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How Does it Make You Feel?

There are many reasons that someone buys an antique or a vintage item. 

Usability and practicality are a big consideration for certain items purchased in this era. Completing a set or in-line accumulation is a consideration for many as well. For example, a collector might collect another Limoges vase or they might buy a coin from a particular year to fill that “slot” in their collection. While in the past years, investment isn’t a top reason anymore, it still is a consideration for some. 

In my opinion, one of the main reasons vintage or antique items are purchased is because of how or what the item makes them feel. Like a song that reminds you of a particular moment in time, an item can transport you back! The one hit wonder song “Hey Mickey” might take you back to a memory from the county fair while walking on the midway. Likewise, seeing a set of Primary Color Pyrex Mixing Bowls might give you a trip back to your grandmother’s kitchen. 

For me, I recently saw a 1975 Robin Yount rookie card in a collection that I was commissioned to sell. It immediately took me back first to the summer of 1987. I was 9. It was just the 3rd year I had played baseball, but I remember tryouts for Little League. I remember the flyers were posted in the grade school and there were a lot of boys and girls that tried out, but at that time, only about half made it. I was chosen as a 9 year old to play for the Red Rockets! I was hooked on baseball. I would listen to Uecker on the radio and my favorite player was Robin Yount. 

Down at Johnson’s Center, they sold 1987 Topps Wax Packs for 35 cents, if I remember right. It had a stick of old gum and 15 random baseball cards. The Topps wood border cards were a throwback vintage style (which I didn’t know until later). Mark McGwire was the hot rookie card that you wanted to get! I must have bought hundreds of packs because I was able to complete the set a few times over. A few years later, I saved up $140 and went to Augie’s Collectibles. I bought the 1975 Topps Robin Yount rookie card. I just HAD to have it. I probably haven’t looked at that card for a decade….the one I bought is still somewhere at my parent’s house probably packed away in an upstairs bedroom. 

When I saw the same card just recently, it immediately took me back to that first summer of baseball!

Vintage items and antiques can be usable or maybe even practical. They can be fun to collect for series. Some can be investments. 

My question is, how does that item make you feel?

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Different types of clocks

Clocks are considered to be essential in households all over the world and are very common due to their practical usage. In this article, we will touch on the history of clocks as well as diversifying them by some characteristics.

Egyptians were the first to invent a timekeeping device using water movement to measure time. Albeit inaccurate, that was a revolutionary invention at the time. Later on, Saxons invented candle clocks, dividing candles into several segments that would indicate time passage after burning out. The first instance of mechanical clocks dates back to middle age, specifically to churches in Europe. Makers of those clocks are unknown but it is considered that they were first invented in the 14th century. Moving forward, clocks were still highly inaccurate until the pendulum introduction in the later years of the 17th century. During the years that followed, many iterations of clocks were made such as the cuckoo clocks, grandfather clocks and many more. By the mid-1800s, almost every town in Britain had its own clock built upon a tower or a tall building. Further technological development impacted clocks as well, with the invention of quartz oscillators and atomic clocks that are still used to this day.

Types of Clocks

There are 13 types of clocks that see modern usage and in the following section, we will dissect every one of them.

There are many styles and types of clocks and in this segment, we will individually analyze every one of them.

Firstly, there is the standard wall clock, the most commonly used clock in almost every room. Oversized wall clocks are very unique in their usage and design, being commonly found in schools, eye-doctor offices or in very large rooms. Next up is the mantel and tabletop clock, which is very specific due to it’s very antique and traditional design. Moving forward we have maritime and weather station clocks, clocks that measure humidity and weather as well as time. Just as important as wall clocks are alarm clocks, mostly used by people who want something that can efficiently wake them up in the morning. Grandfather clocks are the clocks that preserve the old-school design and are commonly passed from older to younger generations as a sign of family tradition. However, their exclusive design and size make them quite expensive. Next up are cuckoo clocks which are very entertaining to use because of their mechanic in which a tiny bird figure pops out with every passing hour. Outdoor clocks are placed in the street so passengers can be aware of the time while floor clocks are mounted clocks that rarely see usage nowadays. Pendulum clocks and anniversary clocks are very unique because they use the “tick-tock” mechanism and are still used as a decoration. Sun clocks and water clocks are devices that have been used in the past to calculate time but are obsolete due to their impracticability.

Unique Features

Every clock has unique features that make it special, we will discuss them in the following section.

Digital clocks display their time digitally while analog clocks use a traditional clock dial. Additionally, large display clocks are digital clocks that have a significantly larger display. Adopting the traditional style is the roman numeral clock, using roman numbers instead of Arabic ones. Calendar clocks display the day and date and time while musical and auditory clocks signal the time of day with a certain musical composition. Automatic Chime Shutoff clocks are traditional alarm clocks that use pendulums and cuckoo calls to signal the time. Battery-powered clocks use batteries in order to function while radio clocks use longwave radio transmitted codes. Light sensor clocks are a variation of alarm clocks that react and alarm us when they are exposed to daylight.

