November 2023

In This Issue
  • 2024 AAAA Convention News
  • In Memoriam: Dan Allers
  • AAAA Seeking Volunteers
  • New You Tube Channel- Vintage Cigarettes
  • Where Have You gone?: Another Response
  • Advertising Keyrings
  • Bartels Park Dedication
  • Wanted Items

2024 AAAA Convention News

The 2024 AAAA Convention will take place at the Embassy Suites-Dublin, Dublin (Columbus), Ohio from July 17th to July 20th. The discounted room rate will be $139.00 per night plus tax. The Registration Fee has not yet been finalized, along with certain other details. However, here is a working draft of what the schedule of activities will look like (subject to change). Hope to see you all there!

  • Wednesday, July 17: Check-in at 4:00 pm, get settled in your room, and begin room-hopping
  • 5:30 pm: Complementary wine bar provided by hotel

  • Thursday, July 18:  Begin your day with the hotel breakfast (included in room cost)
  • 9:00 am: AAAA Membership Meeting
  • 9:30 am: Short Seminar (Title to be announced)
  • 12:00 noon: Lunch (Provided by AAAA)
  • 2:00 pm: Seminar (Title to be announced)
  • 5:30 pm: Complementary wine bar provided by hotel
  • 6:00 pm: Dinner (Provided by AAAA) and Raffles
  • Room-hopping throughout the day


  • Friday, July 19: Begin your day with the hotel breakfast (included in room cost)
  • 10:00 am - 2:00 pm: Visit a world-class coin-op and advertising collection, just 20 minutes from the hotel. Complementary light lunch served.
  • 2:30-9:00 pm: Public-advertised room hopping
  • 5:30 pm: Complementary wine bar provided by hotel


  • Saturday, July 20:  Begin your day with the hotel breakfast (included in room cost)
  • 9:00 am: Wrap-up and adjournment               

In Memoriam: Dan Allers

Editor's Note: Background information for this article was provided by Jo Allers, Dan's beloved wife and antiquing partner.

Dan was a story teller and he had had many experiences over his 78 years of life. Dan and his wife, Jo, collected a variety of antiques over 40 years. Signs, advertising tins, stoneware, Steiff animals, early country primitives, holiday items, and many other antiques were their love.

At the AAAA Convention, you would see Dan set up in his room while Jo would be out shopping the rooms. They always had a great time and met so many nice people. This year (2023), Dan was in a Care Center as he had lost the ability to stand and walk. At the end of May, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer and it metastasized to his brain. It was a very challenging summer for Dan and Jo. His love of antiques, family and friends will carry on. Bless you Dan.

Click here to view Dan's obituary.

AAAA Seeking Volunteers

It takes many talented individuals to run a successful national organization like AAAA. Therefore we are recruiting for volunteers. Do you have possible interest in giving back to the organization that has brought you much enjoyment, new friendships, knowledge, treasures for your collection, and so much more? If so, please click here to let us know.

At this time, we are especially looking for somebody to assist AAAA in its marketing and advertising activities. We are interested in somebody with experience and talent in both traditional realms of promotion (print media) and more recent social media applications. If this sounds like you, please let us know.

We are also seeking somebody who has technology experience and skills, including website development and, possibly, database maintenance.

We would welcome expressions of interest in any area of endeavor. If you'd like to help AAAA, please click here.

New YouTube Channel – Collecting Vintage Cigarettes

By Dheeraj Khiytani

Hi everyone. You may have read some of my cigarette pack articles in PastTimes over the last few years. I have really enjoyed writing for you and I love the history behind the cigarettes that I collect. I recently decided to take a massive step into the unknown and start my own YouTube channel, which is also all about collecting vintage cigarettes.

I spent months learning how to produce a video with software I had never used before. But I finally managed to finish my first video and have just posted it on YouTube. The video tells the story of Lucky Strike and how the cigarettes came to be. I also delve into the history of the marketing of Lucky Strike cigarettes.

I really hope you will click on the link below and watch it. It is about 20 minutes long, but you don’t have to watch all of it at one time. I aim to produce more videos of varying lengths to suit different interest levels. If you like it, please do comment and click on ‘subscribe’. I would love to hear from anyone with feedback to improve. My contact details are at the end of the video and I have also provided them here. Thank you so much for your support of my new endeavor!

Here is the link that you can just click to take you directly to the YouTube channel where you can find the video and also subscribe. Or just search for "collecting vintage cigarettes" and my video is third or fourth down.

I’ve also added a few screenshots below as a sneak preview!

Thanks again!


