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Collecting Depression Glass for Beginners

Green Depression Glass

More than their rarity or worth, Depression glass collections are prized for their beauty. 

Depression Glass History

During the Great Depression, Glassware was an important aspect of the Depression Era’s history. The Great Depression began in 1929 with the stock market crash and lasted into the 1930s.

Depression glass earned its name because it was the glass produced during that time period.

What Is Depression Era Glass?

The National Depression Glass Association (NDGA) defines Depression glass as transparent glassware produced in the United States from the early 1920s until 1945, when World War II ended. 

The majority of the time, this transparent glass was colored. A piece of glass may only be classified as Depression glass if it was made during this time period.

Depression Glass Manufacturing

The majority of this glass was mass-produced in bulk by machine and sold at five-and-dime stores or given away as promotional gifts for other products at the time.

At local movie theaters, gas stations, and grocery stores, Depression glass was frequently bundled in cereal boxes, flour bags, or given out as gifts.

It brought families together at mealtimes and provided a splash of color in the darkest of times.

Depression Glass Manufacturers

Between 1923 and 1939, there were seven major glass makers.

  • Federal Glass Company – From approximately 1927 through 1938, the Federal Glass Company developed new glassware patterns.
  • Jeanette Glass Company – The iconic Adam and Windsor patterns were designed by the Jeanette Glass Company.
  • Hazel-Atlas Glass Company – From 1930 until 1938, the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company introduced new patterns.
  • Hocking Glass Company – Hocking Glass Company was one of the largest Depression glass manufacturers in the United States. In 1937, they changed their name to Anchor Hocking.
  • Indiana Glass Company – From 1923 through 1933, Indiana Glass Company produced the first four Depression glass types and offered new glassware patterns for ten years.
  • Macbeth-Evans Glass Company – The Macbeth-Evans Glass Company was acquired by Corning in 1936 and is well known for the pink design “American Sweetheart.”
  • U.S. Glass Company – Between 1927 and 1932, the US Glass Company produced a limited number of new patterns.

Two Classes of Depression Glass

It is widely accepted that Gene Florence was the first to separate Depression glass into two distinct categories.

  • After it’s been removed from the mold, hand-finishing is a big part of creating elegant glass.
  • Elegant glass was produced by fewer, smaller enterprises known as “hand houses” because of the additional labor and attention to detail required.
  • When it comes to Depression-era glasses, there is no hand-finishing. In most cases, the dishes were given away as promotional items after being taken out of the molds.

The Appeal of Depression Glass

The history of Depression-era glass is being preserved thanks to organizations like the NDGA and different Depression-era glass clubs across the country.

Glass is adored by collectors because of its history and beauty. There are others who believe that the beautiful glass that brought families together during the depression era still brings families together today.

Identifying Depression Glass

It can be difficult to tell genuine Depression glass from fakes because there are more than 100 styles from around 20 different producers. It’s possible to learn about Depression-era glass identification from a number of sources.

Mauzy’s Depression Glass, written by Barbara and Jim Mauzy, is a great book on the subject. You can also learn about Depression glass by attending events and chatting to experts in the field.

How to Identify Depression Glass

To positively identify a piece of glassware, you must first examine its pattern, color, and type, and then conduct research on recognized collections from known manufacturers. These tips only apply to Depression glass, not Elegant glass.

  • As a rule, the designs are not etched but rather slightly raised.
  • Depression-era glass may have raised seams because of its rapid manufacturing process.
  • It is uncommon for a maker’s mark to be found on depression glass.
  • The majority of Depression-era glass was not iridescent.’
  • Milk glass is a little thicker than opaque white Depression glass.
  • When you can, use a piece of paper to trace the outline of objects like plates so that you may compare the silhouette to other well-known silhouettes.
  • Make a list of the motif’s specifics so that you can distinguish it from others of its kind.
  • The distinctive patterns of most manufacturers are documented, so you can use the pattern to match the piece to a known manufacturer of Depression glass.
  • It is common for reproductions to be scratch-proof and flawless.

