We are currently buying any old portable hand crank record players (Victor, RCA, etc). Please contact us if you have any.
John Atwood, of Abrahamson Printing, is 76 and still uses typewriters daily at his business. Each day, he leaves the shop early, heading home to type up invoices on carbon copy paper using his early 1980s IBM Correcting Selectric III.
“I’m not a computer person,” he said.
Guiding the paper into the carriage, he cranks the knob to set it in place and begins softly typing on the surprisingly quiet, brown typewriter, pausing to check the numbers for the invoice. For each new line on the page, he cranks the knob again, feeding the paper farther up so he can begin clacking on the keys again.
Computers may have killed the local typewriter store, but typewriters stay alive in unexpected places. In Lodi, across the nation and abroad, people are turning to typewriters for a sense of nostalgia of the past, for ease of use — and in some cases, to prevent international espionage by keeping data offline.
The typewriter retains a special image as a mechanical marvel, sometimes put on display as art or used for vintage re-creations, like typewriter-written wedding invitations.
Atwood got his start typing when he took a class as a Lodi High School sophomore in 1953. After high school, he enlisted in the Navy in 1956, where he worked as a typist. He said there was one other person who knew how to type on the ship.
“Thank goodness I took typing,” he said. “When I went to the Navy, I wasn’t classified. They were short on typists — called yeoman. Who knows what I would have done otherwise. I spent time typing daily reports.”
When Atwood left the Navy in 1959, he joined the family printing business, which began in Stockton as Atwood Printing.
Over the years, he started his own printing business, Big Valley Printing, and bought Abrahamson Printing in Lodi in 2006, where he works today.
His daughter, June Atwood Aaker, who also works in the business, said that typing comes naturally to her father. Despite her attempts to show him how to use bookkeeping programs on the computer, he insists on continuing to use his typewriter.
“This is how it’s always been done,” she said. “He’s been very adaptable to change, but this is something he wants to do. And he should do it.”
Since all of the machinist and typewriter repair shops in Lodi have long since closed down, Atwood must take his typewriters to Stockton Typewriter Co. — part of A-Tec Office Supplies and one of the last places still offering typewriter repair in the Lodi area.
But Abrahamson Printing is not the only place in Lodi where typewriters have doggedly maintained a presence.
Joe McLemore, CEO and owner of Stockton Typewriter Co., said that since they bought out the old Lodi Typewriter Co. more than 15 years ago, plenty of Lodi residents and businesses have become frequent customers.
“It’s more people who don’t want to change over and people who want that nostalgic feeling, like writers. It’s also people who want to collect them,” he said.
A quick search on eBay shows that vintage typewriters are reasonably affordable. Several from the 1940s and ‘50s sell for between $20 and $60. A newer model, similar to the one Atwood owns, sells for more, between $70 and $150, but according to IBM’s archives the Selectric models were priced at around $400 dollars new.
Several companies even sell new typewriters. Royal Consumer Information Products, Inc., formerly known as Royal Typewriter Company, still sells typewriters for several hundred dollars — though the ribbon and cartridges to print cost only a couple dollars.
Typewriters can be found occasionally in antique and consignment stores in Lodi, but also in places like the Bank of Stockton and Lodi High School, according to McLemore.
Teri Scott, a secretary at Lodi High School, said the school’s secretaries have four or five old IBM electric typewriters that they frequently use to fill out forms that aren’t kept online. Sometimes, she said, she uses them to address envelopes.
The clicking sound of typewriter keys and mechanical parts can even be heard in the halls of the Lodi News-Sentinel, from behind the office doors of publisher Marty Weybret, who said he uses them for writing quick notes and addressing envelopes.
“It’s sort of a nostalgic device that gives me a sort of hands-on experience after living in a virtual world all day,” he said.
Typewriters are not dead. Typists young and old plunk away at the keys in offices and in homes. Collectors have seen the mechanical devices as works of art to put on display.
“Some girls are (buying typewriters) for weddings or for decoration, not to use,” said Katie Castillo, office manager at Secondhand Rose. “We used to get them in 10 years ago, when they didn’t sell fast. Now when we get them, they tend to go quicker. One girl said she was typing up the seating chart for her wedding on it.”
For some people, typewriters are the practical solution to make sure information stays private.
A July 15 article in The Washington Post reported that German and Russian officials were considering returning to the old machines in response to ongoing problems with espionage by the U.S. National Security Agency.
