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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 able to read and write in 1820, the use of such symbols wasn’t really an option for business owners, it was a must. This is the story of Cigar Store Indians.

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Clay Pipes Blog

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