Swedish born and living in San Francisco, he is regarded as the one of best wood carvers of the Scandinavian style of flat plane carving genre. Known for his figurines and detailed facial expressions. His work is very sought after.
Much of his work was done at the Russian River in Sonoma County. He liked to work with the Northern California Alder wood.
The copper plate money minted in Sweden during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was in essence a government experiment focused on using natural resources both as physical currency and as an exported commodity. Copper has been mined in Sweden since the Middle Ages and the minting of copper coinage began in 1624 with round and small klippe pieces being produced. During this same time Spanish demand for copper increased with the minting of subsidiary coinage and across Europe production of copper dropped, creating an advantageous situation for the Swedes. Having settled the intrinsic domestic value of copper to silver by law in 1643, the selling of copper coinage as an export commodity became an even more appealing prospect. The only hitch in this situation was the costs associated with minting individual round coins, with 32 one-Ore coins needed to equal one Daler. In order to reduce these costs and increase their profit margin Swedish authorities turned to the miners who had been pulling copper out of their land for centuries. Copper plates had been produced at mines for years and were an easy way for raw copper to be transported; all that was needed to make these into the coins we know today were the five stamps placed in the corners and center of the plates. The first of these official plates were the 10 Daler SM issues of 1644 weighing in at a hefty 19.72 kilograms. In subsequent issues smaller more manageable denominations of 8, 4, 2, 1 and ½ Daler were struck and easily exported. For over 130 years (with the exclusion of only a few brief periods) this form of currency was minted and traded to countries in Europe and as far away as India and the Pacific. Even after the plates became obsolete as a form of currency they were still desirable as an export due to their uniform shapes and weights. So much was exported, in fact, that despite millions of these plates having been made, fewer than 15,000 are known to exist today.
This example was salvaged off of the 1783 shipwreck "NICOBAR". The "AFRS" stamp in the upper left hand corner is dated 1756, the year if it's manufacture. Note the missing right side and the two right corner stamps, lost to the corrosion and erosion of 230 years in the Southern Atlantic.
Two South Africans, spearfishing on the west coast of South Africa in 1986 found the remains of a ship carrying 3,000 examples of Swedish Platmynt, the largest circulating coins ever minted.
Platmynt or plate money was minted in Sweden between 1644 and 1809 where it both helped and confused the Swedish economy. Sweden's currency system was based on silver, but Sweden produced no silver and traded its copper to get silver for coins. In the early 17th century Swedish copper mines produced two-thirds of Europe's copper. Most of that copper was exported to Spain for small denomination coinage.
In 1624, Sweden began producing copper coins to match the denominations of smaller silver coins. Although the copper coins were issued in the same denomination as the silver coins, the copper coins were just much larger. The value of copper in relation to silver kept changing. At one point the domestic price of copper fell so low that Swedish investors bought copper coins and sold them abroad as bullion. Finally in 1643, the value of copper was fixed by law, but the idea of copper coins as a commodity had also become fixed.
Meanwhile Sweden's Falu copper mine had been producing large ingots of unrefined copper, some being several inches thick and weighing as much as 43 pounds. With the placement of a circular seal on each corner showing the date, the Swedish crown and the initials of Queen Christiana, the plates became coins.
Each plate was stamped with a denomination. The largest, the 10-Daler plates, were struck in 1644 and 1645 and only 10 of those 26,774 plates exist. Weighing 43 pounds, they were too large for circulating coins and in 1646 the Swedish Government decreed that the largest denomination would be the 8-Daler plate, a 35-pound coin.
Fortunes of the Platmynt varied in the next hundred years according to the value of copper both in Sweden and in other countries. By 1698 the copper coins were considered more of a commodity than circulating coinage and export restrictions were placed on all the plate coins. Although a large number of 2- and 4-Daler plates was minted and exported between 1720 and 1745, reliance on bank notes and paper money caused a decline in the use of Platmynt.
In 1771, the Platmynt ceased being considered as money and most of the plates remaining in Sweden were exported in the 1780's during a time of high copper prices worldwide. The plates found in 1987 were being shipped by the Danish East India Company to the Nicobar Islands and to Danish trading posts on the Indian coast. The ship, the Nicobar, picked up cargo in Cronborg, Sweden on July 23, 1782. Sailing for the Cape of Good Hope, the Nicobar was forced to land on the west coast of Africa to replenish food stocks and crew, many of whom were too ill to continue.
