What do you do with ‘garage’ collectibles? You know, the things usually associated with auto maintenance or housekeeping, things you wouldn’t really display in the house anywhere.
Well, the obvious places are also the perfect choices! The garage, utility room, and junk drawer need collectibles too, don’t they? I keep mine right among all the ‘real’ things that I actually use. Seeing them there brightens any chore.
Top: Cornell Tube Repair Kit (Akron, Ohio, USA, 1940s), Hold Tight! tube patch kit (Better Monkey Grip Co., Dallas, Texas, USA, c.1955), Brasso “By Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, suppliers of metal polish, Reckitt & Sons Ltd.” (Hull & London, England, 1960s), Pure Gold universal joint and wheel bearing grease (Pep Boys: Manny, Moe & Jack, Philadelphia, USA, c.1960), Brasso in the rectangular can (England, c.1960), Cadillac Fabric Cleaner with chlorothene (General Motors, Detroit, USA, c.1959), Cadie Auto Cloth (USA, c.1960).
Kurly Kate stainless steel sponge “for dairies, canneries, meat packers” (Chicago, USA, c.1940s), bullet-shaped Fire-Alert (Alert Industries, New York, USA, c.1955), red Fedtro FA-1 fire alarm (Japan, c.1960), Smart Household (paper) Towels (Smart & Final Iris, USA, c.1950), Las-stik Wax-Treated Car and Home Cloth PC-15 (Ohio, USA, 1970s), Kelly's Silver Dressing for shoes and slippers “Kelly's shines in polished society” (USA, c.1940), Johnson's Prepared-Liquid Wax glass bottle (Wisconsin, USA, 1936), New Instant Joy for Dishes “Mildest Ever” (Proctor & Gamble, USA, c.1958). The glass Joy bottle is, I suppose, one of my “kitchen collectibles,” but that page, like the kitchen itself, is full.
The two fire alarms are battery-operated. They look good and maybe afforded some peace of mind, but in reality they were essentially bicycle horns with a heat-sensitive switch on the bottom; they had to be virtually engulfed in flames before they’d sound an alarm!
This stylish Hotpoint Appliances sign is lit from within. The photo with the White Oak Ave street sign shows the sort of ‘roadside collectibles’ kids bring home.
Of course the perfect collectible in any garage is the collectible car. This one’s been in mine since 1973. It’s a 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250 SL convertible, known especially for its concave-shaped, removable “pagoda” hardtop. My daily driver for many years, this faithful little car now enjoys a life of leisure taking me to Baskin-Robbins on the occasional summer night.
Admittedly, one collectible car does not a car collection make. This, however, is by deliberate design. Cars are very demanding in their upkeep and can seem determined to return to the elements from which they were made. I simply have too much else to do to devote myself to their preservation. As a young man I had many cars (being from suburban Detroit it was—and still is—in my blood). I learned from that early collection that without sufficient time and resources to devote to their care, what starts out as a car collection ends up a junkyard.
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