I often receive questions from beginner and veteran collectors about items they've found, and thought I'd share a few common questions about
Q: For my son's 10th birthday, I want to give him a toy truck that has been in my family for years. It looks just like a
A: The Metalcraft Corp. of St. Louis manufactured four different versions of toy trucks for
In the United States, bottlers distributed more than 100,000 trucks in the pre- Christmas sales period, and mail-order catalogs offered them for 48 cents each. The value has gone up significantly; the truck pictured here could be worth as much as $1,200, according to Petretti's
Q: I have come across a little cherub of a doll that is dressed like a
A: The "Buddy Lee" doll was manufactured by The H.D. Lee Company and distributed by bottlers in the 1950s as a promotional item. Buddy was dressed in the standard salesman's uniform of white cloth with green pin stripes with circular patches on his uniform. According to Petretti's
Q. I have a round china plate with a bottle and glass of
A. The ceramic plate you describe is most likely from the 1930s. The 8 1/4-inch diameter plate was manufactured by The Crockery City Ice & Products Company for a local
Q: I have come across booklets of paper holiday ornaments with
A: Mass consumer Christmas promotions began in the 1950s. Bottlers distributed the poem "The Night Before Christmas" with cartons of Coke. Then, in the 1960s, holiday decorations were tucked inside cartons of Coke. Most were paper booklets with cut-out designs such as stars, lanterns and globes. Later, a drummer boy, three wise men and even origami "Christmas paper magic" decorations were given away. Some of these ornaments can still be found today.
If you have questions about items you've found, take a moment to look for an answer on this site. We have Collectors Columns covering a variety of subjects, and we will be adding more columns written by members of the
Phil Mooney is the director of the Archives Department.