Recently my sister and I cleaned out our Dad's garage and discovered a few treasures that were always there, but perhaps went unnoticed because they blended in too well with their surroundings.
First, we found these two old railroad lanterns gathering dust on a shelf. I don't know the full story because I don't think my grandfather ever talked about it, but when his father? came over from the Old Country (Immigrant alert!), he apparently worked on the railroad at one point. I do wish my grandfather were still around because I would ask him about it.
After doing a bit of online research and looking at the markings on each lantern, I discovered the large one is commonly known as an "Adlake" lantern, made by The Adams & Westlake Co. There are quite a few of these available at online auction sites. They're priced at anywhere from $80 to $199, depending on condition.
|Lantern top with clear markings in ALL CAPS|
|Patents on rim of lantern top from 1908, 1909 and 1911|
The smaller red lantern is charming and colorful, and from what I could tell, more commonly found at online auction sites, prices starting at around $20.
The glass is clearly marked FEUER HAND
MADE IN W. GERMANY
The top is marked ORIGINAL - NIER - FEUERHAND
|As far as I can tell, the base says, 1175 W. GERMANY SUPER BABY|
I currently have these lanterns on my fireplace hearth, and they will add even more vintage charm at Christmastime, especially the red one.
The other item rescued from my Dad's garage is this old scooter that once belonged to my Uncle Joe. It's heavy cast-iron with a wooden footboard and hard rubber tires and handlebar tips. I especially like the fender on the front wheel. I'm guessing it's from the 1940s, though it could be older. Everyone can use an extra set of wheels, right?
At one time when we were kids, one of us added the "Volkswagon" sticker on the side using a label maker.
Because these have a personal connection, I will treasure them always, and do my best to not hide them in a closet or storage basement. I almost always display vintage finds anyway. They make excellent conversation starters.