Entries by Will Adams

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Dog License Tags

Owney, a scruffy Terrier mix, wandered into the annals of dog tag history when he trotted into the Albany, New York, post office in 1888. With a peculiar attraction to the scent of mailbags, Owney soon became a fixture at the post office.

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3 Ways to Remove Rust from Iron

Rust. One of the most formidable enemies of antique collectors the world over. Not only is rust visually unappealing, it’s a bona fide antique killer! Given enough time, oxygen, and water (moisture), an iron object will inevitably transform to rust and disintegrate. The longer rust is allowed to persist, the more it devours its host. […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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Where Did Grandpa Hide His 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 […]

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Jerry Cans Helped Win World War 2

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 […]

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 […]

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General Hooker’s Sweet Bella Hay

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 […]