Friday, February 28, 2014

Having Fun with Self-Promotion Fun on the Social Media

Friday, February 28, 2014
     (Sunny, windy, and very cold)

Having Fun with Self-Promotion
on the Social Media

This happens to be my 700th post on this blog, 
with a total page view count of 145730 at 1250 P.M. EST (Canada).

On February 16, of this month, I added a post about Facebook.  I joined the "social media" of Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook in order to broadcast my blog. So far, it's what I call a "slog". It's going to take work and lots of ideas to get people to visit my blog. Linkedin is more serious,. That's a company and website where you might be looking for work in your field.  You write up tour CV (Curriculum Vitae) or work and background experience. For a wider promotion to reach moire people, you need to pay and depending upon who and how many people you'd like to try and "Link" with, the more you have to pay. I use the no-pay level, so I', not having many people see me.

  Eac of the 3 sites that I've mentioned work differently, and it's interesting and fun to write something on each . However, for today, I'm just going to present the photos (all of my own) that I have added to the three website. I've been photo-editing them both to have some fun, and to grab people's attention. I've go that already on Facebook. but I don't know how that translates into new viewer to my blog. O've joined several Facebook clubs such as old toys, cast iron toys, truck groups and so forth, and I get to post on their sites.,and vice-versa.

That's my own watermark that I've been adding to my own photos. I used to simply have my photos on Picasa and Flickr, and on my blog. Then I started noticing people and companies promoting that big auction sit using my photos for a profit! I had to send a few letters asking them "politely" to remove those photos. Now,whenever I use my own photo, or someone else's each photo had a watermark and a copyright notice. However, even that does;t always deter "borrowers".

Those brighter spots are called "highlights" in photographic terms. I'll usually use small mirrors ore highly-reflective small pieces of  silver cardboard to produce them when taking photographs. However, you can do almost the same with photo-editing software.

When I first started this blog, I'd buy toys on ebay, then resell them. At that time, ebaallowed you one free photo, and 6 others were about $ 1.45. I decided to simply combine 4 photos into a larger one and add that to each listing. It was getting quite expensive to keep  paying for more photos.
 In 2013,  ebay decided to let everyone have 12 free photos,and have the images enlarge for free. I would like to "dream" that my images changed everything on  ebay, but that would be totally dreaming "big time". But I can dream, can't I?

By the way ( as I shamelessness promote by Facebook pages):

I have 3 pages on Facebook:




I think that the differences between the 2 Facebook pages titles "oldantiquetoys" is that one of them is commercial, and one of them is personal. Anyway, I keep busy for about  20 minutes a week adding  photos and some dialogue. It's like a blog, but I only add 1 photo or 2, and some short dialogue. While taking about short dialogue, Twitter is a "blast". You can add only 144 characters, so people add a lot of abbreviations and drop the vowels. I think I'm rewriting the Twitter language, and I also think people might be having trouble figuring out what I'm saying! You can only say so much with 144 characters!

Thanks for dropping by,
and as always, 
have a great part of the day or night.
Please feel free to write to me anytime at:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Toy Outboard Motors

Thursday, February 23, 2013
                     (Cold and Cloudy)

Toy Outboard Motors

Yesterday, I presented Lang's Auctions to you. Normally, I would have introduced my select topic (today) for the post into the introduction, but my great discovery of Lang's Auctions needed to present something else- their unique company of auctioning fishing equipment. If you redirect to that post,you'll understand why. Today's post is about toy outboard mottos. I once had written about these most interesting items. But when I discovered today's auction house on Liveauctioneers, I was most elated.They had more of these fine items that had gone to auction than anyone else.

As you know I'm photographer and I taught pro photography for about 34+ years. When I see super-quality photography from an auction house such as Lang's  Auction, I will always mention this in my post. I appreciate the fine work that goes into presenting their items for market, and this work makes my life a lot easier (not that I overwork writing this blog)when I screen-capture and assemble the photos for a post.

I never knew that these outboard motors could come in the actual gas-powered version. The previous one's that I had seen andj written about were battery-operated.

