August, 2020
In This Issue

  • Pawprints on Paper
  • Announcing 2021 AAAA Winter Virtual Retreat!
  • A Letter to the Membership of the Antique Advertising Association of America
  • Chuck Kovacic Virtual Convention Seminar Video
  • Searching for Elusive Tins
  • Advertising in Motion: Trucks, Wagons, Horses, Goats, & People-Powered
  • Membership Recruitment Program Continues
  • In Memoriam: Richard Lynch
  • Upcoming Auction
  • Wanted Items
Pawprints on Paper
By Margaret Carpenter and Alice Muncaster
Is it possible for cats to spark a friendship between two people miles (and states) apart? Absolutely!  Discovering a mutual interest, and the technology to share our collections with each other, we’ve become great friends, and share our collections (and latest finds) through text messages, calls, shared photo files, and emails--and of course, at the AAAA conventions.
Cats have a long and somewhat complicated relationship with mankind. From working farm cats chasing mice, to pampered pets, felines of all sorts have been featured in art and literature for centuries. So, it’s no wonder they began appearing in advertising when selling mass-market goods became widespread in the later 1800s (image to the right.

Our collections may differ a bit from others’ because cats appeared on so many different kinds of advertising and product packages, and in such a broad assortment of genres. Sometimes we envy our fellow AAAA members who specialize in one type of product (tobacco, breweriana, country store, etc.) or one genre (signs, tins, trade cards). We have everything it seems, as cats span most every kind of product and every advertising medium. So, while it was difficult to choose what to share, we decided on paper for our story in Checkerboard. You can view photos from our all-genre presentation at the 2019 AAAA convention by clicking here.
Cats made ideal attention-getting images because of their varied qualities and attributes. They are known to be resilient and sure-footed, so their image worked well to promote shoes. Kitty Kat Shoes (image immediately below) is an all-time favorite of ours. Goodrich rubber boots and Cat’s Paw rubber heels (images further below) are other examples.
Cleanliness is a well-known feline trait; cats are always washing themselves, so could appropriately advertise soap, starch, polishes, and cleaning solutions (left and below images).
Kittens are very playful, so you can find many examples of cats playing with various thread and ribbon brands, including Clark’s, Corticelli, Willimantic, and Corbett (images below).
While products for the home were mostly advertised to women, felines could appeal to men, too. Some of our favorite “masculine” brands are those of tobacco including Catlin's Tobacco (right image), Tabby, Mr. Thomas cigars (image below), Catchy (image below), and Two Toms cigars. Favorite alcohol examples include Old Tom Gin (image below) and Black Cat Whiskey. Black Cat Cigarettes also appealed to women shoppers as smoking became more acceptable for ladies in the early 1900s.
“Mysterious” is almost synonymous with cats, so you’ll find cats illustrated on many interesting board games (left image), books, and magazines in the pre-radio, pre-TV, pre-movie decades. We love Kilkenny Cats, Robber Kittens, Black Cat Dominoes, and Black Cat Fortune Telling games, and even the Black Cat detective book series and The Black Cat magazine.
In fact, black cats may be the most popular cat image, and were likely to lend their name to entire product lines and even companies. Great examples are Black Cat Hosiery (right image), Chat Noir Coffee (and many Chat Noir or Black Cat cafes and dance clubs across the United States and Europe), Black Cat Fireworks, Black Cat Safety Matches, and Black Cat Stove and Shoe Polishes.
Inky black fur likely inspired the marketers of Thomas’ Ink to feature a black cat on signage, ads, ink blotters and other promotional items for its jet-black ink (image below). Carter’s Ink went the other direction in the 1930s, though, picturing cats with rainbow-colored fur--blue, green, yellow, red as well as black, representing the multi-colored Carter’s Ink product line.
Candy and cookies (or “biscuits” in Europe) may well be our top-of-the-line cat advertising examples because manufacturers large and small produced so many wonderful boxes that contained sweets. Langues de Chat, translated to Cat Tongues, were so named because the chocolate shape shared a slight resemblance to the anatomical part. These were sold under dozens of brand names and in a wide assortment of decorative paper and tin packaging. In Europe, colorful cat-themed containers were lavishly illustrated by famous artists (such as Louis Wain, whose anthropomorphic cats and kittens were realistically drawn wearing human clothing). The manufacturers clearly hoped that the packages would become keepsakes and drive brand loyalty after the delicacies were eaten. Louis Wain also illustrated many cat-themed postcards and books that are highly sought-after today (right images).
Lastly, there has been a long tradition of celebrating Halloween with black cat imagery as a near-universal symbol of the annual holiday (left image). Paper Halloween decorations, cards, postcards and costumes are plentiful, but some of the less common examples are true gems of our collections.
Both of us love cats, and of course, collecting cats in advertising. We’ve both worked with national humane rescue foundations (Margaret professionally with the Doris Day Animal Foundation and Alice as a volunteer with Tree House Animal Foundation). And companion cats have an important place in our private lives. We encourage you to adopt a cat (or two or three) into your home and family if you haven’t already – and to share your “cat stories” with us any time!
Announcing 2021 AAAA Winter Virtual Retreat!
We are pleased to announce that a 2021 AAAA Winter Virtual Retreat will take place on January 23, 2021. This action was prompted by the impassioned call for a winter event from those that attended the 2020 Virtual Convention. This one-day gathering will feature many of the most popular AAAA Convention events in a convenient three hour, one-day format. We will use the Zoom platform for the meeting but "Room Hopping" will be conveniently accessible from the AAAA web site (no Zoom necessary). The Retreat will be FREE to AAAA members!  It is anticipated that this will become an annual event each January.
The Winter Retreat will place heavy emphasis on “Room Hopping” (sales of vintage advertising). The Room Hopping site, as noted above, will not involve Zoom and will be easily accessible from the AAAA web site. Numerous dealers will set up on-line "rooms" featuring hundreds of photos of thousands of vintage advertising items for sale. The Room Hopping site will be open 24/7 from 4:00 PM (Eastern Time) on January 23, 2021 until 6:00 PM (Eastern Time) on February 6, 2021. This event will be heavily promoted in national antique publications and the public will be invited to visit the site on Sunday, January 24, 2021.
The schedule of activities is as follows (Eastern Time) on January 23, 2021 (subject to change).
1:00 PM           Live Room Hopping
1:45 PM           Seminar (Topic/speaker be announced)
2:30 PM           Break-Out Discussions
3:15 PM           Tour(s) of Collection(s)
4:00 PM           Retreat Ends and On-Line Room Hopping Begins

