Dating Antiques (and no, I don't mean the elderly)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I know some Countrysiders earn extra money by selling over the Internet. eBay normally has over four million active auctions going and Amazon about two million. Some hints to try to help date items:
The first patent was issued in 1836. The millionth was issued in 1911. The 5th million one in 1991. If you know a patent number it can be traced to the year of issue by going to http://www.biddingtons.com/content/patentchart.html.
How the address of the manufacturer is given can be a help. Postal zones (e.g., Cleveland, 11, OH) were introduced in 1943. ZIP codes in 1963. Bar codes in 1973.
Example of above: I have a toy typewriter. Patent number dates it to no earlier than 1933. Address does not include a postal zone, so it may be 1943 or earlier. With these two sources I can tentitively identify it as being made between 1933 and 1943.
If it is a food item most labels were required to include ingredients after 1938 and nutritional information has been required since 1973.
I have found almost all antique shop operators will gladly help you identify/date an item.
-- Ken S. in TN (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 16, 2000
Thanks for the info! This will make cleaning up around here and in the garage more like a treasure hunt! btw, My husband sold a CocaCola sign (metal, like a tray) that was used in old trolleys for $1200.00 on ebay...hope I get that lucky! All I find are spiders in my canning jars!
-- sheepish (email@example.com), August 16, 2000.
Don't overlook an old garage as a source of sellable items. I have a friend who collects screw-on hubcaps from vintage vehicles. I have seen some of them sell for over $100. There are people who collect old brands of engine oil. Other people collect old spark plugs. I am not familiar with Amazon, but one nice feature of eBay is the key word auction search, which can give you a pretty good idea of what you have is worth.
-- Ken S. in TN (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 17, 2000.
Thanks Ken, your better than the "road show" on PBS. This thread goes in my notebook.
-- Jay Blair (email@example.com), August 22, 2000.