October, 2021
In This Issue
  • 2022 AAAA Convention
  • Renew Your Membership
  • State Theater Antiques
  • Sonia - The Cigarette Girl
  • Indy Ad Show
  • Circle City Show
  • 2022 Kovels' Price Guide Released
  • Wanted Items
2022 AAAA Convention: July 13-16 in Dublin (Columbus), Ohio-Get $100 in Buyers Bucks!
After having to cancel two previous in-person Conventions, AAAA is committed to conducting the 2022 Convention IN PERSON---come hell or high water! There is huge pent-up demand among our members to see one other, buy and sell from one another, break bread with one another, have lots of laughs, acquire new knowledge, and be literally immersed in vintage advertising for several days! We will make sure it is a grand event--while observing all safety measures that are in place at the time.

The AAAA Board of Directors wants this Convention to be an extra special occasion to celebrate our opportunity to gather again in person. In light of that, each current AAAA member who registers to attend the Convention will receive $100.00 in "Buyers Bucks". These Buyers Bucks can be used just like cash to pay for Room Hopping and Silent Auction purchases at the Convention. Yes, you read that right--each currently registered AAAA member will receive $100.00 in Buyers Bucks! This special gift is a "thank you" to our current members who have been loyal to AAAA over the past couple of challenging years. This is a one-time promotion that will not be repeated in the future so please take advantage of it while you can!

Sellers take note! These special Buyers Bucks will not only add to the fun of making purchases at the Convention, they will also be a boon for sellers. By "seeding" the Convention with thousands of dollars in Buyers Bucks "cash", sellers should see record-breaking numbers. So sellers, start pulling together your inventory to have on hand. Our hotel will offer the perfect sales environment for what we refer to as "Room Hopping". The two room suite set-up makes it possible to use the front room as a sales gallery and the separate back room (bedroom) as your private living space. If you keep your shades open, passers-by in the hallway can "window shop" your inventory when you are not there!

If you have not previously been a seller, this would be a great time to jump in and leave the event with some cash in your pockets. Watch future issues of the Checkerboard as well as special emails for more information about selling at the convention.

The Convention will take place at the Embassy Suites in Dublin (Columbus) Ohio from July 13-16, 2022. The hotel room rate is a heavily discounted $134.00 per night plus 17.5% taxes. The Convention registration fee is still only $125.00. The Convention registration fee includes all event activities and three delicious banquet meals. Those staying at the hotel will also receive free hot breakfasts each day so the combination adds up to 6 free meals from Thursday morning through Saturday morning. Also included is free parking, free Wi-Fi, and daily evening hotel receptions with snacks and three free drinks/cocktails.

As always, a planned schedule of activities will keep you busily engaged from morning until night. We are particularly excited about our developing line-up of outstanding seminar speakers. The complete schedule will be announced at a later date.

The Heart of Ohio Antique Mall, recognized as perhaps the finest in America, is a 40 minute drive from our convention location. Other large antique malls are also within easy driving distance.

We would like to note that we are seeking somebody to coordinate the "Favorite Advertising" exhibit. If interested, please click here to let us know. If we cannot find somebody to fill that role, we will need to replace that activity with something else.

Mark your calendars for this special "reunion" of AAAA members and start thinking about all of the fun and excitement you will have!
Renew Your Membership!
Amy Vehling, AAAA Membership Coordinator, wants each member to be sure they have renewed his or her membership. Renewals in response to the latest billing cycle are lagging a bit. If you received a renewal notice with the September issue of PastTimes, please pay now. Don't let your membership lapse! If you do, you won't be eligible for the one-time Buyers Bucks special Convention benefit mentioned above.

You can renew your membership either by going to the AAAA website ( and paying online or sending your check for $40 to Amy at: AAAA , 253 Waterfall Ct, Danville, IN 46122. Thank you!
State Theater Antiques
Story and Photographs by Richard Cook
During my travels through small-town Florida, I came across the old "State Theatre" in Plant City. This restored art deco building was used as a movie house from 1938 until 1961, but today is the home of State Theatre Antiques, an antiques shop that feels more like a museum.

On display are thousands of items of antique advertising items collected by owner Ken Canty. All items are museum-quality and everything is for sale. Categories include neon signs, tobacco, soda, beer, candy, ice cream, gas & oil, carnival, circus, pharmacy, general store, and more. 

Ken allowed me to spend several hours wandering around his shop, camera in hand. If you are ever in Florida, this place is worth a visit. The address is 111 W. J. Adren Mays Boulevard, Plant City, FL, and the hours of operation are Wednesday thru Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. For further information, go to:

Rather than describe what I saw inside State Theatre Antiques, here is photographic evidence of Ken’s lifetime collection.
Sonia – The Cigarette Girl
By Dheeraj Khiytani
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle involving artistry of all forms whether musical, spiritual or creative. Bohemians share this lifestyle with other likeminded individuals from all walks of life. The New York town of Greenwich Village was such a place at the turn of the 20th Century and was known as the Bohemian Capital, a hub where many poor artists lived and worked together in harmony.

