Being a fan of both Antiques Road Show and American Pickers
on TV I looked forward to the November "show and tell"
program of the DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical Society.
Eight of us volunteered to bring some examples of collectibles
and share something about our hobbies:
Marcia Wilson opened the program, explaining three main
reasons why people collect:
1) Those who aim to complete a series
2) Those who long to possess things that have fascinated them
3) Those who use an object to mark a memory and store a story
Probably the most unusual collection looked like just some
old nails with small numbers on them, brought by Terry Martin.
They may look like common house nails, but the railroad companies
used them for many years to date stamp railroad ties and even
utility poles. Terry has hundreds he has accumulated from several
The most colorful collection was brought by Anna Marie
Coveny: DeKalb Ag and other corn memorabilia, much of it from
the local seed company but also other corn-related objects. She
even wore a top with a seed corn design-but not a seed sack dress
like you might see during the Depression years when people made
clothes from whatever material they had at home.
Carol Woodin from Malta brought part of her collection
of paper dolls that were popular back in the mid-20th Century
(Barry Schrader photo)Marcia Wilson of Sycamore displays some of her wood
carvings from around the world. A few were carved by her husband
Wes. (Barry Schrader photo)
Ron Klein had the most valuable collection-several books
ranging from 1533 up into the 20th Century, many signed first
editions, some worth thousands. He has a library of some 4,000
volumes in his collection.
Carol Woodin's collection brought back memories from yesteryear-paper
dolls. They used to be cut from the Sunday comics-Brenda Starr
and even Roy Rogers cutouts. She said kids also cut out pictures
of people from Sears Roebuck and "Monkey" Wards wish
books and then added clothing cut from the same catalogs.
Marcia Wilson shared her wood carvings, some done by her
husband Wes, and others obtained from countries in Europe and
Bud Burgin showed two of his hobbies-mechanical and wood
pencils, amassing some 675 over the years. He also has a collection
of coin banks that children would get when they opened their
first savings account. Most of them are from DeKalb County banks
and vary in shape and size-such as a stagecoach, a book, skyscraper
and a barrel.
Steve Bigolin, also a man with multiple collections, brought
memorabilia from local banks, various check designs from banks
no longer in business like the Barb City Bank, and a 1910 calendar
with a cover photo of Joseph Glidden, published by the First
When it was my turn I shared my collection of old newspapers.
The eight that I brought were local weeklies no longer in existence.
They were once published in Kirkland, Genoa, Sycamore, Waterman,
Shabbona, Hinckley, Somonauk and Sandwich. I also displayed two
rarer issues, one that reported the death of Abraham Lincoln
and the other about the 1906 California earthquake.
The show and tell was so successful that Marcia said they
would repeat it with other hobbyists in another year or so.