Village Blog | Nature's Art Village | Montville, CTNature's Art Village

1650 Hartford-New London Turnpike, Montville, CT 06370

Nature's Art Village & The Dinosaur Place: 860-443-4367
The PAST Antiques & Genius Museum:860-437-3615

The 1922 Rumely Oil Pull Tractor

The Advance-Rumely company began in 1848, when Meinrad Rumely emigrated to the U.S. and joined his brother, John, to run a blacksmith shop in LaPorte, Indiana. Meinrad later purchased the business from his brother and renamed the firm M. Rumely Company. Rumely initially served the railroad, but soon began designing and manufacturing agricultural equipment to serve the local farm industry.

After Meinrad died in 1904, his sons, William and Joseph, took over and the company continued to flourish. In 1908 engineers John Secor and William Higgins joined Rumely to design and build a line of internal-combustion tractors. Their first prototype tractor, “Kerosene Annie”, was built in 1909 and led Rumely to become the first American tractor manufacturer to use kerosene as a fuel.

The Rumely Oil Pull was the first tractor to use an oil cooling system, which kept the engine at a steady temperature regardless of the tractor’s load. The Oil Pull starts on gas but runs on kerosene, making it much lighter and easier to maneuver than its steam-driven predecessors. This tractor featured other upgrades as well including more cab space and automotive-style steering rather than fifth-wheel steering.

Rumely’s large cab area is roomy enough to accommodate two people.

In spite of their success at the turn of the 20th Century, a downturn in the agriculture market in 1913, took a toll on the company and by 1915 Rumely had declared bankruptcy and was reorganized as Advance-Rumely. The Great Depression further impacted Advance-Rumely and they continued to struggle until being bought out by Allis-Chalmers in 1931. Allis-Chalmers discontinued the Rumely units immediately, using the LaPorte factory to produce its own line of tractors and threshers. Rumely remains a well-known and highly regarded tractor with collectors.

If you would like to see or purchase your very own Rumely, stop by The PAST Antiques Marketplace. Our 1922 Rumely Oil Pull is in excellent working condition and sure to delight any tractor enthusiast.

July’s Vendor of the Month is Booth 74, located on the lower lever of The PAST Antiques Marketplace. 
This vendor features and eclectic mix of furniture, kitchenware, organizing solutions and home decor.

With more than 90 antique and collectibles dealers between two handicap-accessible floors, The PAST Antiques Marketplace is sure to have something for the collector in all of us.

June’s Vendor of the Month is Booth 44, located on the lower lever of The PAST Antiques Marketplace.
This vendor features furniture and home decor for anyone who loves vintage!

With more than 90 antique and collectibles dealers between two handicap-accessible floors, The PAST Antiques Marketplace is sure to have something for the collector in all of us.

Similar to Pyrex, Fire-King was originally produced in the 1940s by Anchor Hocking. It was given away with bags of flour and could be purchased at gas stations, grocery and hardware stores. This durable, oven-safe glassware was produced in a variety of designs and colors. Popular styles included nesting bowls, dessert bowls, glass beverage containers, casserole dishes, and mugs.

Jade-ite, which is a milky green colored glass, remains one of the most popular styles among collectors. Mugs decorated with advertising and popular characters are also sought-after by collectors.

Although Fire-King dishes are oven-safe, there were no microwaves in existence when it was initially manufactured and it is not recommended for microwave use. It is also best to avoid the dishwasher.

While Fire-King ceased production in 1976, many pieces are still available due to their sturdiness. Their usefulness and timeless style make this kitchen staple a favorite among collectors.

Focus on PhotographyMay 15, 2019

Now that every smartphone is equipped with a camera, there has been a renewed interest in photography. While filters in apps and software are designed to give modern photos a vintage look, they cannot replace the style and quality of a film camera.

Vintage cameras are valued by collectors for many reasons. In addition to their historical significance, many vintage cameras contained high-end optics that modern photographers desire. Leica, Kodak and Polaroid are just a few of the sought-after brands collectors desire.

Camera collecting can be enjoyed by both the novice and professional photographer. With so many interesting models, there are cameras and lenses for every budget.

Visit the “Camera Shop” in the Genius Museum and purchase your own vintage camera at The PAST Antique Marketplace.

May’s Vendor of the Month is Booth 20, located downstairs in the PAST Antiques Marketplace.

