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On August 3, 2005, Steve Robinson, an astronaut on the space shuttle Discovery took his favorite childhood lunchbox on a spacewalk. The Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, lunchbox, worth approximately $350, was made in 1954 by Aladdin Industries.
I came upon Mikey the other day and he had a very long pole and a yardstick. He was standing the pole up and trying to reach the top of it with the yardstick. So I grab the pole from him, lay it on the ground and proceed to measure it for him. I tell him, “Mikey the pole is exactly 10 feet long.” Mikey gets flustered and yells at me, “You dummy, I don’t want to know how long it is, I want to know how tall it is.”
One of the best known and most preferred collectible artists of the early Twentieth Century is Maxwell Parrish. He is best known as a master in photo-realistic paintings genre. His painting “Daybreak” sold in 1996 for more than $4 million. Parrish was so popular in the 1920’s that it has been estimated that one of his prints adorned a quarter of all American homes.
Everyone nowadays has heard of a laptop and most of us use them to write. However, how many of you have actually heard of a lap desk? The 18th and 19th Centuries saw the advent of the “writing box.” These later day laptops were beautiful works of art created mainly by carpenters and craftsmen. They were often intricately decorated, etched or inlaid with many types of wood with brass hinges. Today the price for one of these can range anywhere from as little as $50 to more than $900, depending on the design.
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The first Lionel train was invented by a man named Joshua Lionel Cowen and sold for about $6 in 1900. It consisted of nothing more than a railroad flatcar with an electric motor underneath and about 30 feet of railroad tracks. The train was not first intended as a toy, but as a storefront display. However, many people approached him about buying the train and that’s where it all began.
The 1920’s saw Mr. Cowen and his Lionel trains at the “Master” of the train world. The models built during this period were considered some of the more sophisticated and extremely detailed trains ever produced. In 1928, Lionel purchased a portion of the Ives toy train company. The Ives Company continued under the management of the Lionel Company and thus produced some amazing toy trains. Mr. Cowen, who passed in 1965, sold the company in 1959, however after many changes of hands the Lionel Company continues to operate today as the Lionel LLC.
Parrish prints are a hot commodity even today. The print on the left titled, “Boy on a Swing,” in its original frame was recently sold on eBay for just over $182. Other collectible works by this artist include the calendars that he created for Edison Mazda andillustrations that he created for different publications in his younger days. Mr. Parrish was born in 1870 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, retired in 1960, and passed away in 1966.
For those of you who are too young to remember, Tom Corbett was a science fiction character from a 1950’s TV series. Seems astronaut Robinson carries his tools in the lunchbox. Eventually this lunchbox will be worth quite a bit more considering that it was not only owned by an astronaut, but it has also been to space.
So later, Mikey asks me for a ride home. I suspected that my left turn signal was not working, so I told him, “Sure Mikey, I’ll give you a ride, but can you help me first?” “Sure,” Mikey says, “What do I have to do?” So I proceed to tell him, “Go to the back and let me know if my left turn signal is working.” Mikey gets to the back and says, “Yes, its working . . . No it’s not working . . . Yes, it’s working . . . No, it’s not working . . .