In collecting, sometimes the best things in life are free

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Almost a year ago, our column was about non-material possessions that are collectible. Since then, we have had several people come into our shop commenting on how much fun they have had listing the many events in their lives and how it has become conversation with friends.

This has caused us to think of a related subject, that being "things" rather than events. The rationale behind this is that things from the past that no longer exist become the basis for collections. If you are a septuagenarian, you no doubt will relate to our list. If you are from recent generations, you no doubt are thinking, "You gotta be kidding!"

During our years as collectibles dealers in the New York area, we had many customers that honed in on a single subject, e.g., matchbook covers, Rockwell calendars, medicine bottles, inkwells and such. These are categories that no longer exist, and therefore are collectible.

In my small universe, I can think of several extinct subjects that might trigger the readers of this column to add to the list. It then will afford some fun conversations with young and old alike about the good old days.

It might even encourage the beginning of a collection.

Do you remember ...?

  • Scooters with balloon tires
  • Ice boxes
  • Milk bottles
  • 5-cent Liberty magazine
  • Yo-yos and kites
  • Movie cartoons that were funny
  • Streetcars
  • Erector sets, Tinker Toys
  • Saturday serials
  • Babuskas
  • Storybook dolls, Dolly Dingle
  • Little red wagon
  • Saf-T Cones
  • Carnivals
  • Red Circle coffee
  • 5 and Dime stores
  • Penny candies (snaps)
  • Mutt & Jeff, Felix the Cat, Nancy
  • Sunday band concerts
  • A&P supermarkets and their Woman's Day magazine
  • Double features
  • Inner tubes (for floating in the lake or ocean)

You might have a list of many other memories.

Within our short list, a collection might emerge and research will give you hours of interesting knowledge. Did you know, for example, that pre-1940, Mickey Mouse was "pie-eyed"? Each of his pupils had a triangular white space.

The importance of that fact is that an original print, toy, doll or item with a pie-eyed Mickey is quite valuable. (Be aware of recent reproductions, though.)

In closing, food for thought: 70 years from now, they'll say "Do you remember movie theaters," or newspapers, shopping malls, and even telephones? All of those might be extinct!

This might be true, but we strongly feel human instinct will keep collecting as a rewarding hobby.

Jerry Glenn is co-owner of Reminisce in Bluffton, where sports collectibles are bought and sold.

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