Sonia – she was known only by that name, was a penniless 17-year-old orphan who appeared in Greenwich Village seemingly from nowhere. Rumor at the time was she was most likely from Russia, perhaps from an aristocratic family but no one knew for sure. She was first noticed in the village peddling borrowed cigarettes from a wicker tray staked to her by some kind soul. She would be seen in the neighborhood’s restaurants, tea-rooms and dance halls of the Bohemian quarter, selling borrowed cigarettes and then later her own hand-made gold-tipped cigarettes in boxes of ten, fifty and one hundred. Sonia had arrived in Greenwich Village and it was circa 1913.

She would be seen walking the alleys of the Latin Quarter having heated discussions about Freud or some other topic. She would saunter into various establishments from 6 pm floating from table-to-table cajoling merrymakers into buying her cigarettes, a quarter each to the poor and neglected artists, a dollar to the affluent brokers and insurance agents. She was described as having large features and a broad brow, child-like blue eyes, raven black curly bobbed hair and dressed in a brightly colored smock and sandals. She would often adorn herself with a string of beads around her neck. It was said that Sonia ‘sold cigarettes and atmosphere’ and was the shining light of the Village. She would always be seen at the center of all the parties. One observer stated that if you had not ever smoked Sonia’s cigarettes it was like ‘the sky without stars, the dance without music, or summer without sunshine, or like life without love’.
Within a few years, Sonia had made enough money to open her own ‘artistic’ book shop. A booklet published in 1918 lists ‘Sonia’s Art Cigarette Shop’ as being on 19 West 8th Street (the location of which must have changed as two photographs taken by celebrated photographer Jessie Tarbox Beals lists a different location). Sonia’s shop was where the great minds of the day gathered to discuss and exchange knowledge. Sonia herself was evidently an expert on rare book editions and the shelves of her shop only contained the best in literature. Adorned with a shrewd business mind Sonia made the bookshop a financial success and she continued to sell her cigarettes only to keep in touch with the Village.

Sonia was the feminist of her day, shunning authority and making her views on inequality very apparent. She smoked too and when an edict was issued ordering members of the police force to arrest anyone who allowed women to smoke publicly in their establishments, she had this to say:
Sonia with her Tray
of Cigarettes
"Piffle, might as well try to stop us from using rouge – it’s a habit! (and) Why not? Cigarette smoking by women is not immoral, contrary opinions of woolen stockinged spinsters notwithstanding! My ambition is to work my way around the world and remain a vagabond preaching the gospel by My Lady Nicotine to backwards peoples. We bohemians have our own code of morals and our own ethics. They may be different but as good as everyone else’s. We don’t want Wall Street spenders and women with spider’s minds spying around here. Both annoy us."

As prohibition continued, Sonia moved to Boston briefly to try and reinvigorate her soul but this ended in failure and she returned to the Village soon after. In May of 1922 Sonia suddenly became gravely ill with heart disease of a strange form. For months she lay ill on a couch at the rear of her bookshop and was served twice with notices of eviction. Few knew of the hours that Sonia had been working in the Village and of the stress she was placing on her body. Her day would regularly start at 8 am, ending at midnight where Sonia would often collapse in a café lobby surrounded by spilled cigarettes. Often a friend would need to take her home in a taxi.
As Sonia lay ill, the village seemed to desert her with few visitors calling or acknowledging her bad fortune. Even those who might have called her ‘friend’ were only casually interested in the news that she was in fact dying of TB. Sonia remarked, ‘Yes I know the Village is away, but they might send me word, or have dropped in to see me before they went.’ The only person willing to help was her friend ‘Linn’ who ran the shop next door – but she was only able to do so much, having a shop to run herself.

By September 1922 it seemed that Sonia was on the mend but unfortunately in January 1923 things turned for the worse and Sonia was found ill again in her bookshop by a member of the Salvation Army, a Captain Rheba Crawford who had her sent her to the Lenox Hill Hospital. A kind friend subsequently raised money to send her to a private room at the more upmarket Fifth Avenue Hospital.

However, all this was all to no avail. Towards the end, Sonia called for the Bible and asked her friend Madeline (Linn?) Gale to read it to her and explain the passages which was said to comfort her somewhat. On the 18th May, 1923 Sonia died, with possibly one question on her mind. ‘Where did all my Village friends go’? Her funeral took place at Cedar Grove Cemetery on May 22nd with few mourners and her funeral being paid by another friend.

This was not the end of Sonia’s story. Following her death it came to light that she had made a will during her stay at the Lenox Hill Hospital, leaving assets valued at between $500-$1000 to Madeline Gale. Sonia had supposedly paid her hospital bills by writing checks from a checkbook tucked under her pillow and drawn from a bank account under the name of a Mrs. Charlotte Stone - Sonia’s sister.
˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷ ˷
Sonia Marie Stone was her full name and her family lived in New York’s upper east side. Her original family name was ‘Bernstein’ (a Jewish translation perhaps) and then further translated from Stein to Stone. Sonia left for Greenwich village when she was 17, leaving behind three siblings Harry, Charlotte and Ruth. Following Sonia’s death, her family had contested her latest will claiming that it was a fake and that an older one stipulated that Sonia’s debts be paid, and any balance given to Charlotte. The family had always kept in touch with Sonia but visited with food or flowers as strangers to respect Sonia’s wishes that her past be kept hidden. She was in Greenwich Village for ten of her twenty-seven years. An article written after her death by an acquaintance described her as seemingly happy but was in reality, she was terribly and cruelly sad. In fact, it was Sonia’s sister Charlotte that had paid for her funeral expenses and not long after asked for Sonia’s body to be transferred to the family plot in Cypress Hills Cemetery. My personal view is that her family had always been in the background supporting her as I can’t believe that she would have been able to afford to set up her book shop simply by selling cigarettes. Indeed, her check book was drawn under her sister Charlotte’s bank account, which would not have been possible without her sister knowingly allowing that.

