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Q: What does a red star or dot posted on a picture in an art gallery or exhibition mean?
A: A red star or dot on a picture in an art gallery or at an exhibition means the piece has already been sold but is still hanging to display the artist’s work.
Q: Where were most cast iron mechanical banks sold?
A: Most cast iron banks were made by, for, and sold at hardware stores since you could buy cast iron farm impliments, frying pans, and all kinds of things made from heavy metal. Toy stores were really not existent.
Q: What other American ceramic company introduced a line of colorful dinnerware in 1936 in 5 colors? (Hint: they had to remove the red in 1943 because the chemicals used in coloring were needed by the war effort.)
A: The Homer Laughlin China Company first introduced Fiestaware in 1936. The original colors were red, dark blue, light green, brilliant yellow, and ivory. Turquoise was later added and then red was removed in 1943 (due to the chemicals in the dye which were needed for the war effort). It was returned to the production in 1959.
Q: What US pottery company used a flame symbol to date their pieces?
A: The Rookwood Art Pottery from Ohio used a reverse letter R and the letter P as a trademark. Between 1886 and 1900 they signified the year of origin/make with a tongue of fire (flame). Each year they added another flame to the mark.
Q: Who gave away all the money received for winning a Nobel Prize for literature claiming “you don’t have a thing until you give it away?”
A: Ernest Hemingway gave away all the money received for his 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature and the medal to the Shrine of the Virgin in Cuba.
Q: Clark Gable was picked and acclaimed for his role as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. Margaret Mitchel’s choice was someone else. Do you know who?
A: Groucho Marx, believe it or not, was Margaret Mitchel’s choice to play Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind. Needless to say, it would have been a different story and probably a lot funnier.
Q: Which artist nearly died at childbirth when the midwife thought he was stillborn and left him on the table to be disposed?
A: Pablo Picasso was left at birth by his midwife -who thought he was dead. Fortunately his cigar smoking uncle was at hand, who happened to be a physician. He literally revived the baby by blowing a blast of smoky air into his lungs, saving him.
Q: What furniture designer (pre-1900) created a process to laminate thin layers of wood that allowed someone to pierce carvings in the wood without destroying its strength? (He used this to his advantage in the pieces he created.)
A: John Henry Belter, a German immigrant, discovered an unusual method of cutting thru incredibly strong layers of laminated rosewood to achieve pierced carvings unknown before. This Victorian furniture is considered the best of the 19th-or any century.
Q: That late 19th century company pioneered the use of plastics in consumer goods making substitutes for ivory and tortoise shell?
A: The Xylonite Company (not exactly a household word).
Q: The principle that oil and water do not mix applies to what type of art?
A: Lithography is the art process based on the principle that oil and water do not mix. (The artist makes a master with waxed, oily crayons or paint and then set with a gum Arabic, setting the image and repelling ink in non-image areas.)
Q: Which president was a fan of rap music and claimed he might have chosen a career in music rather than politics? Hint: It wasn’t George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.
A: Richard Nixon claimed in an interview done in 1990 that he was a great fan of rap music and had it been around when he was younger he might have decided to go into music instead of politics. Can you imagine what the world would have looked like and sounded like?
Q: What did Mr. Rogers and Paul Newman have in common? (We have discovered Brian is in this elite group as well.)
A: Fred Rogers, Paul Newman, and Brian Kathenes are all color blind (thankfully in more ways than one).
Q: What was the best selling book in 1783?
A: Noah Webster’s American Spelling Book, an early “dictionary” was the top selling book in 1783.
Q: If there are 10 books on a bookshelf, how many ways can they be re-arranged?
A: They can be arranged (or rearranged) 3,628,800 different ways. Brian knew the answer from his engineering background. Who would have thought?
Q: Who appeared on the first cover of People magazine?
A: Mia Farrow, starring in the movie The Great Gatsby, was the first person on a cover of People Magazine. (Any you thought it was B&L.)
Q: What word is derived from the first two words of the Greek alphabet?
A: The first two letters of the Greek alphabet are alpha and beta. They join forming the word alphabet.
Q: Why are the daytime dramas on television called soap operas?
A: The first daytime dramas were aired on radio (just like Value This). The sponsors were makers of household soap since their prime targets were housewives talking a break from cleaning their houses. This persisted when they went to television.
Q: Besides Washington, DC, what other world capitol is named after a US president?
