Tuesday, September 15, 2020

More Stuff From the Box

It's time for even more "stuff from the box"... random items that have been stored in an old cigar box for many years. Hopefully you'll have fun looking at it all.

First up is this set of pins featuring characters from the classic Beatles animated film, "Yellow Submarine". The pins are hand-painted metallic hard plastic (with a metal backing) ©1968 "KFS (King Features Syndicate)-Suba". They are roughly 1 inch tall. You've got a Blue Meanie, the Mayor, an Apple Bonker, Old Fred, John, Paul, George, and Ringo. What, no Jeremy the Boob? No Flying Glove? I don't own much Beatles merch, but I love these pins.

Poking around, I found the publicity images that were used as reference for the pins on several websites. It took longer than you might expect! Designer Heinz Edelmann established the incredible look of this film and the characters.

Next is this nice brass pin from the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels, also known as "Expo 58". The Soviet Union had a huge pavilion at that Fair, and had notable exhibits such as full-sized models of several Sputnik satellites. This pin is a weighty chunk of solid brass with nice genuine enamel.

I later found another pin (with some wear and patina) - same design, but now stamped out of thinner sheet brass. Presumably these were a lot cheaper to make.

Here's a Dopey pin made of some sort of pressed wood (or sawdust) from 1938. There were pins for each of the seven dwarfs, and one for Snow White, but this is the only one I have. I've seen photos of other examples that were painted a bit more skillfully, this one is kind of sloppy. But... I love it anyway.

Here are two "poster stamps" from the 1939 New York World's Fair, one advertising the Denmark pavilion (with a mighty viking ship), and the other from the Bayer pavilion. I sure would love to see "The Maze of Superstition"! Broken mirrors, rabbit's feet, spilled salt, black cats... there were so many to choose from.

Another fun souvenir from the 1939 Fair is this giant "lucky penny". It's about 3 inches in diameter, and seems to have been stamped out of some sort of gray pot metal and coated with a thin layer of copper. "Indian Head" pennies were already old-fashioned by 1939 (the Lincoln head cent was introduced in 1909), but I find this design to be very appealing. I've seen other lucky pennies from this fair, all "Indian head" styles, but varying in quality. Some have sculpts that are much more crude than my example, I kind of like them for that reason.

And finally, here's an uncommon pin advertising the 1933/34 Chicago World's Fair. For some reason, the ink on this lithographed metal pin is a bit tacky, even after more than 80 years, and I am always having to unstick it from the glass of my little display case. At this point it's kind of a lost cause, but I'll hang on to it for nostalgia's sake.

Don't you worry, there is LOTS more stuff in the box!


Nanook said...

More fun stuff. I like the USSR pin from the Brussels World's Fair.

Thanks for rummaging thru 'the box'.

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks for sharing more great items from your old cigar box, Major! I like the artwork on those stamps. And now, I also want to know what that "Maze of Superstition" was all about. I bet they handed everyone an open umbrella, before they entered the maze.

Melissa said...

Sloppy, the Eighth Dwarf! Dopey’s twin who nobody talks about. He knows what he did.

I’m pretty sure my Grandma had one of those 1939 souvenir pennies.

Chuck said...

More goodies from the treasure box! Awesome!

TM!, the entrance was under a ladder.

Weird sidebar, but while I like to to think of myself as a rational person, this made me think of my own superstitions. For example, I won't spend 1965 quarters. I'll give them away, but not spend them. Not really sure why I do that. I remember noticing one day when I was about eight or nine that I had more 1965 quarters than from any other year, and I guess it just went from there.

I also won't drink sulfuric acid straight out of the battery, but I think I share that weird foible with a lot of people.

K. Martinez said...

As a kid, I loved the characters from "Yellow Submarine" so the Beatle pins are my favorite today. I was thinking the same thing about no Flying Glove or Jeremy the Boob. He's a real nowhere man. Love the green coat on The Mayor. Thanks, Major.

Stu29573 said...

Ah the Yellow Submarine! I remember that I was disappointed to find out that the Beatles had almost nothing to do with that production. In fact, they didn't even provide the speaking voices. Still, having seen Magical Mystery Tour, maybe it was for the best...
The Soviet pins are nice and somewhere in the cheapening of production, there is a metaphor, but I'm too lazy to chase it.
Dopey was produced on a Friday afternoon, no doubt. Still he is charming as only Dopey can be.
I remember being able to buy HUGE pennies (about 6 or 7 inches across and very heavy) but I don't think they were themed to anything in particular. They were more generic souvenir items than anything.
I'd bet the ink on the last button wasn't mixed properly. I've done that with epoxy in the past and it NEVER sets up!
Great items today! Thanks!

Steve DeGaetano said...

