Katie Hits the Roadshow

Get ready to have a serious case of the envies. Katie got to go on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW in San Diego last week. ANTIQUES ROADSHOW! So of COURSE I asked her to blog about it. Take it away, Mrs. Fifteen Minutes of Fame!


My grandfather was a collector. He collected books, magazines, newspapers, maps, ephemera, stamps, and posters, among other things. He also dabbled in selling some of the items he collected, but he was far more passionate about buying and collecting than he was with selling.

After my grandparents passed away, I inherited the book and stamp collection. I’ve been slowly working my way through boxes and shelves of materials, discovering many historical and interesting pieces that I had no idea my grandfather had purchased. To be honest, my dear grandfather himself likely forgot he had some of the things in his collection.

My younger brothers have also been given some family heirlooms, and we’ve often talked about how we should get the items professionally appraised. One of the places we jokingly said would be fun to take our items is the long-running PBS television series, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. When ANTIQUES ROADSHOW released its schedule for the 2018 season, I sent one of my brothers a text and said “Hey, if I get tickets, want to come to the ROADSHOW with me?” And that’s how he and I ended up in San Diego over Memorial Day weekend with our carefully packed treasures in tow.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW was held at the historic Hotel del Coronado, which is a gorgeous wooden Victorian beach resort built in 1888.

The ROADSHOW took over the entire hotel property, with appraisal tables inside the magnificent Crown Room and on the Windsor Lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Film crews and producers were staged in the main appraisal areas, but roving crews were wandering the crowds and filming unique items throughout the day. Our first stop after having our tickets checked and receiving a ROADSHOW wristband was the Ballroom, where we waited to have our items reviewed by a general appraiser.

There we were given tickets to meet an appraiser in specific categories: Asian Art, Collectibles, Folk Art and Prints & Posters. The Collectibles table was outside on the Windsor Lawn, but the other tables we needed to visit were inside the Crown Room.

My brother and I (and occasionally my son) slowly made our way to the four category tables, met with the appraisers and had them look over our items. The appraisers gave us information about our antiques in general terms and provided us with both an auction and insurance estimate of value.

My day was absolutely made when I met Nicholas Lowry, one of the more recognizable ANTIQUES ROADSHOW appraisers, at the Prints & Posters table.

The story of the ROADSHOW was lines. One must be very patient and wear comfortable shoes when attending ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. We waited in a lot of lines. However, the long wait gives you the opportunity to meet and talk to others from across the country, each with fascinating stories about the items they brought to be appraised. One woman came well prepared to wait in the never-ending lines.

We were standing behind this woman when one of her items was chosen to be filmed by a roving film crew.

While waiting in lines inside the Crown Room, we saw four appraisals be filmed. We also paused to watch a gentleman have his mandolin appraised on camera in the Garden Patio.

It was quite interesting to observe the production and get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into filming ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. It’s a lot more complicated than it appears on television, with the antique owner and appraiser recording several explanation takes before the value estimate occurs. By doing it this way, the producers can capture the genuine look of surprise (or disappointment!) when the dollar amount is spoken.

I won’t reveal any secrets about the appraisals we watched live, but I will share that my brother and I were not selected to have our items filmed for an upcoming episode of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. It is possible, however, to perhaps see us walking through the crowds or standing in one of the many lines!

My son braved the cameras and filmed a short clip in the ROADSHOW “Feedback Booth,” which runs during the credits, so maybe he’ll appear a future show.

As soon as we wrapped up our final appraisal, we left with smiles on our faces and hungry stomachs that needed to be fed. We have to wait until January 2019 to watch our episode of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW air on PBS, but the event provided us with fantastic memories we will never forget.

For those of you who may be planning a future visit to San Diego and the Hotel del Coronado: definitely stop by the sweet shop for a treat. The gelato they serve is excellent.

Food, Glorious Food

greater jello recipe book

The Greater Jell-O Recipe Book (G.F. Corporation, 1931)

I’m currently working on a big special collections project (it’ll be ready to roll in a few months, and you’re going to love it – stay tuned!). Today’s post, however, is about another set of items that are inadvertently crossing my path during my adventures in collections acquisitions. Specifically, hilarious historic cooking pamphlets. Like The Greater Jell-O Recipe Book. Because who doesn’t want to whip up a gelatinous Ham and Celery Loaf? Mmmmmmm.

green loaf in greater jello recipe book

I bought this for my personal collection. It’s a little 7up recipe pamphlet.

9 ways to spark family favorites

9 Ways to Spark Family Favorites (The Seven Up Company, 1948)

With a recipe for ham basted with 7up.

ham basted with 7up

Or hey! 7up with milk for the kiddies???

7up and milk

As it turns out, Katie also had a small horde of these pamphlets, and we started rifling through them with gusto. Check out the During Scalomatic instructions. Honestly, I’m not sure if the woman’s expression on this is excitement or horror.

during scaleomatic pressure cooker

During Scalomatic Pressure Cooker (During Developments Inc., 1946)

Or how about New Cake Secrets? Because everyone already knows the old cake secrets.

new cake secrets

New Cake Secrets (G.F. Corporation, 1931)

Here’s one of Katie’s favorites. Both for the title and the illustration. Those are some FIERCE skirt pleats. Apparently part of the standard uniform in Health Defense.

meat in the meal

Meat in the Meal for Health Defense (National Live Stock and Meat Board, 1942)

And just in case you are needing 99 tempting pineapple treats…I wonder…did the 100th recipe not quite meet the “tempting” threshold…?

99 pineapple treats

Ninety-Nine Tempting Pineapple Treats (Association of Hawaiian Pineapple Canners, 1924)

Here’s Some of My Favorite Good Things to Eat, a vision in plaid:

some of my favorite good things to eat

Some of My Favorite Things to Eat (Church & Dwight Inc., 1940)

Funny. In one of the illustrations, the mother’s waistline appears to be smaller than that of her her 6-year-old daughter. Also, call my picky, but last time I checked, sour milk was not listed under my top 5 “Good Things to Eat.”

some of my favorite good things to eat interior

There were quite a number of Jell-O pamphlets. Here’s the “Mordor” of Jell-O towers.

jello recipes cover

Jell-O Recipes Pamphlet (G.F. Corporation, 1934)

One the back cover, instructions to delicately inhale the bouquet of your freshly opened box of Jell-O. Which I never thought to do, honestly. But now I’m totally going to try it.

jello recipes back cover

Another Jell-O pamphlet, this one from 1920.

many reasons for jello

Many Reasons for Jell-O (Genesee Pure Food Company, 1920)

I want to frame this center spread. The “Strawberry Brick” is giving me pause, however.

many reasons for jello ice cream interior

I save the best for last. This is a pamphlet for Spry, a product that is still going strong!

124 spry recipes

What Shall I Cook Today? (Lever Brothers Company, circa 1950)

The hilarity continues on the back. This is my favorite panel. Because I don’t know about you, but I do all my grocery shopping in a hat, lipstick, and white gloves.

can of spry

Weird Books

weird books I’m over on Cotsen’s curatorial blog today, sharing a collections education program we did with 9-12 year-olds. The program was titled “Weird Books,” and our goal was to show kids the unusual formats books can take (including this miniature book housed in a walnut shell). Intrigued?

Click here to go to the post!

Can’t get enough special collections stuff? You might be interested in this post on a pricey little doodle, this post in which I get to pet Charles Dickens’ writing desk, this post on what appears to be an ancient code (but is not), and this post about the very first Jemima Puddleduck stuffed toy.