years ago, Louis Kernstein found an old, dusty victrola in the attic of his family home in Freehold, N. J. The machine was in sad need of repair and Louis scoured his neighborhood for parts. He didn’t find the parts but he did discover all kinds of music boxes and machines which formed the basis of his present remarkable collection.

Golden Signatures (Mar, 1952)

Golden Signatures

By E. R. Kurnik

Whenever great men take pen in hand, they create valuable historical documents, avidly sought after by America’s autograph collectors.

AT the National Antique Show held in . New York City recently, a New Jersey housewife presented a bundle of letters for evaluation. She had found them in her attic. Sigmund Rothschild, well-known appraiser, looked them over carefully.

“Madam,” he said excitedly, “these letters are a very important historical find.”

Six of them proved to have been written by Abraham Lincoln’s wife Mary to Abram Wakeman. Rothschild valued them at more than $100,000.



Showing skill possessed by watch-makers long before members of this ancient craft had advantages of modern tools, a collection of old timepieces owned by an eastern jeweler, provides a n interesting contrast with similar creations of a machine age. Many clocks were framed in queer human figures.

President Roosevelt’s White House Hobbies (Feb, 1934)

President Roosevelt’s White House Hobbies

When storms toss the Ship of State, the President finds diversion with his great collections. Modern Mechanix sent James N. Miller to the White House for this story of the nation’s great hobbyist.


A SECRET service agent rapped on the door of the home of a retired minister in a suburb of Washington.

The clergyman opened the door. The government agent flashed his badge. Timidly, perhaps apprehensively, the minister asked the man to step into the living room.

Imagine his astonishment when the agent announced:

“Your Reverence, the President would like to have you drop in some day at the White House. He’d like to see you about your stamp collection. He says that you should bring it along so that he can take a look at it.”

STAMPS tell Story of Science (Oct, 1934)

STAMPS tell Story of Science

By Charles Irving Corwin

How a Collection Album Illustrates Many Fields of Human Knowledge

AN you describe in detail a common United States postage stamp? If you can, you are exceptional. We may think we know what they look like, but it is difficult to tell offhand, without peeking, just what figures or phrases are used, let alone describe the central picture or border designs. The recent Mother’s Day and NRA commemoratives are exceptions, since the criticism and controversy aroused by these miniature steel engravings made us examine them more closely. It is recalled that a vase of flowers was smuggled into the reproduction of Whistler’s Mother, and the fact that in the NRA issue business was out of step with labor and agriculture provoked some amusement, but even these two well-known stamps will catch most of us. For instance, is the “three cents” spelled out or indicated by a figure?

Baby-Feeding Gadgets Form Odd Collection (Jul, 1940)

Baby-Feeding Gadgets Form Odd Collection
RANGING from crude clay cups used by the “mound builders” to the latest sanitary nursing bottle, baby-feeding gadgets collected as a hobby by Dr. D. Edward Overton, of Garden City, N.Y., record 500 years of history. Among the fifty or more items in Dr. Overton’s collection are early nursing bottles with nipples of ivory, tin, whalebone, and glass. Some of the glass bottles are shaped like human heads. Others, resembling powderhorns, were produced by pioneers from cow horns by tying a piece of thin leather over the small end to form the nipple. Whale-oil wicks in the lower compartment of one “two-story” metal feeder made it possible to heat the milk contained in the upper section.

Taxidermist Gives Eternal Life To Birds (Feb, 1936)

There is something very disturbing about a person who kills and stuffs thousands of animals while proclaiming that he is granting them “Eternal Life”. It sort of reminds me of a fanatically religious serial killer who thinks he’s actually helping his victims when he kills them.

Taxidermist Gives Eternal Life To Birds

ARMED only with a forked stick, a hunter walked warily through the squat bushes of the San Fernando valley in Southern California the other day. Suddenly he froze in his tracks, warned by a series of rattles that hidden danger lay waiting.

He advanced slowly, saw a Pacific rattle snake lying coiled and ready to strike. With the skill acquired from many such hunts, he pressed the stick down over the snake’s neck, stuffed the reptile into a box, and hastened back to his Hollywood studio.

There John Schleisser, famed naturalist-taxidermist—for it was he who captured the deadly reptile—chloroformed the rattler. A few minutes later he could be seen taking exact measurements by making a plaster cast of the body. Then he skinned the rattler, made a mannikin of papier mache duplicating the late deceased, and a few days later fitted the skin, perfectly tanned, back over the artificial body.