Shape and Mechanism

Clocks can be categorized by shape and mechanism as well

When we categorize them by shape, clocks can be round, rectangle and square, with round clocks being the most common ones as most wall clocks are round-shaped. Novelty clocks include a certain image or a specific design which brings more life to an ordinary-shaped clock. Clocks can be divided by mechanism as well, with atomic clocks being the most precise ones, using electromagnetic signals to measure time. Mechanical clocks use oscillating mechanisms and gears while quartz movement clocks use quartz crystals as their main mechanism. Finally, we have electric clocks that are simply powered by electrical wires.

Hopefully, you have learned something about clocks, as they are truly one of the most useful and unique devices that surround us.

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How to open the back of a stuck pocket watch case

Have you ever went to open the back of a pocket watch case only to have it be stuck? The easiest way to do this is by using a hot glue gun, a jar lid (smaller than your watch), and a little elbow grease. Don’t worry, the hot glue will peel right off after we are finished. Scott from Tamarack Shack Antiques shows us how to do it in this short video.

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Basic Pocket Watch Terminology with Pictures

This is my first guide. It is intended for those of you that may not know what the basic parts of a pocket watch are named. I have not included items that are included in the movement (such as the balance, mainspring, etc) because this is a beginning guide. In any case, I hope that you can use this! Thanks! Scott Hueckman owner, Tamarack Shack Antiques 145 N. Lake Ave. Phillips, WI 54555 715.339.2556!

Bezel—The bezel is the screw-off or flip-off piece on the metal case that holds the crystal.

Bow—The piece that is connected to both sides of the pendant. The bow loops over the crown and swings. It is typically used as the place for connecting a watch chain to the watch, and as the place used for gripping the watch.

Case back—The case back is the piece that either screws on the midsection or fits over the back of the movement.

Case—The case is the metal “shell” protecting the entire movement. The case typically consists of three or four main parts: the case back, the bezel, the midsection, and the pendant. Nearly all American cases were stamped or etched with matching serial numbers.

Crown—The “winder” of the watch that is connected to the stem. The watch can be wound in thenormal position or winding position, unless the watch is a key wind type of watch .  Typically, the crown can be pulled out to set the watch in a position called the setting position, unless the watch is a key set or a lever set.

Crystal—aka “glass.” The glass or plastic part that fits into the bezeland protects the dial is called the crystal.

Dial—aka “the face.” The dial is the part with numbers on it. Dials are typically made of porcelain or painted metal.
Hunter’s Case—Acronym HC—A type of case with a hinged case-front that closes, like a door, to protect the crystal. On nearly all hunters’ cases, the front of the case can be opened and closed by depressing the crown when it is in winding position.

Key Set—Acronym KS—This type of pocket watch requires a key to set the hands. The hands can be set in two ways: by using the key in the center of the hour and minute hands, or by using the key in the center of the back of the movement.

Key Wind—Acronym KW—A type of pocket watch that requires a key (other than the stem) to wind the watch. Most key wind pocket watches are wound on the back of the movement.

Lever Set—A watch movement that sets by pulling a lever located under the bezel next to the dial. The lever must be pulled out and the crown must be turned to set the hands.

Midsection—The middle part of the case on which both a bezel and a back will connect. If the case is a two-piece case, then there is no midsection.

Movement—Known in laymen’s terms as the “works” of the watch. It is the entire part of the watch, not including the case.

Open Face Case—Acronym OF—A watch with an exposed face. The dial and crystal combo is not covered and the time can be viewed at a glance, without having to open anything. Here are a few sub-types: the standard open face, the butterfly case, the swing out case, and more.

Pendant—The pendant is the housing: the part found protruding from the case. It holds the stem and is crested by the crown.

Setting Position—The position in which a crown and stem are pulled out on a pocket watch. With stem set watches, the hour and minute hands can be set in the setting position.

Stem Set—Type of watch that can be set when the crown is pulled out into the setting position.

Stem Wind—Type of watch that can be wound when the crown is in thewinding position.

Stem—The stem is a metal piece which attaches the crown to the watch movement. The stem is controlled by the actions of the crown. In a hunter’s case watch, the stem also opens the front cover.

Winding Position—The “normal” position of the crown and stem on a pocket watch. In this position, the watch can be wound.

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Lonville “Railwayman” Oversize Pocket Watch–Dwarfing the Competition

Here is a pocket watch that may even catch the eye of Flavor Flav, the era of the Swiss oversize pocket watch. There doesn’t seem to be much information about why they were made so much larger than even the 18 size pocket watches that were commonplace in the 1900-1910 era. The aforementioned time period is when the short-lived behemoths came to compete. In size comparison, even the large 18 size pocket watch cases were about 55 to 58mm in diameter. The Lonville “Railwayman” oversize pocket watch has a case that measures 67mm in diameter. A nine to twelve millimeter difference, no big deal right?

