There is nothing worse than finding an item you are looking for only to find the information given is sparse or, even worse, incorrect. This does happen mostly within the secondhand/preloved online market.
Obviously if an item is boxed then all the information needed is printed on that box, however it’s the unboxed older/vintage items that can cause the most concern. You want to know the age of these things, so a date of manufacture is always useful but rarely stamped on the item. A makers name can help too and that is sometimes present on the item. Materials can also help. Sometimes you have to research. I know not everyone enjoys it but personally I do! I find it interesting, sometimes exciting, and I have had many ‘I didn’t know that’ times.
Who knew that Yale was founded in 1844 in Connecticut USA? I had assumed Yale was British and didn’t realise they had been around for as long as they have.
The item I was researching was, surprisingly, a Yale lock! It looked quite old and it was boxed. The box gave us some clues obviously, company name ‘The Yale Towne Manufacturing Company’, this was our starting point and where we went to find out the above information, but we still couldn’t be sure of the locks age. We had two sets of instructions in the box, both for the same lock but with different company names on them. One ‘Yale Towne Manufacturing Co.’ the other ‘Eaton Yale & Towne’. What we discovered was that a company called Eaton bought Yale Town Man . Co. in 1963 merging with other business’s Eaton owned, thus renaming Yale Town ‘Eaton Yale & Towne’ up until 1973 when the name was changed again. This dates the lock at some where between 1963 and 1973 making it a vintage item.
Why is it important to get dates right? With todays technology there is a trend for creating products that look old/vintage, most are easy to spot and are not meant to mislead people into believing they are genuine, it would also be very wrong of us to sell such an item as vintage so dating is very important to us. We also like to link to some of the pages with the information on, not only as proof but also because we hope that you will enjoy reading the info too.
Here is just one example Yale History
I thought it would be good to give an insight into how the weather can and does affect business. Actually it’s not just the weather, seasons and events can all effect businesses in general, both positively and negatively, I’ll save that for a later blog. For now let’s talk about the weather!
Dealing in vintage/retro items our favourite places for sourcing products are charity shops and boot sales. Of course charity shops are there all year round and in most weather conditions, but boot sales are very seasonal. We always look forward to the spring, especially Easter, as this is when the boot sale ‘season’ begins. Usually the weather is fine and dry and the boot sales are busy. Charity shops tend to go a little stale at this time too, so it’s good to use other sources and see new/unseen items. Sadly the spring and summer this year has not been good. Boot sales have not been opening, even if the weather on the day has been good, the amount of rain before has made the ground too wet and muddy to use. I think we had one weekend that we were able to go and because the weather was as good as it was on that day, everyone decided to stay at home or go to the beach instead! This meant there were not many stalls/boots to look at. We watch the weather forecasts avidly, hoping for good news, indeed we have had optimistic forecasts on several occasions, only to have that go to pot because the jet stream changed direction without warning! Looking on the bright side, summer is not over yet and with the rest of July, all of August and possibly some of September still to come, we should be able to get to a few boot sales and find some special treasures.
Photo Credit Stroud News and Journal
It all started with a good old fashioned clear out. We had 3 sheds, 3 lofts and a caravan packed to over flowing with our children’s old toys along with our own old toys, things we couldn’t bear to throw away. It was now or never. looking back it was a good thing.
When ever we saw Brian’s mum, bless her, she always seemed to have yet another box of Brian’s stuff left behind when he moved out, boxes that were put in a shed without having been looked in first. It was time to sort it out.
Old school books and reports were read, laughed over, cried over and reminisced over with a general consensus of ‘those really were the best years of our lives’. There were of course old photo’s of family members we didn’t recognise, ornaments that had outstayed their welcome, tools/equipment broken or no longer useful. There were comics and magazines, mostly used as bedding by mice, various coins and keys in abundance, postcards, greetings cards and calendars. All shrouded in that old musty smell of age. Then the toys! Dolls with bad haircuts and biro make up, cars with little paint remaining & missing wheels, various toy guns and marbles, lots and lots of marbles, childrens cooking toys filled with stale mud pies, old rusty batteries, broken crayons and pens. A lot of these things were not expensive, valuable or in a good enough condition to give away let alone sell, sadly most ended up going to toy heaven, some were taken to various charity shops, a few of them surprised us and in among all this we found it, the item that sparked our Pre-loved to Re-loved ideal!
A DALEK!! Not any old Dalek but one that turned out to be quite special, rare and a collectors dream. Oh and of course it evoked many happy memories for Brian.
Information and Photo credit to Doctor Who Toy Box
Made in 1965 by Herts Plastic Moulders Ltd Uk for sale exclusively through Woolworths at 4s 11d. Silver/Grey in colour and standing appx 7” tall it was sold in a plain plastic bag with a card insert.
Our Dalek In Excellent Condition.
We only had the Dalek but it was in excellant condition. So what made this originally cheap item so rare and valuable @ £200+ ?
It’s because it was such a cheap toy, hollow plastic that would easily split and with arms that were lost many were thrown away, forgotten in the mists of time itself. Who knew?
As Brian was and still is a big Doctor Who fan several other related toys were found that are also collectable, remember The Rolykins? 1” high Daleks that moved around on a ball bearing?
Another one of ours.
And The Swappit? Daleks with 3 swappable sections that could be interchanged? Our children also grew up to be big fans, lucky enough to have the new Doctor Who series. They too have had the joy of opening related presents on Christmas morning, Tardis, remote controlled Daleks, K9 and of course various action figures.
So it seems this time travelling hero, his companions and his enemies have all become timeless and are still as loved today as they were in the beginning, hence our pre-loved items have gone on to become re-loved by someone else.
It all started almost a year ago and we are enjoying what we do even more. Who wouldn't enjoy playing with, sorry, testing old toys/games? Being taken back to childhood fun and having a reason/excuse for acting like a big kid?
It can also be interesting and educational researching older items for more information on manufacture, materials, companies etc.
For example, the material this item is made from was the precursor to Bakelite. We found the information so interesting we included a link in the product description for your enjoyment.
Although we have a large stock of items by their very nature a lot of the items are hard to find but we’re always on the look out and if there’s something that you are after, drop us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our very best to source it for you.
We will of course keep you updated/informed via this blog.
This is where we will be publishing our blogs. We will try and make them interesting for you and topics we have in mind are items detailing the history of some of the makers of the products we sell such as Dinky, Invicta Games or Waddingtons for example.
We may also cover information on a typical buying day out and what we managed to obtain.
If you have any other suggestions drop us an email to email@example.com or use the contact us form on the home page.