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 & The Gateway Museum:860-437-3615


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.

Art Pottery Wall PocketsMarch 13, 2019

Ornamental wall pockets or wall vases first became household staples in the late 18th century. Many European ceramics manufacturers including Staffordshire, Wedgewood and Royal Doulton made decorative china wall pockets. These flat-backed, wall-mounted containers were originally designed to hold matches, kitchen utensils and sewing items.

Wall pockets saw a surge in popularity during the 1940s and ‘50s when American companies like Holt-Howard and Hull began manufacturing novelty ceramics. Cute pockets featuring animals and people’s faces often had matching kitchenware such as cookie jars or salt and pepper shakers. These novelty wall pockets were quite different form their ornate predecessors and homemakers loved them. Today’s wall pockets are still prominent in businesses and used for organizing paperwork. While not as decorative, these plastic versions are a useful addition to the home or workplace.

The PAST Antiques Marketplace has a lovely selection of vintage wall pockets for sale. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full line of antiques and vintage collectibles.

 

MarblesMarch 06, 2019

The origins of the humble marble are not clear. Archaeologists have excavated marbles from sites in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. Native American tribes also played with them. They were typically made of clay, stone or glass. In Roman literature there is mention of playing the game with nuts. During the mid-19th century the invention of scissors for cutting molten glass increased the production of marbles.

Martin Frederick Christensen patented a machine for creating glass-made marbles in 1903 and created millions of marbles before his company closed in 1917. There are currently only two marble manufacturers in America: Jabo Vitro in Ohio, and Marble King, in West Virginia.

Marbles are appreciated by enthusiasts for their attractiveness and entertainment. There are many different patterns and colors to entice collectors. Common styles are onionskins, corkscrews, lutz, micas, clearies, Indians, Joseph’s Coat, oxbloods, and sulphides. You can purchase handmade or machine-made marbles in glass, clay or stone. With hundreds of game variations, you’ll never get bored with your marble collection. However, we do suggest you keep rare marbles for display purposes only!

March Booth of the MonthMarch 01, 2019

March’s Vendor of the Month is Booth 110, located downstairs in the PAST Antiques Marketplace.

Comic books, vintage shakers, Matchbox cars, vintage postcards, bottles and decorative items! This booth has a little bit of everything. These photos are just a small sample of what this vendor has to offer. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MatchbooksFebruary 25, 2019

In 1892 Joshua Pusey patented his idea of paper matches. Match tips were dipped in a solution of sulfur and phosphorus, then stapled to a piece of cardboard. Thus, the matchbook was born. The Diamond Match Company purchased Pusey’s patent and in 1894, Pabst beer ordered 10 million matchbooks bearing ads on their covers.

Soon, matchbooks advertising a variety of goods were offered to customers of tobacco products, or left in ashtrays at coffee shops and motels.

Match cover collectors, known as phillumenists, have been around since the conception of matchbooks. In most matchbook collections, only the covers are collected. Collectors carefully remove the matches and the covers are displayed or stored flat. However, the book is left intact if images are printed on the matches themselves.

Early matchbooks produced for Wrigley’s gum, like the ones shown here, are some of the most desired by collectors.

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