Perhaps when you search your attics to dig up old machines and sweep off the dust, consider joining the discreet gathering of typewriter enthusiasts that continue clacking away at their desks in Lodi, pausing only to hear that satisfying bell ding before they continue.
DETROIT (WWJ) – In an ongoing effort to raise for Detroit Public Schools, the district continues to auction off items that have been sitting in storage.
WWJ Newsradio 950′s Laura Bonnell reports that, if you’re in the market for an antique aircraft engine, you’re in luck.
Jennifer Mrozowski with the Detroit Public Schools says that’s one of the unique items up for grabs in the auction.
“These are going to be surplus World War II-era airline engines, propellers — vintage items dating back to the World War II era,” Mrozowski said.
Detroit began auctioning off items in October and have since raised $380,000. The items were donated years ago to Davis Aerospace Technical High School.
The auction runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 19.
In the 95-degree heat, Patrick Bush had on a blue jumpsuit with white stripes that covered him from the neck down. He slipped a gleaming white helmet over his head and got on his souped-up John Deere tractor. The tractor wasn’t being used for farming. Few of the tractors at Franklin County Recreation Park were used for farming anymore. And Bush had built his three years ago specifically to compete.
Someone hitched his racing tractor to more than 1,000 pounds of metal. Bush revved the engine, and he was off, flying down the dirt track. The hundreds of people in the crowd erupted in cheers.
The tractor pull at the annual Southwest Virginia Antique Farm Days is often the biggest draw for the throngs of people that come each year. Brian Rutrough, the president of the Antique Farm Days organization, said this year’s event brought about 7,000 people. Blessed with warm weather and clear skies, guests, many from out of town, filled the park Saturday to get a glimpse of the farm equipment of the days of old.
Years before Smith Mountain Lake was around and tractors worked with diesel engines, Franklin County was covered in almost nothing but agriculture, shaping the area’s landscape for years to come.
Even now, Rutrough said, farmers make up a large bulk of the Franklin County populace.
“It’s what I would call the dominant industry of the county, always was,” he said. “That and moonshine.”
Antique Farm Days is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving historical farm machinery. The celebration that began Friday and ended Sunday brings in a huge chunk of its funds.
One of this year’s new pieces and projects was a 1915 steam engine, which the organization is in the process of restoring. Next year, Rutrough said, not only will it be up and running, it will be pulling a saw mill.
Craig Kern of Eagle Rock has come to Farm Days for 10 straight years. Kern sells antique farm tools, from old-fashioned screws to weed sickles, and said he made a killing Saturday.
“It’s a dying trade,” he said.
Younger people who farm today in the electric, diesel-filled world have never had to wield some of the older equipment that used to keep farms running. But selling them as antique pieces has found a niche following in the farming community.
The tractor pulls are often the most popular events. Riders on tractors of all sizes are timed as they pull about 1,000 pounds of weight several hundred yards.
George Peters, 74, of Floyd County started competing in tractor pulls four years ago. He said it was a fun activity for him to take up during retirement. By 3 p.m. Sunday, Peters had come in second place in two pulls on his orange Cub Cadet. His son, Greg, was helping him on the sidelines as his unofficial tractor pit crewman.
Farm Days, which usually coincides with Father’s Day, prides itself on being a good, family-friendly place to take dad. During the tractor pull Sunday there were lots of fathers and grandfathers giving and receiving cheers.
Cody Johnson, 6, had been practicing on his tractor for two months with the encouragement of his grandfather, George Johnson.
And on Sunday, as he lugged his tractor down the dirt path, his grandfather was walking right beside him, urging him over the finish line.
Antique hunters are a breed unto themselves, Carol Koerner, of Carol's Antiques says. The Boise-based antique seller has been in business for 22 years. The antiques market is somewhat fickle from day to day and month to month.Carol's Antiques was at Vista Avenue and Overland Road before it moved to Five Mile and Overland roads.
"People around here won't pay California prices," she says. "Idahoans are tight, and they won't pay them period."
That's why when new temporary marketplaces come to town, she's a little hesitant to set up shop in them.
Koerner called BBB about the upcoming Summer Market in Boise at Expo Idaho on June 21 after the new trade show sought her participation. She was hesitant since display space generally is charged at a premium price. She said she couldn't afford to lose money on a poorly promoted show.
