During the American Civil War, Mathew B. Brady, Alexander Gardner, and other photographers enjoyed tremendous business success due in large part to the popularity of the carte de visite (abbreviated CDV). Cartes de visite provided soldiers, family and friends with an affordable way to share photographic portraits with one another. Cartes de visite provided a soldier with a picture of what he was fighting for; his family. And for those on the Homefront, cartes showcased images that helped explain the war. Read more
While taking photos of interesting artifacts at a recent Civil War show, a gentleman approached me with an item he wanted photographed. He opened his clinched fist to reveal a nondescript piece of metal that he proceeded to drop into the palm of my awaiting hand. Read more
We recently worked the 38th Annual Southeastern Civil War and Antique Gun Show in Marietta, GA. In addition to enjoying the rich history on display, we also got a chance to visit with some old friends. I was reminded of the time many of us spent together just a year before, trading stories of some of our favorite Civil War artifacts and recoveries. In case you missed it, here’s a small sampling…
Several years ago, I recovered a Saint Christopher medal from the grounds of a WW2 training area in middle Tennessee. Immediately intrigued by the medal, its meaning, and why a solider would have worn it, I took a closer look at the relationship between Saint Christopher and the military.
Do you collect or deal in coins, currency, art, fossils, pottery, stamps, or old-world relics? Come to think of it, do you collect anything of moderate to significant monetary value? If so, caveat emptor “let the buyer beware!” Read more
From the decorative to the mundane, I’ve always been intrigued by clay tobacco pipes. They’re some of the most curious artifacts in my personal collection because of the stories they tell. Just by looking at a pipe, I begin to imagine the type of person that would have smoked it– their social lot in life, political leanings, sense of humor, and other quirky attributes. Read more
If your collectibles were lost, damaged, or stolen, would they be covered by insurance?
When asked this question, most people would emphatically respond, “Yes, of course it is.” Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Most collectors wrongly assume that their collection is adequately or wholly covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy. Read more
Have you ever come across something that’s interesting but have no idea what it is or what its potential value may be? Officially known as a “Thingamajig,” I’ve come across many of these in my travels and have found a few places that have been helpful in my attempts to find out “what the heck is this thing?” Let’s take a look at a few of them… Read more
While violence and destruction reigned supreme during the Civil War, the American Bible Society (ABS) waged another kind of war; a war for the souls of the fighting men. The ABS, along with other religious-based organizations, began to distribute pocket Bibles to both Confederate and Union soldiers. By December 1861, the ABS was printing and distributing approximately 7,000 New Testament pocket Bibles a day to soldiers in both armies. Read more
If you’ve ever traveled by air, chances are you’ve had at least one friendly encounter with our Nation’s most competent and resilient aviation security force, the TSA. The sound of latex gloves snapping into place, followed by a deep gravelly voice letting you know that things are about to “get real” can be quite an experience. Read more