Typical Flaws in Depression Glass

As a result of the mass production of Depression-era glassware, you’ll notice minor faults that don’t affect the value. Scratches and chips are common features of Depression-era glassware. If you see any of the following flaws:

  • Bubbles in the glass
  • Inconsistent coloring
  • Flaws from the molds

Depression Glass Colors and Patterns

During the Great Depression, nearly every hue of glass was produced. The following colors are available:

  • Amber
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • Pink
  • Amethyst
  • Red
  • Black
  • White
  • Crystal

Collectible Depression Glass

Depression glass comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and makers. Each person has his or her own unique collection of Depression glass items, from plates to salt and pepper shakers and even entire sets.

  • Glass and glass collecting have their own distinct personalities, much like people. Collect only the pieces of glass that you truly enjoy.
  • Collectible glass should only be purchased if it is labeled as “mint”. There are no chips, scratches, or repairs to the glass in this glassware.
  • Before purchasing glass, be sure to inquire about any defects or repairs that may have been made. A respectable dealer will be more than happy to assist and answer any queries that the collector may have about their purchases.

Most Popular Depression Glass Colors

Depression glass’ popularity varies throughout time.

  • The most popular hues at the period of manufacture were yellow and amber, hence massive quantities of yellow and amber glass were produced.
  • There seems to be a preference for depression glass in pink, green, and blue today.
  • The scalloped margins of Hocking’s Princess pattern make it popular.
  • One of the most popular Depression glass patterns is the Royal Lace design, with the cobalt blue variant taking the top spot.Most Valuable Depression Glass Colors

When it comes to Depression-era glass colors, those that were produced in small batches are the most expensive. The value of Depression glass is affected by supply, demand, and where you buy it in the United States.

  • For a short period of time, various companies ran an alexandrite color that was lavender but changed hues in the light.
  • Glass manufacturer Heisey produced a tangerine-colored product for a short period of time that was unpopular at the time.
  • Pink and yellow Hocking Cameo patterns were only created for a short time.
  • The type of dish is equally as important as the color in determining the value of Depression glass.
  • Depression glass that has been printed or has several colors can be extremely valuable.

Rare Depression Glass

There is a difference between rare and hard-to-find glass in terms of rarity. In most Depression glass patterns, there are one or more pieces that are difficult to get. That doesn’t mean they’re particularly unusual.

  • Because only a few of these pieces were produced, rare glass is a piece that is rarely seen.
  • To determine the piece’s rarity, you need to know the history of the design and producer.
  • At one of the NDGA Conventions, a Pink Cherry Blossom cookie jar was on exhibit and was one of the rarest pieces.

Tips for Depression Glass Collectors

You don’t have to choose a piece based on its value if you’re a collector of Depression glass. Love for the piece will remain even if the price fluctuates.

Get to Know Your Glass

It’s not just about having nice things when you collect Depression-era glassware; it’s also a way of learning about the past. You should try to have the ability to describe every aspect of your dishes and that you spend time researching Depression glass to find out what pattern your item is as well as who made it and when it was produced.

Start With One Set

Beginners may benefit from consulting guidebooks and picking out specific patterns, manufacturers, or objects they want to collect. After that, you can embark on a search for them. As an alternative, you may go to an antiques store and look for the rest of the original set.

Shop In Person When Possible

It’s best to see Depression glass in person because of the necessity to observe all the intricate details both on the inside and exterior of the glass. If you don’t have access to an antique store or a similar venue, make sure you obtain numerous close-up images of a piece before you buy it.

How to Use and Care for Your Depression Glass

Glassware manufactured during the Great Depression was meant to be used and enjoyed by families. Because of this, you can use your Depression-era glasses as intended.

  • Make sure you don’t microwave this glass because it was produced before the introduction of the microwave.
  • You shouldn’t put the glass in the oven or on the cooktop, though, because it can be damaged by heat.
  • In general, hand washing is preferable, but occasional use of a dishwasher is safe.

Storing and Displaying Your Depression Glass

It’s entirely up to you how you intend to utilize, store, or display your glass. Glass should be placed where it may be appreciated. Store in cardboard boxes or plastic containers by wrapping each component in simple paper or cloth or bubble wrap.

Glass can be damaged by sudden temperature changes, so keep it in a place where the temperature is stable.