If you have any interest in presenting a seminar or conducting a tour of your collection as part of the Zoom meeting, please click here to let Paul Lefkovitz know.
All AAAA members will receive emails about the Retreat and how to sign up to become a seller. If you have questions, contact Paul Lefkovitz, AAAA Convention Coordinator, at or call 317-594-0658. Hope to see you there!
A Letter to the Membership of the Antique Advertising Association of America  
By Henry Tankersley
Editor's Note: The author of this correspondence requested that it be shared with the membership of AAAA in one of our newsletters.
The AAAA is a truly first class organization, and successful enterprises are always a reflection of leadership.  Having led various groups myself over the years and operating the annual Tulsa Antique Advertising Show, one learns that being an administrator can sometimes be a thankless task.  Many tend to take those in charge for granted, unmindful of the effort required to initiate and maintain a particular level of excellence.  Quality and creativity spring from passion, not the size of one's paycheck, and those who succeed well beyond the norm do so because they want to.  They believe in what they are doing and are dedicated to it.  Exceptional results are achieved not only when one understands the consummate pursuit, but is then willing to expend the effort to get it done.

We should each thank our lucky stars for the Lefkovitz clan and their group of helpers for keeping the AAAA the great organization it is. Muchas gracias to Steve, Paul and Michele.

Humbly yours,

Henry Tankersley, President, Tulsa Antique & Bottle Club and fanatical antique drug store collector
Chuck Kovacic Virtual Convention Seminar Video
Chuck Kovacic presented an extremely well-received seminar entitled "Damaged Goods, Restored Values" at the 2020 AAAA Virtual Convention in July. In this seminar, Chuck demonstrated basic techniques that will enhance the value of rare advertising items that are often overlooked because of their damage. Approaches suitable for paper, metal and cardboard were discussed along with required materials and tools. The high point of the seminar was his presentation of breathtaking "before and after" photos of vintage advertising items he has personally restored. Those photos left no doubt as to the brilliance and expertise of this accomplished artisan. AAAA sincerely appreciates Chuck's willingness to share his talents with our members.

In the way of background, Chuck is a professionally trained fine artist from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Currently, he resides in the Los Angeles area and has assisted serious collectors and select auction houses with their restoration needs for over 40 years. As a respected member of NABA and AAAA, he has published articles and conducted seminars at their past gatherings.

