Monday, January 5, 2015

Cigarette Cards from the 19th and Early 20th Century

Leach Cross, Prize Fighter, Cigarette Card Issued by Mecca Cigarettes 

Cigarette cards are a fascinating collectible and they can sometimes be very valuable, depending on rarity and condition. They are small and take up little space; an entire collection can be kept in a notebook with archival quality plastic pocketed sheets. Cigarette cards were issued by tobacco companies as advertising and inserted into cigarette packs as stiffeners to protect the cigarettes.

The card pictured is a dramatic image of the fighter Leach Cross in green trunks on a red background. Offered by Mecca Cigarettes as part of their Champion Athlete and Prize Fighter Series, the card features the fighter's statistics and some advertising on the reverse. This card measures 2 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches. There is some variation in size in the different cards and series.

Uhlan, Champion Trotter Cigarette Card

Other subjects represented on cigarette cards included beautiful women and actresses, Native American chiefs, many other sportsmen, sentimental subjects, nature, architecture and much more. Most of the cards have descriptions of the subjects and they are a wonderful way to see what our ancestors considered important and beautiful.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

Happiest of New Years to you and yours! Here's hoping for a successful and blessed 2015 for all of our friends and family. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in the spring here in Meadows of Dan!

Best wishes for a wonderful new year!
I now have over 100 items in my web site store and over 200 books in my listings. I frequently have items up at auction on eBay under the user name wbstates. I also have a booth here in Meadows of Dan at Jerry and Connie's House of Collectibles.  It won't be long, though, before I will be opening the shop in Meadows of Dan with lots and lots more items. It's impossible to have so many interesting items online because I love researching each piece and finding out all about it. It takes a lot of time to write a good description!

Come see me soon!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pauline Hall, Victorian Actress & Singer, Portrait in Hat and Lace

Portrait of the lovely Pauline Hall
An intimate portrait of Pauline Hall (1860 - 1919), born Pauline Fredrika Schmidgall in Ohio, a popular stage actress and singer who performed in opera and later in vaudeville. The photograph captures Hall's beautiful eyes and a pensive pose, as she wears a feathered hat and a lace collar. Printed on the back "Hall."

This is a stereoview image, which was created to view through an instrument in order to give a three dimensional effect. The card is 7 x 2 7/8 inches. Images are mounted on a flat orange card with rounded corners and a pink reverse.Light tanning to image, which remains sharp with a little fading, light spotting and scratches, light edge wear with a little bumping of corners. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Autograph of Thomas Cushing, Member of Continental Congress, American Revolution

Autograph of Thomas Cushing
Clipped signature of Thomas Cushing (March 24, 1725 - February 28, 1788), Massachusetts native and reluctant American patriot. He became a lawyer and served in Massachusetts state offices before his election to the First Continental Congress in 1774, despite his opposition to America's bid for independence. Even though he was against the revolution, Cushing was ordered arrested for high treason but was never captured. His lack of enthusiasm for the war continued through 1775, but he was elected to the Continental Congress again and also to the Massachusetts Bay revolutionary government council. When at last Cushing came around to support the Revolution, he served as commissary general for Massachusetts in the Continental Army. He became the first Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1780 until his death in 1788, acting as Governor in 1785. 

Clipped signature "T Cushing" on a slip of paper measuring 2 3/4 by 3/4 inches, along with that of John Whetcomb. Whetcomb and Cushing were on the Council of the Massachusetts Bay Colony together and this slip is probably clipped from a document signed during the Revolution when he served on the Council. Some tanning and a little creasing, some discoloration on the back, probably from an album mount. This is an interesting and uncommon piece of Revolutionary War history.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Welcome to Scraps of American History!

Greenberry House/Scraps of American History
Welcome to our web site! Scraps of American History was originally a partnership between Ron Lawrence and me, Leslie Shelor. Together we spent ten happy years collecting and selling autographs, historical documents, vintage paper, prints, postcards, antique photographs, antiquarian and collectible books and interesting and unique vintage and antique items. After Ron passed away, I continued to manage the business. Many changes had to happen and for some time the business was only online, but now I've combined the books and paper business with my long-time yarn shop to create a unique yarn, book and vintage gift shop in Meadows of Dan. I miss Ron every day but thanks to the support of customers and the community, I've been able to continue with our dreams of having a shop in our wonderful little town on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The current shop, now closed for the season, is located at 12206 Squirrel Spur Road, in the cottage where I grew up on the family farm. Within sight of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the location is special to me because it is home, and I think I've created a special space for knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, collectors and bookworms to call home as well. Since the shop is closed currently, I am working to upload a number of items to our web store at Visit me there and tell me what you think!