A: Monrovia, the capitol of Liberia, was named after US President James Monroe.
Q: Which president wrote the following limerick (and he wasn’t Irish)?
For Beauty I am not a Star,
There are Others more handsome by far
But my face, I don’t mind it.
For I am behind it.
It’s the people in front that I jar!
A: Woodrow Wilson wrote that little ditty-a very educated and poetic statesman.
Q: What inspired Ian Fleming to use the code name 007 for James Bond?
A: Ian Fleming wanted a number for his secret service officer so he choose 007 based on the zip code in Georgetown (Washington, DC) which was 20007, since many CIA agents lived in and around that area.
Q: In early Roman times it was illegal for a private citizen to put his name or stamp on public money. How did Julius Caesar get around the problem and leave a lasting mark on Roman coins?
A: In the Punic language, the word Caesar signified an elephant, so Julius decided to put an elephant on the reverse side of all the Roman coins-thus imprinting his name for all generations.
Q: One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (Francis Hopkinson) was a doodler. One day while doodling the year 1776 he came up with an idea which he submitted to Congress. They liked it and approved it. It’s been used ever since. What was it?
A: Add all the numbers in 1776. You get 21. Hopkinson suggested that the president be given a 21 gun salute, a tribute to the year of our independence. It stuck and that’s why there are 21 and not 22.
Q: The longest word that can be formed using only the top row of letters on a typewriter is “rupturewort”-a type of plant. What is the second longest?
A: The second longest word that can be typed by using only the top row of letters on a keyboard is TYPEWRITER.
Q: He was one of the best early American portrait painters and would have been remembered for it, except that he devised a famous code that was named after him. Who was it?
A: Samuel Morse was a fine portrait painter, but has become known as the developer of the Morse code.
Q: What non-religious book has sold the most copies worldwide?
A: Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is the highest selling non-religious book of all time. (Some would argue it is very religious since Tolkien was a deeply spiritual person.)
Q: What language did the US use as code during World War II?
A: The US military used the Navajo language for code during WWII.
Q: Who published Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs?
A: Mark Twain published Grant’s book because Grant was penniless and in deep distress.
Q: What is the only number in the English language that is spelled with the same number of letters as the number itself?
A: The number 4 (you have to look at the question to figure out the answer!)
Q: What number is secretly hidden in a $5 bill? (It’s not a 5.)
A: Numbers can be seen on the back of a $5 bill hidden among the bushes at the base of the Lincoln Memorial. The one we’re looking at says 172.
Q: What color do soda pop tabs come in?
A: Pop tabs-the things that used to pull off soda cans, came in yellow/gold, red, green, and silver. We have no idea why.
Q: Who was the first woman to appear on a US postage stamp?
A: Queen Isabella of Spain was the first woman pictured on a US postage stamp. (It was probably done by accident.) Date was 1893 and it was a fifteen center!
Q: What term is used to describe the thickness of a cigar?
A: The thickness of a cigar is measured by a ring gauge. It measures both the length and width. It is calibrated in 64 units with a 1” cigar (diameter) having a 64 rating.
Q: Who was the first president to be photographed at his inauguration?
A: The first president photographed at his inauguration was Abraham Lincoln. (Standing near him was John Wilkes Booth.)
Q: Who was the first president to be photographed at his inauguration?
A: The first president photographed at his inauguration was Abraham Lincoln. (Standing near him was John Wilkes Booth.)
Q: How many fingers does the cookie monster have?
A: The Cookie Monster has 5 fingers…enough to grab a bunch of cookies and count them as he’s eating. (The rest of the Muppets have only four!)
Q: How many miles a day can a healthy horse travel?
A: It depends on the trailer and the driver…some can go pretty fast and far. (A good horse can travel by himself about 100 miles max.)
Q: What does Elvis, Abraham Lincoln, and Jimmy Carter all have in common? (No, they’re not all on the show today.)
A: Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley, and Jimmy Carter are all cousins. Maybe Cousin Brucie is as well?
Q: Who was the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence?
A: Ben Franklin was the elder statesmen at 70 when he signed the Declaration of Independence.
Q: What was the first product featured on the Time Magazine cover?
A: Coca Cola was the first product featured on the cover of Time Magazine in 1950. It’s the real thing.
Q: The first permanent photograph was invented in: a) 1826 b)1837 c)1849 d)1860
A: The first permanent photograph was an image produced in 1826 by the French inventor Niepce. It took 8 hours to expose so it wasn’t successful. He began work with Louis Daguerre-who invented the daguerriatype in 1837.