On May 20, 1783, the Nicobar entered False Bay, South Africa, and took on 18 sailors and several women who had survived an earlier shipwreck. The Nicobar left False Bay on July 10th and met a severe storm that night and ran aground. Almost 3,000 pieces were excavated, many showing evidence of the straw packing of their shipping containers. Sixty coins were retained by museums; the rest were returned to the skindivers.
In 1926 Manuel Gorriaran founded Hook-Fast Specialties, Inc. by introducing what was then a newly invented style of belt buckle called the “Hook-Fast Can’t Slip Buckle”. Before long, customers began to request other items and Hook-Fast responded and expanded the business to include badges, tie clasps, name plates, money clips, and key chains. In the 1940s they started to make midget car pins and other track and street racing cars.
These crossed checkered flags were made by Hookfast as racing trophy awards. Here is a 1947 and a 1955 example. This gives an idea as to when the race car pins were made.
Many other vehicles of the day were immortalized in nickel plated, enameled metal pins. Pictured here is a panel van and a classic 1940s type of motorcycle.
Besides race cars and street rods, Hook-Fast made a lot of 18 wheeler type of trucks, ambulances, fire engines and more. Many of these enameled vehicles were applied onto belt buckles for the workers that drove these for a living. Some of the trucking companies had Hook-Fast apply their trucks onto hat badges - As drivers of the day wore a uniform with a visor hat.
I found my first Hook-Fast racing car pin at a Massachusetts flea market around 2001. I was lucky enough to find this collection for sale on Ebay in 2013. The person that put this together was associated with midget car racing in New Jersey.
In 2013 I noticed I find a lot of dimes. I kept track of every dime that I found in 2014 and put each one in a tin on my dresser.
123 dimes in a calendar year is slightly better than 1 find every three days. WTH
Two examples of the Elks organisation member elks teeth. Worn on pocket watch chains by members in the late 19th and early 20th century. The larger tooth on the left is 1 inch tall by 5/8ths of an inch across in size.
The reverse side of the smaller tooth set in white gold is engraved "J.A.G. No 646". Elks hall number 646 was located in Santa Rosa, California on highway 128 in Sonoma County.
Here is a PDF file - A historical account by the Elks on Elks Tooth jewelry.
The Soochow Creek medal was a souvenir of China service bought in Shanghai, China by US Navy sailors and Marines.
Referred to as a "spoof medal" the artwork shows a Chinese Laborer "coolie" pushing a honey cart. The "honey" cart was slang for the the cart that transported human waste to the farm fields. This waste was used to fertilize crops.
This is a Navy example named to "J.N. BRADFIELD CM 2/C"
Here is the accompanying US Navy Good Conduct Medal. The pinned on second award bar is engraved "1942" on the front and "JOHN MARTIN BRADFIELD" on the reverse.
Originally made 1937 to 1943 in a Latvian factory. It was used by both the Axis and the Allies during World War Two. During the war, production of the Minox was put in jeopardy several times as Latvia fell victim to invasion by the Soviet Union, then Germany, and then by the Soviets again. Cameras were produced under both Russian and German occupation nevertheless, and the camera became both a luxury gift item for Nazi leaders as well as a tool for their spies. There is at least one document in the public record of 25 Minox cameras purchased by the American OSS (Office of Strategic Services) intelligence organisation in 1942.
The Minox firm reestablished itself in 1948 in West Germany. Both the Soviets and the West used a camera like this throughout the cold war.
The majority of Minox cameras were sold to civilians as a curiosity and somewhat a luxury gadget.
A 1960s version of the famous spy camera. Picture taken with camera "pulled" open.
The accompanying leather case fits the camera like a glove. There is a chain that attaches to the camera body, feeds through the inside and out the back side on the leather case.
This chain is a just over 2 feet long and has metal marking beads - These beads are focal length measurements for ease of surreptitious document photography.
The company is still in existence and makes a modern digital version.
Airmail wing circa 1930. Designed in 1929 by Colonel Britton, Vice President and General Manager of Northwest Airways. The United States Post Office liked the design so much, they adopted it for all airmail pilots regardless of airline affiliation. Northwest pilots still wear a version of this even today. This wing design was also used on US Postal airmail stamps of the day.
