recording family history

Most mornings on the drive into work, I’ll have NPR playing on the radio to catch up on the news or the occasional odd story. On most Friday’s, NPR will play a short segment from StoryCorps. For those of you who have never heard of StoryCorps, it is a U.S. based, non-profit organization whose goal is to record and preserve the oral history of Americans from all walks of life. Usually, it is just two individuals sharing a short conversation about their past or discussing a life changing event. Topics cover a whole range of life events and are always interesting. Check out an example at the bottom of this post.

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Like it or not, advertising has long been a powerful force in shaping and depicting our changing moods and social values – for better or for worse. Print advertisements of the late 19th, through the mid-20th century, were notorious for being sexist, racist, and advocating plenty of unhealthy advice. All reasons why collectors flock to antique and vintage ads. Let’s revel in our former ignorance shall we?

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From liquor, beer, and wine, to soda and medicinal bottles, there are many different sizes and shapes for collectors to collect. Physical characteristics such as embossed lettering, shape, and color accounts for much of a bottle’s popularity and value. A bottle’s age, provenance, and overall condition also impacts a bottle’s collectible appeal. For the novice collector to the pro, we’ve put together a few tips to help guide your adventures in bottle collecting.

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I’ve collected all sorts of things over the years. I’ve hunted down arrowheads, saved odd coins I’ve come across, and even collected Buckeyes from trees around our family farm. When I was a kid, my big collecting focus was on baseball cards. I loved picking up a pack when I was out with my parents. I have many fond memories of sitting in the back of the car and peeling back the wax sealed paper on the pack to see what cards I got and which ones I could possibly trade to complete my collection.

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It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Google here at RelicRecord.com. In a previous article, we demonstrated how collectors can use Google’s Reverse Image Search to help find similar items on the web for research purposes. Now we’re going to introduce you to another hidden gem – Google Alerts.

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Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest catchers and most lovable characters, who was an 18-time All-Star, 3-time MVP, and 13-time World Series champion as a player, coach, and manager — but who may be more known for his ingenuous face and the way he masterfully distorted the English language, with what became known as Yogi-isms — passed away on Tuesday. The Baseball Hall of Famer, and WW2 Navy veteran, was 90.

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Back in the late 1920’s a little girl’s love for dolls began to take shape and at age five she taught herself how to make their clothes. The first Shirley Temple doll came out in 1934 but Ruth’s family didn’t have money to spend on store-bought toys. Her father died in 1929 leaving his wife and three children struggling to live on a very meager income out in the country. One day while playing with a neighbor, Ruth asked the child if she could hold her Shirley Temple doll. The child’s hurtful response became the catalyst for what would become a passion for doll collecting later in Ruth’s life. Ruth’s mother, emotionally fragile and caring for three young children alone, had suffered a nervous breakdown and the neighbor child didn’t want someone with a “crazy” mother playing with her doll.

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Over the Labor Day holiday, I spent quite a few hours working on a process for our customers to upload a spreadsheet of their items into to their RelicRecord account. This import process will allow those customers who are already tracking items in spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel, or local databases like Microsoft Access, to upload a list of basic information in a few short steps rather than have to manually create each item in the system. Read more

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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