January, 2020
In This Issue
  • Remembering Gary Cicci
  • Indy Ad Show Sold To Route 32 Auctions
  • 2020 AAAA Convention
  • More Aspirins: The Collection of Diana Kay Estep-Miller
  • Collector Books in the Era of the Internet
  • Dating NCR Cash Registers
  • Fun & Fabulous Finds
  • Upcoming Auction
Remembering Gary Cicci
It is with deep sadness that we report that Gary Cicci lost his courageous battle with cancer and passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on November 22, 2019. Gary was a valued and respected member of AAAA who was beloved by many. Gary served as Coordinator of the Favorite Advertising Exhibit at the annual AAAA Convention for the past two years, along with his devoted wife Denise Preble. Gary and Denise provided outstanding and enthusiastic leadership to that event.

Gary will be remembered for his warmth, enthusiasm, friendliness and fun-loving nature. He would bend over backwards for others. He will be missed by many, especially among those in AAAA. He was an enthusiastic collector and seller of antique advertising for many years but, in recent years, he really ramped up his activity. The following statement from his obituary says it all: " His real love was buying, selling and collecting antique advertising."

When asked where memorial donations in Gary's memory might be sent, Denise requested that they go to AAAA. It was her wish that such donations be used to support the AAAA Convention. If you would like to make a donation in Gary's memory, you can send a check, payable to "AAAA", to Paul Lefkovitz, Convention Coordinator, at 4214 Ponderosa Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46250. Please be aware that AAAA is not a charitable organization and, therefore, donations are NOT tax deductible. Gary's family will be notified of all memorial donations (not specific amounts).

For additional information about Gary's life, click here for his obituary. You can also click here for his Memorial Page and leave a comment about Gary (click on "Well Wishes").

Gary, thanks for all you did for AAAA. We will miss you!
Breaking News: Indy Ad Show Sold to Route 32 Auctions
In a blockbuster announcement that surprised many collectors of antique advertising, it was announced on January 11 that the Indy Ad Show has been sold to new owners. Nona and M ark Wilson, who purchased the show from Donna and Bruce Weir in 2017, stated "the show has become all consuming and it is our belief that we have taken the show as far as the two of us are capable. Our desire is for the show to continue to flourish and grow and it is for this reason we are passing the reins to the Parkers of Route 32 Auctions and Restoration."

The sale includes the Indy Ad Show, Gas & Oil Show and Antique Market that comprise the "Boone County Treasure Hunt" conducted in Lebanon, Indiana twice each year. The sale also includes the Gateway Gas and Antique Advertising Show held in Springfield, Illinois. The Wilsons will manage the upcoming spring show in May, 2020 and the Parkers will shadow them to get brought aboard. The Parkers will take on the mantle of leadership in the Fall show in September but the Wilsons will be on hand to help promote a smooth transition.

This announcement comes as a shock to many because Nona and Mark have breathed new life into a show that was languishing and, by some accounts, was headed for extinction. They introduced many innovations in the context of the broader Boone County Treasure Hunt and they moved the show to a popular new location. They vastly increased the number of dealers and, simultaneously maintained quality control to ensure that the very best in the way of antique advertising was available. Their personable style made the experience pleasant for dealers and buyers alike. No doubt, they will be missed by many.

The new owners, Kevin and Jill Parker, own Route 32 Auctions. They are located in Crawfordsville, Indiana, which is located only 20 minutes from the Indy Ad Show venue in Lebanon. According to their web site, " Route 32 Auctions is a family-run auction company in Crawfordsville, Indiana. We specialize in antique signs , petroliana , automobilia , gas pumps , general store memorabilia, restoration , and more. We provide high quality and rare items that are rarely seen or found elsewhere on the market. Route 32 Auctions strives to meet each and every one of our customer’s needs, and make the auction business fun and easy to navigate."
The Parkers will have big shoes to fill but a visit to their web site demonstrates that they have the chops to get the job done. Their impressive auction facility, shown in the photo to the right, is complemented by a full restoration service and an unbelievable 20,000 sq. ft. showroom with beautiful items for display and sale. They also host events for clubs, groups, swap meets, and the like.

Visit their web site at Some additional photos of their operation appear below.
The Route 32 Auctions Team
View of the Showroom
Another View of the Show Room
Gas Pump Globes and Vintage Buick
General Store and Barber Shop
Signs Being Auctioned
Kevin Parker, Co-Owner
Jill Parker, Co-Owner
In an interview with the Checkerboard, Kevin Parker talked about his vision for the future. He stated that a gradual transition is planned to ensure continuity with the strategies that have proven to be successful for the Wilsons. Don't look for big changes. He asserted "We are not going to do anything different" at this point in time. (However, Route 32 will conduct the auction at the September, 2020 Indy event and auctions will be added to the Gateway Shows in 2021.)

