August 2004

   Compiled by Mike McLeod... This month Mike McLeod takes a look at antique clothing, machines, mousetraps, and Western Movies. 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 .

Circa 1940s Bes-Ben museum quality “Strawberry Hat.” Large luscious strawberries, white strawberry flowers and green beaded leaves arranged on a simple cap with red veil, $565.

Vintage and Antique Clothing

        Vintage clothing is becoming a hot collectible. If you are into clothes or would like to spend some time window shopping, is a great place to browse. With examples for sale from the 1800s until today, this website is like a dozen fashion magazines from by-gone eras.

The website has these categories of clothing to view: Antique/Regency—1800s-1840s; Victorian/Edwardian—1850s-1920s; Vintage/Designer—1930s-today; Antique and Vintage Items Under $150; Lingerie and Unmentionables; Wedding Clothing and Accessories; Hats, Shoes, Jewelry, Accessories, etc.; Memorabilia / Celebrity / Costume; Children’s; and there is a museum.

Deborah Burke owns the website, and her knowledge of vintage and antique fashion is worthy of college credit. She shops nationally and internationally for clothing, and she shares her profound knowledge on her website. For instance, here she expounds on an 1890 Doucet-Paris Couture black velvet beaded waistcoat jacket: “Jacques Doucet was the genius at the helm of the House of Doucet, from 1853-1929. A contemporary of Charles F. Worth, the House of Doucet was known for maintaining a character of gracious elegance and unsurpassed fine workmanship. The firm was located on the famous Rue de la Paix, just doors away from Worth. Both Paul Poiret and Madame Vionnet worked with Doucet early in their careers. The arts and decoration of the 18th century fascinated Doucet, and he collected garments of the period. Many of the items created by the house were based on historical prototypes.

“[The waistcoast is] A plush blue-black silk velvet, designed after the court waistcoats of the late 18th century, with opulent and glittering decorative jet beadwork. Beautiful construction and workmanship throughout. A museum piece with the silk ivory lining in need of conservation…. Measures: 34/35 inch bust, 28 inch waist, 34 inch long from shoulders. An extraordinary and rare survivor, important for any clothing collection.” is like the wish books of days gone by.


The American Hand Patented Sewing Machine, patented October 21, 1884.

“Antiques of  a Mechanical Nature”

        Larry and Carole Meeker exhibit their very interesting collection here that they have acquired over the years as antique shop owners. And they tell you right up front that they are always looking to buy more to add to their collection. They have great photos of some wonderful pieces that are really worth your time to see. Their collection on the website partially includes: sewing machines (some that you have never seen before), tools, irons, salesman’s sample washers (hand powered), cast iron (stoves, duck decoy, etc. A cast iron duck decoy would seem to defeat the purpose, but it seems these were used “…as ballast on floating sink boxes…”), farm equipment (saleman’s sample mowing machine and seeding machine), kitchen items (a salesman’s sample folding churn, “The Double Triple Clockwork Egg Beater”, and more), and technology/office equipment (a 1913 pocket calculator).  Along with each item is the story of how it was acquired or some other newsy information.


H&R Delusion Mouse Trap

Antique Mouse and Rat Traps

         Just how long has humankind been bedeviled by rats and mice?  Since the beginning, probably. How long have people been building mechanical traps to catch the critters?  I don’t know, but Rick Cicciarelli has built an excellent website with a multitude of photos of traps from the 1800s and 1900s. Few people have seen most of the traps in his collection. I really like the fruit jar trap for its simplicity and the electric mouse trap that plugs in a socket. I guess these were invented after extension cords, or the mouse would have to jump up to the trap where it is plugged into the wall.

Today’s typical mechanical traps are the old snap type. It was amazing to see on Rick’s page so many traps from the 1800s and early 1900s that capture the mouse alive. Some wheel types look like they let the mouse have some fun during its final judgment.

Rick is a man of few words with his collection. He lets the photos do most of the talking. And they have a lot to say that you might want to hear.

But if you have a question, you can email Rick from the website. He is looking for more traps, if you have any on hand.


Chief Thunder (Victor Daniels), the first Tonto, and Lee Powell as the Lone Ranger.

The Old Corral

       For fans of westerns, make The Old Corral your homepage.  It’s mission is to remember “…the B-Western Movie, Heroes, Heroines, Sidekicks, Heavies and Henchmen. Exclusively B-Westerns – no A-Westerns, no TV Westerns, no ‘spaghetti’ Westerns.”

The list of B-Western stars—well, maybe actors, not stars — is extensive (78) on the website, including: Tex Williams, Sunset Carson, Duncan Renaldo, Ken Curtis (“Festus” from “Gunsmoke”), Buck Jones, Dave ‘Tex’ O’Brien, Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams, Hoot Gibson, George Montgomery, Tex Ritter, Tom Mix, Bob Allen, John Wayne (in the 1930s), Bob Steele, Rex Allen, Buster Crabbe, etc. (Buster Crabbe was best known for his “Flash Gordon” movies, but he also acted in several westerns based on the novels of Zane Grey. He played Tarzan in the 1933 serial, “Tarzan the Fearless,” before Johnny Weismuller became the man.)

Each actor has a bio and photos. There are also listing of cowboy trios, like the Three Mesquiteers, and profiles of heroines, second leads, sidekicks, kid helpers, villains, “henchies,” stage drivers, singers, and singing groups (with audio of their songs available). And the cowboy series are not forgotten: the Cisco Kid, the Durango Kid, the Mountie films, and of course, the Lone Ranger(s), variously played by Clayton Moore, Lee Powell and Bob Livingston. There is also a profile of Chief Thunder (Victor Daniels), the first Tonto, even though technically he was not a cowboy.

From 1930 to 1954, there were 2,696 Westerns made, according to The Old Corral, and there is even a breakdown of the number of films made by movie studio and by year. Whew! That’s how in-depth this website is, and it is loaded with information.

If you are a fan of movies where the good guys always win, The Old Corral is the website for you.

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