Q: Gouda is a fine tasting cheese. It is also an area in Holland that produces something just as fine. What is it?
A: Gouda is an area of Holland that produces a wonderful art pottery, multi-color and desirable. It is called Gouda!
Q: What is the common word for a “system stick?” It often contained hidden objects such as weapons, flasks, and even musical instruments.
A: System sticks were known as “gadget canes”-hollow canes or walking sticks some with intricate handles that pull out to reveal hidden knives or pistols, drinking flasks, telescopes, and even flutes or musical instruments.
Q: Who was the first woman to ever run (officially) a US government office?
A: Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross is the 1st woman to run a US Government Office. President Lincoln asked her to search for missing Union soldiers during the Civil War. She converted her apartment into “Office of Correspondence with the Friends of Missing Men of the US Army.
Q: When was the first real paper money issued by the US government?
A: Congress authorized “demand notes” (payable upon demand) in 1861. They were done in 3 denominations: $5, $10, and $20 and the revereses were printed in green-calling them greenbacks.
Q: What is Mickey Mouse’s favorite cookie?
A: According to the cartoon Mickey’s Surprise Party from 1939, his favorite cookie was a fig newton.
Q: What famous German porcelain company marked their pieces with blue marks that looked like a pair of crossed swords?
A: The Meissen factory in Germany was among Europe’s first to produce fine porcelain. Their mark was a pair of crossed swords in blue. The shape and position of the swords indicate their exact year or years of manufacturing.
Q: Why is an original ticket from Woodstock worth as little as $20?
A: When Woodstock opened (well, it kind of opened), the crowd was so large that the “gates” were stormed and overrun. The promoters were left with about 500,000 unused tickets-which they later sold to mail order houses. Those tickets are worth only about $20, unless you don’t know any better.
Q:When a piece of Tiffany glass is numbered, what does the letter X mean prior to the numbers?
A: X is the Tiffany mark for an experimental piece not in normal production. It was used around 1894 on favrille glass.
Q: What Major General of the Civil War wrote a best-selling novel and what was it called? (Hint: it wasn’t Gone With the Wind!)
A: Lewis “Lew” Wallace was an American lawyer, Union General in the Civil War, governor of the New Mexico territory, and author of Ben-Hur, which he wrote in 1880.
Q: What is the fine art term in painting that reflects scenes of everyday American life? It was popular in the 19th century and done by artists like Winslow Homer.
A: The name “genre painting” is used to describe work for whose focus was on man and his activities and habits of everyday life.
Q: What well known now deceased actor was once a bat boy for the New York Giants (baseball team)?
A: William Bendix (Life of Riley) was a real bat boy for the New York Giants-who later moved to San Francisco in 1958.
Q: What do the initials HC mean on a print? (They are not an artist’s name.)
A: HC stands for “hors d’commerce,” which means a print was made to be given as a gift to those involved in the project. Now it is used interchangeably with AP-a mark that means artist proof, done in addition to the stated number of prints in a limited edition.
Q: What English word is used to denote a magazine or music rack?
A: A Canterbury is the English term for a magazine rack or short music holder. It has an open top with slatted compartments for books, music, or magazines, often with a drawer underneath and it stands on 4 legs. It was developed in England for the Archbishop of Canterbury who commissioned one to be made. Guess he had all those religious magazines that were laying around the house.
Q: What menu item did NASA use regularly on Apollo moon flights, Skylab missions, and the Space Shuttle? (Hint: it was Dramadol.)
A: The All American hot dog was a menu staple of NASA for the Apollo moon flights, Skylab, and the Space Shuttle. Maybe that’s why they invented those hard to open packets of ketchup and mustard.
Q: Who is the only person to play in both the Super Bowl and the World Series?
A: Deon Sanders was the only person, to date, that has played in both a Super Bowl and the World Series, and he did pretty good.
Q: What is America’s most popular candy bar?
A: The Snickers bar is the most popular candy bar in America-and has been for a long time.
Q: Hub cracks relate to what collecting specialty?
A: The raised lines on coins come from cracks in the die which are filled with metal during the minting process. The answer is coin collecting. Any you thought we were thinking of something else?
Q: What do the inventors of Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper all have in common?
A: The inventors of Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper were all Civil War Veterans. Which side? We don’t know.
Q: What is the largest private house ever built in the US?
