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Famous Monsters of Playtime
By James Burrell
Children have always loved monsters. There’s a fascination with those misshapen, sometimes scary, other times wretched, pitiable creatures that even when they’re afraid of one “being under their bed” or “in their closet”, little boys (and girls) still love to watch movies, read books and of course, play with toys based on them.
As hard as it is to believe nowadays, prior to the 1960's there were next to no monster-related toys or collectibles available on the North American market. With the exception of early 1950’s EC horror-based comics like Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror (which were not specifically marketed at children, but being read by them), monster and horror entertainment was thought of as adult-only fare. Eventually, these comics were to come under fire as being psychologically damaging to children, and the final nail on their coffin was the release of a 1954 book entitled Seduction of the Innocent by Dr. Fredric Wertham. In it, the prominent psychiatrist cited horror comics as a cause of juvenile delinquency, leading to concern from parents and educators. As expected, the publications were quickly pulled from newsstands. With EC Comics losing money, the books soon stopped being published.
Collecting "Bee Hives" Don Pillar
Billy Harris was a twenty year old rookie centreman with the Toronto Maple Leafs when he saw his photo on a Bee Hive in 1955. He subsequently went on to play ten seasons with the Leafs and was a contributing member of three consecutive Stanley Cup winning teams. He clearly met his challenge of becoming a member of the “Bee Hive” collection. Today for collectors like myself, the challenge of Bee Hives is not to become a member of the set, but rather to complete the Bee Hive collection! At this point, you may be asking yourself, “What on earth are Bee Hives?” The answer is simple. Bee Hives are 4 1/4 by 6 3/4 inch black and white photos of hockey players mounted on 5 3/8 by 8 inch coloured mats (red, blue but most often beige).
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When the two young, Edwardian ladies pictured in Kathryn Hansuld Lamb's book, The Quiet Hobby, deposited a letter into a King Street, Berlin, Ontario, (now Kitchener), street letter box in 1912 they could not have imagined that the little, red mail box would some day become a sought-after collectible item. Although these particular types of street letter boxes were fastened to lamp or hydro poles, much as some are even today, their predecessors known as pillar boxes, dating from the 1850s, were stand-alone models that measured...
The History of Coca-Cola Helen Nash
The product that has given the world its best-known taste and led to a memorabilia craze was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist, produced the syrup for Coca Cola® and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it was placed on sale for 5 cents a glass at the soda fountain. Carbonated water was added to produce a drink that was at once "Delicious and Refreshing," a theme that continues to echo today wherever Coca Cola is enjoyed...
Chalet Glass Conrad Biernacki
It was huge. It was very heavy. It was very, very orange. And it was one of the strangest objects my parents ever owned. Given pride of place in the centre of a small table in front of the dining room window, it glowed in the afternoon sunlight. And it’s still there today. I was intrigued by it as a teenager, and it still draws my attention many years later. Identical to the orange bowl shown here, it was made by Chalet Artistic Glass in Cornwall, Ontario, in business from 1962 to 1975. The company actually began in Montreal as Les Industries de Verre et Miroirs in 1958, changing its name to Murano Glass in 1960