Category: junking

Truly a year in review

This look back truly is a year in review.  Not only is 2016 coming to an end, but my first post was made on January 8, 2016.  A lot has happened and hopefully been learned.

My first post recalled how finding an old soda bottle started me down the path to enjoying old junk.  The year produced several really cool soda finds.

Several of my posts were the result of various jaunts I had along highway length yard sales.  Some of them I did solo while on a few occasions my father or one of my daughters joined me.  My youngest daughter tolerates these trips somewhat better than her older sister.

The biggest lesson learned on these trips was that not everyone is selling at bargain prices.  The Hwy. 127 sale which is probably the most famous, had many prices that rivaled those in high end shops.  Still all in all I did find a lot of good things.

One of my favorite posts was inspired by a trip to the St. Louis City Museum. I was awed by the results of repurposed industrial items on such a large scale.

The museum also had a room dedicated to privy finds.  If you’re not familiar privies are nothing more than outhouses. This renewed an interest in digging dump sites or privies.  I hope that I will find time for this exploration in the near future.

I found it harder to find time to write as the year went on and when I had time I didn’t have the pictures I wanted to accompany the post.  I continued to find good things, but posts came harder.  After a five month period of no posts I hope I’m back on track and hopefully I will have finds in the coming year that inspire me to write.

Looking back I see that I bought more advertising pieces over the past year than any previous.  I hope to see that trend continue in 2017.  I’m looking to score my first vending machine, double sided porcelain sign, or maybe a huge score of new old stock store merchandise.

What are you hoping to score in 2017?

 

 

Advertisements

Letting go of the old and finding the new

As 2016 comes to a close I have decided to try to move a few things that have been part of my collection for a while.

img_0059

I picked up this coal oil drum with pump at a local auction.  It has drawn a lot of attention over the time I’ve owned it, but time has come to move it making room for something new.  The only piece that I’ve had in my collection that may have gotten more attention was this great street sign.

IMG_2650

I finally parted with it a couple of months ago.  Someone visiting Kentucky from California decided to take it home with them.

I’ve also debated what to do with this old tire sign for a while now.

fullsizerender-13

I really like it a lot, but it doesn’t really fit my space.  I’ve decided to see if I can move it.

What fun is letting things go if you can’t buy new things?  I have found a few things that I have added.  I like old bottles and boxes with vintage advertising.  I found these buried in a garage at an estate sale.

I especially like the nail box.  The fact that a paper box has managed to survive in this condition over the years while being shoved in a small space with other forgotten boxes and bottles is really cool.  The turpentine bottle cleaned up really nicely.

I also found this seltzer water bottle at a good price in an antique mall.

fullsizerender-12

My best recent find was three trencher style dough bowls.  These are large examples with the largest being about five feet long and the smallest around four feet.

img_0021

Are you finding or letting go of any cool pieces?

 

 

The odd and unusual 

When I’m junking I always look for the odd and unusual. Today I think I was successful. 

 
This set of denture molds caught my eye and I had to have them. Now depending on who you ask they are either really cool or really gross. They appear to be made of brass.  

 
I also got these old wooden boxes. Two of the small square ones are from a jewelry store. 

   
I really like this thermometer and think it’s pretty cool that it has survived.

St. Louis City Museum


 If you’ve never been to the St. Louis City Museum and you find yourself in the area by all means go. Especially if you have children. There are tons of interactive things to do.

As much as I enjoy junk I could wander through their displays for hours.  Much of the displays are recycled architectural pieces or repurposed steel and iron.
  
  
Even the functional stairways are works of art.

The casing of these elevator doors with engine heads caught my eye.

 I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many different things used together to form such an incredible exhibit.

 There were also displays of items that have been dug from privies, wells, and cisterns of St. Louis.    

I have only scratched the surface of what is there to see. It is certainly a mix of funky and different.

The ticket prices aren’t bad at $12 for our group rates. Not sure what single tickets are.  There are gift shops and concessions but I wasn’t overwhelmed by a feeling of someone trying to separate me from my money. There is even very affordable parking close by.