At the same time, Kevin stated that they will endeavor to continue to add new dealers and increase the foot traffic at the shows. They plan to ramp up advertising in different areas, including social media, the Route 32 web site and other venues. They also plan to draw in more West Coast involvement. One of Kevin's principal goals is to keep the dealers happy and he is aware that maximizing foot traffic is vital to that objective.

He would like fans of the Indy Ad Show to know that he is "a long-time collector and dealer of antique advertising and other vintage items." He is "not somebody right off the street." He added "We are there in the trenches with others---we are all in the same boat." He is hopeful knowing that will help people be comfortable with him and Route 32 Auctions.

In a relatively brief period of time, Route 32 Auctions has built a broad, respected national presence in the antique advertising sphere. With their vision, creativity, and a robust complement of employees, they have the infrastructure to tackle their new adventures as a major show promoter.
AAAA wishes Nona and Mark all the best in the future! Since they purchased the Indy Ad Show, AAAA has enjoyed a cordial and collaborative relationship with them. We want to thank them for that.

The Parkers have assured us that they will continue to work with AAAA in the same spirit of collaboration. AAAA looks forward to that and wishes Route 32 Auctions much success in the future! They certainly seem to have the moxey to make that happen!
2020 AAAA Convention
The AAAA Convention is Unique

Many of you have already put the 2020 AAAA Convention on your calendars: July 8-11 at the Embassy Suites in Columbus (Dublin), Ohio. If you have not already committed yourself to attending, this is the time to start giving it some serious thought.

You may already be a fan of other enjoyable antique advertising events such as the Indy Ad Show, the Chicagoland show, various auctions, and the like. However, the AAAA Convention is different. How many of those events provide you with new information about your hobby? How many lead to new friendships? How many help you connect with other collectors in a way that re-energizes your interest in collecting? How many offer new tips about finding, displaying, buying and selling antique advertising? How many give you the opportunity to break bread with kindred souls? How many are truly memorable experiences that leave you with much more than some great additions to your collection?

The AAAA Convention offers the possibility of all of that, and more. At this event, antique advertising enthusiasts totally immerse themselves in a celebration of their hobby from Wednesday evening until Saturday morning and leave all of their day-to-day stresses behind. This is an event that many individuals eagerly look forward to and consider the pinnacle of their year as a collector.

The Spirit of Collaboration

AAAA has pioneered the practice of collaborating with other like-minded groups of collectors to augment our conventions. In 2020, we will once again be joined by our old friends, the Graniteware collectors. Many of them are also collectors of antique advertising. The cross-over buying and selling between the two groups has been very active and the fellowship has been heartwarming.

As announced in our November newsletter, will also be joined by a new group, Treasures for Little Children (TLC). Members of TLC are passionate collectors of vintage children's playthings. We look forward to getting to know them and welcoming them to our Convention. Please check out their web site at: An article in the upcoming March, 2020 issue of PastTimes will provide you with more information about this group.

These collaborations, which have also included the Ice Screamers and the Cracker Jack Collectors Association have been popular and have added greatly to our conventions. While each group's event is planned and operated independently, there are shared activities such as room hopping and other scheduled activities. These partnerships have brought in additional convention attendees, swelling participation to around 300 people, including the public. They have also increased the array of items available for sale and have synergized the overall meeting environment.
A Popular Convention Site

We are also very excited to be back at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbus (Dublin), Ohio. Our 2014 and 2016 annual Conventions took place there to very positive and enthusiastic reviews.

This upscale hotel is gorgeous and yet also very comfortable. It was recently renovated. The grand, eight story atrium is a sight to behold.

