May, 2020
In This Issue

  • AAAA Convention is Cancelled
  • AAAA "Virtual Convention"
  • Event Cancellations
  • Cabin Fever?
  • Civil War Cards
  • Advertising Cash Boxes
  • Wanted Ads
Announcement: The 2020 AAAA Convention is Cancelled but a "Virtual Convention" will be Held
A Message from the AAAA Board of Directors (This note was sent to all members on May 9):

We, the members of the AAAA Board of Directors are writing to announce that the 2020 Annual Convention has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. In late March, when the pandemic hit, we considered postponing our Convention until the Fall but learned that there was no availability at our hotel in September or October.

This was an unbelievably difficult and even painful decision to make. We understand that many of you were eagerly looking forward to attending this event. Some of you have even told us that the Convention was your high point of the year. However, we consider each of you a member of our family and, at the end of the day, all other considerations took a back seat to your safety and well-being. Most members of our group fall into a high risk category due to age and/or other conditions unknown to us. We would have been utterly heartbroken if any of you experienced harm as a result of attending the convention.

For those that have already registered for the convention, appropriate refunds will be generated right away. Details will be sent separately to those individuals.

That’s the bad news—now the good news. In lieu of our traditional 2020 Convention, we will be conducting a FREE 2020 “Virtual Convention” that will be open to all AAAA Members. From the comfort of your own home, you will be able to participate in this online event using your smart phone, desktop, laptop, or tablet. The event will include many of the activities already planned for the 2020 Convention and you will actually be able to see and talk with your AAAA friends! We will be using the wildly popular Zoom platform to connect people. This event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12, 2020. While it will not be the same as “being there”, we are very excited about this innovative new way to meet. See article below for more details.

Important: In order to plan for the Virtual Convention, we need to know how many people might participate. Please click here to let us know if you might be interested. You will not be committing yourself but it will give us a general head count. (Please don't respond again if you already replied). Also, this is all new to us so we’d love to get your ideas! In addition to our traditional activities, let us know what kinds of things you’d like to see scheduled. How many hours each day should be the maximum? What time do you think we should start? What creative suggestions do you have? If you have had lots of experience running Zoom meetings, would you be willing to provide technical assistance? Please provide your name with your reply. The deadline for your reply is May 20.

In the coming weeks, we will provide a detailed schedule, log-in instructions, and all the information you will need to attend the 2020 AAAA Virtual Convention.

Our 2022 Convention will bring us back to the Embassy Suites in Dublin (Columbus), Ohio on July 13-16. Next year, we plan to be back in Reading, Pennsylvania on July 21-24, 2021.

We hope you will be understanding of this difficult decision. We look forward to your participation in this year’s Virtual Convention and the traditional Conventions that will follow in the years ahead.

With Sincere Regards,

Steve Lefkovitz, President
Paul Lefkovitz, Convention Coordinator
Jeremy Blum
Bob Hunt
Reylan Lange
Phil Sarrel
Amy Vehling
2020 AAAA "Virtual Convention"
Although the cancellation of the 2020 AAAA Convention is terribly disappointing, we are excited about the "Virtual Convention" that will take place on July 11-12. This FREE on-line event is open to all members of AAAA! Attending this special event will give you the opportunity to meet with old and new friends, buy and sell vintage advertising, see examples of "favorite" advertising, acquire new information, win great raffle prizes, and more!
The Virtual Convention will be hosted on the popular Zoom meeting platform. PLEASE don’t shy away from this experience if you have never done anything like this. Clear instructional materials will be provided and we will conduct several helpful informal “rehearsal” sessions a couple of weeks prior to the Convention to walk you through a successful experience. By all means, give it a shot!

To participate in the Virtual Convention, you will need ONE of the following:

  • Smart phone
  • Tablet computer
  • Laptop Computer (ideally with camera but not required)
  • Desktop computer (ideally with camera but not required)

The schedule appears below but you are encouraged to come and go as you please!

