Sunday, September 22, 2013

Old Things

A recent Facebook posting called Old Dusty Things caught my attention a few days ago, and after I skimmed through pages of old stuff members had contributed, I chased it down on google and discovered a bit more information. It dates back to 2011, and is also a selling site for those wishing to list-others simply share pictures of their treasures. I haven't discovered how because it gave me an idea of sharing a few of my old favorites on my blog.

To the left is part of my cast iron collection. I once had a piece similar to the center one, top row, that had shallow round sections. I occasionally used it to bake individual strawberry shortcakes...made the old-fashioned way out of a sweetened biscuit-type dough...with strawberries and real whipped cream.

The oval piece on the left is stamped "server", the center piece is not identified as to it use. The next one is called crusty corn cobs or tea sticks.On the right is an "egg skillet." The muffin pan has been called the best pan ever for pop-overs, and I plan to try it - so far I've had
decent luck with regular aluminum muffin pans. Next, right, is stamped
bread sticks, and in the forefront in a hefty griddle about 10"x 16".

This second picture is shown only because the lighting  was better. My other "cooking" cast iron pieces includes four sizes of skillets, one my husband and I bought at a junk store soon after we were married, seventy years ago.
Wow! I did mention I was showing old stuff, didn't I? The crusty corn cob pan has a pat. date of 1920.

 This old clock has always been called "my dad's clock." I don't know the maker, but a clock hobbits/repair person said it was a coffee premium - however that worked! Probably had to buy many pounds of coffee and save labels to get the clock. Of course it had to be wound every night with its brass key and when it began to lose time, My dad would take off the back, and with a chicken feather dipped in kerosene (called coal oil in those days), proceed to dust and oil its very simple moving parts. It is in need of another feather and kerosene treatment, I fear, because  today, it runs only a short time. Beside it must be hung perfectly level or the pendulum will quit swinging.
The numerals and pendulum are brass.      
 My mother did this watercolor when she was about nine, making it 117 years old, Of course the framing came many years later when her younger sister surprised her with the little picture as a Christmas gift. I wonder how it survived, but it seems to be a family trait to hang on to everything.

This lamp goes back to the beginning of the decorative hammered aluminum
production that started in 1930 and lasted into the '50s-'60s. As an avid collector of these wares,when a large collection went on auction in the '80s, I bid via telephone until my competing bider finally gave up. Some collectors accumulated numerous lamps, ranging from table lamps like this, to desk lamps, and a great variety of bank lamps which were combined wit pin and ink sets and trays for deposits slips, etc. More recently, I have added a torchere - lousy if you want real light but great for a quiet atmosphere. Collectors just keep on keeping on....

A better use.
 Back to cast iron. My Dad bought this grinder (he called it a grist mill) at junk store called Fry's, He thought he'd use it to grind his own corn meal instead of bringing his corn in to Mr. Brown's mill. This was in the late '30s, the midst of the depression, and if you could save a few pennies long enough, you might accumulate a dollar. In this case, Dad soon decided the hand turned grinder was a bad idea: he said the meal was much too coarse for cornbread but never mentioned the tiresome wheel turning! Anyway, he continued to be a customer of Brown's Mill.

Below right, another purchase from Fry's second hand store. This kettle sat on the back of Mother's old wood burning cookstove and furnished an almost constant supply of hot to warm water - if used sparingly and kept refilled. The cast iron cookstove plus the cast iron kettle retained the heat long after the fire burned out.

Rural areas did not have access to electricity until after WWII ended - at least not in this part of the country. President Roosevelt's administration had introduced the Rural Electrification Act, but the war put everything on hold for many years. A very few had limited electricity from a generator and some had propane for heat and cooking. Most rural homes had wood burning stoves and kerosene lamps with glass globes that soon smoked up from the wick being turned up too high. Or a puff of wind that made the flame flare up. Small hands usually had the chore of cleaning those fragile globes.

 Maybe I can find a few more oldies for sharing later. And maybe you can find some of your own to share. The memories are great - and check in to the Old Dusty Things site. I enjoyed the postings.