A: The Biltmore estate in Asheville, NC has over 250 rooms, the largest private “house” in the US. PS Visit it at Christmas. It’s amazing.
Q: What chocolate candy, first made in 1907, was not made during WWII because the United States needed its wrapper? (Hint: Go back to last week’s show.)
A: Hershey kisses were not produced from 1942-1949 due to the rationing of silver foil.
Q: Who invented the slogan “Good to the Last Drop?” What was it about?
A: Teddy Roosevelt said that his coffee was good to the last drop. Coca Cola picked up the slogan in 1908 but Maxwell House patented it in 1926 and the rest is history.
Q: What handy item in your pocket can help you measure things, if you don’t have a ruler?
A: If you don’t have a tape measure but do have a dollar bill, you know it’s 6” long. If you have a penny it’s 3/8”…so you have 2 measuring devices.
Q: What artist’s collection of ceramic cookie jars brought more than $250,000 when auctioned in 1987?
A: Andy Warhol collected the common ceramic kitchen cookie jar-worth about $15. His collection went to auction in 1987 and brought one quarter of a million dollars! And your cookie jar is now worth…fifteen dollars.
Q: Which comedy team appeared in more movies than any other in US film history?
A: The 3 Stooges appeared in more movies than any other comedy team in US film history!
Q: Which first lady was the only one to have a hurricane named after her?
A: First Lady Bess Truman had a hurricane named after her. It was Hurricane Bess in 1949 (the second named hurricane).
Q: Gold jewelry often comes in yellow, white, and rose colors? What other color is used that’s been around for thousands of years?
A: Gold also comes in green (no, not money). It was used as early as 860BC. It was called electrum and is a combination of naturally occurring which is an alloy of silver and gold.
Q: What is the common word in Yiddish that means “useless knick-knacks?”
A: The Yiddish term for useless knick-knacks is “chutchkes.” (If we could only pronounce it.)
Q: Why shouldn’t one speak directly over a “collectible” coin? (It’s not because the figures have ears.)
A: Speaking or talking over collectible coins is a bad idea (George, Tom, and Abe have ears!) It’s also the tiny microscopic moisture that leaves your mouth when you speak. It drops on the coins, even if you can’t see it, and will stain the surface of the coin. (That’s putting your money where your mouth is!)
Q: A Japanese print is made from what type of matrix?
A: A Japanese print is done by using wood blocks and cutting out the scene, inking them up, and pressing into paper.
Q: What is a mangle?
A: A mangle is a clothes press (it will wring anything put into it). It was originally handmade and cast iron with a side crank and two rollers. It was later electrified and also became part of the old wringer clothes washers. If you ever caught your finger-or any other body part you’d know why they called it a mangle and not an iron.
Q: The Xylonite Company pioneered the manufacture and use of what material? (Hint: It wasn’t xylon.)
A: Xylonite (from the Greek word “xylon” or wood) has nothing to do with wood…or Superman. They invented plastic versions of ivory and tortoiseshell. It was called celluloise nitrate. Remember those dresser sets with brush, comb, and mirror that looked like ivory?
Q: In the 1880’s, American furniture makers developed a design that looked very Asian, using “imitation bamboo” as the wood. What wood was really used in this style?
A: American “faux bamboo” was usually maple, turned and burnt to look like bamboo. It was part of the Aesthetic Design around 1880. (They could have used real bamboo and it would have been a lot easier.)
Q: What do we call a pattern made by fitting together pieces of wood, usually different in color or grain, often in a pictorial design, applied to a wood surface?
A: Marquetry is a floral or picture design in wood used in furniture embellishment. If it is geometric it is called parquetry (from which we get the word “parquet.”
Q: The first artificial satellite, Sputnik was quickly followed by Sputnik II. It didn’t carry a human, but it did carry a dog. What was the dog’s name? (Hint: It wasn’t Rin Tin Tin or Lassie.)
A: The dogs name was LAIKA. In Russian that means stupid or dumb. (No, just kidding.)
Q: The Lone Ranger first aired on radio and then TV. Jay Silverheels played Tonto. What does the word Tonto mean?
A: Tonto is like the word “Nova.” Chevrolet thought it was a great car but it didn’t sell in Latin America or any Spanish speaking country. It means doesn’t go. Tonto means stupid or dumb (Spanish). Fortunately it was from a native American word meaning “wild one.”