My father had a real Johnson outboard when I was old enough to go fishing with him. His however was a mere 4 or 5 horsepower. But I always remember than old dark green colour of the motor. Sometimes when I'm on the internet, and and am on a fishing auction page, I have to carefully look to see whether i'm looking at a real motor or the toy version. There are hobbyists who restore these original outboard motors to prime condition as well, and then resell them!

The above photo and the one below belong together as an auction listing.

After 15 years, when my parents had worked very hard, they wear able to afford a motorboat and of course the accompanying motor. My father in the late 1950's or very early 1960's purchased  a Scott motorboat and the accompanying motor similar to the one above. What I remember (if my memory serves me correctly) was the fact that the motor had an odd number for horsepower. 
I think it was a 43.7 horsepower.

In the 1950's and 1960's when, when my brother and sister were still young, and my parents had leisure time in the summer, they would rent a summer cottage, and my bother Michael and I would fish with our father.  Back then, we'd see basically 3 major brands of outboard motors, and all were American. They were the Mercury, the Johnson, and the Evinrude. Eventually times changed. My parents business became very successful, but the sad part is that they ended working 80 hour workweeks. Both died much too young, but the memories of those  fun days shared with my parents and sibling, long ago will forever be with me.

I've seen this photo 1000's of times, but when I scanned it, and then enlarged it,I remembered several things. My wife framed it and placed it in our den. I had forgotten that shiny cowboy belt buckle and than striped pink and white shirt  "a la" early beach boys style, that I wore.  I also had a brush cut, but with no wax,the photo you see has me with flat hair. I also had 32 tooth (all of them) at the time, and you can see the left incisor in the photo. I would later get braces, and have  the 4 wisdom teeth extracted. My waistline was probably 26" (660mm). The station wagon car in back is  a 1959-1962 Dodge. My father always liked Dodge and of course being a family of 7 ( 2 parents, 4 children, and my mother's mother) we needed that.

Old stuff and antiques, especially your own bring back good memories, and I hope you have both.

Thanks for dropping by,
and a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,
Please feel free to write to me anytime at:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Toy Discoveries in the Most Interesting Places

Wednesday,  February 26, 2014
                        (Cold and cloudy)

Toy Discoveries 
in the Most Interesting Places

   I decided to revisit a toy that I had purchased for my brother a few years ago. He had treated me to a fabulous once  in a lifetime trip for salmon fishing in the Queen Charlotte Islands
 (British Colombia, Canada) about 20 miles from Alaska. The trip was unbelievable although we didn't catch as many fishy as I thought we would.  I saw orcas and whales, and  eagles, and  I had more fun catching halibut that fishing for salmon.  I purchased my brother Michael,  a small present, but  last year, I purchased him a miniature battery-operated miniature Johnson 1930's-40's looking outboard motor.

  We grew up with our father Carl who loved fishing,and that transferred to us.  When my father was less fortunate in his early years, he would go fishing from Montreal to Mississquoi Bay near Venise Quebec, on Lake Champlain. He became friendly with Gordon Roy, a second or third generation farmer, who became a fishing outfitter. My father was able to leave his 4 or 5 horsepower Johnson outboard motor there, rather than having to lug it by bus back and forth from Montreal.

   These small motors are quite popular on ebay, and you have to be very patient to be able to buy a used one for a good price. I wrote a post once, as mentioned before, but a few days ago, the idea to revisit these miniatures came into my mind. I went to Liveauctioneers, did a search, and I came across one auctioneer who had sold more of these miniatures that anyone else. I wrote my letter of request, and was elated to receive a letter from Debbie Ganung of Lang's Auction. She is the wife go John Ganung, and both of them own and manage Lang's Auction. As it turns out,  the husband and wife had purchased the company in  2002  from Mr. Lang. 

  Lang's Auction's logo advertises  as "The World's Leading Fishing Tackle Auction". I had not known that when I went to their website, but within 20 minutes I was in awe! They have the most interesting and unique fishing items up for auction with excellent descriptions, and history. But what I was even more amazed was the excellent photography.  The technique is excellent, merchandise is photographed on a white foundation,  then cropped and sized. What also is incredible, like many other fine auction houses that I have had the pleasure to write about are their auction catalogues, and the cover photos for the catalogues.