Saturday, July 11, 2020, 1:00 PM-5:00 PM (Eastern Time)
  • Room Hopping: Great examples of vintage advertising will be available for sale from multiple dealers.
  • Seminar: “Collections, Collections, Collections” presented by Remey Rubin, Wyatt Yon, and Tom Licouris.
  • Favorite Advertising: See fabulous examples of vintage advertising and vote for your favorites!.
  • Raffles: Hundreds of dollars in prizes will be awarded. No purchase necessary.
Sunday, July 11, 2020, 1:00 PM-5:00 PM (Eastern Time)
  • Room Hopping: More great examples of vintage advertising will be available for sale from multiple dealers.
  • Seminar: “Damaged Goods, Restored Values” presented by Chuck Kovacic.
  • Break-Out Groups: Surviving COVID-19: Small groups will share how they’ve been coping with the virus.
  • Raffles: More prizes will be awarded. No purchase necessary.
  • Membership/Business Meeting: Learn about the current status of AAAA and provide input into the future.

Click here for a flyer describing the Virtual Convention.

If you think you might be interested in participating in the Virtual Convention, click here to be placed on the email listing for further information and/or registration. (Not necessary if you previously replied.)

ATTENTION "ROOM HOPPING" SELLERS You will not be required to register to participate in the full Virtual Convention to be a seller! Sellers will be able to post up to 8 photos or a video of their inventory at a designated on-line site. It is recommended that pricing information be provided. AAAA members will be able to browse these photos/videos 24/7 at their leisure during the two days of the Convention and a couple of days thereafter. Your contact information will accompany your photos so interested parties will contact you directly. There will be no fee to be a seller but you must be an AAAA member or affiliated with the Graniteware or TLC group. Additional information will be provided soon.

Disclaimer: Other than making photos or videos of inventory available to potential buyers, AAAA will have no involvement in "Room Hopping" transactions that take place and will not accept any responsibility whatsoever for any negative outcomes that may result from Room Hopping.
Event Cancellations and Postponements
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the following events have been cancelled or postponed:
  • Soulis Auctions, Two Day Advertising Auction: NEW DATES May 30 and 31. Rare Porcelain Signs, Hunting Fishing, More! Held Open-Air Under Tents. Lone Jack, Missouri,, 816.697.3830
  • Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine & Jukebox Show (Tilt Promotions): The April 17-19 show has been cancelled. The next show will take place November 13-15.
  • Indy Ad Show: The show originally scheduled for May 2-3 has been cancelled. Their next regularly scheduled event will take place September 25-26.
  • Morphy Auctions: The March 28 & 29 Coin-op & Advertising Auction has been re-scheduled to take place June 20-21
  • Spring Allentown Paper Show: The event scheduled for April 25-26 has been cancelled. The next show will take place October 3-4.
  • Showtime Auctions: The April 10-11 auction has been re-scheduled for September 18, 19 and 20, 2020
  • Ice Screamers: The 2020 annual convention, scheduled for July 23-25 has been cancelled. A Virtual Convention will be held instead on a date to be announced. 
Cabin Fever?
Are you climbing the walls? Well, you are obviously not alone. While things are starting to open up, many are still feeling cautious about venturing out too far. So what's a confined collector to do?

For many collectors, the internet has been their salvation. Like AAAA, other collector groups are beginning to experiment with virtual events. Right now (May 12-17), a group of dealers from the Brimfield Antique Market are holding an on-line version of their fabled event that was cancelled. It can be accessed at "Brimfield Online" on Facebook. Look for more collector events to go viral as the country continues to grapple with COVID-19. The Ice Screamers, who meet with AAAA when we are in Pennsylvania, have also cancelled their convention in July and will be holding a Virtual event instead.

Of course, eBay must be picking up lots of business from bored collectors. As a staple in the collectibles market, eBay is one way to pass the time and pick up just about anything you might desire, often at a very reasonable price.

Several major auction houses are continuing to hold on-line auctions. Activity in such auctions is reportedly very high. If you have not participated as a bidder in such venues, give it a try. While prices are typically very strong on stellar, investment-grade pieces, a deal can occasionally be had on less lofty items. You will definitely see some gorgeous pieces crossing the auction block.

Many have reported that they have used the extra available time to catalog their collections, reorganize their displays, do some dusting, look through those cartons that you set aside years ago or just think about some new area to collect.

For those staying around the hearth but longing for personal collecting contact, why not reach for your AAAA Directory? Look up the phone number of one of your 'ol convention buddies or contact somebody you don't know who shares similar interests.

Antique malls and shops are likely to open back up in the coming weeks in many areas. That will be a welcome development to many collectors but be sure to be safe and practice social distancing.

