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article number 17
article date 06-24-2011
copyright 2011 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
My Whole $19 Antique/Vintage Collection
by Stu Moment

This is my whole antique/vintage collection. I had taken some items from my dad, others I found at garage sales, never paid more than $1.50. One item, the meat grinder was purchased off ebay for $7.00.

This article sets a tone for this topic. Items that many antique collectors would consider insignificant may be dear to you. Please go through your old stuff and share it with me by sending in your pictures and descriptions.


I grew up borrowing tools from the wooden tool chest. Originally, it belonged to my grandfather. I can see where it used to have hinges and a latch but it never had a top in my lifetime.


The tool box held a variety of tools but the wrench with the Ford emblem always attracted my attention. My dad never owned a Ford so I assume that it was my grandfather’s. It would have been made before 1950. Please ask your elders to help identify the purpose of this wrench. My motorcycles come with tool kits. Did cars ever come with tool kits?

The next picture shows a cheap hand drill which I used often as a kid. I’d drill into any piece of wood I could find in the basement, not for any specific purpose … just to drill holes. Grandpa’s tool box also had a hand saw. I sawed through a beautiful cherrywood bed frame, that my parents stored in the basement, again, just to saw wood. My parents were not happy with me. I think it was from my grandparent’s estate.


The Planer was purchased at a garage sale. It needs some re-fabrication but still gets placed back into service when my electric planer is not at home. Works well.

The mallet and clamp shown in the next picture were also purchased at a garage sale for $.50 each. I can never have enough clamps and this mallet, at about two pounds, fills a gap between a hammer and a four pound sledge. I look at these tools with disbelief as to their quality. The handle of the mallet appears to have been laid up by hand.


“Modern machining” and “mass production”, 1890’s style are featured in the next picture. This is a “Universal” meat grinder with cast-in patent dates beginning in 1898. I would imagine that they were sold in mass until the 1930’s although one online history claims that Landers, Frary and Clark, the company that used the “Universal” trade name, sold mostly electric appliances by 1920. This one was bought on ebay for $7.00. There are lots of them on ebay. I occasionally need a meat grinder to make sausage. I don’t need a grinder enough to pay $50.00 for an electric one.


It intrigues me just how well companies did casting and machining in the late 19th century. How did they cast iron in mass production? Was “tool steel” hard enough to cut threads? Of course, the materials that this grinder are made of aren’t the toughest. I will be careful not to over tighten the wing-nut and clamp-screw in hopes that this grinder gives another 100 years of service.

The last picture shows a car jack with a cast-in patent date of 1928. It is not of high quality manufacture plus there is no way to lubricate the internal gears yet it performs well in light duty work. Also the star wheel allows quick elevation until the tapered ½ in drive wrench is needed to help lift your car.


This jack has an advantage over a floor jack when I need a small footprint to avoid interference with the placement of a jackstand.

WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT MY COLLECTION? I wasn’t trying to collect antiques/vintage items. I need these items in daily life.

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