Poor George and Ringo didn't fare too well in the transition to pins, did they? And is that Bill Clinton on the Chicago World's Fair button?

DrGoat said...

I agree with Steve. The transition to pin left a bit to be desired, but Wow Major. Your cigar box has some wonderful treasures within!
Love those pins too. Poor George.
It's pretty amazing that a fairly fragile thing like the Dopey pin survived so well. You took good care of it, a talent that I was lacking growing up. No wonder you bite your nails. Always worrying about your treasures. (just kidding)
Love that Indian head on that giant penny. I'm a sucker for Native American visages on coins and stuff.
You have a great treasure box. Can't get enough.
Thanks Major.

zach said...

Just how big IS that cigar box, Major? I like the Yellow Submarine pins the best. Very evocative and colorful. I like them all, actually.

These posts are like exploring an antique shop from our La-Z-Boy®. Keep 'em coming, thanks!


Kathy! said...

More stuff from the box, yay! I like the Beatles pins the best as well. The giant penny is fun too, my dad has a similar giant buffalo nickel.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have a few different USSR pins from the ’58 Fair, so stay tuned for those!

TokyoMagic!, there are a LOT of those “poster stamps” from the 1939 World’s Fair, but I am not willing to pay much for them, so… I’ve only managed to get a few. Yes, I like the idea of people being jinxed from the moment they set foot in the Maze of Superstition. Will they even survive to the end of the maze?

Melissa, Sloppy loves his paskettis! Your Grandma could very well have had one of those giant pennies, though similar pennies were made for other events as well.

Chuck, I actually wondered if, at some point, the guests weren’t supposed to walk under ladders, or maybe they were confronted by a black cat crossing their path. Trouble is, some guests would be so petrified, that they probably wouldn’t continue walking. 1965 quarters probably still had a pretty good silver content (90% I believe) so I hope you held on to all of them.

K. Martinez, those pins were originally sold on a little strip of gray cardboard with a layer of thin foam rubber on it, and I took my pins off of the backing. No graphics or text or anything. But it was still stupid, because collectors always want their items on the original packaging, even if it was as mundane as the cardboard and foam rubber.

Stu29573, I was just going to say the same thing about the Magical Mystery Tour; while I haven’t seen that since I was a little kid, I remember only liking the songs, and the rest of the program was awful. I’d still be kind of curious to see it again, just out of morbid fascination. Whoa, I’ve never seen a novelty penny that was the size of a butter plate. If only REAL pennies were that big. Your guess about the ink on that pin is as good as any; I have one or two other pinback buttons that have remained sticky, they are a real pain.

Steve DeGaetano, those Beatles pins seem fine (they really are pretty tiny!) until you put them side by side with the actual artwork. Obviously they had to make the heads a little larger (etc), And the things are hand-painted after all, I can’t imagine doing that for 8 hours a day!

DrGoat, Steve D. is not wrong, George and Ringo really did get the worst of it. But to me, that’s part of the charm of things like that. I have some bisque (unglazed porcelain) Disney figures, made in Japan in the 1930s and ‘40s. I find them very appealing, though they are often rather crudely made and painted. The Dopey pin came into my life at a time when I knew how to take care of things; if I'd had him since my youth, I probably would have destroyed him. I’m glad you are enjoying the Stuff!

zach, It's not that big, surprisingly, but a person can fit a LOT of little stuff in such a box if one is determined. I did photograph the contents of a second cigar box, but those items haven't appeared on GDB yet.

Major Pepperidge said...

Kathy, gosh, I haven't seen a giant Buffalo Nickel (as far as I remember)! That would be cool.

Anonymous said...

Major, I love the idea of these posts. Lots of fun to see.

My favorite here is the Dopey pin. I wonder if my Mom had one of these, since Snow White was the first film she and Dad saw together while dating.

The Snow White Grotto and Wishing Well was always a must-do stop at Disneyland.


Chuck said...

Major, 1965 was the year they transitioned to the copper-clad quarters as silver prices rose and people began to hoard coins. A much larger number of 1965-dated quarters were produced than most years to make up for the coins being withdrawn from circulation, which explains why I had so many when I started noticing the dates.

And yes - I have a small box of 1965 quarters that I have accumulated over the years. Some have been in that box since 1977 or 78. My favorite is the one that someone marked with red nail polish. After consulting numerous numismatic experts, I have determined that they are worth exactly 25¢ each - which means they've actually decreased in value since they came into my possession thanks to inflation.

Kathy, I have a giant buffalo chip. Not worth as much as your dad's buffalo nickel, but I can use it to start a fire.

JG, that is an awesome "first date" story.

JG said...

Chuck, it was a great story. Part of the family history.

As a kid, I was always embarrassed about them smooching each other at the Grotto. I would try to hide or look the other way.