Of course, there are many approaches for dealing with isolation that have nothing to do with collecting. Exercise, yoga, relaxation training, and mindfulness, can all help you deal with isolation-related restlessness and irritability. You can learn about such approaches on the internet. Of course, staying in touch with friends and family is vital.

If you have any creative suggestions for dealing with isolation, let us know!
Civil War Store Cards
During the Civil War, pervasive hoarding prompted small change to become virtually non-existent. As a result, desperate merchants issued their own coinage. These “coins”, which were actually tokens, were generally well-accepted in day-to-day commerce as pennies. They were the same size as Indian head cents and occasionally featured similar designs.

There are more than 8,500 different types known that were produced by approximately 1,500 merchants from 22 different States and almost 400 towns. They were issued between 1861 and 1864.

Some of these tokens have patriotic themes but most of them advertised the products and services of local merchants. These are referred to as "store cards". The images on these store cards are generally well executed and quite fascinating. A stunning array of businesses and products are represented, including breweries, opticians, groceries, dentists, traveling road shows, druggists, markets, stoves, lamps, tobacco, clothing, jewelers, glass makers, liquor stores, dry goods, skating academies, and hardware, among others.

The US Government took a dim view of this private coinage. They ceased to be produced in 1864, when Federal laws were passed that banned the private minting of coinage. 

The pricing of Civil War store cards ranges all the way from $20-$75 for the more common examples in circulated condition to many hundreds or even thousands of dollars for scarce specimens in pristine condition.

If this article has whetted your appetite for Civil War store cards, click here for an informative article that appeared in Collectors Weekly. Interested in purchasing "the bible" on the subject? Then you will want to try to find a copy of U.S. Civil War Store Cards written by George and Melvin Fuld. The hard-cover third edition, published in 2014, runs 664 pages and is a large 8.5 x 11 format. Revised rarity ratings are provided. It is lushly illustrated with color photos.

In the gallery below, we present a delightful assemblage of Civil War store cards that illustrate the beauty, diversity, and educational value of this field of collecting. The obverse and reverse of each coin are displayed side-by-side.
Note: The above token curiously states "Not One Cent". While these tokens were commonly understood to have an exchange rate of one cent, the "Not" was added to this and some other store cards to afford some protection against the possible charge of counterfeiting. As stated above, all of these privately minted tokens were ultimately outlawed by the government in 1864.
Advertising Cash Boxes
Metal cash boxes made between the 1880's and the 1930's are commonly found at antique stores, malls, and shows. A typical example is shown to the right. They are painted black with gold and sometimes red trim on the top and sides. A handle was placed at the top and a lock was located on the front with a key only occasionally extant. These boxes were used in the home to store cash, deeds, legal papers, and other valuables. Before the widespread adoption of cash registers, they were also commonly employed in retail settings to store cash. They can generally be purchased from $10-$40.

Advertising can occasionally be found on these cash boxes. In some instances, the business being advertised, such as a bank, was related to the likely contents of the cash box. Most often, however, that was not the case. The boxes were simply given out by varied merchants to promote their product or services. Some examples of advertising cash boxes are illustrated below.
Lord Tennyson Cigars
Lord Tennyson Cigars (Interior)
Brook's Soft Finish Spool Cotton
Brook's Soft Finish
Spool Cotton (Bottom)
Two examples of a Tutti Fruitti cash box produced
by Adams & Sons Co. and a flyer for the cash box
Large (11.5" x 15.5" X 7")
Lillian Russell Cigars
Zeno Chewing Gum
Fry's Chocolate
Fry's Chocolate (Bottom)
J. & F. Grotta, Druggists (Exterior)
J. & F. Grotta, Druggists (Interior)
This is not an actual cash box but rather a tea tin made to resemble a
cash box. It is missing its handle. Right photo shows the bottom of the tin.
This Beloit Lumber & Fuel Co. "cash box" is a more recent version of the genre. Dating from the 1940's and 1950's, these were specifically designed to hold insurance policies. They were most often distributed by funeral parlors and insurance companies.
Sometimes, cash boxes come with a bit of mystery. This "Aquilla Leaf" cash box was offered on eBay as a medicinal product. "Aquilla Leaf" certainly sounds like a drug but no pharmaceutical product by that name was ever produced. However, there was a person by that exact name who died in Baltimore in May, 1909. It seems likely that this cash box was the property of that man. People's names and initials are found on cash boxes with some frequency.
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