2004 Issue

Compiled by
Mike McLeod

  This month Mike McLeod brings up on a virtual tour of Egypt and shows us antique lures, door stops, and squished pennies. 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

Michigan Life-Like Minnow with later (and more rare) hardware, circa 1912, with box and insert paperwork, Muskegon, Michigan. (Photo courtesy

Antique Lures

            I guess you should expect no less passion from collectors of antique lures as from anglers themselves. The amount of information and photos these collectors have posted on the Internet is astounding. Michael Echols’ boasts 526 pages. Floyd Roberts’ site declares that he has “1,500 pages of information on rare and old fishing related subjects.” Robbie Pavey’s site features hundreds of photos of “museum quality lures in their original boxes.”

            On any of these websites, you can learn about the major manufactures of vintage and antique lures (including Heddon, Jamison, Creek Chub, Moonlight, Pflueger, South Bend, and Shakespeare) and about most of the 180 or so smaller manufacturers. Between these sites, you can learn about grading factors for lures and boxes, how to clean and identify lures, how to identify rare lures and much more. In addition, the website owners all want to buy your old lures. offers up to $5,000 for quality samples.

            So why should you care about old lures if you are not into fishing? Last year, Lang’s Auction sold a Giant Haskell Minnow and its wooden slide-top box for $101,000. So it may behoove you to reel some in.



            This website may be short on text, but it is long on photographs of old painted doorstops. Categories of doorstops that you can view include: men, women, children, flowers, animals, couples, houses and “miscellaneous.”

   is an e-club for collectors that aims to facilitate communication between enthusiasts, share photos of doorstop treasures, and let exchange information on doorstops being sought or available for sale or trade. The site says that there are no fees, dues, or meetings, “just a fun web page!”

            A few excellent examples of doorstops you can see on the site depict: Robinson Crusoe, Little Bo Peep, a Dutch girl, Uncle Sam, Popeye, a banjo player, a bellhop, a windmill, and a colonial woman. If you have a great old doorstop, you may want to join the club. But you can just click on the site and enjoy an eyeful of an interesting collectible.


This squished penny commemorates a town in Wales that claims it has the longest name of any village in the world.

Squished pennies were first seen in the United States at the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

The Squished Penny Museum

            When I was a kid, I thought squished pennies were those we put on the train track. But those flattened coppers (as the owners of this site will inform you) are “squashed coins.” Evidently, they are nothing more than “mere imposters in the squished penny world.”

            Genuine squished pennies were souvenirs of travel or commemorated events and  people. The Squished Penny Museum features examples from tourists stops across the U.S., from Graceland to the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, Calif. Zoos, towers, aquariums, shops and other out-of-the-way places begging to be remembered are all represented in the museum.

            The museum and its contents are housed in Washington, D.C, in the living room of the website owners. You can visit the museum if you call ahead for an appointment. (You really have to be dedicated to a collection to allow strangers into your home to see it in this day and age.) But the site offers a nice view.

            Squished pennies, you will learn when visiting the site, were born at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. But Americans are not the only group of people who disfigure coinage to create a memory. The Scottish, Irish and Germans are also known to do it as well.

            Take, for example, the Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch squished coin. In the mid-19th century, a small town in Wales was looking for a way to put itself on the map and to attract tourists. Realizing that people would want to say they had been to the place with the longest name in the world, a local tailor decided that his village would capture that title. The name means, “the Church of St. Mary in the hollow of the white hazels near a rapid whirlpool and the church of St. Tysilio near a red cave.” To spare residents writing cramp, the name is usually shortened to “Llanfairpwll” or “Llanfair P.G.” The red dragon on the squished coin is the symbol of Wales.

            So the next time you are in Washington, D.C., and after you visit any or all of the Smithsonian’s 16 museums, do not miss the Squished Penny Museum.


This cartouch is of  my name,“Mike.

Virtual Egypt

            This is an interesting site given all the options it offers for those interested in Egypt. You can take a virtual tour of Abu Simbel, Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, Philae, and other archaeological sites. The only unfortunate thing about the tour is the photographer seemed to rely on a fisheye lens most of the time. Many of the photos made me feel like I was looking at Egypt through my front door’s peephole.

            But there is much more on the site worthy of a look. The site includes a cartouche maker, so you can create your own name in Egyptian hieroglyphics. There are articles on mummies and hieroglyphics, timelines of gods, pharaohs, and events, and instructions on how to make and unwrap a mummy and how to build a pyramid. Also included are a portion of text from the Egyptian Book of the Dead and international news about Egypt. (One recent article found on the site is  from CNN. It describes a small robot with a video camera that can explore a tunnel in the Great Pyramid that is too narrow for humans. Another states Egypt's ancient pyramids probably grew from the practice of building walls around the tombs of kings.) For those of us who will probably never get to Egypt, this site is worth a visit.


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