The Summer Market, presented by Bonnie Burhart, of Ontario, Ore., is scheduled to bring together 40 vendors from around the West.
Burhart says her antique dealership, Roses and Rust Vintage Market, began in Redding, Calif., and each year hosted an event with several dealers. "We're now at two shows a year, and it's a pretty big event," she says, they will continue to host.
Having moved to Ontario a year ago, she says residents of the Treasure Valley and surrounding communities seem to appreciate fine antiques and will make for a great show. She is hoping to lure those passionate antique hunters to the Boise Market.
For those shopping for antiques, BBB offers these tips:
• Do your homework. If you are looking to buy a big-ticket item, it's important to go to shops, shows or markets. To learn more about antiques and collectibles, visit shops, shows, auctions, flea markets, and house sales. Comparison shopping can save you headaches and haggling.
• Inspect the materials and conditions. Quality should be reflected in the price. Are there original tags or stickers on the item? Whatever the materials, expect some aging, but watch for flaws. Good inspection can turn into a negotiation point. If the dealer isn't busy, you may be able to ask him questions. Also watch your newspaper - auction houses will sometimes advertise free appraisals.
• Scope out the booths. Talking to the owner/vendor can give you an indication of the owner's trustworthiness. Ask questions, look at prices you're familiar with, explore the booth's transparency.
• Listen to your inner voice. If a price seems too good to be true, you may want to simply walk away. If the price is too high, you may haggle.
If you want to hire a professional appraiser, check the phone book under Appraisers or contact auction galleries and antique dealers. Make sure the appraiser has been in business a number of years and get references.
Never hire an appraiser who bases his fee on a percentage of the appraised value. He may inflate his appraisal in order to get a higher fee.
Beware of appraisers who offer to buy an item as well as appraise it. They may lower their appraisal to get a better bargain for themselves.
A friendly agreement that went bad has two neighboring antique dealers on U.S. Route 201 in Fairfield trading barbs and accusations over a state court order that one of the businesses clean its debris-covered property.
Robert Dale, owner of Maine 201 Antiques, has been ordered by the 12th District Court to clean up furniture, tools, vehicles and other junk from the sprawling front yard of his business by June 15.
Dale says the court order was the result of a campaign of harassment by the Fairfield Antique Mall, which has operated on the property next door for the past 17 years.
The two companies used to work together, but when their business arrangement soured a couple of years ago, the business dispute quickly became personal, Dale said.
“When we severed ties they tried to close me down,” Dale said.
In early March, Dale and the town of Fairfield reached an agreement to settle a court case brought by the town. That agreement called for Dale to reimburse the town about $10,000 in legal fees and clean up his yard.
Dale said Monday that he has been working to comply with the order and that he plans to meet the June 15 deadline.
He said he has sold some of the items and put others into storage to meet the order.
“I’ve moved at least four-fifths of it,” he said. “I’ve been working on it the last two weeks. It’s cost me a lot of money.”
Dale faces fines of $150 per day if he doesn’t comply and would have to pay the cost of having the property cleaned up by the town.
He claims he was unfairly targeted by the town after his business relationship with his neighbors, Wayne Gamage and Ralph McLaughlin, went sour.
“This town has all kinds of places with all kinds of stuff in their yard,” he said. “But the town functions on complaints.”
Fairfield Town Manager Josh Reny said that Dale’s property is being targeted because it is the most egregious offender in town.
It isn’t the first time that a community has forced Dale to clean up property he owned. The Hallowell City Council forced him to clean up debris in a yard after a four-year legal battle that ended in 2010.
Dale said the March court order for the Fairfield property was motivated by his neighbors’ financial interests.
“My neighbor is trying to drive me out of business,” he said.
Gamage denies that he and his partner, McLaughlin, are trying to drive Dale out of business.
“He can stay in business,” he said. “But he has to make it nice. You know, safe.”
When Dale first established his operation some three years ago, the two businesses formed a cooperative arrangement. Gamage and his staff would conduct transactions with customers for all of Dale’s items in exchange for a commission.
Dale and Gamage disagree on what led to the dissolution of the partnership, but they agree that the past two years have turned into a battle.
Today, a makeshift fence propped up by planks of wood separates the two properties.
Over the winter, Dale said, Gamage plowed snow into a right of way preventing customers from reaching Dale’s property. When the snow melted, Dale said, Gamage moved a large, white truck into the right-of-way to block access. A white truck was parked in the area Monday.
