GENERAL STORE COLLECTIBLES
An Identification and Value Guide
(Updated Values 1997)
by the David L. Wilson
(Collector Books - 1994)
all items found in a general store were food items, of
course, but in this book you will learn much about the brand
name foods and other products that existed during the period
between 1870 and 1930 and which were commonly found in the
old general stores that provided food and other necessities
to the households of the past.
Even if you are not particularly interested in collecting
these items, you will enjoy browsing through the pages
filled with the colorful examples of product packaging,
displays and advertising of products that were once
commonly found in American stores.
This identification and value guide on general store (or
country store) collectibles was originally published in 1994
with the values updated in 1997.
As with all books published by Collector Books, the
photographs of the collectibles themselves are numerous and
of very good quality. All photos are captioned with
identifying information that will be helpful in your
learning to spot and identify these collectibles on your own
while out in the field or on the Internet. There are
over 500 photos found in this book.
The author gives a nice overview of the history of
general stores in the United States. He also gives
good descriptions of the different type categories of
collectible that are sought after in this field.
He includes several historical photos of the interior and
exterior views of general stores so that one can really get
a feel for how the collectibles discussed later in the book
looked in their original environment. These old photos
are my favorite part of the book.
Other categories of general store collectibles that he
covers in this book are the store fixtures, tin, wooden and
paper containers, apothecary items such as patent medicines,
remedies and elixirs, advertising giveaways and auction
posters and items found at the tobacco counter.
There is a delightful chapter called "Christmas at the
General Store" where he examines the lovely old board games
as well as a few books and toys that brightened up the
stores at Christmastime. There is much useful
information to be found in his captions of the board game
Many general store collectibles are made of fragile paper
or painted tin and wood that may have become worn or damaged
with age. If something is found in good condition you
will want to learn how to take care of the item so that it
retains its quality and is properly preserved for the
future. The author discusses care, cleaning and
restoration in a separate chapter. He also shares an
interview with a professional restorer. He illustrates
this chapter with many before and after photos.
Finally, there is a section in the rear giving advice for
beginning collectors about how to get started, discussion of
values and expectations and where to begin searching for
general store collectibles. He also gives some tips
for disposing of a collection.
There is a two page bibliography that also might provide
you with some more ideas for reading up on the subject of
general and country stores.
Buy this book:
General Store Collectibles
More on this website about General Store collectibles:
Tips on Collecting Old Country and General Store Items
The General Stores of the Past