Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 5, 2004 · Page 28
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 28

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Friday, March 5, 2004
Page 28
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12—FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2004 ON THE MARKET COLLECTIBLES Civil War seen through a lens By LINDA ROSENKRANTZ Copley News Service It's surprising to discover how many original Civil War images are available, and how accessible a lot of them are, until you realize that tens of thousands of soldiers posed for their portraits, and .often received several copies of the results. These include examples made by all the photographic processes in use at the time: cartes de visite, tintypes, stere- ographs, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes and large albumen prints. They are prized by collectors for their technical, aesthetic and, above all, historic interest, what they can tell us of the uniforms and equipment of the period, the •revealed human qualities of the unknown soldiers, and the stances and substance of the prominent heroes of the War Between the States. The most abundant and affordable are what are known as cartes de visiles. These are small albumen prints taken with a multi-lens camera (so that eight different exposures can be produced on one plate), and affixed to lightweight cardboard mounts, measuring 2 by 4 inches. They were popular from the 1850s on in Europe and beginning in the 1860s in America, where they were commonly left as calling cards by visiting friends. During the war, images of individual soldiers were produced in large quantities when new recruits headed for battle would line up to have their portraits made in their new uniforms, and later might stop off at the local photographer to record changes in their appearance - a new form of facial hair, or recently earned gold stripes. Thousands of these photographs were mailed back home, and those of anonymous soldiers can be found-for under $100, while historic figures such as Custer, Lee, Grant, Sherman, Jefferson Davis, Kit Carson, et al, can go into the four figures, especially if they're signed. So-called hard images - ambrotypes, daguerreotypes and tintypes - are not quite so accessible. The daguerreotype - the first practical photographic process, with a positive image produced on copper clad with a layer of burnished silver with no negative and no way to make a reproduction - had pretty much fallen out of favor by the Civil War era, but a small number were still made. They can be identified by holding a finger up to it; if you see a clear reflection, then you know the image was made on a silver- coated copper plate. Ambrotypes, which were made during a relatively brief period of tinie, were the result of a process in which a positive effect was achieved on glass coated with light-sensitive collodion, backed with black paint, fabric or paper, and then encased in daguerreotype cases - the two are often confused. The collector might be lucky enough to find not only the predictable portraits, but such unusual subjects as President Lincoln's home in Springfield, 111. The less fragile tintype also used collodion, but here the medium was tin-dipped iron plates rather than glass, and multiple images could be made on a single plate and cut apart. Tintypes are found in both carte de visite-sized mounts and cased a la daguerreotypes; those in their original cases command higher prices than loose examples, especially if made early in the war. A comprehensive guide to all types of Civil War relics is "Warman's Civil War Collectibles" by John F. Graf (Krause .Publications). It moves alphabetically from accoutrements and artillery to swords and uniforms, taking in flags (a rare regimental battle flag of the famous Palmetto Sharpshooters, South Carolina volunteers, is valued at $250,000) and musical instruments (an exceptional 23rd Connecticut volunteer infantry eagle drum at $25,000), medical instruments (an early amputation saw, $25), and the personal items that soldiers used, such as carpetbags, checkerboards, coffee pots, eating utensils, inkwells, mirrors, razors and snuff boxes. There is also a glossary of terms and a list of Civil War ' memorabilia sources across the country. Collectors covet kitchen kitsch Sure, there are still a lot of people collecting old wooden coffee grinders and vintage jelly molds, but these days what many kitchen collectors are