Industrial antiques, fridge magnets, history...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Repurposing a 20-Drawer Library Card File

Replacing the Army green paint
on this old metal library cabinet will give it a new
1940s card file cabinet manufactured by General Fireproofing of Youngstown, Ohio

Things to store inside:
  • Spools of thread
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Paintbrushes
  • Rulers 
  • Scissors
  • Needles
  • Toys
  • Tubes of paint
  • Beads
  • Jewelry
  • Doll clothes
  • Craft supplies
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Fishing lures
  • Fingernail polish
  • RC car parts
  • Sewing notions
  • Herbs & spices
  • Makeup
  • Baseball cards
  • Recipes
  • Medicine
  • Socks
  • Razor collection
  • Hair bows
  • Brushes & combs
  • Photographs
  • Yarn
  • Shells
  • Scrapbook Materials
  • Spectacles
  • Matchbox cars
  • Fisher-Price figures
  • Pens & Pencils
  • Watch collection
  • Stickers
  • 3"x5" index cards :)
  • Seed packets
  • Stamps
  • Little Ponies
  • Coins
  • Miniatures
  • Guitar supplies
  • Weed
  • Salt & pepper shakers
  • Soap
  • Crystals
  • Candles
  • Audio parts
  • Pocket knife collection
  • Lighter collection
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Notes for your novel
  • Receipts
  • String, glue & tape
  • Fasteners
  • Faucets and washers
  • Golf balls & tees
  • Chopsticks
  • Tools
  • Inventory
  • Stationery supplies
  • Headbands
  • Photography accessories
  • Knitting needles

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aardvarks. Even the name sounds funny.

Get an aardvark picture fridge magnet.
Aardvarks (Orycteropus afer) can weigh 150-180 lbs, making them about the weight of a Mastiff dog. They get to that size on a protein-rich daily diet of 50,000 ants and termites found in the grasslands of Africa.  An aardvark eats as it digs into an anthill, ignoring the stinging and biting, zipping out its long and sticky tongue to scarf them in, the ants going directly to its muscular gizzard-like belly, with minimal if any chewing.  Yum

Romance & Family Life
Aardvarks team up to mate, then go their separate ways, living mostly solitary lives, though males do have multiple mating partners and cubs stay with their mothers til around 6 months of age.  After a 7-month gestation, a single 4-pound hairless cub is born.  By 2 weeks of age it is able to follow its mother.  After nursing for 3 months, it starts chowing down ants and termites and is ready to mate around age 2. 

In adulthood most of an aardvark's fur is worn away.  Those fun ears and big snout are part of acute hearing and smelling capacities to help them find ants beneath the soil.  They can move their ears separately, or fold them back when tunneling.   (Just checked and some humans can wiggle their ears.  Here's a

Friday, July 8, 2011

Animated Smurf Film a Gotta See

Mark your calendar for July 29
 Cute as puppies and with adult personality traits that
sometimes remind us of people we know.  Columbia
and Sony Pictures are poised to introduce the first 3D
feature film about Smurfs.  We supplied a few props
for the film* so are a little biased but after watching

the trailers we're looking forward to seeing it, even if 
our props didn't make the final cut.


Synopsis  When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the
Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their world
into ours -- in the middle of Central Park, New York
City.  . Stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a
way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks
them down.
A young married couple, the Grace's, give
give them a hand.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Unfair Rap for Mary Greenleaf Clement Leavitt's X?

Sometimes bread crumbs lead to unexpected places

While researching a railroad promotional pamphlet I became a bit obsessed with learning about a RR land seller named T.H. Leavitt.  He was one of a pair of sellers cited on the pamphlet and since I'd assembled a blurb about the other fellow I felt obliged to do the same for T.H.  It took some searching but I was finally able to confirm that T.H. was Thomas H. Leavitt who helped bring 100,000 or so settlers to the west and became a valuable citizen of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Mystery solved. 

Well maybe not.

In the process I also learned that Thomas was once married to a famous temperance figure and an outspoken suffragist, Mary Greenleaf Clement LeavittTheir marriage ended in separation around 1865 and was finalized by divorce in 1878.   For the next 40 years while Mary traveled the world lecturing and writing about the sins of alcohol and other societal ills, she left the impression with her supporters that her former husband was a bad sort. 

Missouri & Burlington River Railroad's Role in Settling the West

Missouri & Burlington River Railroad Company.
The 1872 pamphlet on which this magnet is based was published by the Missouri & Burlington River Railroad company.  Using an illustration of the Big Blue River between Camden and Crete in Nebraska, it offered attractive credit terms on acreage: 6% for a 10 year note with the first payment not falling due until the 4th year, and a 20% discount for a cash payment.  The offer was further sweetened with transportation rebates.*
Running through southern Iowa, the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad (B&MR) was the third railway between Chicago and the Union Pacific junction in Kerney, Nebraska.  The project was conceived around 1850 but it wasn't until 1869 that serious construction got underway, beginning with 2.5 million acres from federal and state grants.  By 1872 the line was acquired by Chicago, Burlington and Quincy RR (CB&Q).
To build a market, start by importing buyers.
For railroads west of the Mississippi, laying rails was just the first step.  For