Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vintage Schwinn Bicycle

Vintage Tank Schwinn

The Vintage Schwinn bicycle is the most fashionable bicycle in the world. In case you don't believe me, simply do a examine on the Net and contemplate the many results return. Let's dig into the archives a bit to come up with elsewhere what makes the Schwinn so festive to so many of us.
Schwinn, was founded in 1895 by Ignaz Schwinn and became the dominant manufacturer of American bicycles during the whole of the rest of the 20th century. The bicycle mania that originated in Chicago, Illinois saw 30 factories producing over 1,000 units per day! However, the with the advent of the automobile, approval of the bicycle waned - product dropped 25%. What followed were frequent turbulent years brought on by Schwinn's insistence that their distributors put up for sale and function just Schwinn bicycles. This led to many battles that ultimately resulted in Schwinn losing a Supreme Court outcome in 1967. This did not change the demand of the "vintage Schwinn" and its legacy lives on today. All the more although the fame Schwinn still remains strong today, the term "vintage Schwinn Bicycles" may live emerge much more popular!
Torpedo Head light

Monday, December 6, 2010

Joe's Restoration "Giving old things new life"

There is something very rewarding with finding old treasures and giving them a new life. Rusty gold, old lanterns, fishing tackle, art, furniture, photos, toys, bicycles and the list goes on and on! A few weeks ago I found some old photos taken in 1943 at a  elegant restaurant in San Francisco. Interesting folks sitting around a table dining and having the time of their life. These awesome treasures of California history were going to waste in an old cardboard box. They are now being proudly displayed at the San Francisco Visitors Center.

This lawn chair was rescued from an estate sale of the home of long time Fresno resident Kermit Koontz. I saw it behind a shed and asked to buy it. I proudly gave 15 bucks for what most people call junk! I estimated the date around 1945...Over 60 years old! The arm rest were obviously rotten, been painted about 12 times and starting to show rust. No dents or damage to the frame work. Now days, try to find patio furniture this structurally  stable.
I sandblasted the chair and powder coated it with a popular 1950's color. After  reassembled the base to the chair it looks fantastic! I still need to custom make the arm- rest and the project will be completed. The "lawn chair" will last another 60 years.The only problem is it's hard to get people to believe it's old!
I'll buy and re-store many things from our past  - Soda Machines, gas pumps, vintage fishing rods & reels, lawn furniture, bicycles, motorcycles, lamps, chandeliers, cameras and old Coleman lanterns (pre- 1961). These kind of items are true craftsmanship made in the good ol' USA. It's important that we find these things and get 'em back into circulation. Quality is in the past.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Picks.....

WW2 military items are big collector items and it seems to be getting more popular. I usually avoid buying these things from WW2 because it makes me think of my Father and what he had to go through during the battle of Iwo Jima. He told me one time, when ever you see a Marine at a restaurant always buy his meal and thank him for the freedom you have. I proudly honored his request. Enough said about that.
          Paid: 3.00
          Value: 25.00  SOLD 86.00 

Sony Car TV Antenna  Model # VCA-1 Made in the 1960's and a HOT item all over the world!
Picked: 1 buck
Value: 150.00   SOLD: 134.08

1919 oil heater stove -  beautiful glass center, ash try under the feet and it's in amazing condition.  Purchased from an artist in Squaw Valley CA. very rare piece.
Paid: 30.00
Value: 75.00 SOLD: 45.00
Kickin' myself in the butt... Should have kept it!

Schwinn Spitfire w/tank and torpedo head light - purchased from Craigslist.

Purchased: 100.00
Value: 300.00

Coleman single mantel lantern. Big collectors item worldwide. Model # 200A made 1959

Picked: 6 bucks
Value: 40.00    SOLD: 74.00 (shipped to Japan)



Really Nice Pepsi ice chest cooler. Probably 1960's
Picked: 40.00  For Sale: 65.00  SOLD


I found this case of MUG Rootbeer bottles in a storage unit. I was the highest bidder at 15 bucks. Graphics and condition is perfect. Dated: early 70's.

