2004 Issue

Compiled by
Mike McLeod

This month Mike McLeod takes a look at a wide range of websites dedicated to home versions of television game shows, shaving mugs, and egg coddlers. He also brings us a virtual museum for those interested in 20th-century art and design. Mike, who lives with his family near Atlanta, has written about a broad range of antiques and collectibles – from Sumida pottery to Gutenburg Bible pages. Readers who would like to share interesting websites with Mike may contact him via email at mikemcl@mindspring.com.

Bill Cullen and his versatile face.

The Game Show Home Page Bill Cullen Tribute Page
http://userdata.acd.net/ottinger/games.htm http://userdata.acd.net/ottinger/Cullen/

           “Welcome to a sort of electronic museum dedicated to the home versions of TV and radio game shows, mostly board games but also other game show collectibles,” says this website. If you watch DirectTV’s game show network around the clock, then you must visit this site. If you did not know there was a television channel dedicated to just game shows, this webpage could bring you a chuckle. Along with the Concentration, Password, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy games, which are standard fare, you will be surprised to learn — as I was — how many shows had board games. Among the surprise television shows that have been adapted to home games are American Gladiators, Candid Camera, the Gong Show, Kids Say the Darndest Things, Let’s Make A Deal, and People’s Court.” This just scratches the surface. The Game Show Home Game Home Page is maintained by Matt Ottinger, and you have to give him credit for his attention to detail.

            Matt also has a site dedicated to “the greatest game show host of all time.” Who could it be? Gene Rayburn, Wink Martindale, Allen Ludden, Richard Dawson, Donnie Osmond? Nope. In Matt’s considered opinion, it was Bill Cullen. Remember him from Password? I remember watching him as a kid, and he was good. But I think I liked Gene Rayburn from the Match Game was better. Anyway, to each his own game show host.

            If you are a Bill Cullen fan, Matt’s webpage lets you read all about his radio career, provides a timeline and chronology of his life, and shares memories that site visitors have written about him. Matt says, “The New York Times described him as, ‘the slim, alert man with the big horn-rimmed glasses, the large eyes, and the elfin grin which splits his face wide and lights it like a ball park at night.” According to Matt, Groucho Marx simply called Cullen the “second-wittiest man on the air.” You just can’t argue with Groucho.


Large Loetz fan vase standing 8 inches high, circa 1905, made of green iridescent glass with purple and rose highlights.

The Collectics Virtual Museum


            This website is a good reference source for those interested in art and design movements over the last century or so. Its online gallery features examples from the Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Arts and Crafts periods of the early 20th century. It also lists reference books (which are for sale on the website), book reviews and summaries “covering major artists, manufacturers, and design periods in collecting.”

            The categories of collectibles that you can view photos of and read information about include: vintage and kitchen; lamps and lighting; pottery; bakelite, Lucite and plastic; porcelain and china, vintage jewelry; crystal and glass; toys; vintage advertising; needlepoint; vintage jewelry; 1950s and 1960s retro; and books and music.


Ocean Liner Occupational Shaving Mug, Deutschland, circa 1912.

Shaving Mugs


As you can learn on John Bellew’s webpage, “shaving mugs were popular from the 1880s through the 1920s, when men went to the barbershop daily for a shave. Men often had their individual mugs marked with their name and/or depictions of their occupation, their fraternal order, or other decorative scenes, and placed in a rack at their barbershop. The barbershop was an exclusively male meeting place (although there were a few female barbers), and a social club. When WWI came and the Gillette razor was introduced to the American troops, men began to shave themselves, and the heyday of the barbershop and of the individual shaving mug ended.” John explains further that personalized antique shaving mugs — those with the owner’s name, emblems, decorations, designs, or graphic representation of his occupation — are highly collectible.

            Often plain mugs were made in France, Austria, and Germany, and then hand painted in the U.S. The categories of mugs include:

  • Scuttle Mugs — those with a divider inside, one side for soap and the other for water.

  • Fraternal Mugs — these feature an emblem from a fraternal order.

  • Decorative Mugs — these have the owner’s name, a scene or other decoration.

  • Occupational Mugs — these depict the owner’s occupation, such as train engineer, pharmacist or butcher.

            John has these occupational mugs on his website and many others that are worth a look.


Royal Worchester blue willow pattern type 4C egg coddler.

Egg Coddlers


        I have been accused of coddling kids, but I have never coddled eggs. But for the other culinary illiterates out there (like myself), coddling is to cook an egg in water just below the boiling point. (I had to look up the term in a dictionary.) Evidently, it requires a special devise to achieve a coddled egg.

            Egg coddlers are made from porcelain, glass, or pottery and are three to five inches tall. They have a screw-on or snap-on lid. To cook an egg in one, the inside is coated with butter (or a spray), and then eggs are broken into it. The lid is secured, and the coddler is lowered into the hot water. After the eggs are cooked, the coddler is removed from the water and served.

            Royal Worchester in England and the Premier Egg Cup Company of Syracuse, New York, were two of the earliest manufacturers of coddlers beginning in the late 19th century. Coddlers were also made in China and Japan. Royal Worchester still makes them today, and this site identifies 150 Royal Worchester designs. Egg coddlers were a typical component of the English breakfast table in the early 1900s, and today, they are still used for preparing eggs, but they also have other uses, such as heating baby food.

            Bruce Barrett and Rob Jenson are the creators of this page, and they have done a wonderful job of spotlighting this little-known collectible. If you have never seen an egg coddler, take a look at the great variety on this webpage. You can also pick up a recipe or two for coddling eggs.


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