Advertising stays on top with collectors | News, Sports, Jobs
Here is a famous face from the past, Elby’s Big Boy, a perfect advertising icon for antique lovers.
Weathered to a warm gingerbread color, this bank was first issued by the company in 1938 and even today retains its characteristic cheerful look.
In a culture driven by consumerism, it’s easy to see why promotional items like this attract so many people. Promotional trinkets, signs and advertisements are many colorful treasures that antique enthusiasts never tire of.
As a social statement, advertising collectibles offer a fascinating look at what was bought and sold at a given time and are a clear indication of social values and trends.
Plus, it’s great fun to read old slogans and advertising ploys, like advertisements from around 100 years ago that advertise beer as “cool, refreshing, invigorating…with all the vitalizing properties of hops, the vigor and strength of the malt”. No need for a warning at the time.
Nostalgia is the main reason collectors seek out these treasures in my opinion, as they take you back in time for a moment and provide an escape from the anxiety of the day.
Another attractive collectible point for giveaways is the fact that the hobby can fit any budget, even if you’re just starting out. Ad treasures can be found between $10 and thousands of dollars, depending on the item’s rarity, condition, and location of sale.
Think of the people who happily collect free gifts from fast food restaurants. Inexpensive, yet fun, these trinkets have become a passion. Many of them won’t hold much value for long, so it’s wise to collect what you really like, and not base it on investment thinking or resale value.
Creative design and the competitive desire to sell goods means advertisements and promotions need to be smart and eye-catching. Collectors use this inherent visual appeal to amass a selection of advertising art that can be displayed in their homes as part of the decor.
Today’s column features two publicity collectibles that focus on Wheeling and offer a nostalgic glimpse of the Friendly City.
Besides the Big Boy, this beautiful antique clock, offered as a bonus by Speidel’s grocery store in Wheeling, is a stunner. Given as a bonus to their best customers to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the state of West Virginia, the Speidel clock is made of heavy brass and includes an inkwell.
The earliest advertising antiques that can be found are generally from the late 1800s. Porcelain signs were made as early as 1890 and signs are one of the most sought after promotional items by fans. Check out advertisingantiques.co.uk for a wealth of international advertising information.
Tin containers, used to package consumer goods ranging from crackers and coffee to tobacco and talcum powder, are also particularly desirable. After 1880, such boxes could be decorated by the use of lithography.
The designs have become intricate and very attractive and make fine collectibles today. And it wasn’t until 1906 that the Pure Food and Drug Administration came on the scene, guarding consumer rights and demanding an end to outrageous claims and false advertising. The legal watchdog also demanded that the brand name of the product and the name of the manufacturer be listed on the labels.
Some of the most recognized symbols in the world are advertising symbols. Alumni who are leading with Coca-Cola include Buster Brown Shoes, the Campbell Kids, Mr. Peanut, Red Goose Shoe Company and RCA dog, Nipper.
Whichever your favourite, advertising offers a colorful way to collect and share a hobby! And as a topic of conversation, old advertising trinkets are unbeatable!