I don't want to write too much, so for today, I had decided to introduce Lang's Auction for everyone to see what I was talking about.

You'll have to visit the Lang's Auction website, as my blog format limits the size of images that I can post. However, you can see the wonderfully-designed catalogue covers that have been produced for the many auctions over the recent years.

It's interesting to read the descriptions and information about the items up for auction. The resources that the Ganungs must have is extraordinary. I like the information informing us that aluminum  in 1900 was very expensive!

I've never a reel such as the one above before.

The above photo illustrates one of the smallest hook sizes available for fly-fishing. 
I added this to give you an idea of hook and fly-fishing lure sizes.  A fly hook so small would only be used by  fishermen aficionados, who would try to catch a very large fish with the smallest hook possible. Keep in mind that an ultra-thin monofilament line would be used as a leader to attach the hook to the fly fishing line! The line would be as thin or thinner than a human hair, and for sure you'd need magnifying glasses to work with.

I added the information with the photo, and I hope you'll read just a few of them. That fly above is a # 10. As tied-fly sizes go, the smaller the number, the larger the fly.  

For a few winters, I took up the hobby of fly-tying. It's a most amazing hobby, and it requires a very good among of patience, hand-euyeee co-ordination, sandlots of practise!

The above inkwell from a former US President in the early 1900's is most amazing.

The item above is called a "fish decoy". Many USA States and Canadian Provinces now ban this type of "sport", but at one time it was popular and legal. I've read about this sport for winter. What you'd do is dig a hole in the ice, lower a  decoy on a line, wait  for a large fish to come by, and them spear him or her! If you go to the Lang's Auction website, and look for the November 2013 auction, you'll see many beautifully-carved wood minnows and small fish decoys. What's more interesting are the vast array of spear "contraptions" that were invented and patented to spear the fish! 

Of course, my blog is about old and antique toys, and I couldn't leave everyone wondering why I'm writing about fish memorabilia. So below is what I'll be writing about in my next Lang's Auction post - small motors for small toy boats.

The above motors are not the rarest or most expensive, but I didn't want to detract from the other fishing equipment that I had written about above that - I wouldn't want to spoil my readers by giving you too mush in one post!

Thanks for dropping by,
and have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,
Please feel free to write to me anytime at:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bertoia Auctions New Year of Auctions Starts

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bertoia Auctions 
New Year of Actions Starts

   The new year's season of auctions  has started for some, and Bertoia Auctions has posted the upcoming March  auction. I had spoken with Michael Bertoia recently about something else, when I asked him where his fine items coming up for action come from. He mentioned that some come from Europe, which surprise and didn't surprise me.  If you're a world-renowned toy auctioneer, where else to send your toys for action than to Bertoia Auctions. I know of some who recently wanted to sell a painting by a famous European artist. She decided to sent it to Bonham's in London, England to be put up for auction.

   For today, I decided to simply select 4 choice listings, rather than my usual compliment of 10. 

There was no date to indicate when this item might have been made.
It's certainly a very nice and colourful item, and the minimum bidding price was high. It's interesting how Walt Disney's character's gained world attention, and Mickey andMinnie toys would be made in Germany and elsewhere.

There was no date indicated on the description for this fine Schoenhut Humpty Circus,but  it's quite old, and probably from the 1920's. If you look at the bottom photo of the middle diptych ( a paint of photos or art placed together in a frame), you will see the words ""unbreakable jointed". The last word is missing, but must have read "figures". As you can see, these toys are still intact and in very good condition after nearly 100 years!

I selected this fine toy because it was hand-painted. Moreover,the ballerina came with a cloth dress. It's interesting how the musician would have been made from tin with his clothing painted, while the ballerina, also made from ton is clad in delicate fabric with a nice bow around her waist.

The final selection is of a clown teaching a large bird to sing. I couldn't resist the whimsical nature of this toy.  What's interesting both with the preceding toy (musician and ballerina) and the above toy is that both have movement and sound. 

What's interesting to al of the toys is their strong bold and vibrant colour themes, as well as the fact that they have survived for so long through good  and times. 

You have to sometimes wonder what these toys could tell us if they could talk!

Thanks for dropping by,
and have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be.
Please feel free to write to me anytime at: