Finally had a chance to finish cleaning out my garage this weekend. What’s the point of finding and collecting all this neat stuff if I can’t display it? I collected allot of items over the winter and I was running out of space. I ended up donating allot of items, selling some and relocating others to the attic.
This past weekend I acquired a large lot of vintage tools from the estate of a gentleman who passed. There was a mish-mosh of various items included. Along with the typical woodworking and machinist tools were a couple of other valuable items that might normally get overlooked.
What's this? A couple clamps?
Wait, Luxo? These are actually mounting clamps for mid century lamps made by Luxo. These lamps have become quite collectible recently and for anyone restoring one of these lamps, these clamps are gold.
Here is an example of a Luxo light. Note the mounting clamp.
In one of the tool boxes were these precision tools. Wait what that black wrench in the middle. Is that an Apple logo?
Indeed, it is an Apple Logo. Anything 80's.... or even 90's Apple Computer related in collectible.
Turns out this is a rare Apple Computers wrench that came with some Apple II computers. (As seen in this stock photo).
I picked up this 1927 Mobiloil drum a few weeks back from a fellow picker. He was losing his storage and asked if I would be interested. He found it in a barn and decided to take it at the last second because he could see a partial Gargoyle logo on it. From there it sat in his storage unit until I bought it from him. When I first looked at this thing I was not interested but it came in a package deal so I took it.
Here is a 1926 ten gallon version someone else managed to locate. It stands straight up compared to the drum I have, which would have sat sideways. These were designed for home users to keep in their garage or barn.
I got a call from Joe in Rockford IL who was looking to clean out his basement. He is moving in the next year and has been in the same house since the mid sixties. It was the house he grew up in, his dad was quite the collector/hoarder and did not throw away anything over the years. There was allot of junk that should basically be scrapped but there were also numerous hidden treasurers throughout the basement. So many that he actually called me to come back a second time a month after the first time I visited.
The nice thing about many of the items I uncovered was that they were extremely well taken care of. They were wrapped it in paper bags, old socks and canvas bags and tied with twine. So it was kind of like opening a Christmas present each time I found something. I ended up buying a good deal of items from him and also pointing out some items that others may be interested in.
I made another trip to visit Scott and Anna from Midcentury Misfits. I was able to get these two awesome hardware store displays from them (along with a few other items). The displays cleaned up really well and are going to make an awesome addition to my garage! The Jorgensen Clamps display has NOS tools still on it! The Vise Grips display is cool and I have just about all the vintage models listed on the board.
I headed out to rural area near Harvard IL for my most recent pick. I met a real nice guy named Tom that had a barn packed full of old oil cans and other cool stuff. He works for a large farming outfit and often has to clean out old barns. He comes across quite a few interesting finds and has squirreled away a massive collection in his barn.
I managed to buy quite a few cans from him but I barely made a dent in what he has in his barn. I picked up a couple nice five gallon cans with great graphics. Not to mention a very cool 1930's Harley Davidson oil can that I had to twist his arm for! It took me good hour of scrubbing these cans with hot water and vinegar to get all the grime off of them.
The brutal winter weather in Chicago continues and I have not been to a flea market since last fall. I was itching to get out and hunt for some "junk" so I headed out to Wolff's Indoor Flea Market in Palatine IL. They also run the largest outdoor Flea Market in the Chicago area during the summer months. That market operates out of the Allstate Arena parking lot and you can see the vendors fill the parking lot from I90 each Sunday over the summer. Their indoor market is inside of what appears to be an old grocery or big box store. It is filled with a wide variety of vendors but overall it was not really the type of stuff I was looking for. It could have been that I got there a little later in the morning and it was picked over pretty good.
I did end up finding a booth that had a couple pickers with a great eye. Scott and Anna from Midcentury Misfits had a booth packed with great items. Virtually everything in their booth was stuff I would collect or pick myself. I ended buying some mid-century Dazor lights from them as well as a vintage Thermometer and some oil cans.
Recently I was contacted by the Lions Club of Kirkland IL. They said they had some street signs and license plates I might be interested in. So I decided to head out there in the middle of a blizzard. (that's a whole other story) I ended up picking some really cool 1950's era embossed street signs. These things are really nice (and very heavy). What really makes them unique is the embossed Lions International Logo.
While there I also picked up some special event license plates they had laying around. They are from their 2003 4th of July event. Additionally, there were also a number of brackets for mounting the street signs. I will keep some of these for myself and the rest I will sell or trade.
Have any old signs, license plates or matiques laying around? If you are looking to make some quick cash I am always on the lookout. If you collect yourself, I have a ton of items to trade! Shoot me an email.
In the past year or so I started collecting oil cans. They are extremely collectible and have a pretty decent entry price point for just about any collector. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes as well as the material they are made from.
Typically the better the advertising on the front of the can the higher its value. Also, a major factor is condition. Things that affect value include; dents, does it still have oil, if so is it leaking oil, are the graphics clearly legible.
Soldered Seam Metal Quart - Soldered seam cans are differentiated by their gray stripe on the back or side of the can. As pictured, bare metal is visible as is the solder. This can was primarily used from the introduction of the "standard" quart size can until the early 1940's.
Crimped Seam Metal Quart - The crimped seam eliminated the need and expense of soldering the seam of the can. Instead a crimped seam held the can together from top to bottom. Crimped seems replaced the soldered seam metal
Paper / Cardboard Quarts - Composite cardboard or "paper" quarts are constructed of heavy cardboard. They started to appears in the 1940's but were not adopted by most companies until the late 1950's and were used through the late 1980's. These are great for entry level collectors because they can typically be purchased at a much lower price point that metal cans. On the downside they typically do not hold up well over time. If full, they often leak.
5 Gallon Round Oil Can - These cans are my personal favorite and perhaps the best for displaying. They were made incredibly tough and tend to be found in tact. The major thing to watch for are the graphics. Many times these cans were re-purposed for holding other liquid and will have writing or carving into the graphics.
There are numerous other can sizes and shapes of oil cans that I have not touched on. To learn more visit www.oilcans.net