McLaughlin doesn’t deny that he and Gamage parked the truck to block entrance to Maine 201 Antiques.
But McLaughlin said it is retaliation for Dale keeping his property covered with junk, preventing the Fairfield Antique Mall owners from traveling over a right-of-way to reach a well on the opposite side of Dale’s property. Gamage says he has a property right to use the well.
“This used to be nice,” Gamage said. “Now look at it.”
Under the court-ordered agreement with the town, Dale has also agreed to fix seven fire code violations and comply with the town’s land-use ordinance, which requires that materials stored outdoors be raised off the ground and enclosed in containers.
Dale said that the long winter slowed down his efforts to clean the yard.
“I think I’ll be able to make it,” he said.
Gamage said he doesn’t think Dale will meet the court deadline.
“Of course not. Look at it,” he said. “He couldn’t do it with a crew of 10 men here for a week.”
A heavy box of coins once sat in a Copperas Cove home as part of a 40-year untouched collection.
“They were collected many years ago by my husband’s uncle,” said Sally Cox, 87. “I have had them for 40 years.”
Cox brought a small portion of the collection to the Olan Forest Smith VFW Post 8577, where the National Coin Collectors Association’s Antique Pickers Back Roads Tour is purchasing collectables until Saturday.
“You don’t know what you are going to get,” said Cox as Jeff Hunter, a general manager for the organization, examined her first haul of coins. “If I don’t get rid of them, someone will have to.”
The antique pickers are looking for a variety of items, such as old toys, coins, war memorabilia and jewelry, Hunter said.
The group came to Copperas Cove to make the show more accessible to area residents.
Hunter travels every day of the week for the group.
“There are so many things in different regions,” he said. “You never know what is out there, so you’ve got to go out there a lot of the time to let people know it is valuable.”
Tuesday’s crowd was steady with people entering the building almost every 30 minutes looking to sell some old items.
“Some of the shows are steady like this and then there is one where people are waiting an hour or two,” Hunter said.
Cox was excited to sell the coins she brought, so she went back home for the rest of them.
But some people, such as Winniferd Turner, 44, and Dahal Ivory, 48, both of Copperas Cove, were not as lucky.
“We thought we would have something of value,” said Ivory, who brought several items from home.
The two were disappointed their haul didn’t amount to a lot of money and they took the majority of it home.
When Cox walked back into the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, she breathed deep and exhaled quickly as she carried a larger and heavier box inside.
Hunter bought every coin she brought in.
“I am glad to get these things out of the way,” she said.
A new exhibit at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton has been under development for six months, with help from a design firm from New York City.
It's called the National Motorboat Show and focuses on the first 50 years of motorboating from roughly 1895 to around 1945.
"Our curator has gone into the storage units and found boats that have great significance to the time frame we're trying to replicate here," the museum's Mike Folsom said, "and has pulled those out for people to see and touch."
The exhibit also features early-era motorboat engines and the vintage advertising that helped launch new boats of a 100 years ago.
Museum officials say the exhibit may be up for about the next 10 years.
PITTSYLVANIA CO., Va. - A $2 buy turned out to be worth thousands of dollars and earned Pittsylvania County's Amie Pickeral a spot on national television.
She is a self-described born antiquarian.
"Most 20-year-olds aren't into antiquing," I said.
"No. Certainly not. My friends kinda get a little creeped out when they come in here," Pickeral said.
Her walls are lined with dolls -- dozens of them -- some dating back to the 1800s. It's her prized collection she started when she was 13.
She also collects old , letters, and books. One book published in 1632 titled, "The Lawes Resolutions of Women's Rights" about women's rights is worth more than the rest of her collection of antiques.
She found it in a box at an estate sale in Danville. It's hard to read and worn but looked like a perfect $2 buy. After some research she had a hunch it was worth more.
"It was possibly the first book ever published in the English language concerning women's rights. And I thought, hey, that is pretty cool. But I couldn't find any figures on it. So that's when we went to 'Antiques Roadshow'," Pickeral said.
"Lets have a look at it," said Martin Gammon, an appraiser from Bonhams and featured regularly on the show.
Last August the PBS show happened to be in Richmond and by the luck of the draw she was chosen to appear in front of a national audience. It was right there on camera where she discovered it's real .