Get Your Own Depression Glass

Your family and close friends are the best places to start when collecting Depression glass. Chances are, someone in your family possesses a piece of Depression-era glassware. 

You can find Depression glass on eBay, Etsy, in antique auctions both online and in the real world, or in antique shops. Make sure to include the piece’s history and identification information with the item if you know it so that your heirs know what it is when you pass it on.

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How to Identify Real Antique Carnival Glass

At the dawn of the twentieth century, carnival glass was everywhere. Antique collectors like the wide diversity of colors, forms, and sizes, as well as the wide range of pricing, of carnival glass artifacts.

What Is Carnival Glass?

Carnival Glass comes in an iridescent rainbow of hues because of the mineral or metallic salts that are added throughout the manufacturing process to press glass to form it. Carnival glass got its name because it was a typical prize during carnivals between 1907 and 1925. Carnival glass is a type of crystal. Even though it was called iridescent carnival glass, the majority of it was really sold in retail stores. Carnival glass regained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s and continued to be manufactured, albeit in smaller quantities, into the 2000s.

Other Names for Carnival Glass

The Fenton Art Glass Company trademarked the name Iridill as the original name for carnival glass. This sort of pressed colored glass was also known as carnival glass, among other names. These were some examples:

  • Aurora glass
  • Cinderella glass
  • Dope glass (‘Doping’ is referred to as ‘dope glass’ because of the term given to the manufacturing process.)
  • Poor man’s Tiffany glass (People call it “poor man’s Tiffany glass” since it is more affordable than more expensive Tiffany pieces for the common person.)
  • Rainbow glass
  • Taffeta glass

How to Identify Carnival Glass

Carnival glass can be identified in a number of ways. You may need the assistance of a certified professional appraiser, but you can also search for common features while examining a possible acquisition. The following are the most popular methods of spotting the glass:

  1. Consider the hue and sheen to see if you can see an iridescent rainbow effect.
  2. Check the glass’s base, which should be thin and light in weight. On the other hand, it frequently lacks the glass’s iridescent shine.
  3. Make sure to check the glass for a manufacturer’s mark, but be aware that many businesses did not brand their carnival glass.
  4. A rusty appearance is more likely to develop in older carnival glass because of deterioration of the metal oxide used in its production over time.
  5. Analyze the designs and colors using an antique carnival glass reference book, such as Collecting Carnival Glass by Marion Quintin-Baxendale, Warman’s Carnival Glass: Identification and Price Guide by Ellen Schroy, or the Carnival Glass website of antique appraiser David Doty.

Carnival Glass Colors

When held up to the light, carnival glass should have a shimmering appearance. The end result should resemble the iridescent swirls you see when you put oil in water. More than 60 different colors are available for carnival glass’s foundation, but the most popular ones are:

  • Marigold (an orange-gold shade)
  • Amethyst
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Purple Red
  • Red
  • Amber
  • Peach Opal
  • White carnival glass – moonstone (translucent), milk glass (opaque), baking powder glass, Nancy glass, and Pompeian iridescent are all names for the same type of white carnival glass.

If you look at the bottom of an item, you can usually identify what the base color is because there aren’t as many chemicals utilized to make the iridescent rainbow appearance there.

Carnival Glass Patterns

Antique carnival glass was machine-pressed, but the final shape and fashioning of each piece was done by hand. There are over 2,000 different patterns of carnival glass. Thus, no two pieces are the same. The glass’ edges were decorated with a variety of odd crimps, ruffles, rounds, and scallops. It’s also possible to date a piece of carnival glass based on the pattern because different designs and banding patterns were grouped together over time. In addition to its inconsistent sizing and style, vintage carnival glass patterns sometimes include crimped edges on bowls that fluctuate in size because they were handmade.

Carnival Glassware Pieces

Home decor and kitchenware were two of the most common uses for Carnival glass. In this category you’ll find punch bowls and sugar bowls as well as serving plates and canisters for storage. Ashtrays, figurines, and lamps were also made from it, but these were used far less frequently than the other items mentioned.

