Girly giving some props

Hi all! Garage Sale Girly is back again.
I know It's been a while but I have been a busy little birdy posting new items on my web page for the holiday season.

I am going to brag a little about my super smart sis right now, so bear with me while I give her props.

Recently my sister Katie, one of the Specialists at Cowan's Fine Art Auctioneers and Appraisers, attended a Daguerreian Society Symposium in Philadelphia. I have to admit to being a bit jealous.

For those of you that were not in Mr. Thom Meyer's photography class at Fairmont Highschool, you might be interested to know that the the daguerreotype was the first practical form of photography invented in 1839.

They are having a big American History auction in December at Cowan's that not only contains many historical photographs but also a historical nugget. Here is a little YouTube video, that my sister is starring in, to plug one of their lots, from the California Gold Rush, in their upcoming auction.

As you my have heard, I love a good back story and tracking down the history of an object. I love getting the inside scoop about the the historical items that they have at auction.

Katie also recently wrote an article titled "Props add value to historical portraits". This article talks about "the early images of often unidentified individuals do not draw as much interest or money at auction, unless, of course, the sitter is posing with a prop...In many cases, props not only add historic value to early photographic portraits, but also increased monetary value."

This article got me thinking about all of the vintage photos that I have hanging around my house (many of my father's side of the family) and the "props" that appear in the photos. The photos that I have may not have any historical value but they do make me smile every time I think about what the heck they were doing. That is what makes them priceless to me.

"Go fish" is what I would title this photo.
The man in the center is my great grandfather George and he apparently had a good day out on the lake.

This is a favorite photo that I have of my Grandpa Bob and Grandma Jean. The props in this photo would indicate to me that this was taken around Christmas time. I know, I should be an expert.

This is not a family photo. I found it at a flea market. My hubby & I couldn't stop laughing when we picked it up. Seriously what the heck is going on here? The prop would be a tall wooden pole. The inscription at the bottom says "at home Aug. 4th 1918". I think I need to get the History Detectives on this case.

I recently discovered this photo while going through one of my Grandpa Bob's old photo albums. This picture also brought a smile to my lips. Who was this domestic goddess? This woman is posed with her props, the oven and the pie, and is apparently no relation to me that I know of. I later discovered the inscription on the back of the picture that reads "Trixi in the kitchen with the pie she didn't bake". HA! That part made me laugh out loud.

This is also one of my Grandpa's photos featuring the front of their department store "Lockwood's" in Jamestown, NY. I wish I knew enough about cars to date this picture, but from what my father told me this photo was the store's original location on Third and Cherry and it later moved to Fourth and Cherry.

This photo shows my Grandpa Bob (on the right) standing in front of the camera department at Lockwood's. Please notice the props in the window, an Argus camera display.
My Argus.
I have discovered these are quite common (produced between 1940 - 1954) but that doesn't make me love it any less.
I have accumulated a few props of my own, like the ones in the window of the camera shop above. I am not really sure why or when it started, but the hubby and I have accumulated a pretty good collection of vintage cameras that decorate our home. Not only do they look awesome, but I love showing them to my father and asking him about the history of the pieces, because he always seems to have the inside scoop. Maybe he knows so much about cameras because growing up he worked in the camera department at Lockwood's and later went on to work as a camera buyer for Elder Beerman's department store. He even met my mother while working at a camera store in Dayton, OH.
That will be a story for another day...

This is another one of my little lovelies.
The Whitehouse Beacon made in the 1940's.
I can be quite a nuisance with these things. They can be found all over my house.
This is the Kodak Pony 135 c.1950.

You oughta be in movies...
This is the Revere- Eight model 77, 8mm movie camera from 1949.
I found this website that has loads of vintage 8mm movie cameras for sale. I have never purchased from this site but It is a great place to get some information on them.
We found film in this one...
I wonder what could be lurking in those photos?
The Flash Brownie was Made in the U.S.A and was orignally sold for $6

Here are a few that the hubby got from his father.
This one is very special to us. A very close family friend gave it to me and the hubby because she knew that we had a few vintage cameras and we would love it and take care of it as she did.

The back story on her "Hit" camera was that, while on vacation in Washington D.C. with her parents, she was disappointed that they had a camera and were taking all of the pictures. They bought her this mini camera on the trip and she used it for years. As exciting as it was to add another vintage camera to our collection, we were also touched that she gave us this tiny memory from her childhood.
Look how little it is!! You know me, I love a good back story! We will never part with it.
While flipping through the December 09 issue of Teen Vogue I found something in the "Gift Guide" on page 168, that I thought was really cool...
It's an actual new film camera that is styled to look vintage. You can go to to check it out .
and then I discovered these in a recent Urban Outfitters catalogue.
One of the cameras is a Lomography camera and the other is a Vivitar camera that is digital yet looks vintage. Both are sold at
But if you are looking for the "real deal"
I also have a few actual vintage cameras that I will be selling on my website.
Now you can decorate your nest with a few vintage cameras of your own that you bought from The Unique Bird...
The Brownie Junior Six-16 was produced between 1934 and 1942

the Keystone 755EF- c. 1960
These two haven't been listed yet...but keep your eyes peeled!
This one is titled, "Smile for the camera" and is currently available for purchase online just click here for details.
The Mark XII is in really great shape with it's original box, instruction manual, and flash!!
Thanks for sticking through this wild thought process guys.
I had quite a few things that have been blogging up my brain and it feels good to finally get it out!!


  1. LOVING the cameras!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you've seen my blog recently, you'll notice that I just got a new Canon DSLR. I have camera on the brain. These old cameras are making my mouth water. I'm in love! It will be so weird when my fancy new camera is considered vintage one day :).

  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing. And thanks for your nice comment on our recent post -- lamp-base trees. Sorry it's taken me so long to respond; life speeds up after Thanksgiving! Come visit me again soon. xo