While exploring the Volunteers of America shelves, I found a Brandt Automatic Cashier. It is quite a contraption, full of multi-colored buttons, and one of the other shoppers even wondered what it was.
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The manufacturer of this toy, J. Chein, started humbly in New York City around 1903. In the late 1920s, rival businessman Samuel Hoffman took over, and the company began to create many wonderful circus and amusement park-themed toys like ferris wheels and roller coasters. They continued manufacturing them through the 1930s but, like most companies during World War II, toy manufacturing was put aside. During that time, they produced nose cones and tail units for bombs.
John from Lake Ariel writes: “I have an old doctor’s bag but I have no idea when it’s from or if it has any value. The leather is in good condition, the maker’s mark and serial number are clearly legible, and the clasp functions well.”
Before I became a collector, I viewed advertising as something on TV, flashy and forgettable, out of my young mind after 15 or 30 seconds. After I started collecting, even unremarkable pages from a newspaper or a magazine could become art, or even history.
As collectors, we all have our origins, our first loves, the items or ideas that made us who we are. I grew up near the railroad tracks that ran through Tunkhannock, and Swale Brook Creek was also nearby. One spring day while walking the tracks, I picked up an old tree bark fossil in a piece of coal or slate. I was just the discoverer, but it was large and impressive to a 9-year-old boy. I was hooked.
Recent Comments by Bill Goodman
- May 10, 2016 on Custody for Cash: A plea for help, when there is no place else to turn
- August 21, 2015 on Custody for Cash: A plea for help, when there is no place else to turn
- April 20, 2015 on Custody for Cash: A plea for help, when there is no place else to turn
- February 12, 2015 on We, the People: Independent Citizen Review Board forming to investigate the courts
- February 12, 2015 on Common law grand jury group meets in Edwardsville