Author Archives: Karen Waterman

Vintage typewriter, circa 1935

Trash or Treasure?

Trash or Treasure?

Q. I have a set of Gorham sterling flatware service for 12. I believe the pattern is called “Chantilly”. It was purchased in the late 1930’s. What is it worth today? A. Gorham Silver’s “Chantilly” pattern was designed by William Codman and first made in 1895, continuing in production until 1950. “Chantilly” is reportedly the


We All Need a Super Hero

Vintage toys are an ever-changing and enormous market. Hasbro, since its modest beginning in 1923 has survived and adapted to the wants and desires of generations of children. One example is G.I. Joe. Hasbro’s successful “action figure” for boys (don’t call it a “doll”) was created in 1964 by Sam Speers who patented the “action

1938 Cross Pen (top) and pencil

Who in Rhode Island has never owned a Cross Pen? 

The oldest manufacturer of writing instruments in the country was started by Richard Cross in 1846 in Providence. The company was passed to his son Alonzo Townsend Cross, thus the name, A.T. Cross.  Cross started out not as a pen company, but as a manufacturer of beautiful silver and gold casings for wooden pencils. Fountain

The Krebs Glas Lauscha company in Germany, in business since 1597, was the first manufacturer of ornaments.

Christmas decorations go back to the 1800s

The earliest Christmas decorations appeared in the early 1800s. Decorated evergreen trees became popular in Germany and trees were decorated with gingerbread and other hard cookies, nuts, fruits, bits of paper, reflective foil and pieces of lace. In America, popcorn and berry garland were used — corn being introduced to the colonists from the Native Americans.