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Georgia On My Mind Again, Part 11

This is the second of two issues of LAHP at the flea market in Murphy, NC. Yes, I could have shared more photos but I didn't want to bore everyone with other people's old treasures, AKA "junk".

We start this week with a Pepsi Gibson Girl Tray — so named because the woman in the picture is very similar to those drawn by Charles Dana Gibson that were used in various advertising campaigns — Pepsi's and others. The Gibson Girl was considered an iconic representation of the beautiful and independent American woman at the turn of the 20th century.

The original tray is from 1909 and would be worth several hundred dollars. According to an eBay posting online, if it is original, the name "Niagra Buffalo" would be printed below the Pepsi Cola script near the border. I don't see it so I assume it is a copy, which would have been reproduced in 1973 (Pepsi's 75th anniversary) or in 1983. The reproductions are worth less than $20.

You periodically hear about someone finding a treasure worth thousands of dollars at a flea market or estate sale — but you have to know the real value of items and how to authenticate them if you're going to play that game. Me, I think I'll just go enjoy my Pepsi.

Oh, I remember these ugly old radios. Made of cheap plastic with tinny speakers, some with inaccurate clocks. It was hard to make out the asking price but I think it was $5.00.

We are so spoiled these days.

I could not resist shooting this old, broken down motor scooter. I could not tell if someone was actually trying to sell it or if it was just rotting here. It might make a good gift for someone who enjoys restoring old vehicles — maybe a starter project for a teenager.

Some folks are offering more than old memorabilia. This vendor is making bird houses and bird feeders. I liked both.

Wow, this item jumped out at me as it was lying on the table. An antique wall-mounted, oak case, hand-crank telephone with attached mouthpiece and corded earpiece. The vendor quickly noted my interest and said he was offering it for $500. He said it still worked and turned the crank and the bells rang. I don't know if it can still be connected to a home telephone circuit — probably not. I wasn't that interested but I asked him if I could take a picture. Kindly he said "yes" and held it in vertical position for a nice pose.

To me, this was probably the most interesting item of memorabilia that I saw anywhere in the flea market. Quite cool. BTW, I checked online and $500 could be a reasonable price, depending on the telephone's condition. But again, you need to know something about these instruments if you are going to shell out that much money.

More memories were triggered by this antique Singer sewing machine. My mom was a sewer most of her life (you may remember some of the quilts she made, the photos of which have been in previous LAHP editions). She had an antique Singer in a stand with a foot-operated pedal to power it. It was in much better condition than this one.

Interestingly, it was only after I got home and started working on the photos that I noticed the baseball gloves in the foreground and the Christmas tree stand to the right. Guess the Singer memories just overwhelmed everything else.

There were a few vendors selling firearms and ammunition. This was a nice display so I captured its image and, as I did, the vendor walked closer to find out what I was up to. I guess he feared I might be from the the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). I thought those agents wore identifying jackets, not denim shorts and Kapalua golf shirts.

There were a number of vendors selling signs such as this Pepsi-Cola sign. I did not realize that such signs were in such great demand. However, my brother-in-law, who spent most of his professional life in the sign business, said that the authentic antique signs are quite valuable. The trick (as is usually the case) is the ability to distinguish between the real antiques and the modern copycat productions. He said that some people will even dent and tarnish the modern signs to make them look old — and attempt to sell them for more money. I believe he said this one looked authentic.

Signs and cans related to the oil industry seem to be particularly desired. Sunoco was founded in 1886 (as Sun Company, Inc.) and still operates today as a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners. This particular can looks to be in too good of shape to be an antique. Who knows?

Oh look, an antique word processor — in those days it was called a typewriter. In college, I spent many an hour in front of my old manual typewriter generating papers for my various classes. Funny, that my dad (who was obviously from an earlier generation) thought that it was a foolish purchase with the meager savings from my summer job prior to departing for Purdue. We disagreed on that point at the time and I still maintain that it was a near necessity for obtaining a college degree — on par with a laptop computer for current college students.

BTW, I was not familiar with the Adler brand and checked with Mr. Google. It turns out that their original typewriter was produced in 1898 and they continued selling typewriters until 1995 when they went out of business.

Oh, how cute and, again, such memories. My grandmother had a toy fire truck at her house when I was little and I spent many an hour pedaling that vehicle on the sidewalks behind her house.

We end our tour of the flea market with a sign that I saw at the exit as we were leaving. It speaks for itself. At least, we know the ground rules.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com