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Civil War Sketches of Adolph G. Metzner

While photographs from earlier conflicts exist, the American Civil War is widely recognized as the first major war to be extensively photographed. Thanks in large part to such photographers as Alexander Gardner, Mathew Brady, and Timothy O’Sullivan, for the first time in history, ordinary citizens could view the carnage of war waged on faraway battlefields. As intriguing as their photographs are, I’ve always found them to be incomplete. They seem to lack the emotion and intimacy of what it was like to be a soldier―both on and off the battlefield. It’s for that reason, that I’ve always been drawn to the artwork created by the men that actually fought the war. Read more

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Valentine’s Day Bizarre Origins

Valentines Day Origins

The origins of Valentine’s Day, its namesake, and the date it’s celebrated on, are all shrouded in a murky cloud of paganism, Christianity, martyrdom, poetry, and a healthy dose of speculation. And here you thought Valentine’s Day was all about sappy cards, heart-shaped chocolates, red roses, sparkling jewelry, and fancy feasts! Read more

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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Antiques

Cracker Barrel Antiques Blog

Growing up, I was raised on a steady diet of southern comfort food dished out by Cracker Barrel restaurants. To this day, I’m well acquainted with the Fancy Fixin’ menu and the wide array of antique décor that precariously hangs from every conceivable surface inside the Old Country Store. While the food is diabetically delicious, it’s the antiques that have always caught my attention and sparked my curiosity. I’ve often wondered why certain objects are selected for display, where they come from, and if they’re real. Read more

Sniffing Out Antiquities

Sniffing Out Antiquities

Detection dogs have long been used to identify a variety of objects and substances, including illegal drugs, currency, firearms, explosives, fire accelerants, human remains, bodily disease, pests, and agricultural goods to name just a few. Now one organization wants to add another object to that list, cultural antiquities. Read more

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Extinction of Civil War Relics Shops

The rickety wooden floors pop and squeak under the weight of my footsteps. The dull hum and soft glow of display lights creates a warm and inviting ambiance. The air is filled with a bouquet of earthy notes, hints of acidity, a tang of linseed oil and vanilla, over an underlying mossy dankness. Those unmistakable smells are not that of a well-aged Merlot, but that of the Civil War relics shops that I frequented in my youth. Shops that might as well be listed as “endangered”, right alongside the Civil War battlefields whose history they so beautifully bring alive. Read more

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Carved Civil War Bullets

During the American Civil War (1861-1865), soldiers on both sides of the conflict spent more time in camp; or marching, than they did fighting. While resting in camp, soldiers wrote letters to loved ones, read, smoked, played music, gambled, or whittled away their worries on just about any object they could get their hands on. And for most soldiers, their ammo pouch provided the perfect material. Read more

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Virginia Wine & Civil War Artifacts

Virginia Wine and Civil War Relics

For those of you that follow our blog, it should come as no surprise to you that I’m an unabashed nerd when it comes to Civil War history and artifacts. As such, I would like to dedicate this article to a delightful “nerd moment” that I recently experienced at The Winery at Bull Run. Read more

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Top 10 Articles of 2017

In 2017, if we weren’t writing code for RelicRecord.com, we were writing articles for our readers to enjoy. The topics we write about are largely dictated by the interests of our readers. Simply put, we do our best to give people what they want! So what exactly do our readers want? Well, according to our data, here are the 10 most read, shared, and talked about articles of 2017. Enjoy! Read more

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Collectible Antique Cash Registers

Collectible Cash Registers

Early cash register manufacturers had to sell their registers not just on functionality, but also on beautiful, ornate design. These early fixtures had to be the shiny, crown jewel of the shopkeeper’s establishment―a shrine to the money they held. Those are the same attributes that draw the interest of today’s collector.    Read more

Red Ryder BB Gun For Christmas

Red Ryder BB Gun Christmas

Ralphie Parker wanted one thing for Christmas. “I want an official Red Ryder, carbine-action; two hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time!” Even if your Mom, teacher, and Santa Claus insist that “you’ll shoot your eye out,” we’re right there with you Ralphie – a Red Ryder BB Gun would be pretty sweet. Read more