Unidentified Picked Object (UPO)


This was a nice item I picked up the other day. I know it is a knife but for cutting what? I’m guessing it was for the kitchen for meat or vegetables.

It it looks like a saddlery or a leather knife but i’m pretty sure it’s not. I’m also not sure how old it it is. There no makers marks on it, so if any one knows how old is or what its original use was leave a comment.


Salt & Pepper and Crystal & Glass each are vary different


Glass is made from silica sand, while crystal is comprised of silica sand and lead. Crystal has a lead content that must be a minimum of 24 percent to achieve the crystal definition. Where Waterford crystal has a minimum lead content is 32 percent. Everyday glassware contains 50 percent sand and no lead. But some American manufacturers produce glass with less than 24 percent lead and refer to it as lead glass.

How to tell the  Difference

Crystal is heavier than glass due to its lead content, but glass is often thicker than crystal. A thin rim will generally indicate a piece is crystal since it can be blown thinner than glass. If you run your fingers along the cuts in a glass or a crystal piece. The Crystal generally results in rounder edges, while cut glass has sharp cuts. Crystal shows more clarity than a typical piece glass, and its reflective quality is why crystal is used for chandeliers, fine wine glasses and jewelry.

 Wet your finger and gently swipe around the rim of a glass or crystal goblet. If you here a ringing  that only comes from crystal. When tapped or clinked, crystal rings clear, while a dull thunk or clunk tells you it is glass. The lead content makes the sound , and the more lead, the longer and clearer the tone. If the wet finger doesn’t work, lightly tap the glass with a spoon to see if it creates a ringing note.  It’s not always easy to tell but I hope this will help you in your picking to tell the difference.





Dr. Scholl’s is a footwear and foot care brand owned by Bayer the company it was started by podiatrist William Mathias Scholl in 1906, in Chicago. The original company expanded globally to design and patent over 1000 foot care products, after William Scholl died in 1968, Schering-Plough bought the brand.

The PEDO-GRAPH was made Dr. Scholl’s and PEDO-GRAPH literally means imprint on paper of the foot ,or a foot pressure distribution map of the foot. The PEDO-GRAPH helps doctors treat diabetic patients with foot issues.

Diabetic patients lack nerve sensation and hence develop ulcers in soles due to localized high pressure. Eventually these turn to gangrene and need leg amputation. If the high pressure points can be located and assessed early, shoe soles can be designed to spread the pressure which may prevent ulceration. 

I like this piece because people who collect medical equipment or foot ware would love to have this as an addition to there collection. Or it could be re-purposed as a holder for a shoe shine kit. The best part is this piece is the logo, the fact that has the patient date of 1917 and has Chicago-New York-Toronto-London-Paris on it make it really cool.


Sometimes quality trumps antique or old



When I pick items I don’t just look for antique or old items but quality items. In general if it’s a quality item you can make as much or more on a new quality item as you can on an antique or old item. If you find something that is of high quality you should seriously look at picking it up because people are always looking for good quality items that are old or new there are truly timeless. Just remember everything that is old was new at one time. In the case of the plate above it is of vary high quality it is a Carson states metal collector plate the quality of the casting excellent and it will last a life time. It was a good  deal because of it quality even though it not that old.


Old things are new business!



The Millennial Generation is capitalizing on social media and a trend toward American-made products, and some of them are going back to the old ways and looking for the tools of the trade like the shoe repair business.

Some Millennial’s are becoming shoe cobblers and demonstrating a resilience against the throwaway mentality of our generation that it will be remembered for. Cobblers resole, stretch, resurface, reshape and reheel shoes. It’s not surprising that some shoe repairmen are thriving in this resurgence of the trades movement.

As pickers we all know where business is thriving, we as pickers can save some history and put it back to work again and make some money too. I think with the resurgence of the trades movement we can keep our trade alive too. Here is a good example I picked this cast iron shoe cobblers stand with a shoe form on it the other day and kept it from the scrap pile and I hope it finds it way back to work in a shoe cobblers shop. So remember keep yours eyes open for the gems and help put them back to work again and keep the trades alive!



Counterfeiting antiques some things are old and some just look old


I have been seeing a lot of stuff showing up at flea markets and so called antiques dealers that look old but are not. Like this jewelry box that showed up at flea market I went to recently. I found this dealer like most had a nice selection of antiques to chose from and priced appropriately and some new items for their person who just wants to decorate there house and they were priced appropriately too.

Then there were some items like this jewelry box  that were priced in the middle between the old antiques and the new decorate stuff. When you would asked the dealer about them they would say it looks old don’t know much about it. Its not what I deal in I just picked it up in a lot I bought.

Of coarse they will be quick to tell you every thing about the antiques and the decorate stuff. They seem not know much about the item and that making you feel like you just found the diamond in the ruff and you putting one over on the dealer. Remember to look it over good and pull out the drawers and look in side and on the bottom and as Latin teacher would say cveat emptor translation buyer beware!

The glass milk bottle & a little picking history.




Currently there are 60,000 dairy farms in the United States today. On March 23, 1880, Louis P. Whiteman was granted Patent #225,900 for a glass milk bottle.

For many collectors of milk bottles they carry a nostalgic quality of a by gone era when the milkman delivered fresh milk to your door step. The milk bottle’s with embossed or pyroglazed (painted) names of dairies on them, where they were used for home delivery of milk are the most prized of the milk bottles today, of the ones that didn’t make there way back to the dairy.

In early 1900’s around 1910 when the first refrigerator was invented so was the first paper milk carton by G. W. Maxwell and in 1967 the plastic milk jugs were introduced in the United States. So most old glass milk bottles range from late 1880’s to the mid 1960’s but they are stilled produced today.

The ones today are a lot easier to spot have you ever noticed the small bumps on the side of most bottles today near the base. These are typically called “mold codes” they are read by production equipment so the machines know how large the bottle is for proper filling and shipping. On dairy farms in late 1880’s & early 1900’s proper filling and shipping were done by the farmer not a machine. I Hope you found this short history lesson help full in your picking life. The link below shows a video on how modern milk was made in 1948.

Milk Production in 1940s: Triple Goodness – 1948 Dairy Farming & Milk – CharlieDeanArchives