[email protected] or [email protected]

Cell: (731) 325-1157

Where Have You Gone?: Another Response

By Dick Wilmes

For many years Liz and I have collected Loose-Wiles/Sunshine Biscuit items. In the1990’s we joined the newly formed Nabisco ’Inner-Seal’ Collectors Club. Their first national meeting was in Louisville, KY. While room-to-room shopping, we met Townes Thomas, a Nabisco employee and collectible dealer. From him, we acquired seventeen 8”x10” art boards depicting prototype Nabisco ‘string boxes’ (See photo below). We already had started to collect ‘string boxes’ from a number of manufacturers and thought this artwork would be a good extension. Not only was there a board for Barnum’s Animals but there are examples for money, time, baseball, Batman, alphabets etc. It was a lucky find amid all of those Nabisco collectors!


On that Saturday (or Sunday) Charlie & Prissy Brown, the founders of the Nabisco Club, had an open house and we sat at a table with Jerry Glenn. During our chit-chat, he mentioned that at one time he had the set of prototypes art boards of ‘string boxes’ and he was sorry that had he gotten rid of them. After we got back home, I wrote Jerry a letter, asked about the origins of the boards and received a very nice hand written response from him. He said that he originally found the artwork in the trash can on the way to the elevator as he was leaving the office at 425 Park Ave. Apparently people were cleaning out their files as Nabisco prepared to move to New Jersey. He also said that he had the boards a long time and sold them when his collecting interests changed.


Later we received a long letter from Townes Thomas (the dealer) who went into greater detail about the history of Nabisco, each of these boards and the various products associated with them. 


I would like Jerry to know that, through the years, Liz and I have enjoyed the small collection that he “found in the trash on his way out of the office in 1975."

Advertising Keyrings

By John Powell

Editor's Note: The details in many of the photos below are very small. You are encouraged to zoom in for a closer look. To zoom in on most devices, press "Ctrl+" to increase the window size. Press "Ctrl-" to decrease the window size.

"Why on earth would anyone want to collect those?“ I am sure every collector has heard those words at some time. Collectors come in all shapes and sizes and their reasons for collecting are as varied as the objects they collect.

Just after my father had passed on, I was given a document box that had been my great–great-grandfather's. It would appear to date from around 1850. A set of keys accompanied the box that included a very small numbered tag that was for “The Scottish Key Registry Ltd." (photo, right). This tag offered a reward for the safe return of the keys, should they be lost.

I thought a collection of these items might be interesting and would not take up much space, so I looked for more. Unfortunately, after a period of searching for these, I only managed to add two others. I was also unbale to find any historical information about these elusive items.

But then, along came the internet. What a change that made to collecting, especially here in Ireland! I connected with other collectors in Ireland, England and the US. Through online auction sites, I was able to learn about this genre of collecting and was able to steadily add to my collection. Along the way, I discovered that the registry companies that produced my return tags also produced keyrings that advertised a business or product. In fact, some did not offer a reward for safe return at all--they simply carried advertising. I had accumulated a small collection of these and so I began to focus on these.

So I collect Antique Advertising Keyrings. I have, over the last few years, added quite a number of these keyrings to my collection, now totaling over 300. With the help of the internet, I have enjoyed researching the background of these humble keyrings and I have enjoyed this pursuit immensely. This article will only deal with Advertising Keyrings with English wording advertising US products or services.


American Advertising Keyrings

The earliest American advertising keyrings I have are all from the Massachusetts area. They are stamped out of a single piece of round brass bar. Although it says that the patent has been applied for, I can find no records in the patent office. Interestingly, they all have what appears to be a screwdriver tip which I believe was used for opening a watch case. I believe they all date to around 1875. (See photos below.)

Another group of keyrings is similar in that they were made from a single piece of metal. These can be dated by the patent number to 1875. They were very simple and inexpensive to manufacture but, surprisingly, not too many companies seem to have used them. (See photos below.)

Whitehead & Hoag Celluloid Keyrings

Current readers will most likely be more interested in this group of keyrings made by Whitehead & Hoag just prior to the turn of the 20th century. The patent for these keyrings was issued in 1896 but usually the paper label that is inserted in the back has 3 different dates. The earliest one is for 1894, the only patent I have been able to find, originally for a keyring and also a button hook, but later adapted to also use as a corkscrew. I am not sure how effective they would be as a corkscrew. Given the popularity of collecting pinbacks a lot of these type of keyrings were “converted“ by children into pinbacks when they were first issued so, even today, they can sometimes be found in collections of pinbacks. (See photos below.)

The most interesting of these for me is the one advertising Gold Dust Washing Powder. I think this is the only time they used the wording “The Key To Easy Cleaning“ and used a Keyring, a nice touch by some advertising executive. Shown here are four other keyrings that used celluloid and I believe all date from pre-1920. (See photos below.)

