Thursday, January 28, 2021

More Stuff From The Box

I hope you are ready for another selection of "Stuff From The Box"! Box #2, that is, I finished box #1 weeks ago.

First up is this bakelite pencil sharpener; there are many different varieties of these sharpeners, produced in the 1930s and '40s, including examples with classic Mickey, long-billed Donald, Jose Carioca, Bambi, Snow White, Timothy Mouse, and so on. I like this particular sharpener, featuring... "Baby Hep"??

Baby Hep was a fairly minor character from the 1946 package film, "Make Mine Music", in the "All The Cats Join In" segment, with music by Benny Goodman and his orchestra. There she is, following big sis around, hoping to go to the hep dance (she never makes it out the door). Considering that she is onscreen for no more than two minutes, it's surprising that she was featured on merchandise.

Next is this handy-dandy bottle opener, which belonged to my grandparents. I'm not aware of them ever drinking Dr. Pepper, but this would be a convenient item to have in your pocket at a picnic or tailgate party. I would guess that it's from the 1940s, though it might be from the '50s.

I love old Felix the Cat items, not that I have many of them. This toy, made of turned wood (with leather ears) is really nice; it's in great shape, and is likely from the 1920s. He's about 4 inches tall.

Here's a fun little souvenir brass sheriff's badge from Knott's Berry Farm. The Ghost Town was peaceful - mostly. Once in a while a rascally varmint would come through, trying to rob the bank, shoot up the saloon, and generally cause mayhem.

I bought this tiny pin (smaller than a dime) at a collector's show years ago - I just liked it because it was real enamel and had an airplane on it. What in the world was "NRLCA"? Why it's the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association. Ladies Auxiliary! Wikipedia says it is an American labor union that represents the Rural letter carriers of the United States Postal Service. The purpose of this Association shall be to "improve the methods used by rural letter carriers, to benefit their conditions of labor with the United States Postal Service (USPS), and to promote a fraternal spirit among its members."

This little brass pin dates back to April of 1919, about six months after the end of WWI. It was the fifth "Liberty Bond" issue, and raised $4.7 billion dollars in gold notes, earning 4.75% interest; they matured after four years.

I hope you have enjoyed today's Stuff From the Box!


Nanook said...

That Dr. Pepper bottle opener is from the 1940's. Love the Felix the Cat toy.

Thanks Major, for sharing more Stuff from the Box.

"Lou and Sue" said...

All fun stuff from Box #2! Felix is definitely my favorite, today....and you even took the time to pose him in pigeon-toed fashion....thanks, Major. (Major, do you have a favorite, out of today’s fun stuff?)

K. Martinez said...

"All the Cats Join In" is one of my favorites animated "segments" from the mashed potatoes and gravy era between "Bambi" and "Cinderella" when the animated features consisted of multiple musical segments featuring popular and classic music. I loved that era. The Bakelite pencil sharpener is my favorite today as a piece of Disneyana. Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Forgot to mention that was the Wartime era of Disney animation with the animated features "Saludos Amigos", "The Three Caballeros", "Make Mine Music", "Fun & Fancy Free", "Melody Time" and "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad".

TokyoMagic! said...

I also like the Baby Hep pencil sharpener. That seems like a pretty obscure item. I wonder if they ever made a Baby Weems pencil sharpener?

Chuck said...

Baby Hep should have a parking section named after her.

Love seeing more things from Son of the Box!

Stu29573 said...

I'm not usually a "joiner," but I'll have to go with the Baby Hep Fan Club (it's kind of like the Mickey Mouse Club, know...not so much). She does look like a bit of a stinker, though.
I have a small pin on the order of the union pin, but mine has to do with the Soviet space program. Exactly how, I don't know because I don't read (or speak) Russian. It does have a nice rocket on it, though.
Nice items today! May the boxes never end!

DrGoat said...

Count me in. Baby Hep (for hep-cat?) it is. It's Bakelite so I was immediately hooked. Like catnip. Dr. Pepper bottle opener is probably second place, but the Knott's sheriff badge is pretty cool. Do you know the time frame when you got that?
K., The Three Caballeros and the Adventures of Mr. Toad are favorites.
As usual, extraordinary stuff. Major Tut's tomb of treasures.

JC Shannon said...

