What’s It Worth via WorthPoint.com with Harry Rinker
QUESTION: I recently purchased a glass Blanke’s aerial globe baking powder bottle for a quarter. It has a screw on top. There are no chips. It might be World’s Fair related. I would appreciate any information you can provide. – LC, Alamogardo, NM, Email Question
ANSWER: Dick Sheaff’s “Fantastic Monumental World’s Fair Globes” appeared in the February 13, 2013, issue of the “Ephemera Journal.” The article described a globe designed to rival the French Eiffel Tower that was purposed for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair:
“St. Louis businessman C. F. Blanke of the Blanke Coffee Company purposed to build a…huge globe…
“Beside (the Aerial Globe), the promoters say, the Eiffel Tower and the Ferris Wheel [from the 1893-1894 Chicago’s World Fair] are crude engineering feats. The Aerial Globe will be an immense steel structure, 700 feet high from the stone base to the roof of the observation tower on the top.
At the height of 110 feet will be a roof garden about 1,000 feet in circumference. On that floor will be two restaurants, one German and the other American, and two theaters. At the height of 295 feet a coliseum will [be] located, with iron-bridges walks around the globe, giving a complete view of the grounds.
Below will be two regular circus rings and a track surrounding them, and underneath the tiers of seats will be a menagerie viewed from the circular walk.
At an elevation of 420 feet will be a great music hall, and at 450 feet a palm garden.’… ‘Mr. Blanke and Samuel M. Friede have organized a company with $1,500,000 capital, named the Friede-Blanke Aerial Globe Company, and have begun active work to have this feature constructed.’
(New York Times, August 29, 1902). Samuel Friede was an architect and inventor. The structural engineer for the project was to have been Albert Borden.”
A blueprint measuring five feet by ten feet was unveiled on September 9, 1901. The structure was never built.
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A Bently 100c Battery Operated TV
QUESTION: I have a few 5-inch black & white, battery, 110 volt powered televisions. Popular brands included Craig, Panasonic, and Sony. These 5-inch portables were popular promotional giveaways at timeshare and other presentations.
I received a Bentley 100c, made in Korea, at a timeshare promotion in the Poconos. The case measures 8-inches by 13-inches. Since these battery-operated televisions have old tech tuners and no inputs for convertors, they basically are good now only as night lights.
Is there a collector market for these or are they only recycling fodder? – RD, central Montgomery County, PA, Email Question
ANSWER: Portable televisions still are being made today. Most have 9-inch screens and are digitally driven. Collectors differentiate between portable televisions (too large to fit in a pocket), pocket televisions, and wearable televisions (often found in wristwatch form).
The golden age of handheld televisions, which closely resembled handheld transistor radios in design, was the 1970s and early 1980s. Panasonic and Sinclair Research’s initial release of its Panasonic IC TV Model TR-oo1 and MTV-1 used a miniscule CRT unit. Eventually, these units were replaced by LCD technology. Sony released its Watchman in 1982. A color model followed a few years later.
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QUESTION: I have my great-grandmother’s Valmont Haviland china. She was born in 1866 and died in 1938. There are 12 dinner plates, salad plates, dessert plates, cups and saucers. In addition, I have two serving bowls and a platter. I am seeking a value estimate for estate purposes. Can you help? – DM, Darby, MT, Letter
ANSWER: First, value is contingent on the popularity of the pattern—the more popular the pattern, the greater the ability to find replacement pieces if one is broken. The pattern does not appear in my “Dinnerware of the 20th Century: The Top 500 Patterns,” published by Random House in 1997.
Second, value in any china service rests in the serving pieces. At a minimum, a service should have three platters, creamer, sugar, gravy boat, and two different size vegetable bowls, ideally one of which is covered.
Third, the phrase “my kids do not want grandma’s china” is the most common lament heard in the antiques and collectible trade today. This is especially true if the dinnerware is not dishwasher safe.
Finally, one cannot rely on the asking prices on www.replacements.com to value a service. Rather, they serve as an indicator as to the level of secondary market demand—the lower the price, the lower the demand.
A fair estate value for your set is around $100.00. My best advice is to use the service and create memories. Hopefully, this will create a desire among one of your heirs to keep the service in the family.
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