Local Treasures and History

Scoop up local history from a variety of hometown treasure collectors.

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Leslie C. McManus

For my money, there’s no collection so dear as the local collection. In this issue, we’ll introduce you to a Wisconsin man who has a deep affection for anything produced by Appleton Mfg. Co., which once operated near his home.

Established in 1872, the Appleton company got an early start, building on the strength of a vibrant local economy. Soon after World War II ended, so had Appleton – but not before producing a full line that stretched from tractors to implements, shellers to windmills, stationary gas engines to horse powers, burr mills to hay carriers to power jacks and on and on and on.

The sheer variety of Appleton items was the driving force behind Dale Deno’s collection. In that respect, the collection is similar to those of people who focus on their hometown, scooping up anything they can find. Matchbooks, ashtrays, yardsticks, rain gauges, hand fans from the local funeral home and dealership bullet pencils sketch a picture of a place.

I recently got a look at a collection that zeroed in on life in a small town in southeast Iowa. Wall calendars from 90 years ago, framed black-and-white photographs capturing momentous occasions back in the day, and premiums from dealers whose names are no longer familiar to the local population filled display cases and covered walls. A quick visit ended with me wanting to know more about the history of this little town.

Like all memorabilia from a century ago, local collectibles are a hot ticket. Only rarely do you stumble across them. More often, it takes a sharp eye and patience to sniff them out. Like real estate, they’re not making any more of these treasures. But what better way to keep the history of a place alive than to celebrate the relics of its past?

It’s later than you think! Have you figured out which show photos you’re sending for our February 2022 issue? The deadline is Monday, Nov. 1. To meet the demands of a printing press, all digital photos must be high-resolution images. If they are not, we cannot use them. For those of you still working with prints, those still work fine.

Whether you’re using a digital camera or a cell phone to take photos, make sure the device’s settings are not on “smallest image size.” The images must be at least medium size (some devices refer to it as medium quality). If that does not compute, please contact us for a more detailed explanation!

  • Updated on Aug 25, 2021
  • Originally Published on Aug 20, 2021
Tagged with: Appleton Mfg Co., collectibles, First Things, memorabilia
Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
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