Tag Archives: flea market

Intercast Gries Reproducer Corp. Jewelry

I found these really great tool charm that actually move! I thought they were perfect for steampunking! First, a little bit of history: the Gries Reproducer Corporation operated out of New York and from the 1950s to 1960s ran giveaways of tool charms (like these) in Cracker Jacks! Pretty neat, huh? 1950 1 Collage

1950 2 Collage1950 3 CollageThe pliers are perhaps my favorite since I do work with them often myself. I made a cute pair of earrings for my mom & I. 1950 4 Collage

1950 5 Collage1950 6 CollageThe scissors are cute too! They remind me of a steamstress!

1950 7 CollageAnd last, but not least, the pocketknife which is by far the most intricate & dainty. Here’s what I made with them!

1950 Earrings CollageI just love gearrings–especially gearrings that appeal to the airship mechanic & tinkerer in all of us!


Filed under Flea Market Finds

Steampunk Flea Market Finds!

I got a lovely care package from my family in New York today. In typical care packages, most people find their favorite sweets and little trinkets & edibles. Mine, however, are filled with machine parts, cuckoo clock innards, and flea market finds from my whole family. It’s really wonderful to get one of these packages and it often results in holing myself up for the next few days and creating lots of new steampunk pieces.

There are so many great finds that I had to share them with you! The first thing I found inside was this dainty little bracelet. Clearly it belonged to a lady named Margaret and was a token of her love of Everett. Margaret & Everett sittin’ in a tree…K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Pieces like this always make me wonder–were they ever married, or did their love had some torrid end? IMG_8234Another treasure I unwrapped was a broken pocketwatch. Some pocketwatches are engraved with a maker’s seal or brand. The most fascinating tidbit of history is that this pocketwatch is stamped with the word “Remontoir” which indicates that this watch is powered by a mainspring on its own. Before 1860, even pocketwatches had to be wound with a clock key. Another wonderful detail is that the clock is engraved with the original owner’s name–a Mr. Irving Abel. IMG_8243

My godmother found this next piece, a silver & pearl pin with the words–“Ais Urites Es Usaugu” written on the front. The pin features a women standing underneath a tree by a lake at sunset. I had searched for a translation of the words to no avail. I believe they are a Latvian dialect & that the woman under the tree is Zeme māte, or Mother Earth, a figure in Latvian dainas (or folktales). If anyone has come across this before, please let me know–I’d love to pick your brain. IMG_8248

My family, knowing my love of old photos, sent me a tintype photograph of 3 young ladies. I am assuming they are sisters. There is no information about them scrawled on the back. I am left to ponder what their names were and what their lives were like. IMG_8235Here’s a close up of the sisters.IMG_8237Among other flea market treasures, there was a whisk-holder which I am happily converting into a business card holder; a wooden puzzle piece of Oklahoma; and some vintage jewelry to upcycle.flea market finds CollageAnother piece that sparked my curiosity were the Springfield Street Railway Co. coins. The company, originally called Palmer and Monson Street Railway, operated out of Springfield, Massachusetts and changed its name in 1901. The coins are from anytime between 1901 and 1927 (when the company stopped its operation and changed to the bus system). A fare was 5 cents. More about the Springfield Street Railway Co. can be found in Albert Sutton Richey’s quantitative study, Traffic and Operation: Springfield Street Railway Company published in 1917.

IMG_8245Well, I am just bursting with ideas & creativity–can’t wait to upcycle these incredible pieces of history!


Leave a comment

Filed under Flea Market Finds, Inspiration

W.S. Rockwell Brass Valve Tags

In my flea market & thrift store travels I often happen upon little pieces of history. My mom and I picked up these brass tags, marked W.S. Rockwell, at a street fair & flea market in NYC in September. Yesterday was a deliciously rainy morning and afternoon so I curled up with some tea and did a little research. Here’s what I discovered:

W.S. Rockwell Co. was established in 1880. The company made furnaces and was chartered in 1908. They owned many patents on their furnace innovations, like this one for a tilting crucible melting furnace. Their main office was located on 50 Church Street in New York City in the Hudson Terminal Building. Their company slogan was “Better Heating, Lower Cost.” Their dedication to a quality furnace and thus quality heat lead them to write a book on their industrial craft in 1922 called The Elements of Industry. The book itself is fascinating–filled with diagrams and explanations of metal working.

I found little about the tags themselves, except that they were used to identify and differentiate between valves. I have a whole key ring of valve 29s. They are beautiful brass tags that certainly reflect the beauty of Rockwell’s furnaces.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flea Market Finds