The Most Unique Placemats I have Ever Seen-By Artist Kimberly Wilcox

I just obtained four (4) of the most unique table place mats I have ever seen. They are a true work of art. When I saw them I noticed that the Artist, Kimberly Wilcox signed them. They have a picture of a woman’s face and two legs that are supposed to dangle off the table.

There is a round metal piece on the front where the napkin can be place. They are so cool. So, I found a post online where they actually showcase the place mats on the table. The ones I have are different designs.

So, now I am keeping my eyes open for more unique place mats. When you think about it when you get placemats that stir up conversations it motivates you to want to cook and entertain more.

Check out a picture of the mats on a really great blog called Estate Store. I may post mine later. Or I may hold on to these great pieces of art.

Acoustic Research Speakers Ar4 and Ar6 are Enjoyed by Baby Boomer Audiophiles

Many baby boomers are what you call audiophiles.Equipment is usually called “High End” and includes playback equipment used by audiophiles, which is usually bought at specialist shops and online. High-end components include turntables, digital-to-analog converters, equalization devices, preamplifiers and amplifiers (both solid-state and vacuum tube), horn and electrostatic speakers, power conditioners, subwoofers, headphones, and acoustic room treatment.

My hubby loves to collect and restore vintage speakers. Here is a short video and Part 1 of a current restoration project. When these are completed they will be placed online for purchase.This video focuses on Acoustic Research Ar4 and Ar6 speakers.


Baby Boomer-Do You Have a Collectible That is a Hot Seller Online?

I just found out about an awesome site that will let you know what items have been best sellers online and those currently selling at a high price in auction.. Not only will you be inspired to look through your house for collectibles but if you are already selling you will keep on looking for those treasures at yard sales, estate sales and thrift stores.

What Sells Best gives ticker tape updates on rare items that are hot sellers online. I just clicked on the category for Cameras and saw a Vintage Leica M3 Camera that sold for $10,000 and that was just for the body.

The categories include: Dolls, Electronics, Books, Records, Tickets, Toys, plus more…

So enough talk, go check out the site and get inspired!


Bogan Tube Vintage Receiver

I am always on the lookout for everything vintage with Tubes in it. So, when we came across this Bogan Receiver we were excited. Now, it is not a famous item like a Fisher system but it is still excellent quality.

Tube radios and receivers are, to me, a true work of art. I enjoyed watching my husband clean and expose the inner workings of this machine.

According to the company;s web site:

The Bogan company is located in New Jersey. The company was founded as David Bogen & Company in 1932 in New York by David Bogen, a pioneer in the burgeoning field of audio transmission. Among the company’s first products were simple intercom systems and sound amplifiers.

By the early 1950s, the company had become well-known as a supplier of amplifiers and public address systems for schools. In 1956, Bogen was acquired by the Unitronics Corporation, a Long Island, New York-based leader in sound recording. During this time, Unitronics also bought the Presto Recording Corporation, opting to combine its new acquisitions as one division christened Bogen-Presto. From new adjacent facilities in Paramus, New Jersey, Bogen and Presto maintained their corporate autonomy but collaborated in order to tap each other’s expertise. Presto was known primarily as the inventor of “the record”, the black-lacquered recording disc, but the company also developed recording equipment such as turntables and amplifiers. For its part, Bogen and its engineering staff were pioneers in new amplifier and loudspeaker technologies. Assistant Chief Engineer Charles A. Wilkens explored “damping” effects on amplifiers, publishing widely on the subject, while colleague Herbert W. Sullivan received a patent on behalf of David Bogen & Co. in 1957 for his loudspeaker designs.

The company, during the “Tube Era” produced a really decent product line. This particular receiver is a Bogan RP 230. It is currently selling on Ebay.

There are also others selling on Ebay you might want to look like Bogan RP-40

So, keep your eyes open for them and if you have questions a great forum to check out is Audiokarma.

Please feel free to share your listings, finds and collections.

Old Stereo Speakers-Acoustic Research 2x

If you asked me about old speakers five years ago I would probably tell you that you could have them because I wanted something new and slick. But that would not be the response from my husband who did have old speakers but I never appreciated their history and worth.

Lately I have been listening to him as he refurbish some vintage speakers prior to selling them. I never paid attention to things like tweeters or surrounds, but now I not only know more but constantly on the look out for cool old speakers.

It is mind blowing and I am learning more each day. So, here is a video about Acoustic Research Speaker that my hubby recorded. I also, have a link to more information at AR2x’s.


Award Medals from US Expositions and World Fairs

When I started retiring in 2006 I returned to an hobby I had growing up: coin collecting.  Well not exactly, more to the point would be to say collecting award medals from the world fairs and expositions of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.

The first US expo was in 1876 in Philadelphia to celebrate 100 years of our new county and it was called the U.S. Centennial Exposition.  Nice 76mm size chocolate colored bronze award medals were awarded by the United States
Centennial Commission.  There is large award medal, a small award medal and as in other expositions many different types of souvenir medals issued.

The 1880’s and 1890’s was the heyday of these expos and award medals were issued for Gold, Silver and Bronze at most of the expos.  Sometimes a box or case comes with the medal.   Some Gold and Silver medals were issued in bronze and it was up the prize winner to put a gold or silver plate on them.   But some medal are pure silver or gold.

Expos include the 1884 New Orleans Centennial Exposition, the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition which was the largest and grandest of them all, the 1895 Atlanta Cotton States Exposition (my specialty).  Some of the most popular of the other expos were the 1904 St Louis – The Louisiana Purchase Expo and the 1915 San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Expo.

The medals are a great fun to collect.  They are very artistically designed and great to examine by hand.  Most are quite reasonably priced to collect and EBay and auction companies have an impressive supply.   I have really enjoyed learning the history and something about each of these great expositions.

I couldn’t find a good reference for these medals when I started collecting, so I started to showcase them and provide info for other collectors.  Putting my collection (and other images provided by collectors) on the web site has been a wonderful bonus to me, putting me in touch with other collectors and providing a much needed reference to my hobby.



Two of my most recent medal acquisitions are this silver medal from the 1895 Atlanta Cotton States Expo which I just love because that is the expo I started with and Atlanta is where I live.



Then this Gold Medal from the 1901-1902 Charleston Expo, which in my opinion may be the most beautiful medal from any of the expos.

On ExpoMedals I have listed links to other medal collecting resources including a club, websites, auctions, and dealers.



Robert Fowler is retired but his retirement job as President of Retirement Media Inc. keeps him busy with sites like

Louis Armstrong-A Remembrance “Sleepytime” LP is a Baby Boomer Collectible

“Sleepytime” is a LP that was created specifically by Abbott Laboratories in 1972 to promote the sleeping medication Ethchlorvynol-(Placidyl)  It would be interesting to know other Jazz greats that were used as a marketing tool for pharmaceuticals.

This LP is a compilation of some of Louis Armstrongs’s hits from every period of his career. It includes “St. Louis Blues”, “Cabaret” plus “All of Me”.

It was produced on the Columbia label.

Liston to “All of Me”

Blue and Red Ration Food Tokens

Red Meat Token-

Read Meat Token (VC)


The Office of Price Administration believed that, with factories converting to military production and consuming many critical supplies, rationing was mandated. So, it established a rationing system after the attack on Pearl Harbor. This rationing system covered almost every item in daily use including food, gasoline, fuel oil, etc.
Stamps were developed and issued to equal amounts such as 1 stamp equaled 4 gallons of gasoline. When food was added to the list, there were times when the amount of food could not be supplied in even amounts to agree with the food stamps. In 1944 the O.P.A. issued tokens for use in making change in consumer sales. All tokens were 1 point each, red for meats, and blue for processed foods. They were first issued February 27, 1944 and were in use for about a year.

Blue Token Used For Processed Food-http:/

Blue Token Used For Processed Food

The Osborne Register Co. of Cincinnati Ohio was the prime contractor in making these tokens. There were 1,750,000,000 red tokens issued in 30 known combinations of letters, and 1,000,000,000 blue tokens in 24 known letter combinations.
Collectors, it appears, attempt to get just the right combination of letters.

Read more about the rationing era on Wikipedia. I have included an excerpt below:

Civilians first received ration books—War Ration Book Number One, or the “Sugar Book”—on 4 May 1942, through more than 100,000 schoolteachers, PTA groups, and other volunteers. A national speed limit of 35 miles per hour was imposed to save fuel and rubber for tires. Later that month volunteers again helped distribute gasoline cards in 17 Atlantic and Pacific Northwest states.To get a classification and rationing stamps, one had to appear before a local War Price and Rationing Board which reported to the OPA. Each person in a household received a ration book, including babies and small children who qualified for canned milk not available to others. To receive a gasoline ration card, a person had to certify a need for gasoline and ownership of no more than five tires. All tires in excess of five per driver were confiscated by the government, because of rubber shortages. An A sticker on a car was the lowest priority of gasoline rationing and entitled the car owner to 3 to 4 gallons of gasoline per week. B stickers were issued to workers in the military industry, entitling their holder up to 8 gallons of gasoline per week. C stickers were granted to persons deemed very essential to the war effort, such as doctors. T rations were made available for truckers. Lastly, X stickers on cars entitled the holder to unlimited supplies and were the highest priority in the system. Ministers of Religion, police, firemen, and civil defense workers were in this category. A scandal erupted when 200 Congressmen received these X stickers.

As of 1 March 1942 dog food could no longer be sold in tin cans, and manufacturers switched to dehydrated versions. As of 1 April 1942 anyone wishing to purchase a new toothpaste tube had to turn in an empty one.Sugar was the first consumer commodity rationed, with all sales ended on 27 April 1942 and resumed on 5 May with a ration of one half pound per person per week, half of normal consumption. Bakeries, ice cream makers, and other commercial users received rations of about 70% of normal usage.Coffee was rationed nationally on 29 November 1942 to one pound every five weeks, about half of normal consumption, in part because of German U-boat attacks on shipping from Brazil.
By the end of 1942 ration coupons were used for nine other items. Typewriters, gasoline, bicycles, footwear, Silk, Nylon, fuel oil, stoves, meat, lard, shortening and oils, cheese, butter, margarine, processed foods (canned, bottled, and frozen), dried fruits, canned milk, firewood and coal, jams, jellies, and fruit butter were rationed by November 1943. Many retailers welcomed rationing because they were already experiencing shortages of many items due to rumors and panics, such as flashlights and batteries after Pearl Harbor.

Many levels of rationing went into effect. Some items, such as sugar, were distributed evenly based on the number of people in a household. Other items, like gasoline or fuel oil, were rationed only to those who could justify a need. Restaurant owners and other merchants were accorded more availability, but had to collect ration stamps to restock their supplies. In exchange for used ration stamps, ration boards delivered certificates to restaurants and merchants to authorize procurement of more products.

The work of issuing ration books and exchanging used stamps for certificates was handled by some 5,500 local ration boards of mostly volunteer workers selected by local officials.

Each ration stamp had a generic drawing of an airplane, gun, tank, aircraft carrier, ear of wheat, fruit, etc. and a serial number. Some stamps also had alphabetic lettering. The kind and amount of rationed commodities were not specified on most of the stamps and were not defined until later when local newspapers published, for example, that beginning on a specified date, one airplane stamp was required (in addition to cash) to buy one pair of shoes and one stamp number 30 from ration book four was required to buy five pounds of sugar. The commodity amounts changed from time to time depending on availability. Red stamps were used to ration meat and butter, and blue stamps were used to ration processed foods.

To enable making change for ration stamps, the government issued “red point” tokens to be given in change for red stamps, and “blue point” tokens in change for blue stamps. The red and blue tokens were about the size of dimes (16 mm) and were made of thin compressed wood fiber material, because metals were in short supply.

Rationing was ended in 1946.

Old Gospel Goodies-The Dynamic Angelic Choir

The Dynamic Angelic Choir directed by Rev. Lawrence Roberts is a classic gospel favorite. According to the Black Gospel Music Blog, :

Rev. Roberts was a longtime producer for Savoy Records. It was his church choir — the Angelic Choir of the First Baptist Church of Nutley, NJ — that teamed with Rev. James Cleveland on the historic “Peace Be Still” recording session in September 1963. That album took Cleveland and the Angelic Choir to new levels of popularity in the gospel music industry and helped make Savoy the “go to” label for gospel choirs for the next three decades.

Rev. Roberts also recorded with his wife and with the Gospel Chordettes, which changed its name when the Archie Bleyer Chordettes (“Mr. Sandman”) took issue. Rev. Roberts said he changed the group’s name to the Lawrence Roberts Singers “because I know nobody had THAT name!”
Here is a recording from The Dynamic Angelic Choir.