Willis Keyring

Another keyring that was manufactured from a single piece of metal was the Willis keyring. Although most of these state “Pant’ Pend“, I have been unable to find any information with regards to any patent associated with a keyring and a Henry M. Willis. This keyring was split into two different compartments, ideally to separate home keys from business keys. In the advertisements for this keyring, it states that you could have your advertisement placed on the cross bar and mailed to you on receipt of 5 cents. The only exception to the cross bar type was a one-off keyring that was produced for the Prudential Insurance Co, which had a Rock Of Gibraltar design on the cross bar. Their insurance slogan was "Solid as the Rock of Gibraltar". (See photos below.)

Bank Keyrings

Keyring production proliferated within the banking industry during the 1920s and 30s. Given that safe deposit boxes became very popular at that time, it was only natural that the keys for those boxes would promote the issuing institutions. Keyrings were an effective promotional platform, with the added advantage of a longer lifespan than other advertising mediums, like paper or cardboard. A calendar would only be useful for one year of issue and a bookmark would only be seen when reading books. But a metal keyring would remain useful for years.

Below is a selection of different bank keyrings. My favourite has to be Braddock National Bank which boasted of “Safe deposit boxes in Mob Proof Vault”. That has to be the advertising slogan of the year. (See photos below.)

Other Interesting and Odd Shaped Keyrings

A very rare and early keyring was made by A.H. Merrill in 1907 which was, to the best of my knowledge, only ever used by two companies: Aetna Insurance and Pfatt's Lager. This keyring incorporated a letter opener and must have been expensive to produce. It is not an easy one to find and, of course, anything beer-related is widely-collected. Merrill then went on to form the Individual Key Ring Company and patented some other keyrings/keychains/key fobs. Click here to view an early document from this company.

Horseshoes have always been considered lucky, so a horseshoe-shaped keyring would naturally be a popular seller. They were issued by a few different companies, such as Sweet-Orr in New York. Click here to view an early example of Sweet-Orr keyring packaging. A different type of horseshoe-inspired keyring was made of brass and has a crossbar. Examples of this type of keyring are very difficult to find. Another unusual example came from Reading Hardware Co. And finally, Ballantine's Brewery used their three-ring logo to inspire their beautiful keyring. Keys can be placed in the top two rings. The keyring from Eisele Shoes employed a similar design. (See photos below.)

Aetna Insurance

Pfaff's Lager

Sweeet-Orr Company, New York

Sweeet-Orr Company, New York

Coal & Iron National Bank

John Maurer & Co Paints & Oils

Hot Springs National Park (Brass)

Ham Bacon Sausage (Brass)

Ballentine's Brewery

Eisele Shoes

Reading Hardware

To date, I have managed to track down over 200 different patents for keyrings/keychains/keyholders. I have a small website that shows many different keyring designs and also provides some background information. The website also covers keyrings from outside the USA. Click here to pay a visit.

So there you have it. I have in my collection about 300 US keyrings dating from the late 1800s to around 1930. I would classify 250 of them as advertising-related. The remainder are keyrings used by people with their personal details. An additional 200 keyrings in my collection are from Europe, again mainly advertising products or services.

Like all collectors, I am always interested in adding to my collection. Please contact me if you have any keyrings for sale or trade. I would also like to receive photos of any unusual keyrings. Click here to contact me.

Bartels Park Dedication: Edwardsville PA

By Michael Bartels

Many items in our collections have a background and a story to tell. I like to research and uncover these stories. Postcards of Bartels Brewing Park is one of them.

Everybody loves a parade. That and more is what Edwardsville, Pennsylvania got on October 19, 1910 when Bartels Brewing Company dedicated Bartels Park as a gift to the community.

As one reporter stated, Bartels put on its ‘best bib and tucker’ for the formal opening of the park. All Bartels Brewing workers were given a half-day off as a holiday and residents of the entire Wyoming Valley were invited to join the festivities.

At 2:00 pm, Alexander's Band left Kingston Station, followed by employees of the brewery. When they turned onto Plymouth Street, they began playing the lively "Bartels Purity March". An assemblage of 1,000 men, women, and children greeted them as they approached the brewery at 2:30 pm. F. L. Schott, VP and general manager, opened the festivities with patriotic remarks about the American Flag. This was to dedicate another gift, an 85’ flagpole and a silk 15’ x 25’ flag, which he raised as the band played the "Star-Spangled Banner". After the ceremonies, the brewery was opened to the public with employees giving tours, Alexander's Band played popular numbers the entire afternoon, and the park was formally opened to the public.