It was not possible to share the video of Chuck's presentation in the July issue of Checkerboard along with the other Convention news because the file needed to be edited. We are now pleased to make this video available to you. Simply click the link below to view it.
Chuck welcomes your restoration questions at
Searching for Elusive Tins
Don Lurito has been an enthusiastic collector of pre-1900 tins and signs for many years. One of his favorites is a group of small cigar tins produced by Straiton & Storms and manufactured by Somers Brothers in Brooklyn, NY. Don's collection of these diminutive tins are shown in the photo to the right. They are about 5" x 5" and feature a distinctive Victorian design pattern.
On the inside of each lid is a beautiful lithographed image of the girl whose name graces the lid. Ninitas and Ceres are featured in the photo to the right. Inner lid images were printed both on the tin and paper. Don would like to know if any readers are aware of other tins in this series not included in the above photo.
Don is also fond of the P.C.W. series of cough drop tins, manufactured by P.C. Wiest & Co in York, PA. A sample of Don's collection of this series appears in the photo to the right. These handsome tins were produced in five different sizes and five different colors, making for a total of 25 tins. Don has 23 of them. In the medium size slip tops, he has the yellow, pale green and salmon shown in the photo, and just needs the red and green. The size of the body is about 4" high by 3" wide.  
If you know the whereabouts of any of the elusive tins that Don is looking for, please reach out to him at
Don has been a member of AAAA since its inception. He was also a founding member of AAAA's predecessor club, TCCA.
In addition to being a long-time advanced collector, Don is well-known for his outstanding and highly regarded restoration work with pre-1900 signs and tins.
Advertising In Motion: Trucks, Wagons, Horses, Goats, & People-Powered
Advertising has found its way to just about every flat surface imaginable. And vehicles are certainly no exception. The images below celebrate the ingenuity and artistry that has been demonstrated in placing advertising on various means of conveyance.
Membership Recruitment Program Continues
The AAAA Board of Directors recently authorized the continuation of the Membership Recruitment Program established last year. The Program provides members with an incentive to bring NEW members into AAAA. Recruit just one NEW member and you will receive 6 months of AAAA membership (worth $20). Recruit two NEW members and you will receive a full year of AAAA membership (worth $40). For EACH new member that you recruit beyond two, you will receive $20 in "Buyers Bucks" that can be used just like cash at AAAA Conventions.
To receive credit for your efforts, simply have the new recruit write your name in the designated space at the bottom of the AAAA Membership Card. You can use the printed Membership Cards that we have made available from time to time (please be sure it is the current form) or you can download a PDF version of the current form for printing or emailing by clicking here.
Membership Coordinator Amy Vehling will manage this campaign and will announce awards just prior to the AAAA Convention in July 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Amy at
Why wait? Start calling your buddies today and start earning those incentives!
In Memoriam: Richard Lynch
We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of AAAA member, Richard Lynch. Richard and his wife, Sharon, attended their first AAAA Convention last year. He was a passionate Lucky Strike collector. Please keep Richard and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Upcoming Auction
September 18-19, 2020. Showtime Auctions. Includes the lifetime advertising collection of Tom & Betty Polansky. Rare and desirable signs, displays, posters, coin-op, and many others. Online, phone, and absentee bids only. Go to for more information.
Wanted Items
In this column are those sought-after items of desire that seem to be elusive. If you know where any of these items can be acquired or if you have one available, please click the link to reply directly to the seeker. To place a listing in this column, click here. There is no fee for AAAA members. Up to three listings per member are permitted.

Banjo related advertising wanted Pre-1940s. Long time collector buying banjo company signage, catalogs, billheads, periodicals, minstrel banjo items such as posters, broadsides, sheet music ( pre-1870s ) with illustrated banjo covers, early photographs showing banjo players (pre-1915). My main collecting interest is in 19th century material. To reply, click here.

Wanted top condition: Squirrel Brand Salted Peanuts 10 lb store tin; Convention Hall 1 lb coffee tin (Kansas City tin) yellow and/or green version; Gail and Ax Navy tobacco tin (kidney shaped pail); Sunflower brand 1 lb pry-lid coffee tin (Atchinson, Kansas). To reply, click here.

Antique American Medicine Bottles by M. Knapp... soft cover book with price guide. Printed in 2012. or 781-248-8620 also, see my other want ad for Clarke’s ephemera and bottles.