Now, it's a must-do stop for my family and for me on my solo trips. M+D had 56 years together, so it's a good omen.

There has been so much change in the Park since my youth, the little bridge across from the Grotto is one of the few places left where I know I can stand exactly where I stood with Mom and Dad, once upon a dream.


"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, your memories and stories about your mom and dad are precious!
The first time I went back to Disneyland, after my mom had passed away, I found myself reliving happy past memories, too, and my eyes kept watering - it must've been that California smog I've heard so much about.

I don't know about Dopey/Sloppy...he looks more like Scaredy, to me.

Love today's commentary from all! Thanks, Major!


Anonymous said...

Sue, glad you enjoyed that story. Visiting with those ghosts is one of the main reasons I still go back to the Park. Thanks for your comment.


DrGoat said...

JG, Sue and Anon, Mom and Dad used to love to go to the Grotto and relax a bit and give us coins to toss in the well. They both passed away within months of each other in 2000. We've been to the park lots since then and we always end up there, tossing in our coins, and thinking of the wonderful times we had. A bit overwhelming at times but so glad we have the memories. Yeah, must be the smog Sue.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I’ve always wanted to get the full set of those Snow White/Seven Dwarfs pins, but never quite got around to it. Part of the fun of collecting is completing a set! Snow White was the first film my Dad ever saw, and I think it was his favorite movie for his entire life.

Chuck, you’d think that I would remember more about the coins, since I collected them as a kid, but it’s been a LONG time since I dabbled in coins. I could never afford much that was any good, though occasionally my grandparents would get something above-average. Amazing that those 1965 quarters have decreased in value! After my grandma died, I got a roll of silver dollars from the 1920s that she got when she and my grandfather went to Las Vegas. I’ve always wondered if they were worth much!

JG, there is nothing more embarrassing to a kid than seeing the folks being affectionate! And yet, I think we knew deep down that it was a nice thing. Better than some families, with yelling and screaming!! Thanks for your lovely memories about your Mom and Dad.

Lou and Sue, I’m sure the smog didn’t help, but I know what you mean about getting misty at Disneyland. I often think of my grandfather while waiting in line for the Matterhorn, since he was always game to ride that coaster. Even though I was in my 30s when he passed, I wish I’d gotten to know him better - asked questions and paid attention to his answers.

JG, I think that the “ghosts of visits past” are part of what makes any Disneyland fan’s experience a little richer.

DrGoat, aw, that’s another nice (bittersweet) memory of your folks. Once my Dad was out of the Navy, he never went back to Disneyland, but I wish I had more memories of him at the park. He probably figured that we were old enough to go on our own by then, and he could stay home and relax!

Chuck said...

Major, I was referring to their face value - 25¢ is worth less today that it was 40 years ago. Mine are so worn they don't have any value to a collector. That roll of silver dollars is a nice inheritance.

My maternal grandmother would sometimes give my sister and I coins she found in the back of her desk drawers, and we'd find ourselves with wheat pennies, Mercury dimes, and even a couple of steel pennies from WWII. My other grandmother would sometimes let us look through a glass jar of coins she kept on top of the fridge. They were all coins she'd gotten in circulation, and some were quarters going back to the 1860s.

When I worked at McDonald's when I was 19, a woman about 20-22 came in and paid for a hamburger with a 1923 silver dollar. I looked at it in disbelief, told her that it was worth more than its face value, and then asked her if she was sure she wanted to spend it. She gave me a hard look and said "just give me the ----ing hamburger."

I gave her the burger, then grabbed a manager and had her witness me exchanging a dollar bill from my wallet for the coin. The manager thought I was weird for wanting a silver dollar. Actually, the manager just thought I was weird (and, as you all know, she wasn't wrong).

I've often wondered if the woman had stolen the coin from a relative and had no idea or conception of its value to a collector. To her, it was just a dollar and nothing more. I still have it. I'm sure she passed that burger long ago.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, you know, sometimes I feel real dumb! In fact, that happens fairly often. I have some plastic tubes with old worn dimes, nickels and quarters that used to be my mom’s “coin collection”. Since it is not organized AT ALL, I can’t really consider it a “collection”, it’s just some old coins. My grandpa used to save pennies in a glass jug, we used to try to lift it, and could just barely pick it up. Then he would dump them out and we would separate out the “wheaties”, the pre-1955 Lincoln cents. I forget why! He just liked them. Once I found an Indian Head cent and was so thrilled. I love those steel pennies from WWII, such a fascinating footnote in U.S. coinage. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the silver dollar that the woman used to buy her McDonald’s meal was stolen, that’s why it had no sentimental value. As you said, it was just a dollar to her. My mom used to let guests (some that she didn't know that well) stay in my old bedroom at her house, and somebody found my box of old coins and took the best ones. I wasn’t happy, to put it mildly.