Here is a size comparison with an 18s Hamilton and a 16 size Elgin BW Raymond. The Lonville dwarves them both
Here is a size comparison with an 18s Hamilton and a 16 size Elgin BW Raymond. The Lonville dwarves them both

The two typical “working man’s” pocket watches of the early 20th century, the 16 size and 18 size, were only about 4mm in difference (in comparing similar style cases). To a novice, the 16 and 18 size differences are sometimes not even noticed, especially when the movements are out of their cases. When a novice sees the oversize Swiss types, the oversize watch appears like a giant. A modern time analogy would be a comparison of the Samsung Galaxy to the Galaxy Note or the iPhone 6 compared to the 6 plus.

Why were they made and why did the style go out? I would guess that Swiss were attempting to gain a foothold in the US pocket watch market and were trying to get in by making a very noticeable item. Everyone can recognize size differences, but not everyone can see the differences (or cares for that matter) about things like how many jewels, how many adjustments, or other nuances that a watch may have had. I would also venture that the Swiss were so far behind, and the US companies were so entrenched and trusted, that the Swiss companies couldn’t keep making and exporting their products only to have to cut prices to be the price leaders in a US-dominated market.

The short life of the Swiss oversize pocket watch is an interesting phenomenon. The one that I added in the pictures keeps good time, but the movement appears cheap! The dial has gold minute markers, which is cool. The watch is a pin lever set.

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How To Restore Cast Iron Pans

I love cooking on cast iron pans. In fact, they are my favorite pans to cook on and so easy to care for once you have learned how. One thing I love to do is restore cast iron pans. I joy the feeling I get in seeing a cast iron piece restored and usable once again. Most of the cast iron cookware I have, I rescued from being thrown out because they were badly rusted.

Most people have learned how to care for their cast iron pans from their parents or grandparents. Everyone has their own method for cleaning and caring for cast iron pans. Sometimes your cast iron pan gets rusty for some reason. This could happen from improper cleaning or because it was in storage and somehow got wet. Regardless of how it happened, most of the time, the pan is still salvageable.

There are multiple ways to restore a cast iron pan. Choose the one that suits your needs depending on the amount of rust on the pan.

Let’s start with the easiest method.

This one is a good one to use if your pan just has a small amount of rust on it.

  1. If your pan only has light rust on it, you can use fine steel wool to remove the rust. Scour the pan until the area returns to raw cast iron.
  2. Next, wash the pan with warm water and a mild soap. Feel free to use a bristle brush or a mesh sponge it needed.
  3. Be sure to immediately dry the pan with a clean dishtowel or a paper towel.
  4. Then cover the pan completely with vegetable oil. Remember to cover the bottom and the handle!
  5. Place the cast iron upside down on the top rack of your oven. It is recommended that you place a sheet of aluminum foil or a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any oil drips. Heat the cast iron for one hour at 350 degrees.
  6. Remove the cast iron pan and let it cool. Your pan is ready to be used now!

For more severe cases of damaged cast iron try the following:

First Way:

  1. Place pan in a wood stove while it is burning hot for a few hours.
  2. Use a wire brush and scrape off any rust or crud that has loosened on it.
  3. Soak the pan in a solution of 50/50 vinegar and water for 1 to 6 hours depending on how bad the rust is.
  4. Use fine steel wool to remove anything that is still remaining.
  5. Next, wash the pan with warm water and a mild soap. Feel free to use a bristle brush or a mesh sponge if needed.
  6. Be sure to immediately dry the pan with a clean dishtowel or a paper towel.
  7. Then cover the pan completely with vegetable oil. Remember to cover the bottom and the handle!
  8. Place the cast iron upside down on the top rack of your oven. It is recommended that you place a sheet of aluminum foil or a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any oil drips. Heat the cast iron for one hour at 350 degrees.
  9. Remove the cast iron pan and let it cool. Your pan is ready to be used now!

Second Way:

  1. Place the pan in the oven and run it through a self-clean cycle. This will burn anything, not metal off of it and may loosen any rust. (Please be aware that the pan may crack at this stage, if it does, then it is trash. If it cracked here, it was bound to crack some other time, and you should consider yourself lucky that it didn’t do it while you were cooking.)
  2. Next, a quick bath in phosphoric acid will deal with your rust problem. Not sure what phosphoric acid is? Coca Cola has sufficient phosphoric acid in it to get the job done. Phosphoric acid reacts with Iron Oxide (rust) to create Ferric Phosphate, which isn’t dangerous at all and will wipe off the surface with gentle cleaning.
  3. If there is anything remaining, a light scouring with steel wool should get you resolved.
  4. If your surface is uneven, you may have to use something a bit coarser to get things mostly even. You don’t need perfection. The seasoning will fix some of the problems.
  5. Gentle cleaning with soap and water and you’re nearly ready to season. (Dry the pan well before the next step. I like a few minutes on a burner to heat the pan dry and then let it cool down until you can handle it)
  6. By the time you are done with this, you’ll have a clean piece of cast iron that is badly in need of seasoning. Season the pan well, you may want to do it a second time to be on the safe side

Last way:

  1. Take the piece to a machine shop to have it sandblasted and restored to raw cast iron.
  2. Then season it immediately.

As you can see, there are many ways to restore a cast iron pan. Some are easier than others.