Carnival Glass Manufacturers

Carnival glass was created by a number of businesses in the United States, including Indiana Glass, Imperial Glass Companies, Northwood, Millersburg, Fenton, Dugan(Diamond) Glass Company, Cambridge, U.S. Glass Company, and Westmoreland. Imperial Glass was one of these companies. Crown Crystal of Australia, Brockwitz and Sowerby, as well as Cristalerias Rigolleau and Cristalerias Piccardo in South America, were some of the most well-known carnival glass manufacturers in Europe. Unfortunately, many carnival glass manufacturers all around the world fail to incorporate a maker’s mark on their wares. There were a handful of companies that went the extra mile, such as Fenton, Imperial, Dugan, and Northwood.

  • Carnival glass maker Fenton, which operated until 2007, used an oval mark on their pieces to identify it as being made by the business, but many of their works are completely unmarked. Starting in 1980, Fenton began adding a decade to the mark, with an 8 for the 1980s, a 9 for the 1990s, and a 0 for the 2000s. Fenton was well-known for its carnival glass in a variety of colors, including marigold and scarlet, as well as for its elaborate embellishments like crimped or scalloped edges.
  • Northwood’s trademark was an uppercase N enclosed in a circle or semicircle, with the letter “N” underlined. Additionally, they were well-known for their use of natural themes and vibrant colors, such as the well-known marigold and a shade they termed golden iris.
  • Imperial Glass was known for its cross-shaped logo, which served as the company’s trademark. Additionally, their work was notable for the use of unique base colors, and their primary design approach was geometric in nature.
  • In the shape of a diamond, the manufacturer’s mark of Dugan was an uppercase D. Crimped edges and natural motifs were common in their carnival glass. While Dugan’s carnival glass came in a wide range of hues, the company was most renowned for its dark amethyst and peach opalescent hues.
  • The Carnival Heaven website has a list of recognized carnival glass trademarks.

Fake Carnival Glass

If you’re looking for authentic antique carnival glass, be careful that “fakes” have been made to entice unsophisticated antiques purchasers. Real versus fake can be distinguished in a few ways, but there is no surefire method.

  • Fake mark – Others include manufacturer’s marks that appear like they were made by a legitimate carnival glass maker using the original carnival glass molds. It would appear that Northwood is the manufacturer of, say, a carnival glass bowl with a “N” etched on the bottom Assume that if the N does not sit within a circle, then it is not real.
  • Dull surface – YA dull appearance rather than a sparkling one is another way to spot a fake. You can verify this by comparing it to a genuine piece of carnival glass. Real carnival glass, on the other hand, came in a wide range of colors and sheens.
  • Less detail – Fakes sometimes have less ornate and finely detailed artwork, as well as thicker glass than the real thing. If something seems clumsy, it probably isn’t.
  • Faked patterns – When collecting certain patterns, be especially watchful because they are frequently faked. Northwood Grape and Cable bowls, Northwood Peacock items, Fenton Stag and Holly pieces, and Fenton Butterfly and Berry pieces are just a few of the most popular designs to see. Consult an expert if you’re unsure, or look through a pattern book of well-known carnival glass patterns instead.

Carnival Glass Versus Depression Glass

As early as the turn of the 20th century, carnival and depression glass were both popular. Because of the time period and the wide range of hues, they are sometimes mistaken for one another. 

Carnival glass lacks the shimmering metallic rainbow look that depression glass has, thus it’s easy to tell the two apart. Carnival glass has a multi-colored appearance, whereas depression glass has a uniform color.

Carnival Glass Prices

Antique carnival glass is available for a wide variety of costs, depending on the piece’s age, condition, color, and rarity of the pattern. Even if it’s a more contemporary piece, you can locate carnival glass pieces for under a hundred dollars. There are also extremely uncommon items available for purchase, with some fetching upwards of several thousand dollars.

Identifying Antique Carnival Glass

It’s not always easy to tell if a piece of glass is genuine vintage carnival glass. It’s tough for an amateur collector to keep track of all the many designs and craftsmanship that go into each piece, not to mention the lack of manufacturer’s marks. 

Carnival glass collectors who want to get into the hobby may find a pattern guide essential in narrowing down the authenticity of individual pieces. To rule out fakes, it helps to have some background knowledge on the firing and manufacturing processes used in the early part of the 20th century.

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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.