I like em all, but I have to go with the Knott's badge. Very collectable these days. I have a Hamms beer opener, so I really love the DR Pepper you have. DR Pepper is still around, but Hamms beer is long gone. I wonder what happened to Schlitz as well? But, I digress. That is an old Felix, I used to watch him Saturday mornings, you know "Felix the Cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat." Thanks for sharing these and for the memories, Major.

Kathy! said...

Ooh, box stuff! I recognized Baby Hep as being from All the Cats Join In, but didn’t know she was called that. Or was it just a descriptor made up for the sharpener? Felix is pretty fun too. He reminds me of those toys standing on disks where you press down and they collapse and stand up again. Thanks for today’s Show and Tell, Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, there’s just something “1940s” looking about that bottle opener. Though I could see them being manufactured into the 1950s. Somebody on eBay sold one for $99!!

Lou and Sue, I would have liked to pose Felix in some manner that was a little more dignified, but his limbs went where they wanted to go. There are larger wooden Felix figures, and I’d love to have some of those, but they are rather expensive. I did help a friend restore one, once - it was very scratched and beat up. It came out pretty good!

K. Martinez, I like “All The Cats Join In” too, it has a great energy, and that was at the point when it seemed like the Disney animators could make characters do anything. I still think it’s amazing how good the flying characters in “Peter Pan” (seven years after “Make Mine Music”) look, it’s so good that people don’t realize how difficult it must have been.

TokyoMagic!, I’m not aware of a Baby Weems sharpener, though I’d love one. The only Baby Weems item I can think of off the top of my head is a rare Vernon Kilns glazed ceramic figure. I’d like one of those too!

Chuck, yes, Disney should reintroduce her and make her a big star!

Stu29573, maybe everybody else is like me, Baby Hep is interesting because she’s so obscure. She’s not really that much of a stinker (in spite of her “devil horns” hairdo), she just wants to go and do the things that big sister is doing. Your Soviet space program pin sounds neat!

DrGoat, Bakelite does have that certain something. I have perhaps six or seven other Bakelite Disney pencil sharpeners that will probably appear on this blog sooner or later. I like the Dr. Pepper bottle opener especially because it belonged to my grandparents. The Knott’s badge was picked up at a swap meet of some kind, probably back in the ‘90s, it’s not something that I saved from when I was a kid (sadly).

Jonathan, most Knott’s collectibles are fairly reasonably priced compared to Disneyland items, you could probably find one of those badges on eBay for cheap. In fact I just looked, there aren’t any on eBay at the moment, but one sold for $5.98 last month. I knew that Schlitz had been bought out by Stroh’s, but thought that Hamm’s was still being made. Turns out they were bought by Pabst in 1973. I’m not even a big beer drinker, but have a fondness for those old brands that were so familiar. My dad used to take me to a delicatessen, and I loved the neon beer signs. I used to watch those Felix the Cat cartoons too - they’re not really that great, but I watched them anyway!

Kathy!, you get a gold star for even recognizing Baby Hep, I had no clue who she was. The “All The Cats Join In” segment is wordless of course, but I assume that the name “Baby Hep” was used on model sheets and other in-studio documents. I have one of those toys that you are talking about, and it has Felix on it! It’s not very old though (maybe 1990s), but it is nicely made.

Anonymous said...

My vote goes to Felix today.

In our backwater home of my youth, that show was only on for a short time when I was very young, but I still remember the catchy theme song.

Can't wait for Return of the Son of the Box.

Thanks Major.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, if you've never seen any of the silent Felix cartoons from the 1920s, you might look on YouTube, some of them are very clever. Check out "Sure Locked Homes". WAY better than the TV cartoons from later years!

Anonymous said...

I remember that Disneyland had a Mutoscope with a Felix cartoon in it. Was it the only non-Disney character in the park?

Major Pepperidge said...

Anon, wow, that is an interesting question! There was a Magilla Gorilla doll on a Christmas parade float, but that was probably only for a few weeks at most. What a cool bit of trivia!

DrGoat said...

As per your last post....Yes Major, there was a Mama Mia 2, just like there was a Teen Wolf 2, and a Mortal Combat 2. Didn't have the misfortune of having to watch any of those either. Did I mention Atlas Shrugged 2? I can't even imagine having to see the first one.

Dean Finder said...

Judging by the length of the book, the film version of Atlas Shrugged will take another 20 years to finish filming. Atlas Shrugged 2 will be sometime in the 2200s.