Q: 1922 saw then first living peron depicted on a US coin. Who was it?
A: The Alabama Centennial Half Dollar was created in 1921 (also dated 1922) depicting the 1819 governor, William Bibb, and the 1919 governor, Thomas Kirby. Mintage was very low. That’s why you probably have never heard about it or seen the coin.
Q: What big time movie star “hunk” started out as a furniture restorer?
A: After leaving a stint in the navy, Sean Connery got a job French polishing caskets before he made his big break in the theater. (Later on, as Bond, James Bond, he filled them as well.)
Q: Who is considered the first art potter in the US?
A: George E. Ohr was known as the “mad potter of Biloxi.” He really was the first art potter in the US , even though he was relatively unknown at the time.
Q: Going back to radio, some “pairs” have a stooge. In literature some pairs have a confidant. Name the stooge or confidant to these famous figures: Don Quixote, Sherlock Holmes,and Robinson Crusoe. Now the hard one. Which one is the stooge? Brian or Leon? (Trick question: they’re both stooges.)
A: The literature pairs are Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sherlock Homes and Dr. Watson, Robinson Crusoe and Friday, Brian and Leon.
Q: Hooper was a 1978 action comedy starring Burt Reynolds, but in the 1940s and 50s Hooper was something else. Who or what is a “hooper?”
A: C.E.Hooper was the head of an organization which surveyed radio listenership (kind of like a Nielson TV rating). A “Hooper” rating indicated a program’s popularity. Wonder what he would have found for VT? (Better stick to the Burt Reynolds movie!)
Q: Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?
A: This was a trick question. No one is buried in his tomb, but Grant and his wife are entombed in a sarcophagi above ground in an atrium.
Q: What popular 1950’s television personality started life on a houseboat in the Ohio River (it wasn’t Moses) and had the name Len (which was later changed)? He quit school at 17 and worked in a Cincinnati shoe factory making about $25 a week? (He happens to be both Leon and Brian’s childhood hero.)
A: Roy Rogers was born Leonard Franklin Slye on Nov. 5, 1911. After a very rough and convoluted start in Cincinnati he made his way to LA and finally started a career in western show business. He became known as “King of the Cowboys” in 1943. This included many movies and the television series where he became the hero to young Leon and younger Brian.
Q: What Sousa march is used as the theme for Monty Python’s Flying Circus?
A: The Liberty Bell March by John Philip Sousa is used in the opening credits of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
Q: What popular game that’s been around since 1935 (some people say earlier) uses a wheelbarrow as one of its tokens (it may have been replaced by something else).
A: The game of Monopoly has been around a long time (over 80 years). The wheelbarrow, horse and rider, and dog replaced the purse, lantern, and rocking horse in the 1950s (one way to date a set).
Q: Who was the only First Lady to receive an Emmy Award?
A: Jackie Kennedy won an Emmy for her television special on The White House.
Q: What song is played in the circus as a warning signal to employees that something is wrong?
A: John Philip Sousa’s march “Stars and Stripes Forever” is played as a warning song in the circus if something is going wrong. (The crowd doesn’t know, but all the clowns sure do.)
Q: What was the first US stamp design selected by a vote of the public?
A: The 1993 Elvis 29 cent stamp was the first stamp design voted on by the public.
Q: What US pottery that produced a line called Dicken’s Ware around 1905 was reported to be the world’s largest art pottery?
A: The Welller Art Pottery of Zanesville, Ohio (started in 1872) became the biggest art pottery in the world around 1900. The produced Dicken’s Ware and lots of other neat stuff. They closed in 1948.
Q: Authentic GI Joe’s feature a deformity. What is it?
A: All GI Joe Dolls—excuse me-action figures, except the nurse and foreign ones, have a scar on the right cheek. Brian says they also have another weird distinguishing feature. (Listen and you’ll find out.)
Q: What historic event is pictured on the back of a Susan B. Anthony dollar?
A: The reverse side of the Susan B. Anthony dollar depicts the “eagle” landing on the moon, symbolic of the Apollo moon landing. It has the same back as the Eisenhower dollar.
Q: Which president took the oath of office swearing on not 1 Bible but 2?
A: Richard Nixon needed (or wanted) 2 Bibles to swear on (guess it didn’t help).
Q: What item did Teddy Roosevelt wear to his 1905 inauguration in honor of a former president?