All of the amenities you would expect from a first-class hotel are available at this location. They have an indoor pool, fully-equipped fitness center, business center, complementary parking (for hotel guests) and free wi-fi. Walking and jogging trails are nearby. This place has it all.
Embassy Suites is the PERFECT location for our convention. All of the guest rooms are spacious two-room suites with a separate living area and sleeping area. The living area can be set up for room sales, leaving the sleeping area for privacy and relaxation. There is a door separating the two rooms. An area between the two rooms contains a sink, refrigerator, microwave and restroom. Each guest room also features a floor-to-ceiling window facing the hallway. Therefore, people can window-shop the room when it is unoccupied, helping to maximize sales.
Another popular attraction of the Embassy Suites is the Evening Reception which takes place each day. Hotel guests enjoy free snacks, soft drinks, wine, beer, and cocktails. Time to partake in the Receptions will be incorporated into the AAAA Convention schedule. And if that is not enough, hotel guests are also treated to the Embassy Suite's famous made-to-order buffet breakfast. Many seasoned travelers regard this as the best complementary hotel breakfast available anywhere. The made-to-order omelettes are to die for!
Register Now

In future newsletter articles, we will present many more reasons to attend the 2020 AAAA Convention., including the awesome morning-to-night schedule of activities, Convention Sponsors, and things to do after the Convention. But if you are ready to register now, you are encouraged to do so. Sellers who register early will be assigned to the best room locations. Also, if you wait too long, we may very well run out of rooms in our reserved room block.
The Convention registration fee is $125.00 per person, which covers all Convention activities from Wednesday evening through Saturday morning, including two hearty plated banquet dinners, one lunch buffet, and, for hotel guests, three made-to-order breakfast buffets and the hotel reception each evening mentioned above.
AAAA has negotiated a heavily discounted guest room rate of $132 per night for a room with a king or two double beds, plus 17.5% taxes. In order to obtain the AAAA discounted rate, it is necessary to register for the convention through AAAA.

Easy and secure on-line registration with credit card payment is once again available for those with email. To register for the Convention, just click the icon below. 
For those without email or internet access, the traditional paper form is still available. To download the form, click the icon below.
A flier that describes the 2020 AAAA Convention is available by clicking the icon below. Please download this document and forward it to all of your collector friends and acquaintances that might be interested in attending.
Click here to ask any questions you might have about the 2020 AAAA Convention.

The AAAA Convention is the most exciting and enjoyable antique advertising event of the year! We hope to see you there!
More Aspirins: The Collection of Diana Kay Estep-Miller
Editor's Note: The December, 2019 issue of PastTimes featured an informative and entertaining article about aspirin-related advertising, authored by Diana Estep-Miller. While the article included numerous photos of her collection, there was much more to be shared. In this article, we present a gallery of additional images that were not included in that article. Those wishing to reach out to Diana Kay Estep-Miller can contact her at . Enjoy!
The photo above presents Diana's primary display of aspirin tins. Zoom in for a closer look at individual items..
The above display features tins in odd sizes.
Original and duplicate items are included in the above display.
Collector Books in the Era of the Internet
The old adage "Buy the Book First" has lost its way in the era of the internet. These days, a wealth of valuable content is readily available online at no cost. Yet it would be a mistake for the collector, old or new, to overlook traditional books as a vital source of information. Most collector books are written by recognized experts in their field---in many instances, the premiere authority. Decades of impassioned experience, research, and insight are reflected in the pages of those volumes, representing expertise that may not be available anywhere else.

In the heyday of collecting (roughly 1980-2005), thousands of books were published on just about every slice of life that could conceivably be collected. Antique and vintage advertising was certainly no exception. Unfortunately, much of that is largely a thing of the past. Collector books on antique advertising are rarely published these days.  While the internet provides a great deal of information, much of it focuses on pricing, marketplace issues or broad, survey articles. It is more difficult to find in-depth, carefully researched information about the historical context that breathes life into relics from the past. 

Yet, with the exception of valuation, collector volumes generally do not become obsolete over time. Even old references can still be used to help identify vintage advertising and provide clues to dating and rarity. More importantly, books can provide fascinating background information and reveal other interesting details that add so much to the enjoyment of one’s collection.

Collector books are generally easy to come by. Ironically, the internet, which contributed to the decline of collector books, is where they can most readily be found.  Amazon and eBay are two excellent sources for collector books, often at bargain prices.

One on-line dealer of collector books to be aware of is “collectorbookstore” on eBay ( click here). Currently, this s ite makes over 3,000 different collector book titles available.  All of the listings appear to be new old stock and are sold at fixed prices at or near the retail cover price. Well o ver 100 titles related to antique advertising are listed at this time. 