This wing belonged to E.E. Garbutt who wore this while flying with Varney Airlines out of Portland, Oregon in 1930 and 1931. Varney was one of the 4 airlines that combined to form United Airlines in 1934.
3 1/2 inches across in size. Marked on the reverse side "PATENT APPLIED FOR" in the center, with a "ROLLED GOLD" mark on the right wing.
A countermarked, punchmarked or counterstamped coin is a coin that has had some additional mark or symbol punched into it at some point during its career as a circulating coin. This practice is now obsolete.
Countermarking can be done for a variety of reasons. If the currency is reformed, existing coins may be rendered void. In this situation, coins already in circulation could be marked with the new value (according to the new currency system). The life span of existing coins could thus be extended, which might under some circumstances be a cheaper alternative to recalling the coins, melting them and striking replacements. Similarly, foreign coins could be marked as legal or accepted currency, thus allowing them to circulate in the area where they were countermarked. Countermarking can also be done for political reasons, i.e. a new state or régime demonstrating its authority by countermarking coins issued by the previous state.
1880 Colombian cinco decimos coin with a Costa Rican counterstamp on both sides. This stamp was placed on the coin to essentially make it legal tender in Costa Rica for trade.
If you look at the second "8" in the 1880 date, it is an overstamp - Where a previous years die was remarked (date changed) for reuse.
The reverse of the coin is engraved with the following:
'Awarded to the widow of Wm. S. Otis for a steam excavator 1841'
The American Institute of the City of New York, or, The American Institute of the City of New York for the Encouragement of Science and Invention was a civic organization that existed from ca. 1838 - ca. 1930.
The Institute was an association of inventors. It organized exhibitions, lecture series and radio broadcasts to inform the public about new technologies, and served as a locus for inventors’ professional activities.
At one time "Guldens Mustard" had a copy of The American Gold Medal Award on the jar label. Medals were issued in gold, silver and bronze for more than 150 years.
The Otis shovel was the world’s first mechanized steam shovel and excavator. Invented by William S. Otis in 1835, it was literally one of the most groundbreaking pieces of equipment to appear in the construction and mining industries.
The invention came about when Otis, employed by the firm Carmichael & Fairbanks, was working on a contracting position involved in building the American railroad. Working with strict time constraints, the firm would receive bonuses if it could finish the work before assigned deadlines. The excavation process and poor digging tools were delaying the project’s completion. This gave Otis the incentive to seek out a solution, as the current practices used for digging were very arduous and time-consuming. The traditional wagon-mounted graders and horse-drawn dragpans were not efficient enough.
The invention of steam engines became vital to the production of the Otis shovel. Otis figured that it might be possible to produce a machine using steam technology that could be applied to digging earth. With the help of a friend, Charles H. French, he built the first steam shovel in 1835 in Canton, Massachusetts.
He applied for a patent on June 15, 1836. The first patent described his invention as a “crane excavator for excavating and removing earth,” but was destroyed by a fire at the U.S. Patent Office. The second application was filed on October 27, 1838, and it was granted on February 24, 1839 under Patent No. 1089.
It could slew, crowd, and hoist. The wheels were made of cast iron, which meant that mobility was limited, but mounted on rail tracks, it was perfect for the project. It was mounted on a rail for the purpose of rail-building.
First known as the Philadelphia shovel, Otis put it to work on the American Midwest railroad project in Massachusetts.
He patented the shovel in 1839 and it became the first mechanized steam excavator of its kind, using a mechanized boom and a single bucket to remove dry earth.
Otis did not live to see the how much his invention would contribute to society. He died of typhus fever on November 13, 1839, just nine months after his patent was granted.
Otis Steam Shovel History
His invention did not go to waste, however. After his death, his wife Elizabeth married a good friend of Otis’, Oliver S. Chapman, in 1844. The union led to Elizabeth extending the patent to the late 1870s. Although other manufacturers couldn't use the invention, Chapman could, and did.
In fact, Chapman made some changes and patented them under No. 63857 in 1867. The patent document described the changes as "certain improvements to the Otis shovel.” One of the improvements involved using a chain crowd mechanism to supply force for the bucket. Chapman altered the name and called it the Otis-Chapman steam shovel.