A: In 1905 Teddy Roosevelt took the oath of office wearing a mournming ring containing the hair of Abraham Lincoln. It was given to him by John Hey, Lincoln’s secretary. He later became Roosevelt’s Secretary of state.
Q: Astronauts routinely carry a PPK on their flight. What is it?
A: A PPK is not a weapon but a Personal Preference Kit, a small bag used to carry personal possessions into space, like small flags or patches.
Q: What photographic process was developed in 1854 that soon became the rage around the world? Victorians collected these items in special albums.
A: Carte-de-Visite photographs were introduced in France in 1854 by Andree Adolphe-Eugene Disderi. It was a paper print of a photograph about the size of a business card. People collected them in scrapbooks.
Q: What famous cook has blue eyes, dark hair, and wears a red dress? (The problem is that she never really existed although her name lives on.)
A: Better Crocker was not a real cook but a made-up version promoting Gold Medal Flour. She was created in 1921 by the Washburn Crosby company to answer cooking questions. She was made up as a blend of people who worked at the company.
Q: What giant food empire started with a young boy growing horseradish and selling extra to his neighbors? (He became famous with a certain food condiment introduced in 1876.)
A: Henry John Heintz revolutionized the eating habits of 19th century America. He brought “zing” to the table and we’ve never been the same. His development of Ketchup in 1876 was only the beginning of his 57 varieties. (Actually Heintz has over 3,000 varieties…all from growing a root called horseradish.)
Q: Who was featured as the first centerfold in the first Playboy magazine?
A: MM was the centerfold for Playboy when it was introduced in 1954. That’s Marilyn Monroe, not Mickey Mantel, who became just as famous in another center position.
Q: Another state stumper…name the only state that has 4 consecutive consonants in its name (a little harder).
A: New Hampshire is the only state that has 4 consecutive consonants (not continents) in its name…MPSH.
Q: What letter does not occur in any of the 50 state names?
A: The letter Q does not occur in any state name. Now that wasn’t difficult, was it?
Q: Which country uses a crescent moon and a crown to indicate a minimum standard of 80% silver?
A: Germany marks the silver standard on articles with a crescent moon and a crown. PS “German silver” is not from Germany and it is not silver.
Q: Where did the word “golf” come from?
A: The word gold comes from the Dutch word “kolf”-which means a club.
Q: In a standard deck of cards which king has no moustache?
Q: Where did the word “golf” come from?
Q: When did precious metal stop being the primary coinage base in the US?
A: The answer is a little complex, so either 1935 or 1933 is acceptable. In 1935 we stopped making silver dollars (although we kept using silver in quarters and dimes until 1964) and in 1933 we stopped using gold coinage. Remember the historical debates about being on the gold standard?) Both exist today but only in commemorative coins.
Q: Who was the first person to receive a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame?
A: Joanne Woodward became the first start on the walk of fame in 1960.
Q: Who was the first football player featured on a box of Wheaties?
A: Walter :Payton of the Chicago Bears was the first football player to have his picture on a Wheaties box. It was 1986.
Q: Queen Elizabeth I unknowingly started a fashion trend. What was it? (Make sure you get the right queen or off with your head!)
A: Queen Elizabeth I was known as the “red queen” since she had red hair. This started a fad among the populace to dye their hair, sideburns, and beards (men only) red. Unfortunately the dye was often hazardous since it contained lead. This led to problems including death. Not a great fad!
Q: Where are the Mount of Jupiter and the Girdle of Venus located?
A: The Mount of Jupiter and Girdle of Venus are not on the moon or in Brian’s closet. They’re on the palm of your hand.
Q: Which sports star battled Arnold Schwazenegger in Conan the Destoyer?
A: Wilt Chamberlain played a nasty game of basketball. He also was Conan’s advisory in that not quite as famous sequal to Conan the Barbarian in Conan the Destroyer. (He should have stuck to basketball.)
Q: Where do most of the English speaking people on earth live? (This is not a trick question.)
A: There are more English speaking people in India than in the US, Canada, and the UK combined.
Q: Which current international statesman is related to 4 US presidents and King Henry III?
A: Secretary of State is John Kerry is related to 4 US presidents and King Henry III.
Q: What is considered the key date in American furniture production in the 19th Century?
A: 1830 is considered a key date in American furniture production because it signaled the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the end of hand craftsmanship in a lot of furniture. (Progress is not always good!)
Q: What famous TV mom was once engaged to James Dean?
