• 11 Jan
    2016

Collectors Snap to Attention for Historic Field Drums

Church-bells ringing on Sunday morning are a familiar sound in communities all over America. There was a time, though, that the faithful were called to worship by the sound of drums. Thomas L. Purvis notes in his book “Colonial America to 1763” that the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony built a platform atop their meeting house […]

Read More
  • 6 Jan
    2016

Is That Old Circus Poster You Found Authentic or a Reproduction? More Answers

Nearly seven years ago I wrote my first article for WorthPoint—“Is That Old Circus Poster You Found Authentic or a Reproduction?”—a guide to help identify circus poster reproductions. Ever since, I have been receiving e-mails with comments about that article and questions about posters readers have found. Hopefully, I can answer or clarify some of […]

Read More
  • 22 Dec
    2015

A Three-Minute Gift of Christmas Magic

I stomped the dirty slush off my boots as I push open the restaurant door, cursing the season and the phony Ho-Ho-Ho of it all, letting the cold wind blast past. Everyone looked round to see who else was crazy enough to be out in this weather and then settling back to the Mama’s special […]

Read More
  • 21 Dec
    2015

The Giant, Menacing Department Store Santa

Dana H. had a bit of a scare in the loft of an old carriage house on a gloomy day, a property she and her husband were thinking of buying. The sun breaking through a window cast a shadow of a large man standing behind her. Spinning about, it turned out to be the last […]

Read More
  • 18 Dec
    2015

Naughty or Nice: ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ Capra, Commies and the FBI

“He’s making a list, checking it twice; gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…” When Coots & Gillespie’s famous Christmas song debuted on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in 1934, they warned that “Santa Claus is coming to town.” Not many years later, in Hollywood, Calif., a new set of lyrics could apply: “J. Edgar Hoover […]

Read More
  • 15 Dec
    2015

In Christmases Past, Wicker Made the List

In the past, Christmas was a much simpler time, and the emphasis was more on family, church and 
community rather than the monumental gift extravaganza it is today. Then, money was often
 tight and credit cards were a thing of the future, so when gifts were given, they were generally functional items
 rather than throwaway […]

Read More
  • 8 Dec
    2015

Christmas Movie Posters: A Yuletide Collectible Category

Some of our strongest memories of Christmas involve movies, either those that evoke the very ethos of Christmas or others which have a Christmas like theme. Often, the movies we associate with Christmas can be very personal. Posters for Christmas movies vary in collectability and in the genre in which they are based. With the […]

Read More
  • 3 Dec
    2015

Christmas Music Albums, Sheet Music Offer Great Holiday Collectibles

By Barbara Sutton-Smith Bah Humbug! That was Ebenezer Scrooge’s iconic attitude to Christmas, and Christmas carols were definitely not music to his ears. But if Scrooge would have known what kinds of profits were to be found in holiday music, he’d be sound asleep on Christmas Eve with visions of dollar signs dancing in his […]

Read More
  • 2 Dec
    2015

Sounds of a Victorian Christmas: Original Carols Played on Original Instruments

If I had to admit to a Christmas-time pet peeve, it would be this: I’m a Scrooge when it comes to cover versions of classic Christmas tunes: I don’t like them. Bah, humbug, says I. Hip-hop “O Holy Night?” I don’t think so. “Jingle Bells” by the Austrian Death Machine? Fuhgeddaboudit! Give me those “old-time” […]

Read More
  • 27 Oct
    2015

The Sony Cassette Walkman Changed How and Where We Listened to Our Music

“No invention in my lifetime has so changed an art and cheapened it as the Sony Walkman, which first infiltrated our culture 25 years ago this month,” wrote Norman Lebrecht in July 2004. Mr. Lebrecht, the noted British music commentator and author, continues that, “set beside the cheapest compact disc, the best cassette Walkman was, […]

Read More