The Urban Archeologist: Another Product You’ll Never See Again

Early Erector-type set 1904
Early Erector-type set 1904
Someday I will take my camera and flashlight and search for estate sale treasure across the country. So far, I have only been able to explore 4 states and one of them while I was on vacation. I wrote and blogged about it a while back. Given that one example I am confident that I could find something old, unique and worth writing about in any state.


Last weekend I had almost no help from the sale descriptions I’d found online and in the newspaper. None I researched seemed like a “dig.” Fortunately, friend and Patch editor Jaimie Cura pointed out a listing I hadn’t seen. A sale in Easton, CT had a description that included model trains, older books, and mandolin among other things. I decided that this would be my sole destination for the weekend.

With my daughter by my side we arrived to a home packed with interesting items and run by a familiar service – WCD Estate Sales – the owner, Jim, greeted and remembered my daughter and I from a previous sale. Jim gave me some insight as to the nature of the sale and we began to look.

I am shooting more video these days and while I would like to record all my discoveries as they happen, this home had a more personal story attached to it. I decided to shoot only stills and with permission I shot an open and close from the street in front of the house.

I found something at this sale that always gets me excited, 16mm films, like the kind grade school students used to watch during class in the 1960’s and 1970’s. This format was also a popular home movie and industrial format for those who could afford it. These films look to be from the 1940’s and look to be employees testing out their company’s main product. Click here to take a look at some very humorous clips of a very poorly named product being demonstrated.   

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