Her reaction is priceless.
"It probably has an auction estimate of this condition of $6,000 to $8,000," Gammon said.
"Oh my! Are you serious?" Pickeral said. "Oh my goodness."
The shock hasn't worn off. Since the show aired this week she's still holding that book close, where it will stay.
"I will definitely keep this book. It is absolutely my treasure," Pickeral said.
To watch the episode that aired 5/18/2014, click here.
CHELSEA — Marj Daniels is preparing to close another chapter in her life’s story, but she does not want the next chapter to be her last.
After 25 years as the owner of Uptown Antiques in downtown Chelsea, Daniels has closed her shop forever. It was a good run, but the time has come for her to wrap up that part of her life and get on with the next turn in her journey.
The antique store is being liquidated through an auction set for 10 a.m. May 28 at the old Ace Hardware Store next door to the Chelsea Clock Tower Annex on Main Street. A preview of the items for sale will begin at 9 a.m.
Marj opened her store in November 1989 after her family encouraged her to become a business owner. Her late husband Bob was running the family lumber business across the street at the time in front of Jiffy, with youngest son John learning the business that he now runs.
The first 10 years were fun, Marj said. The economy was strong and young couples and families would come in and buy a lot of her wares. Then a recession hit around 2000 and the fun and the boom times ended.
“People would be driving through Chelsea from out of state and if they were from the east or west coast they would see an antique store and have to stop,” Marj said.
Instead of people coming in and buying antiques they would bring things in looking to sell or even worse, bring their kids into the store like it was a museum and explain what the items were.
“The first of the month, I knew it was time to go,” Marj said at her home on Cavanaugh Lake.
Marj has been a fixture in Chelsea for decades. She grew up on a farm and was a classmate of Bob Daniels. They both attended college after high school, with Bob graduating from Michigan and Marj from Eastern Michigan University in 1951 with a fine arts degree.
They married in 1950, but knew their future was going to get off to a rough start as Bob enlisted in the Navy to avoid being drafted. That was during the Korean War and Bob served for three years.
The couple lived in New Jersey, staying in Bayonne and Woodbury, before the Navy transferred Bob to Athens, Georgia. Life was good there as Bob was an instructor at the Supply Corps School. When his discharge came, they thought about staying in the south, but the call from Chelsea was too much for them.
The couple came back to town as Bob worked for the lumber business and Marj became a homemaker.
“We liked it here,” Marj said.
Marj said she saw the potential Chelsea had and organized many fundraisers that involved bringing the first fashion show, first home tours and a 4-H club the Fair Acres, to town. The young couple began to take an active role in the affairs of the community.
In 1961, Bob, at 31 years old, was the mayor. During this time Marj entered the Mrs. Michigan contest and came in second. She was told she lost because her family was so young at the time (Jeff (the actor) was 5, Jody was 2 and John 1); the winner’s children ranged in age from 8 to 18.
During those years she was judged on her homemaking talents, community involvement and what kind of marriage she had.
Marj maintained her community involvement and when the Chelsea Community Hospital opened in the 1960s, she was a buyer for the gift shop for nearly 12 years. After that she worked with a friend who owned her own antique store.
“I put two and two together and decided to open my own shop,” Marj said.
Son John had purchased the former Sylvan Building which had fallen into disrepair. He renovated the building, transforming what had once been home to the Sylvan Hotel into a mix of retail space and professional offices.
Her family’s impact on the community is well known with Jeff opening the Purple Rose Theatre to Chelsea as well as helping with the Chelsea Center for the Arts.
Husband Bob and a friend are credited with bringing Craig Common from his job as a corporate chef in Ann Arbor to opening a restaurant downtown.
“He was only going to stay 13 years, but he’s been here for 27,” Marj said.
Chelsea has always possessed a progressive streak and it has kept that spirit alive today, she said. She appreciates the growth and new buildings that are popping up all over town.
But that meant an active and involved local government.
“There isn’t a street without a curb today,” Marj said, crediting the village and city councils for keeping the town’s appearance up. “They do a really good job.”
The local schools are another feather in the town’s cap as it reflects the area’s forward-thinking tendencies, she said.
“We have always been progressive, never going backwards,” Marj said.,
For more information on the auction, visit braunandhelmer.com. All the details you will need will be there.
Don’t expect to find Marj at the auction.
“It would bother me to see items for less than I paid for it,” she said.