On this Labor Day, we revisit the role propaganda posters played in helping America win WWII. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government realized that the production of war material was going to be crucial to its success in fighting both Japan and Germany.

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Since the time of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), and perhaps before then, soldiers across every continent have spent their idle time converting military accoutrements and implements of war into decorative pieces of art. Common materials used to create such artwork include bone, artillery shells, lead bullets, canteens, and brass shell casings.

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Coins have been altered for centuries for a variety of reasons including boredom, art, love, and mockery. Popular in the 1850’s and 1860’s, love tokens were made of coins that were smoothed and then engraved to showcase a person’s initials, a personal message, or a decorative design. Often mounted as a pin or worn as a necklace, the altered coin was given to loved ones as a keepsake.

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RelicRecord.com founders Will and Mitch appeared on American Digger Magazine’s Relic Roundup podcast to share why maintaining thorough records of your collectibles is so important, tips on organizing your collection, and how your feedback can help them build a product you’ll use and enjoy. Listen here…

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So why do we collect stuff? There have been a few theories tossed around on the subject; and of course, psychological explanations as well. In fact, one needs to look no further than Sigmund Freud for such entertaining enlightenment.

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In recognition of America’s 20th anniversary of independence, on July 4, 1795, patriot Paul Revere, Massachusetts Governor Samuel Adams, and Colonel William Scollay buried a time capsule underneath a cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House―the same building that is topped by a copper dome made by Revere’s company, the Revere Copper Company.

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Oh Google. In 2014 we used Google to search everything from Ebola to Flappy Bird, Zombies, and Giant Mutant Spider Dog. In fact, we searched more than 2 trillion times. That’s well over 5 billion searches per day!

While most of us use Google to conduct research on the things we collect, you may not be aware of a lesser known search tool: Reverse Image Search. Instead of beginning your search with keywords or questions, simply use a picture to initiate your search.

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The details associated with an artifact should be considered as equally important as the object itself. Thorough documentation enriches an object’s intrinsic value, gives it meaning and context, and results in a stronger understanding of its uniqueness.

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The United States Postal Service™ began its commemoration of the 150th year anniversary of the Civil War in 2011. A souvenir sheet with two stamp designs has been issued each year, from 2011 to 2015. Under the direction of Art Director Phil Jordan, historical lithographs, paintings, and chromolithographs were selected for the stamp designs.

Here’s a quick snapshot of each year’s commemorative stamps with additional commentary from the Postal Service:

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