Looking for 3 Vintage Tins: American Eagle "Oriental Mixture" tobacco (dimensions approx. 6.5" long, 2 3/4" wide, 1.5" tall); 1 Gal. Indian Head Hydraulic Brake Fluid; and Packham´s Caramel Toffee. Any offer is welcome and any condition considered. To reply, click here.

Advertising Thermometers Pin-Up Girls: Only 1900 to 1960 with or without the calendars. Any information on these thermometers would be welcome since I can not find any books, articles catalogs or anything relating to these advertising pieces. Trades and purchases sought. To reply, click here.

Morton Salt, older items, and also Pacific Coast Borax, especially a crate or box. email or call Peggy Dailey 612-522-9211

Comic Book-Related Advertising Items: Must be from before 1980. To reply, click here.

Clarke’s Vegetable Sherry Wine Bitters, Sharon, MA & Rockland, ME: All sizes, variants, smooth/pontil base. Especially need labeled Clarke’s any size! Also, any Clarke’s ephemera…trade cards, almanacs, newspaper ads, etc. Charlie Martin Jr., 781-248-8620. Email:

George Petty: Advanced collector looking for unique or rare items. Photo’s, store displays and non paper items. NO Esquire pages. Pete Perrault. To reply, click here or call (502) 290-7661.

Ice Cream Advertising: Mr. Ice Cream desires better graphic ice cream advertising including: postcards (Advertising and RPPC), trade cards, letterheads, billheads, booklets, poster stamps, blotters, magic lantern slides, pinbacks, watchfobs, and pocket mirrors. Allan Mellis, 1115 West Montana St. Chicago, Illinois 60614-2220. To reply, click here.

Stock food, poultry food, veterinary advertising wanted. Posters, medicine packages, give-aways. Email or call (256) 520-5211.

White Plastic 7" Tall "Pole Sign" Thermometers advertising local/regional gasoline/oil/service station brands such as: SPEEDWAY 79; SUPER 98; TOPCO; ROCKET; HANCOCK; BELL; OKLAHOMA. NOT the major national brands like Texaco. Peter Capell. To reply, click here.

Singer Sewhandy Model 20-Green-regular paint, not hammertone. To reply, click here.

National Biscuit Company, Nabisco, Uneeda Biscuit, Uneeda Bakers, Muth Bakery, NBC Bread toys, signage, tins, containers, displays, historical items. Please Email or call (937) 205-2232.

Early Cigarette Rolling Papers: Pre-1940’s - American, Zig Zag, Braunstein Freres, Bambino, and Ottoman papers wanted. To reply, click here.

Antique/Collectible Banking and Financial System "Give-a way" and advertising items. Specifically from Pennsylvania. Alarm devices and such. To reply, click here.

VITAMINS advertising, displays, signs, bottles, and anything related: Hadacol is an example. Most would come from the 1930’s thru the 1970’s. Also anything related to cod-liver oil and WEIGHT-LOSS, REDUCING, ANTI-FAT, and OBESITY ITEMS. To reply, click here.
Early tin signs lithographed by Tuchfarber, Wells and Hope, Worcester Sign Company, Sentenne and Green, etc. I can pay more for good condition, but would be interested in any condition. Don Lurito also in the directory. To reply, click here.
Dwinell-Wright Co. Royal Ground Spice Cardboard Spice Boxes. One side displays horizontally. Approximately 3.75" by 2.25". Any type of spice is OK. To reply, click here.
ENSIGN Perfect and ENSIGN Perfection vertical pocket tobacco tins to enhance my collection. Feel free to contact me at 614-888-4619 or to see if you can help fill the voids.
Edmands Coffee Company, Edmands Tea Company, 1776 Coffee, American Beauty Tea, Japan Tea, Devonshire Tea, (imported by Edmands, Boston/Chicago): Any items such as tins, signs, paper, or anything else related to the Edmands family of companies in Boston is desired. To reply, click here.
The AAAA Checkerboard is a monthly e-newsletter that is made available to all AAAA members at no cost. The mission of the Checkerboard is to increase knowledge about antique and collectible advertising among AAAA members. The Checkerboard also provides news and updates about AAAA. It is produced each month with the exception of the four months per year when the award-winning PastTimes print newsletter is published. Paul Lefkovitz ( serves as the Editor of the AAAA Checkerboard. Copyright 2020, Antique Advertising Association of America