Saturday, October 29, 2011


Sunday, October 30, 2011


     I thought I'd get off topic today and write about collecting. My father liked to go fishing and naturally he took my brother and I fishing as kids. We continued long after my father had passed on, and the sport "stayed in our blood." When my wife and I moved into our house in 1992 (which seems a century ago), I got to decorate the downstairs bathroom. Unsurprising, I decided to decorate with fish memorabilia. 

    Naturally, when I decided to decorate with fish items, I had trouble finding them. There are millions of fishermen and lady fishers, but try and find fish decor items and I might as well be looking for moon rocks. Over time though, friends and relatives to our house would bring us fish  gift items. After about 18 years, I had had enough items and ran out of wall space, and I gently asked people to stop bringing me fish items.

   So today's blog portion is about my fish items in my bathroom. I decided to "clean up" the images for 2 reasons. The first was because the camera captures a lot more detail than the human eye. There was lots of dust, dried water marks on the wall, toothpaste splatter, and poorly-composed framing in a confined area. The bathroom is only 12 feet x 12 feet  or 3.75 meters x 3.75 meters.

My brother lugged this item from Calgary

I found this in a nice sailing novelty store in Montgreal

This was bought at a Christmas Gift Item Convention

The topmost item is from Native Indian Art from British Colombia (Canada).
The 2 metallic/wood brightly-coloured fish are from a sale
at our Montreal Museum of Fine Arts store.

Assorted glass, plastic, and wood items from all over.
The bottommost is from our friend who bought this for my birthday.
It's a reproduction of a fish decoy lure.
I only learned about fish decoy lures maybe 8 years ago. I assume, they're used during ice fishing. You drop the lure in the hole in the ice (probably shallow), wait for a fish to come by, and you spear it.
Spearing is illegal in Quebec.

A keychain holder

My sister bought me this item, and the magnets were my purchases.

Another keychain holder.
I use it as a towel holder - it works well.

Another birthday, and another gift from my brother in Calgary

A corner view of my bathroom with a collective photo of many items.

A view to the left of my sink.
I gave a student from Newfoundland money to bring me back something "fishy" from Newfoundland, when he went home for Christmas break. He purchased the small yellow dory boat in the lower right corner.

An upper view of the previous photo to the left of  my sink

I did a small favour for my doctor.
When he went to the Philippines to visit his family he brought back these fine porcelain knife rests.
During a meal, you can place your knife or fork on them.

I have a great picture framing salesperson who always has great ideas for what I might bring him.
I leave it up to him to create interesting new ways to present my items. In this case, he decided to glue them to a piece of thin clear plastic. That worked out just fine.

Now, how could I have a fishing entry without actually talking about fishing!
My brother asked me several years to go fishing with him in British Colombia.
We went in the the third week of August. I didn't know what to expect, although I knew that this place was a 5-star fishing resort. I'm used to "roughing it", so you'll see that this was not for the "rough at heart".

The "resort" is called  the West Cost Fishing Club

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Smith-Miller Toy Line

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Smith-Miller Company Toy Line

     If you've been following this blog, then you'll know that I was running out of my own photos to use. With the current recession seeming to never end (my personal opinion) for the majority of us, I decided to consolidate my assets by reducing my inventory. It's been difficult to sell my toys lately, except for a huge success of 11 of 14 of my Tootsietoy Grahams. Even those I had to reduce in price, and sell them individually. So now, I still have about 100 toys to sell.

       I decided to again make a Request from the E-Bay community for the use of their photos. I got a great and positive response from almost 95% of the people with whom I sent the request. I decided to write a blog installment (Instalment Canadian Spelling)  on the Smith-Miller toys.  These toys are out of my price range in the 10 months that I've been selling toys. However, they interested me because they usually have a lot of bidders, and they're in the higher-price range for toys. Also, they're very attractive as toys!

      Due to the huge success of my "plea" to the toy world people for photos, this blog will be more-lengthy than usual to give everyone's images a chance to be seen. It will be on-going for several days after today. Also, I have the blog instalment previous to this ((Bill Krejci- Master Toy Restorer), and my other blog installment on ProPhotoLearning. 

     History of the Smith-Miller Company 

    Smith-Miller Toys began business in 1945 and stayed in business for 10 years. They were located in Santa Monica, California. Years later, thanks to Mr. Fred Thompson and his son Tim Thompson, the company came back to life. From what I read on LiveAuctionTalk by Rosemary McKittrick, Mr. Thompson as a young boy had played with these fine toys, and as an adult still had the toys, and was looking for parts for them. And as they say, the rest is history. Mr Thompson contacted the owner of the company, and the discussions led to Mr. Thompson purchasing the company in 1979.  According to Rosemary McKittrick, There are currently 48 different trucks that are being made by the Smith-Miller, Inc. company. Also, each truck comes with a serial number, and the production is limited in the total number produced. What's also interesting as well, is that you can purchase replacement parts from the company.

      Rosemary McKittrick tells the story and so if your interested to read a great article, please go to: 

      So lets' have a look at all of the fine images and toys that everyone so graciously allowed me to use for this article. 

     I've used the E-Bay ID's of everyone to credit their photos. If you go to E-Bay, and do an advanced search, you can then enter the ID in order to find merchandise for sale by seller.

                     Also, please respect the owners' rights of
                 their photos by not copying them!

     I've listed them by alphabetical order of the people who allowed me to use their photos. Right now, I'm only showing you the photos. However, when I have more time, I will gladly go to the original e-Bay site to look for the descriptions and add them if I didn't include them now.

Also, in most cases, I've identified the owners from their e-Bay ID's. In a few cases the contributors didn't need to be identified.

 United States Army Cargo Mack Truck
20" (L) x 7 1/2" (H)

 United States Army Cargo Mack Truck
20" (L) x 7 1/2" (H)

 Vintage 1950's Smith & Miller "Miller Ironson Corp. of California Tow Truck
17" (L) x 6" (W) x 11" (H)

Vintage 1950's Smith & Miller "Miller Ironson Corp. of California Tow Truck
17" (L) x 6" (W) x 11" (H)

Vintage Smith & Miller Mack Truck
It's 19" long and manufactured of cast aluminum and pressed steel.

Vintage Smith-Miller Pacific International Express  Trailer.
18" (L) x 6" (W) x 6" (H)

A Rare Smith-Miller Eldon Miller Tanker

Photo Courtesy of Little Marz

    This truck isn't a Smith-Miller.
While asking for photos, I guess I mistook this nice toy as a Smith-Miller.
So since I asked the person for permission to use his/her photos, I thought I present it anyway.
It's an All-American Toy Company Truck

All Photo Credits are given from the respective owners E-Bay ID names.

This is the article for now. I may add more history.
I was waiting for the Thompsons (Owners of the Smith-Miller Company) to see if they might allow me to use some of their narration from their site. If not I'll look on the Net for info.

I might have a few more contributors to add in the next few days.
If anyone finds any error or typos, or wants me to add anything, please feel free to e-mail at my e-bay address.

I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for answering my call for help. You've all helped to make this instalment a very nice addition to my blog.

If anyone reading this would like to add  different photos to items that I have not shown, please feel free to contact me.

(Mr.) Stacey Bindman


If ever anyone who helped me out needs some assistance to improves some of their photos. please feel free to send me an 
Have a look at my other blog at:

I'll be glad to be of assistance.