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Friday, September 27, 2013

Change of Season

Strange title huh. Just something I have noticed through the years. I will try to not ramble on but I make no promises. September every year is one of our slowest months for business. Starting in mid to late August traffic starts to slow down and by September really really slow. The only reasons behind this that I can find are, parents getting ready for back to school, spending alot of hard earned cash for back to school and then adjusting during September to their new busy schedules. For those that are not affected by back to school I believe they are in the first stages of hibernation. Let me explain, we start having cooler mornings and nights, great for bonfires and some outdoor activities but also a good time to relax with a good book, movie, and maybe marshmallows on the fire. Not a very scientific observation, but an observation none the less
       This photo of a vintage iron settee is what started this train of thought for me. 
      Stange? Maybe.
      So let me explain.

Since I purchased this item I have been placing it outdoors in front of the shop upon opening each and every morning. It has been for sale and many an individual have been spotted sitting on it and enjoying a moment or two. You usually find vintage iron chairs but not these settees as often. So of course I thought I wouldn't have it very long. Well it lasted longer than I thought and probably because I got it late in the season for those whom are looking for outdoor furniture. Then again there are those who also use this type of furniture indoors. Sorry I seem to be rambling on, back on point
If I have a slow spell in the shop, which can be relaxing if not too often, and the weather is good you just might see me sitting outdoors watching the world go by or reflecting on life in general. Some very interesting things are to be seen and heard sometimes here in downtown New Albany so it can also be entertaining.

Yesterday was a beautiful day outside and things were very slow business wise soooooo I spent alot of time sitting on this settee. Then a loyal and regular customer stopped by and we chatted for a while. Then she decided she had to have this settee and asked if she could leave it here and pick up in a few days. Of course I said sure, but I advised I would still put out each morning until she came to get it. I mean after all, where or what will I sit on now while the weather is good and business is slow.  Am I Right?

I will miss it when it is gone but at least I know it is going to a good home where it will be appreciated. I should have asked how she was planning to use it, indoors or outdoors. People love to share how an item fits into their home if you think to ask. I guess my daydreaming, relaxing outfront of the shop, my slow progress into hibernation for the coming winter, and concern about not being able to sit on it much longer threw me off balance.

Fall is my favorite time of year so while I am not busy you just may see me out front sitting on something. Wave as you drive by or stop and chat awhile. Start the coming hibernation slow and easy, enjoying all the good things in life, and maybe some reflection.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Golden Glow

Before electricity and after, a home could be seen with a warm glow from their windows.      The Golden Glow of Oil Lamps. 

This is an Aladdin "Washington Drape" Oil Lamp and has been converted for electricity.

You may find this information as a surprise, even until the 1940's many rural or remote areas still used oil lamps for their lighting needs, and of course today Amish communities still use oil lamps.

These antiques, oil lamps, are still very useful today, just experience a blackout for a period of time and you will agree.

Even when not actually needed they provide a wonderful soft glowing light, especially on a cold winters night. Cozy up, turn off the lights and light up an oil lamp or two, maybe even put a log in the fireplace, you will be amazed how warm, cozy, and soothing it can be.

Since so many continued using oil lamps past the availability of electricity in their home many have survived and thankfully so. Some people loved their old oil lamps so much they converted them into electric lamps, plus many found this as practical and did not desire to throw useful items away. You see recycling or repurposing as they call it today, has always been around.

Oil lamps were made using just about any material you can think of, glass, metals, cast iron, animal bone, yes even wood, and many improvements were made in the types of oil used. Originally whale oil was used and even a dangerous and potentially explosive mixture of turpentine and alcohol.


In England in 1850 and the United States in 1852 a Scotsman, James Young, obtained a patent for a fuel which he called Paraffin Oil. It was essentially the same product patented again in 1854 but called Kerosene. Kerosene became the means to a bright, portable and less expensive light which could be available to every home, and which would bring about a dramatic change in the habits and lives to all.

Just take a moment and reflect upon those changes in the pattern of family life as they acquired lights, thus enabling them to continue their tasks, or enjoy reading or writing and playing games after dark.

At first the availability was limited until the development of the first dug well in Ontario in 1858, and the first drilled well in Pennsylvania in 1859 which produced the quanities needed for widespread use. Among the first advertisements for coal oil was the Parson Bros.,Coal Oil and Lamp Agency in 1858    

The Cheapest and most Brillant Light ever intoduced
       ***GAS NOT EXCEPTED***

Thankfully today the oil available for these have improved to the point of being available as smokeless and some are even scented for our pleasure. Many oil lamps were designed to be a work of beauty and remain that way today, even miniatures were made and could be used. 

All of the photos included in this post are of original and converted oil lamps that we have available.  Let us help illuminate your home and share the history.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I am quite often asked the question, what kind of things should one buy? Should I choose things by trends, values, or personal taste?  My answer is always, "Buy What Talks To You".

                                                             Whatever do I mean?

Have you ever been shopping and an item seems to demand your attention? Maybe you know the reason why you are attracted, then again maybe your not sure. You leave without making the purchase but you keep having thoughts of the item, it like nags at you. You try to reason to yourself why you shouldn't make the purchase, but you finally go back to make the purchase, now it is gone, no longer available.

                How do you feel, relieved, saddened, dismayed, or perhaps angry?

I also advise that if something is talking to you and you can afford the item take it home, you will be so happy with that purchase for a very long time. If your reason for a purchase is because someone or something convinced you its all the rage (trend), it will not satisfy you in the long run. Additionally if your purpose in purchasing is because of its current value or perceived future value be aware -- that can change overnight. Now if you made that purchase choice because of your personal taste, yes you will be happy for awhile but what happens when that taste changes?

                 Again if you "Buy What Talks To You" the satisfaction is longer.

I arrived at this wisdom from my own experiences after doing all the things mentioned above, and admit it, we know you have done the same. Many have told me, after following this advice, how true it is for them also.

                                                        Why do things talk to us?

That I can not answer for you directly, you will have to figure that out if desired. Then again if it works why even question, just reap the rewards and be happy. When it comes to Antiques & Collectibles people make the purchases they do for many varied reasons. Here are some examples of personality types, or the reasons behind the collecting. Some will fit you to a tee, others won't, then again all of them could. Some reasons are positive, others may seem negative, but they all work.

          Romantic, Sentimental, Historian, Treasure Seeker, Thrifty,
          Unique, Artisitic, Individual Style, Green Lifestyle,
          Perceived Investment, Eccentric, Hoarder, Preservation,
          Eclectic, Shopping Aholics, Memories, Needs

This applies for all purchases, not just Antiques & Collectibles. Yes purchases in life are only to fulfill needs that arise in life, be it physical or emotional, so "Buy What Talks To You".