Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Estate sale finds #1

In the last couple of months, I have gone to quite a few estate/moving sales, so many in fact, that I have decided to start a new series here on the blog to cover some of the better outings.

Fairfield Glade, which is the name of this area that we temporarily moved to in May while the house is being renovated, is a hotbed for such sales, mostly due to it being populated by older residents. Where we normally live (we will be moving back in less than two months) about 45 minutes away, there are never any such sales, so this has turned out to be one of the few nice things about living here.

Until about a month ago, I had only been getting one or two things per sale, which wasn't really enough to warrant a post. The last three however, have been absolutely amazing, so why not try and make series out of them?

I'm sure a lot of the stuff that will be featured in these posts won't be of much interest to anyone else, but they will give me the occasional break from writing about cards, which is something I really need right now, so hopefully at least a few of you will find this worth viewing.

So let's get to the goods, shall we?

First up we have one of GE's earliest entries in to the burgeoning personal cassette player market, AKA  their attempt to get in on the Walkman craze.

I believe the Walkman was introduced in '79 or '80 (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), and although I can't find a date for this particular model (#3-5430B), I'm assuming based on the sheer size of the player, combined with style, that it's got to be pre '82-83 at the latest. And speaking of size, for those that are curious (I was), this beautiful behemoth weighed in, with four AA's and a cassette, at 1.1 lbs... definitely not for the modern saggy pants wearing crowd.

At $5, I'm sure I overpaid for this one. But what can I say, other then it was love at first sight, so in all likelihood, I probably would have paid twice as much to ensure that it was going to be leaving with me.

Next up, we have not one...

... but two Southwestern Bell Freedom Phone's. Well, technically speaking, the flesh toned one is an AT&T phone, but it's the same style -- and that's all that really matters to me.

I have had a minor obsession with these phones since around 1991 or so, when a young me bought one at a garage sale for a quarter. Now keep in mind, that at the time, I was under the impression that all one had to do to get their phone line/number, was to merely purchase a telephone and plug it in. So the moment I saw this particular phone at the very affordable price of just 25 cents, I immediately envisioned being the envy of all my friends, and more importantly... being an objet de désir to all the girls, as I would be the only boy with his own phone.

Obviously, I ended up learning that you need more than just a telephone in order to get your own telephone number. Not surprisingly, my mom was to keen on paying for me to have my own line, so things didn't end up working out quite like I had imagined, but at least I was still the only kid around to have a phone in their room.

Because of the memories associated with that first one, I have bought more than a few of these over the years, which basically means, if I come across one that's cheap, I buy it!

With their potential for containing early photos of notable people before they were famous, old yearbook's are always fun. This 1951 version of The Fultonian made it's way to Tennessee from Fulton, NY.

Generally I prefer older yearbooks, but this one was intriguing because most of these student photo pages are signed by the respective students, so if there is anyone of note in here, there might potentially be an early signature of theirs as well.

It will probably be a few months before I start going it, but if I find anyone interesting, I will certainly mention it in a future post.

Old tools are not something I had ever planned on collecting, at some point I just started picking up a few here and there, and now I have a small collection. Often, I find myself drawn towards obsolete items, or like this hatchet, items that I find aesthetically pleasing. The initials of A.O. carved near the only add to the overall charm. Now, if I could just come up with a way to display this unintentional collection!

Saving the best for last, I finally got me a stereoscope, which is something I have wanted for quite some time now. For those unfamiliar, these were the precursor to the View-Master.

I have come across these a few times over the years, but there usually missing the view slide (the bit on the left), so to find one complete and at a very reasonable price, was kind of exciting.

You can't see it, but the underside contains the makers mark, which is the very well known American Stereoscopic Co. out of New York.

Hey look! My left hand is making it's first blog appearance.

It does have a bit of wear, but at well over 100 years old, that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

Also included, was this tray of around 30 stereoviews. Try as I might, I wasn't able to get the views in action through the viewer, so I have included a few (minus the 3D effect) to give you an idea as to what was in the lot.

About half the views come from this series of shots from the Savoy region, for those interested in history, I would recommend reading up on the history of Savoy. This particular image is of Interlaken in Bern, below the Jungfrau summit.

And the back.

Here's a neat one of the Giessbach Falls.

There are a few from this series as well. It's much easier for me to use my various foreign language books to translate things, versus using the computer, but since all my books are currently packed up, this one will have to wait to be translated.

I got a whole bunch of stuff at another sale last week that I still need to take pictures of, so for anyone that enjoyed this post, you can expect another one within in the next week or so.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.


  1. I'm an Antiques Roadshow, American Picker, etc type of guy so I enjoy seeing just about anything that someone else loves. My pick would be the scope and cards.

    1. I have never seen American Pickers, but I have been a longtime Roadshow (American and British) fan too. I have always enjoyed reading about/seeing all the things that other people collect. I don't know if you ever saw it or not, but there was a show on A&E in the late 90's called Incurable Collector that was hosted by John Larroquette, which was, in my mind, the best "collectibles" type show ever!

  2. I'm always digging through piles of sterioviews at antique stores. Looking for anything sports related. I've never found any.

    1. I have no trouble imagining you searching through those piles, attempting to find some rare Boston related sports image. I'm sure if you keep looking, you're efforts will be rewarded someday.

  3. I love this kind of stuff. It's like taking a trip back in time. That's why I love walking around flea markets. So many cool items from my childhood.

    1. Well, that's good to know, especially since this (hopefully ongoing) series was heavily influenced by your Flea Market Finds posts.

  4. I love the stereoviews. This is a fun series!

    1. I was thinking that after I get moved back, I might do a follow-up post, and show the rest of the views from this batch. And thank you for the positive feedback.

  5. That walkman is begging to tune into a ballgame.

    1. That, or to pop in the latest Huey Lewis album!

  6. such great finds! the scope is a gorgeous specimen as I've not seen any in one piece. I'm a baseball picker of sorts too, always going through old photos at flea markets and estate sales.

    1. Thanks! If I go somewhere and see old photos for sale, you can bet I'll be digging through 'em. Particular subjects don't really matter though, as I'm looking for really just about anything that catches my eye.