 

 

Hidden bonus

IMG_2572I scored this cool old cabinet about a year ago.  The plan was to clean it up a bit and list it for sale.  I purchased in through an online auction as part of a garage cleanout.  It’s very heavy as it is made of solid oak.

I finally got around to starting today.  My first step was to remove a piece of hardboard that someone had applied to the top.  I couldn’t get past an out of square back so I removed it.  That’s when I got quite a shock.  The out of square back hid what turns out to be a fascinating feature of this cabinet.

There was what appears to me a display shelf built in this side opposite the drawers.  If you look closely at the picture on the right you will see angled notches with a couple of blocks fitted into the notches.  I am guessing these would support adjustable shelves.  This explained what I had first thought was a false back which you can see in the picture below.IMG_2571Removing the hardboard back also reveled a maker’s tag.  I’ve not yet learned anything about the maker, but the tag is cool.IMG_2570This is a really nice piece of furniture.  I wish I knew it’s original use, but at least the out of square back bothered me enough that I got to find this hidden surprise.  There is excitement in finding the unexpected.

It will require some more work, but I may not be the one to do it.  While trying to determine some info on the maker I sent pictures to a dealer.  He in turn wanted to know if it was for sale.

Safty should always be a concern

IMG_2480The two Pepsi signs I picked up about three weeks ago have both sold.  The one pictured sold to a guy with the last name of Johnston. How cool is that?

My buyer was a couple of hundred miles away so we arranged to meet at a location about midway between.  I must admit that meeting someone I don’t know always makes me a little nervous. Apparently he was feeling a little concern too since he choose our meeting place in a very public place.

I don’t know that I’ve always felt the need to be careful, but after you see a few internet stories and realize just how crazy some folks are I suppose it probably pays to be a little paranoid.

I had a rather odd experience a couple of winters ago.  I went to an indoor moving sale in hopes of find something interesting while on my lunch break.  I’m not sure if the sale was being held in an enclosed porch or if it was the front room of the home.  It was quite cold even though it was inside.  I walked through the door and was shocked to hear the deadbolt fasten behind me.  That was a little creepy.  I looked a few minutes all the while planning what I would do were they to attempt to prevent me from leaving.  Turned out that there wasn’t anything very interesting and no one tried to block me from going.  I think they may have been using the deadbolt to hold the door closed, but it was an unnerving experience.

Junking can be a bit adventuresome.  I often find myself in situations where I’m not completely comfortable.  It’s probably best to pick with a friend when possible and if you are going alone always make sure someone knows where you are going.

The transfer of the sign went as good as it could have.  I arrived a little early allowing me to choose the exact spot we would meet.  The buyer seemed like a really nice guy and he had cash.  Cash is always good!

 

Finally, A great estate tag sale

I’ve came up empty for several weeks when trying to find a good garage or estate sale leaving me to limit my picks to auctions or flea market booths.  Thursday night I am looking at the usual sites where sales are advertised and I stumble upon an ad for an estate tag sale.  It’s ten minutes from work so I know immediately what I’m doing for my  Friday lunch break.  Not only is there an ad but there are pictures… lots of pics.  Now when sifting through estate sale pics its almost like a game of eye spy.  As I click my way through the pictures one jumps out at me.

IMG_2452

Tag sale pics aren’t always great and in this case what I see is a familiar piece of pottery hiding behind a soda bottle.  It’s a style that I am familiar with and in my favorite color.  I now have a target item, but my fear is that by noon it will have been snatched up.

Lucky me!  Somehow it was still setting there on the counter and at an awesome price!  I selected a few other items including another piece of pottery from the same maker

IMG_2449

and then headed back to work.  There just wasn’t enough time to look as much as I would have liked.

I am always up for looking through cool old junk and would have been happy to walk away with a few things I could flip for a few bucks, but today I found something that will go in my collection.  Something that makes me happy.  Something that looks good on my mantle.

IMG_2450