Collector’s Hypoactive Delirium

I feel lower than a bow-legged caterpillar. Lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut. Lower than an ankle bracelet on a flat-footed pygmy. Just down right low. I’ve done the unimaginable; the inexcusable. My entire collectibles collection―the Civil War relics, antique bottles, Native American artifacts, coins and currency, and WW2 pieces―has been boxed away in the dark, inescapable confines of plastic storage containers and cardboard boxes.

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Cigar Store Indians

A carving of a wooden Indian, a red, white, and blue striped pole, three golden balls suspended from a curved bar, and the mortar and pestle―symbols used by early store keepers to advertise and inform a predominately illiterate populace of their respective trades and services. And with only 12% of the people in the world able to read and write in 1820, the use of such symbols wasn’t really an option for business owners, it was a must. This is the story of Cigar Store Indians.

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Grandpa Hide Cash

The stock market crash of 1929 was announced with a loud and thunderous bang on Thursday, October 24th. In the chaotic days that ensued, the market hemorrhaged double-digit losses. Jittery and uncertain of their financial future, the American public cutback their spending and investments. In turn, production and employment rapidly declined. America was in a recession.  

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In June of 1941, the famed General George S. Patton arrived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee along with 11,000 troops and 2,000 vehicles. In short order, as many as 77,000 troops had converged on Middle Tennessee and were soon divided into opposing Red and Blue Armies that would clash in simulated, but realistic, battles that would continue through 1944. When operations ended in ‘44, more than 800,000 troops had occupied more than 2.25 million acres and 22 counties in Middle Tennessee. Read more

No bango, no pay

The first settlers in Hawaii introduced sugarcane to the islands around 600 A.D. Natives harvested sugarcane, or kō in Hawaiian, and consumed it as food and medicine. They chewed it for its sweet juices and the coarse stalk helped to keep their teeth and gums clean. Other parts of the plant were used as food additives, clothing dye, and thatching for shelter. However, Native Hawaiians never cultivated sugarcane directly for its sugar. That changed with the arrival of Europeans.

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General Hooker

Following the Union Army’s embarrassing defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run, Joseph Hooker was appointed brigadier general and ordered to defend Washington, D.C., from further Confederate incursions. Wasting no time, Hooker quickly established a large encampment just outside the city, where he first commanded a brigade, then a division, as part of the effort to organize and train the new Army of the Potomac, under Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan.

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10 Firearms Shaped America

In the United States, civilians own nearly 400 million firearms. That’s three times as many guns as the armed forces of Russia, China, North Korea, Ukraine, United States, India, Vietnam, Iran, South Korea, Pakistan, and all other countries… combined. In short, Americans love guns.

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The War Between the Beards

Perched high upon a hilltop just south of Cloyd’s Mountain in western Virginia, Confederate Brigadier General Albert G. Jenkins gazed down upon the advancing Union Army of West Virginia, under the command of Brigadier General George R. Crook.

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Albert Joyce Riker

In his intellectual lifetime, Joyce’s work brilliantly tackled a plethora of scientific disciplines, from his widely-read publications on the causes and prevention of tree diseases to being an early innovator of the cultivation and harvesting of poplars for wood pulp. He authored the highly esteemed, “Introduction to Plant Diseases,” and was the recipient of numerous awards and honors bestowed upon him for his immeasurable contributions to science.

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Wooden Duck Decoys

Some have argued that art imitates life, while others say that life imitates art. Native Americans would have agreed with both positions. When the colonists first came ashore in North America, they observed Native Americans using mud, cattails, and other organic materials to craft imitations of ducks and other fowl. These decoys would attract live water fowl, which hunters would then capture or kill.

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