focusing on are the post- World War II, mass-produced pieces found in their parents', rather than their great-grandparents', homes. I'm talking about the colorful, campy, kitschy objects of the mid- 20th century and beyond from acid-green measuring spoons to pink plastic eggbeaters to flour sifters decorated with cheery images of the breads and cakes the flour would become. It was a time when the kitchen was filled with gadgetry. A new book, "Spiffy Kitchen Collectibles" by Brian S. Alexander (Krause Publications), has more than 1,000 illustrations" documenting examples of this post-war ingenuity: Some objects that were a new and more animated twist on old ideas, others that were innovative novelties, usually described in language as streamlined as their forms. We see, for example, perco- matic (otherwise known as automatic) poultry basters, juicetractors, Jiffywhip whip- pers, Jell-aire aluminum molds, Stix and Mix ice treat molds, Form 'N' Fry hamburger presses, Slice-a-Slice bread slicers, Blitzhacker Lightning food choppers, the grapefluter, Crax-Ezy boiled egg openers, Plasmetl egg trays, Dazey Mix-er-ators, Tru-Temp candy thermometers, and Chip-Chop ice crushers, to name just a few devices to make kitchen chores easier, after the harsh stringencies of the war years. As in most fields, kitchen kitsch collectors usually tend to focus on some particular category, sometimes choosing to zoom in on the products of one particular manufacturer. It might be the vintage items made by Ekco (short for Edward Katzinger Co.) Products Co., a firm whose history dates back to the 1880s with the production of tin pans for commercial bakeries; by the 1920s Ecko was the leading tin pan maker in the country. Kitchen tools and utensils were added in the 1930s, when several more companies were acquired. Today's Ekco collector looks for the early well-crafted tools and gadgets with bright red handles, as well as those in pink, yellow and turquoise. In his book, Alexander lists a 1920s egg beater and bowl set at $40 to $45, and 1950s 8-piece kitchen tool sets at $125-$150. Two rivals of Ekco were the Foley Manufacturing Co. of Minneapolis, founded in 1926 and best known for its food mill, but it also offered a full line of kitchenware items throughout the 1950s and '60s, and the Washburn Co., established in 1880. In 1936, Washburn introduced utensils with tear- shaped handles in vivid red, yellow and green Catalin plastic. After the war, under the name Androck, they marketed novel designs on their flour sifters - especially popular with collectors is the pantry pattern. One favorite depicts a typically perfect '50s mom and her kids in a red-accented kitchen. Others might prefer to highlight some particular food type in their collections. Two possibilities offered in "Spiffy Kitchen Collectibles" are com and eggs. Here you have a choice of corn-shaped baking pans, corn skewers, holders and servers, corn butter brushes and other applicators, wood and steel corn cutters, and corn serving dishes. The See COLLECT, Page 14 MORTGAGE RATE SURVEY * UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL :JO VI AH HXl l> CONFORMING 3O Y[ AH AfJJUS I Atil F CONFORMING INSTITUTION PHONE Citloorp Savings 981-3180 d$»ood CrUn ,; 64IMOQO Wells Fargo 800- 869-13557 Wastarrwwieis.Bk ^ £<S|H!*7''v World Savings 546-8370' MORTGAGE RATES RATE PTS FEE APR RG SK»9. ',100 -5,496 30' 5.250 2.250 250 5.500 60 5.625 1.000 na 5.781 60 4550 ' ^POP #7f» ,7^80 , 9f 5.450 1.000 175 5.618 30 ADJ MAR UC PTS FEE APR RG N AP 30* N 6 . 2.750 2.750 B~750~"o.75Q 250 s'.eS'* 6O N 12 3.875 na 9.875 1.000 na 4.34 60 na 6O 15 YEAR FIXED . . n/o ooo o.oo oo b do CONFORMING IN£> 111 U I I(_IN ! Bank of America Redwood Cr Un vvgiijM^ao ,. - Westamerlca Bank 468-3621 545-4000 IJ§j^^W7 468-5471 4.250 2.936 $100 4.815 30 JJ$OP > §,-t^s sqisiBQ 4,|g^4, §§ i 5.125 0.000 $475 "s.158 45 6.750 1.000 $475 6.960 30 •i-§w 4.875 2.066 $100 5.311 30 ^€8? '&W? ^60 sa^i fig « 5.250 0.000 $475 5.283 45 HOME EQUITY LOAN Bank of America 468-3627 «»'?«*'«£>. 8W"W> Redwood Cr Un 545-4000 %m t maw*> r*wm«L Wells Fargo Bank 800-869-3557 8.54 8.54 7.04 7.04 v. W *f*Jg 4^5 '4.7.5 475 475 425 425 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 Auto Loans 9.26 8.19 7.14 7.14 Jjljt «|a •» -vn« ( ^., 3.99 3.99 3.99 3.99 3.99 3.99 3.99 3.99 7 375 1 000 $475 7 589 30 H so Personal Credit Card na m 8.90 na na $00 9.90 $00 10,00, $($ na $00 DATE RATES COLLECTED: Fobl

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