Here are a few examples of the hard-to-find titles related to antique advertising that are currently listed:

  • Advertising Dolls with Values
  • Antique Phonograph Advertising
  • Vintage Peanut Butter Advertising Glasses Collectors ID Guide
  • Chinese Label Art: 1900-1976
  • Advertising Postcards
  • Collectible Aunt Jemima Handbook and Value Guide
  • America’s Early Advertising Paper Dolls
  • Gasoline Treasures with Values
  • Advertising Openers: A Guide to Beer Openers and More
  • A Tour with Texaco: Antique Advertising & Memorabilia with Values
  • Seed Art: The Package Made Me Buy It
  • Advertising Cutlery with Values
  • Elsie the Cow and Borden’s Collectibles
  • Soda Advertising Openers
  • Children’s Paper Premiums in American Advertising
Dating NCR Cash Registers
A vintage cash register is often the focal point in collections of general store antiques. After all, they have so much going on. They are majestic artifacts, with their rich detail, craftsmanship, beautiful brass or nickel finish, and multitudes of keys, switches, mysterious keyholes, and displays.

The golden era of the cash register commenced in the late 1880's and came to an abrupt halt in 1915, when brass, nickel, and copper were needed for the war effort. Rolled steel was used thereafter, resulting in less ornate machines that do not command the same type of collector interest or values.

National Cash Register, later NCR, was the dominant manufacturer of classic cash registers. Much can be learned about a particular NCR cash register simply by looking at the label that can be found affixed to the bottom of the cash drawer. The cash drawer can be slid out by reaching in the drawer opening and depressing a latch. The label documents the date of sale, the specific purchaser and other details.
In some instances, the label might be soiled, damaged, missing, or otherwise of little assistance. In such instances, it is still possible to date a machine. Almost all machines have a brass or nickel plate displaying two numbers just beneath the glass window. The top number is the individual serial number of the machine while the lower number is the model number (see photo to the left).
Curiously, NCR machines were all numbered chronologically, irrespective of model number. Therefore, the serial number alone can provide the approximate date of manufacture, often within a couple of months. The Cash Register Collectors Club has published a helpful online guide to dating NCR cash registers. Click here to view that guide and also learn more about the club.

The guide is pretty straightforward, with one exception. If the serial number begins with an "S", it means the unit was rebuilt by the manufacturer. The on-line guide has a separate table to provide the dates of rebuilt examples.
Fun & Fabulous Finds
Dale Peterson recently acquired an awesome 1940 Pepsi-Cola Double Dot “Curb Service-Pepsi-Bigger-Better” sidewalk sign in original logo marked frame. It appears to the right. The frame has an original red-ish ”Pepsi-Cola” script logo at the top of both sides and two separate embossed signs (back to back) inside the frame. The two signs are 28” x 20” each and the entire frame with signs inside overall is 33” x 21”not counting the legs. The bottom left corner of each sign is marked “40-5” but that cannot be seen when in the frame.  The piece is 100% original. It came from a 95-year-old former Pepsi distributor in Kansas. To contact Dale for further information about this sign, write to:
Upcoming Auction
Chupp Auctions will be conducting a three-day Antique and Advertising Auction on January 16-18, 2020. AuctionZip will provide access to on-line bidding. Included in the offerings will be farm and tractor signs, dairy signs, seed & feed signs, gas & oil signs, country store signs in multiple areas, and a variety of country store items, such as display cases, spool cabinets, syrup dispenser, cash register, advertising clock, and much more. Other antique genres will be included in this auction as well. Click here for further 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.

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.

Wanted Top Condition: “Totem” (25 count) square upright cigar tin , Continental Cubes tobacco tin (medium size kidney shaped slide lid) 6” tall, Continental Cubes tobacco tin (larger flip lid pocket tin) 5” tall, Convention Hall Coffee tin (Kansas City tin) one pound GREEN and/or YELLOW version, Bob White tobacco tin small box (Ginna) size 3” by 4” by 2.5”. 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 .

Unusual one pound peanut butter tins . Tin litho or paper label. To reply, click here .

Marshmallow Tins, Smaller than 5 Pound Size. To reply, click here .

American Cookie, Biscuit and Cracker Tins and Boxes . To reply , click here .

Columbian Stove sign made by the Keeley Stove Co. in Columbia PA To reply, click here or call 717-572-3108.
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.
Tall 1 lb. Mallard Coffee Can - Shows duck taking off. To reply, click here .
Chewing gum packs, sticks, wrappers, full boxes, lifesavers, candy bar wrappers, displays, and boxes.  Anything candy related. To reply, click here
Pre-1900 advertising items related to: barbed wire, farm fence gates, tools for erecting or mending wire fences, and farm fences. Only primary material please--no ads from newspapers, etc. Larry W. Love. To reply, click here .
Armour Foods Signs, Cardboards, Store Displays, Die-Cuts Wanted. To reply, click here .
Cigar advertising tip trays, pinbacks, or any unusual cigar advertising items. Harry Cohn: To reply, click here .
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