This vendor has a large selection of unusual items. Handmade hammered metal items from Martha’s Vineyard, tools, dishes, vintage souvenir glasses and so much more! Stop by and see this fabulous selection today.

With more than 90 antique and collectibles dealers between two handicap-accessible floors, The PAST Antiques Marketplace is sure to have something for the collector in all of us.

Cigarette cardsApril 19, 2019

Cigarette or tobacco cards originated in the 1870s as a way to stiffen cigarette packs. These cards were blank until a businessman decided to use them for advertising. Soon cards were manufactured with images players on the front, and advertisements on the back. These cards were produced as sets to encourage people to purchase more cigarettes and thus collect the entire series.

Each set of cards typically consisted of 25 or 50 related subjects. Popular themes included celebrities, athletes, nature, and scenic images. With the onset of World War II in 1940, manufacturers ceased tobacco card production in order to save paper. While some companies attempted to reintroduce cigarette cards in the 1950s, they never regained their original popularity.

Collectors have been known to spend thousands of dollars for rare cards depicting vintage ball players such as Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb. However, more common cards are more affordable to the casual enthusiast. The PAST Antiques Marketplace has an assortment of cigarette cards for purchase. Visit us and pick out one or two or a complete set!

Laundry DayApril 03, 2019

The first patent for a metal washboard was obtained in 1833 by S. Rust of New York. However, some argue the origins of the washboard date back to the 1700s. Washboards have a wood frame with a scrubbing area that can be made of wood, copper, brass, tin, zinc-coated metal, or graniteware. During World War II glass washboards became popular due to a shortage of metal. 

In the mid-1850s steam-driven commercial laundry machines were available and sparked the demand for household versions. In the 1900s, Alva Fisher invented the first electric washer. Fisher’s “Thor” was a drum-style washer featuring a galvanize tube and electric motor. Single-cylinder hit-and-miss gasoline engines powered early machines in homes where electricity was not available.

Bendix Home Appliances introduced the first domestic automatic washing machine in 1937. By the 1940s most families in the United States owned an electric washer.
However, In the UK electric washing machines did not become popular until the following decade due to the impact World War II had on the economy.

Modern appliance manufacturers continue to find ways to reduce costs while improving efficiency. Features we currently rely on such as timers, child locks, and variable speeds and temperature settings were unheard of in the early 1900s. Today more than 85% of homes in the US have washing machines.

Visit our museum to see many antique appliances, like the 1900 Cataract washer, and stop by The PAST Antiques Marketplace to purchase your very own washboard!


April’s Vendor of the Month is Booth 40, located downstairs in the PAST Antiques Marketplace.

This vendor has a large selection of delightful collectibles. Ceramics, glassware, shot glasses and toys. These photos are just a small sample of this vendors fabulous selection. We’re sure you’ll find something that catches your fancy.

With more than 90 antique and collectibles dealers between two handicap-accessible floors, The PAST Antiques Marketplace is sure to have something for the collector in all of us.

Cash RegistersMarch 18, 2019

With the expansion of American businesses in the late 19th century, shopkeepers needed ways to secure their money.
Early cash registers were entirely mechanical, without receipts. The employee was required to enter each transaction on the register, and when the total key was pushed, the drawer opened and a bell would ring. This bell was to notify the manager that a sale taking place.
The first mechanical cash register was invented by James Ritty and John Birch following the American Civil War. James was the owner of a saloon in Dayton, Ohio and wanted to stop employees from pilfering his profits. The Ritty Model I was invented in 1879 and with the help of James’ brother, John, they patented it in 1883. Shortly thereafter, Ritty sold his interest in the cash register business to Jacob H. Eckert of Cincinnati, who formed the National Manufacturing Company. Eckert sold the company in 1884 to John H. Patterson, who renamed the company the National Cash Register Company (NCR). Patterson continued to make improvements to the cash register by adding a paper roll to record transactions. NCR expanded quickly and became multi-national in 1888 and by 1911 had sold one million machines. While working for NCR, Charles F. Kettering designed a cash register with an electric motor in 1906. NCR continued to evolve and currently makes self-service kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, automated teller machines, check processing systems and barcode scanners.

The PAST Antiques Marketplace has a number of antique cash registers for sale. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full line of antiques and vintage collectibles.