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
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. “
Not that long ago, I picked up a set of drinking glasses and matching ice bucket from an antique store down the shore. These glasses were made by the Libbey Glass Company and it’s easy to find sets of this pattern, Silver Foliage, on eBay, Etsy, and other sites, especially if you search for “vintage Midcentury Modern glasses.” It’s no surprise, since Libbey was, and still is, one of the biggest manufacturers of drinking glasses.
Libbey’s most popular patterns were sold for decades. According to some internet sources, Silver Foliage was produced between 1957 and 1978. The Golden Foliage pattern was introduced the same year and produced through 1982 – so those vintage Midcentury Modern glasses on eBay could actually be from the Disco Era.
Golden Foliage was so popular that other manufacturers copied the design on their own glasses (our set has Libbey’s cursive “L” maker’s mark on the bottom of each glass). Meanwhile, Libbey was busy putting the two foliage patterns on different styles and types of glassware (check out the tray and carafe in the ad below). You could probably develop a detailed chronology of Silver Foliage by the yearly catalogs put out by the company; unfortunately they do not seem to be available online.
This bike was put out with the trash and I picked it up before the scrappers grabbed it. After a thorough cleaning, removing a lot of surface rust (with some assistance), and replacing one tube, it looked pretty good. It will need new tires soon if I can find an inexpensive pair of whitewalls, and new handlebar grips are also on the way.
All the decals were removed during the cleaning, but the bike is a Huffy Santa Fe single speed with coaster brake. Huffy used the Santa Fe model name at least as far back as the 1970s, but I’m guessing this one is maybe from the 1990s or 2000. Now it joins the fleet of old bikes and e-bikes. Will I ever rat rod it? Unlikely.
Browsing a garage sale, I examined a plastic bag full of watches. It was mostly junky stuff, including a lightweight piece that said “Rolex” on it, but there was also one Casio G-Shock.
Not that I needed another watch, but I had been casually looking at new Casio G-Shocks, which have a reputation for toughness at affordable prices. This one, however, had been sitting in the sun all morning and when I picked it up, the plasticky looking watch felt like it was melting. I ended up paying a dollar for it, the price helped by the fact that the bezel surrounding the watch face cracked in my hand while talking with the seller.