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Friday, April 23, 2010

Show & Tell Friday: Advertising Tins & Ephemera

Hello! Welcome to my post for this week's Show & Tell Friday, hosted by Cindy, at  My Romantic Home!

One of the first things I started collecting in my early days of "antiquing" were vintage tins.
In the 19th century, the kitchen was part of the house visitors never saw and often times, the family hardly ever saw either. Depending on the area, the type of house and the time period, the kitchen could be in a lower level, like a basement, or in an entirely separate building altogether, connected to the main house by a hall or even a walkway lined with privet hedges!

The kitchen was not a family gathering place, like it is today. It was a place for work; often very menial and tedious work! In some wealthier homes, it was a place for servants and servants only; the lady of the house would only be seen in the kitchen when she came to speak to her cook or head housekeeper.

As a result of this, to try to make a reproduction of a Victorian-era kitchen is sort of a challenge, because they were not very glamorous and certainly, they did not have the modern conveniences that we have today. To make a kitchen that looks "period-accurate" we would be missing many of the necessities that we would require to actually be able to use our kitchens!
There are things that can be done, however; vintage ranges and other appliances that are restored and coverted for use in today's modern world, or reproductions of vintage appliances, like the ranges that are made by Elmira Stove Works.
I really liked the look of an old general store; if you ever see vintage pictures of general stores and shops, they are just filled with fabulous things and are  visually beautiful with their pressed tin ceilings and elaborate woodwork counters and display cases.
I decided a long time ago that someday when I got my Victorian house, I would make my kitchen  have that "Victorian general store" feeling, by using vintage tins, vintage advertising signs and anything else that I could find which would give it that "look".

Our kitchen is a long way from being ideal; it needs complete renovation, but I thought I'd show some of my vintage (and reproduction!) tins and signs.

This is the window above our sink in the kitchen, where most of my tin signs are displayed. These four are all reproduction. I love to have original whenever I can, but vintage advertising signs are VERY expensive and a hot commodity. If you've ever watched the cable series American Pickers on the History Channel, you have probably seen the prices that they go for!
P.S. Don't you just love the light fixture above the sink?? LOL! It, at least, is totally vintage!

There's the light fixture again......it's groovy (not!). It will be replaced when we renovate, of course!

The Titanic tin sign was a gift from a friend after seeing the exhibit at the Chicago History Museum some years ago.
As you can see, there is a huge amount of wasted space above the cabinets, which is why I have my tins displayed there. When we can afford to renovate the kitchen, we will be using this space for extra tall cabinets, so that I will have plenty of room for my dishes and glassware ( Right now our cabinet space is very, very limited!)

On either side of the window are these built-in shelves that are part of the cabinets. These are painted steel cabinets, c. 1930s! Can you believe it??  Steel cabinets! I know that someone out there would probably be jonesing to have these, for a total 1930s/1940s kitchen and when we renovate I will gladly part with them!
In the meantime they are perfect to display my vintage and not-so-vintage tins.  The George Washington  Tobacco tin, the Clabber Girl tin and the two smaller tobacco tins are all vintage.
I just love the colors and graphics they used on tobacco tins. The Bugler tin was given to me by my father-in-law. The Velvet tin I bought many years ago.
The other side. The Cracker Jack tin and another George Washington tobacco tin are vintage. As are the White Rock Club Soda bottles. The White Rock Bottling Co was established in 1871 right here in Waukesha, WI. Many people believed that the spring waters here had medicinal powers and there was a long period of the town's history that was dominated by the "spa trade". There were over 50 natural springs operating at one time. White Rock was the largest bottler of spring water by 1923. It is still in operation today, but has long ago moved it's headquarters to Whitestone, NY. (You can see my vintage pie birds here too!)

The vintage Granger tobacco tin and the George Washington tins were all in one box that I got at an auction. There were two tins in the box that I later sold. One, I recall, was for some type of peanut brittle.

I got these three vintage magazine ads awhile ago. I intend to frame them to hang in the kitchen.

I love this graphic of the little Dutch girls scrubbing the mosaic tile floor! I have a mosaic tile floor almost exactly like this in our upstairs bathroom!  I look for 3 things when I buy tins or old ephemera; the color, the graphics and the subject matter.
I've used Calumet baking powder my whole life ( my mom does too), so I had to get this one. Plus, I love the colors on the canister and the big steaming waffle and syrup jug. Mmmm!

Thanks for stopping by!


Debby said...

What a fab tin collection, love the cracker jack one.

Bella said...

Hi.. You have a really nice tin collection! I like the Coke and Pepsi ladies!
I see your pie bird has a friend, I alway want a bunch of black birds so I can put four and twenty black birds baked in a pie... what a mess the pie would be... but funny I think!
I see something in your kitchen I have... the light fixture! I have one in my upstairs bath.. your has a cross hatch pattern.. mine lovely polka dots:-)

Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien said...

Yes, I found a blackbird friend for my blue pie bird!!!
Does your lovely light fixture have a string pull to turn it on?? Mine does! LOL!!!

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

What a great collection!! I am particularly partial to the Pepsi and Coca Cola ones! I have the same red rectangular one!!

The Rustic Victorian said...

Oh fun, my sis collects old tins too, it makes the room very cheery...and readable....I love those little dutch girls...my kitchen colors too.