The Bartels Park consisted of two acres of manicured lawns, shade trees, flower beds, and a brook. Rustic bridges, a fountain, and seating along the paths added to the setting. One report proclaimed, "The park is one of the prettiest in this part of the country."

More guests arrived throughout the afternoon and they were treated to refreshments served by brewery managers. Reports indicated Bartels did all it could to make it a pleasant affair. James R. Nicholson, president, F. L. Schott, and all the officers greeted everyone and saw to it that they had plenty of food and drink, with "pitchers passed around every few minutes."

It should be noted that Plymouth Street was not the original dirt road that led to the brewery. Just one week earlier, Bartels Brewery had the street paved so the band and guests would not have to deal with ruts and dust as they arrived at the brewery.  

Postcards of Bartels Park were published. A gallery of these beautiful images is presented below, along with a post card depicting the extensive Bartels Brewery manufacturing operation.

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.

Pre-1885 advertising items related to barbed wire and farm fences. I am interested in primary material. Let me know if you have any items including illustrated catalogs, wire company published newspapers, illustrated postal covers and letterheads, flyers, signs, salesman samples, patent models or anything else related to my specific wants. Larry W. Love, [email protected], 214-497-6787.

Continental Cubes tobacco tin 4.75” tall and the 6.0” tall size. Convention Hall coffee tin (Ridenour-Baker Kansas City) any variation. Big Horn 1 lb or 3 lb coffee tin. [email protected]

Philip Morris Tin & Porcelain Advertising Signs, thermometers, door push signs. Excellent to mint condition preferred. Daryl Crawford (804) 721-7294 or email [email protected].

Justrite Pet Foods. The Justrite Company General Office was located in Milwaukee WI. A National Account. Advertising, displays, signs, tins, boxes all with logo on it. Most would come from the 1930s through 1950s. Thanks for the help… Gordon Addington. To reply, click here.

Old Topper Brewery Calendar of the late 1940s featuring a pin up artist nude in large format wanted. Always seeking any Rochester Brewery memorabilia. John DeVolder 585-697-4047 or [email protected].


"Jenny" Genesee Brewing Company's girl of the 1950s. Seeking cardboard point of sale-and other items that feature Jenny, who had a ten-year run from 1953 to 1963. Also interested in any cardboard point of sale items from the 1930s through the 1950s from any of the Rochester Breweries. John DeVolder 585-697-4047 or [email protected].

Coca-Cola 24" button porcelain sign with bottle in center. Want several in as close to mint condition as possible. Call 336-970-9867.


Books on Oil & Gas Collectibles. Also looking for books on signs. Call 336-970-9867.

Yellow Kid wanted: 50 year collector looking for the unusual. Reply to: [email protected].

Pedal Cars: Photos, postcards, calendars, catalogs and advertising related to pedal cars. To reply, click here.

Beer cans, soda cans, beer and soda tin-over-cardboard signs, cork-backed bottle caps, key-wind coffee cans, quart oil cans. Please email Jeff Lebo at [email protected].

Pedal car related items: To reply, click here.

Matchbook holders. To know what these are, see my articles in Checkerboard

for Nov. 2020 and May 2021. I will consider all items, in any material from plastic to gold, and not necessarily with advertising. Email Andy at [email protected].

Cigarette Packs. Advanced collector looking to purchase vintage packs. Please contact Dheeraj by email: [email protected].

Donald Duck Goyer Coffee Cans; One pound can & 3 oz sample size in good condition with lids. Please send email with photos & prices to [email protected].

Morimura Brothers (Japanese import company operating in NYC from 1880-1941) advertising items wanted: trade cards, pamphlets, catalog pages, salesman sample pages, porcelain items with advertising. To reply email at [email protected].


DeLaval Items and Farm Advertising Signs. Always looking for top quality and unique items. Contact Gregg Hillyer at [email protected].

Antique advertising pertaining to country store or drug store products or places. Especially those showing women or girls with the product or location shown. I would consider any  antique advertising (paper, cardboard & metal signs). Quality a plus! Dale Peterson at [email protected].

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

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.

"Antique American Medicine Bottles" by M. Knapp... soft cover book with price guide. Printed in 2012. [email protected] 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, 2.75" 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.

Morton Salt, older items, and also Pacific Coast Borax, especially a crate or box. Email [email protected] 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: [email protected].

George Petty: Advanced collector looking for unique or rare items. Photos, 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. [email protected] To reply, click here.

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

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 [email protected] or call (937) 205-2232.

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

Antique/Collectible Banking and Financial System "Giveaway" 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 1930s thru the 1970s. 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 ([email protected]) serves as the Editor of the AAAA Checkerboard. Copyright 2023, Antique Advertising Association of America.

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