Monday, December 8, 2014

Recent Acquisitions: A Bit of Vintage

I don't consider myself a collector of vintage or antique items, but I love looking at older items and wondering about where they have been and who has used them over the years.  To me, older items usually seem to have more personality than newer items.  And occasionally, a few of these items do end up in my possession, and here are a few that I have acquired recently.

Address book ("with the compliments of R.O. Roberts & Sons, Holland Arms Garage, Anglesey, Tel. Gaerwen 240"), and staple-bound notepad from Swift's Premium.

Address book - I usually don't find address books very interesting, but this one is intriguing because it comes from Anglesey, which is in Wales, and therefore has travelled quite a way to arrive here in western Canada.  There is only one address written in the book, that of a hotel in London, and a loose address in Calgary, Canada slipped inside the front cover.  I'm guessing that this book was probably picked up by someone from Canada travelling in England and Wales.

Staple-bound notepad - This notepad is from Swift's Premium ("...the two most trusted words in meat"), and I was rather startled and amused when I opened it to discover my own name.  "Heather," someone had written on the first page, "is wearing a white rayon/polyester blouse and blue denim skirt made of 100% cotton for the casual hot afternoon shopping trip."  The next page contains a brief recipe for rhubarb jam (dated May 22, 1974), and then several pages of notes that appear to be related to printing.

Two children's get well cards: "A Spinning Satellite to Speed Your Recovery" and "A Pet Show to help you get Well."

Greeting cards - These are both get well cards for children.  They're interesting because they're not just cards, but each include a small activity or game as well.  One includes a "spinning satellite", a small plastic disk that can be removed from the card and attached to a piece of string for spinning ("Launching Instructions" are on the back).  The other card includes a pet show with illustrations of several different pets, a space for the child to insert a photo or sketch of his or her own pet, and 1st and 2nd prize paper ribbons that can be punched out of the card and inserted in the desired slot.  Neither card has been used.

Tin from Imperial Mfg. Co., with General's Kimberly pencil for scale.

Tin - This tin is from the Imperial Mfg. Co. ("makers of typewriter ribbons and carbon papers for railroad and commercial use"), from Newark, N.J., U.S.A.  The other side of the tin (too dark to see in the above photo) informs me that the "ribbons and carbon papers are not affected by the atmosphere."  This tin is probably my favourite of all the items in this post (it's even my favourite colour) and I would love to learn more about it.

As I said, I don't really consider myself a collector yet (except of pencils), but I love all of these items and wouldn't mind acquiring a few more similar things if the opportunity arises.  Do you collect any vintage or antique items?


  1. I don't get to resale or antique stores often but have thought about looking for older notebooks and journals. Last year I was going through some old things and found a small notebook that I had taken on a trip years before (before recycled paper). I could feel the difference in the paper quality immediately. It feels expensive, but I probably picked it up in a drug store for a dollar or two.

    I enjoy reading your blog.

  2. These are great! I love the tin and the note you found written in the note pad! I have a vintage watercolor set I found in an antique shop. I'm not much of a collector of old things, either, but certain types of things catch my attention.


  3. the description of Heather's outfit sounds just like "fashion review" as conducted by 4H clubs......

  4. Hi!
    I am not a collector but I can't help looking for a local brand of vintage notebooks. The cover are very similar to the black address book of the picture, and their pages are light green and lined, very delicate. I still can't believe that at the time our mums used to buy us those lavishly crafted notebooks just for school!

    I am roaming the net and be alert just to find one copy of those notebooks.
    Hope to find one one day :-)

  5. Nice post, Heather. I'm not a collector, but a few months ago I found an Arrow stapler my Dad had bought maybe around 1960. It looked "different". It was. The Arrow's top part was all stamped metal; my sister's much newer stapler was molded plastic riding on the magazine that holds the staples. I like the Arrow and my 1970s-era Bostitch. Trustworthiness, reliability, bit of nostalgia, thriftiness, etc. Jack/Ohio


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