Today, Greenwich Village is one of the most desirable, affluent (and expensive) places to live in New York City. What would Sonia think of that if she were still alive to see how her beloved Bohemia had changed.
My example of Sonia’s Cigarettes (photo, right) only has two of the original gold-tipped cigarettes remaining with a Series 1917 stamp, dating it to the approximate time when Sonia opened her bookshop. If you look closely at the photograph of Sonia with her wicker tray you will be able to see the same blurred ‘S’ motif spelling Sonia on the cigarettes as on my pack. Those who are interested in seeing what the interior of Sonia’s shop looked like can search the Museum of the City of New York’s collections. Her cigarette boxes with the same motifs are prominently displayed for sale next to her as she is standing. Unfortunately, I can’t include those photos here without paying $100 each for copyright permission from the museum!

I have grown quite fond of this strong-willed young lady during the course of my research on her even though she would have been 10 years younger than my Great-Grandmother who was born in 1886! I hope that this article keeps the memory of Sonia alive through the Club and the community of collectors.

I am always looking for vintage cigarette packs or boxes to add to my collection and would be very happy to hear from like-minded collectors with items to sell. I can be contacted at the following email address:
Indy Ad Show Continues to Please
The Indy Ad Show, which returned to central Indiana on September 25-26, turned in another successful appearance. The large and diverse group of dealers received high marks from attendees for the quality and breadth of their items for sale. Shoppers carrying new acquisitions could be seen grinning broadly in literally every aisle. Dealers reported being pleased with their sales. There was a relaxed, jovial atmosphere to the entire event.

Vintage advertising items of every conceivable type could be found, including traditional favorites and emerging new genres. A broad range of price points was represented. In short, there was something for everybody.

Joe Canchola, Show Manager, offered the following comments: "The show was a great success. There were some great pieces that showed up and switched hands. Dealers and buyers from all over the country showed up to participate and we thank everyone for setting up and attending! Looking forward to seeing everyone again in April, 2022!"

The Indy Ad Show takes place as part of the Boone County Treasure Hunt, which is located at the Boone County (Indiana) Fairgrounds, a quick 20-30 minute drive from Indianapolis. In addition to the Indy Ad Show, the Treasure Hunt also includes a Gas and Oil Show and two advertising-related live auctions. This major event attracts collectors from around the entire country. It is held twice each year, in the spring and fall. Owned and promoted by Route 32 Auctions, it is a "must attend" show for any collector of vintage advertising.

Some images from the September, 2021 show are presented below.
Circle City Antique and Advertising Show
Route 32 Auctions has announced a "new" annual event: the Circle City Antique & Advertising Show. This show is actually a revamped version of the Gateway Gas & Advertising Show that was previously held in Springfield, Illinois. It will take place February 3-5, 2022 at the Marriot East Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana.

This show will feature both room-to-room sales and ballroom vending. The hours will be as follows: Room to Room Vending: Thursday & Friday until 10:00 pm; Ballroom Vending: 9:00 am-6:00 pm Friday & 9:00 am-noon on Saturday.

Stay tuned for further details!
Kovels' 2022 Price Guide Released
The 2022 edition of the popular Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide has been released to the delight of its legions of fans around the country. Considered to be the "bible" in the field of antique publications, more than 4 million copies have been sold over the years. This edition contains 12.500 actual prices and 3,000 full color photographs. All prices are based upon actual sales, rather than estimates.

In addition to the main body of pricing information, this volume continues in the tradition of offering the fabled Kovel "wisdom" to collectors. The entire volume is liberally peppered with folksy tips, information about marks, company histories, and the unexpected. They offer insights and wisdom that you simply cannot find anywhere else.

There are more photos than ever before and the volume is a visual delight to pour through. This is a volume that should be on every antique collector's bookshelves!

Terry Kovel attended the 2014 AAAA Convention and delivered an exemplary seminar that was very well-received. The Kovels' have also been AAAA Convention Sponsors for the past several years.
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.

Donald Duck Goyer Coffee Cans; One Pound Can & 3 oz Sample Size in Good Condition With Lids. Please Send Email With Photos & Prices to

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

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

Wanted top condition: Hard A Port small top tobacco tin; Convention Hall 1 lb coffee tin (green or yellow); Army Navy coffee slip lid canister; Big Horn 1 lb coffee tin; Continental Cubes medium size kidney shape tobacco tin.
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

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. 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.

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.

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 2021, Antique Advertising Association of America