Picked: 15.00
value: ?
SOLD: 30.00

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sunnyside Swap Meet

  The Big Sunnyside Swap Meet was located on the corner of Clovis and Olive in Fresno CA. Started around 1972 and probably ended around mid 90's. Hundreds of sellers and thousands of people shopping for bargains.
  Yesterday I was driving down Clovis Ave. and saw where the old Sunnyside Drive-in theater used to be. The only thing left is an old sign and an empty field. At night it was a drive-in  and on weekends it was the Sunnyside Swap Meet. Hundreds of folks would clean-out their sheds, barns garages and bring their junk here. The first time I sold at the swap meet I was 15. My dad drove the truck and set the prices. He made a little money but did more talking than selling. The next week I drove the truck myself and dad showed up later to check on me. Anyway, I was sold-out by 9am with a pocket full of  money. You see, I ain't much of a talker. I watched the people...Saw what they were buying and figured out what I needed to sell.

The other dealers called me the kid... some stole my stuff and others watched out for me. I sold anything I thought I could make a buck on -Tools, lawnmowers, furniture, jewelry and antiques, After a few years I even shared a pony picture business. Anyway, eventually people realized they could stay home put up a few signs and have a "Garage Sale"  so the flea market thing started slowing down. After a fight with a vendor over a doll I bought for my daughter Andrea, my swap meet days were over. I guess that was around 1984.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vintage Coleman Lanterns

This weeks favorite  Pick -  200A Red Coleman Lantern. made in 1960 and in perfect condition! The dude wanted 40 bucks and I talked him down to 25.00. Awesome condition!  Vibrant red, single mantel, perfect Coleman decal... A great deal.
Picked: 25.00
Valued: 65.00

Look for these single mantel lanterns at Yard and Estate sales. model #'s 242 and 200A's were made between 1930's to 1960. Colors - Green, Red, and polished nickel. Collectors all over the world especially USA and Japan are snagging 'em up.  I've sold two green ones to Japan in the past month. Have Fun and get dirty!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Old Town Clovis Antique & Collectibles Fair

Twice a year the streets of Old Town fill with the merchandise of antique dealers from far and wide to bring you one of the most pleasant and rewarding opportunities to 'treasure hunt'. You just won't know what you're missing, so you'll certainly want to visit Clovis for our next fabulous Street Fair. Its a great way to meet other folks with the same interest.

March 28th and October 10th

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Picks

I found this at an estate sale from the home of Kermit Koontz who passed 12/09 at the age of 94. This Coca Cola clock has a logo known as a "fish tail" and was made sometime in the 1950's. The light works and keeps perfect time.
 Picked: 30.00
 Valued: 150.00 SOLD 176.00

I bought this vintage statue at a sale in Squaw Valley Ca. I paid 10 bucks for it and listed it on ebay for 150.00. It was made by an artist known as FrankArt and dated Aug 7th 1929.
Picked for 10.00
Value: 250.00   SOLD 275.00

What a great find! Most vintage motorcycle stuff sells... Harley Davidson is probably the top seller. if its old and has HD on it, Buy it!
We decided to visit a thrift store and I found this vintage Harley Davidson pin for 8 bucks. This dates back to the 40's and is in very good condition.
Picked for 8.00

Value 65.00  SOLD 40.00


Sunday, October 3, 2010

$$$ WANTED $$$

My Want list -
 Vintage fishing tackle - metal advertising signs - cue sticks (pre-80's)- 1970's dirt bikes and gear - vintage Harley Davidson's & Harley stuff - bicycles (pre 70's -early Boy Scout items - old toys - 242 Coleman lanterns - Gas/oil advertising - cameras - vintage gothic - old clocks - old bottles - original 60's and 70's concert t-shirts - vintage scooters - lamps - vending machines (soda, candy, smokes)- vintage Christmas decorations

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Story

Since I was a kid I have been interested in searching for and collecting antiques and vintage stuff. Before I was old enough to drive I would take my Dad's old red pickup and travel the Fresno country-side looking for old barns and buildings. I would pick old milk cans, metal advertising signs, tools, bottles or whatever got my attention. Many times I was chased off people's property. My good friend Mark and I shared the same interest. We would find old closed down markets and take the metal signs that advertised Coke, 7-UP, Orange Crush and other companies. We also jumped many fences and explored a lot of barns.

Forty years later I still love finding old treasures and telling my stories about the great deals and the people I meet along the way. I don't hop over fences or sneak into barns anymore, those days are over. Now days I hit estate sales, flea markets and good yard sales. I call my hobby "Joe's Five and Dime"
The purpose of this blog is to share my stories and to help others discover what to look for, how much to pay, how to re-sell so they can double and triple their investment. So, moving forward I will be listing items and posting pictures. I will also share the history behind the items and the folks.

Joe Russell

Deanna and I at a winery in Paso Robles Ca.