Vintage Model Airplane Kits

I did not know that this decade is “the best of times for airplane models,” but according to the National Air & Space Museum, Aviation enthusiasts are scouring the country for the vintage airplane kits of their youth. It’s not the first time the Smithsonian has written about model airplane kits; see also Model Airplanes for Fun and Profit from 2015.

Bussie theorizes that vintage airplane kits will follow the same lifecycle as most artifacts that make the transition from junk to collectibles. First, they were sold at flea markets and garage sales. Then they were traded at club shows and conventions. Next, they were found in antique shops and online auctions. Now they’re being offered by specialty dealers 

Some Assembly Required, by Preston Lerner

But no matter what the subject, collectors gonna collect:

“The ’80s were the Wild West days of kit collecting,” says Garrity. “A guy would come into the room with stuff that no one had seen before, and I’d literally see people punching each other to get to an Aurora model. “

Some Assembly Required, by Preston Lerner

G.I. Joe Recovers the Lost Mummy!

Source: 1972 Sears Wishbook.

This 1972 set has all the essential/most fun archaeological gear: helicopter, ATV, machete, pick and shovel (the shovel is my pick), and … animal trap (what, is Roy Chapman Andrews coming along, too?). That mummy is not getting away from the Joes. With inflation, this $14.49 set would cost about $90 today – actual G.I. Joes not included.

Vanity, thy name is Charlotte

The MSU Campus Archaeology site has a new post by Katy Meyers Emery about a Frozen Charlotte doll found in one of their digs.

The name comes from a poem, and later a song, about a young woman who, not wanting to cover up her pretty dress, refused to dress warmly for a long sleigh ride with her beau. When they arrived at the party, he discovered, to his horror, that Charlotte had frozen to death.

The small, inexpensive dolls do not have moving limbs – i.e., they look frozen. They were quite common in the mid to late 1800s, and may also have been easily lost or broken,  as they turn up  not infrequently on historical archaeological sites.

The photos below show some of the Charlottes  (as well as other toys and trinkets) excavated from house sites in a former late nineteenth century working class neighborhood in Jersey City, New Jersey.

  Images from:

Howson, Jean, and Leonard G. Bianchi

2014 Covert-Larch: Archaeology of a Jersey City Neighborhood. Data Recovery for the Route 1&9T (25) St. Paul’s Viaduct Replacement Project Jersey City, Hudson County, NJ. Cultural Resource Unit, The RBA Group, Inc.

The original post is at MSU Campus Archaeology