A: Liz Sheridan, the actress who played Jerry’s mom on Seinfeld, was once engaged to James Dean.
Q: What did Charlie Brown always say when something went wrong? (It was usually centered around him.)
A: Charlie Brown is always heard saying “Oh, Good Grief!” Peanuts comics started on Oct. 2, 1950 and started a household tradition of reading the Sunday comics (1952).
Q: Who or what is the mascot for the NY Yankees?
A: Sorry. It was a trick question. The NY Yankees do NOT have a mascot.
Q: What was the first world championship boxing match to be broadcast?
A: Thomas Nast was a political cartoonist. His comments and cartoons helped sway the northern cause in the Civil War. His political symbols are still being used today (donkey, elephant, and Santa Claus…oh, sorry, Santa Claus is not a political cartoon (he’s real).
Q: NEMO is old time radio language. What does it mean?
A: The word NEMO was used by radio stations to indicate the program originated outside the studio.
Q: What well known actor of the 1940’s was a bat boy for the NY Yankees?
A: William Bendix, the guy who played The Life Of Riley, was a bat boy for the NY Yankees in 1922 when he was 15. It is rumored that Babe Ruth sent him into the stands to get him hot dogs during the game. Bendix played the Babe in The Babe Ruth Story. We don’t think they mention the bat boy who specialized in getting hot dogs for the bambino.
Q: A carved “punch” figure was often used outside of stores in the 19th century. Why?
A: A “punch” figure was a comic character who wore a jester’s hat and held a handful of cigars. It became known as a symbol for a tobacconist-the same as a cigar store Indian. Both were placed outside a store to indicate tobacco could be purchased.
(The Indian was represented the “inventor” of tobacco.)
Q: What glass company’s early success including providing glass for the windows of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC?
A: Blenko glass from West Virginia made the stained glass windows for St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. They also make the Country Music Awards trophy.
Q: What is a mystery clock?
A: A mystery clock has not visible means to move the hands to keep time. They are usually hidden within the frame or in swinging figures. It’s a mystery!
Q: An old advertising button featuring Hot Dog Davey promotes a special month as “hot dog month.” What month was it?
A: July is supposedly National Hot Dog month. Over 7 million of the doggies are consumed between Memorial Day and July 4th. Maybe it should be the flag, mom, and a dog on a bun!
Q: What companion was at FDR’s side when he declared war in 1941?
A: FDR’s black Scottish terrier, FALA was at his side when he declared war in 1941. In 1944 when FDR went to the Aleutian Islands to signal the end of the war, it was rumored he left FALA behind by accident and sent a destroyer back to retrieve him. He denied the allegations…so no “Falagate.”
Q: What is the IM Code WOMBAT mean? Hint: It has something to do with our show.
A: IM Code is what “textors” use when they abbreviate phrases for quick messages to others like LOL (laugh out loud). WOMBAT is code for “waste of money, brains, and time.” I guess we’re the WOMBATS of the airwaves!
Q: Two famous astronauts came from Ohio. Who were they?
A: Two famous astronauts came from Ohio and both of them are considered “firsts.” John Glen was the first man to orbit the earth and Neil Armstrong was the first to walk on the moon (which is a lot easier than walking in Cleveland)! John Glen was also the oldest astronaut at 77. (There’s still hope for Brian and Leon.)
Q: Cape Canaveral Florida had a name change from 1963-1973. What was it called? And…what was the first rocket launched from the Cape?
A: Cape Canaveral was name changed Cape Kennedy in 1963 but later renamed Canaveral in 1973. (The Kennedy’s understood.) The first launch of a rocket was in 1950. It was the V-2, also known as the Bumper 8.
Q: What is the name of the Victorian desk that splits open in the middle and folds out to each side?
A: William Wooten from Indianapolis invented and made a secretary that was a desk and file system all in one. It opened in the center and had ends with pedestal files. It became known as the “Wooten Desk.”
Q: What was Richard Nixon’s favorite lunch?
A: Nixon like cottage cheese with ketchup (maybe that explained a lot). By the way, the National Archives most requested document is the 1972 photo of Elvis Presley with President Nixon in the White House.
Q: Willows, Wisconsin is the home to what famous person?
A: According to the Mattel Toy Company, Willows Wisconsin is the home of Barbie. (Must have a lot of small houses in town!)
Q: What was one of the most prized possessions of Puritans, Pilgrims, and PA Dutch (Germans) who came to America? It was square or rectangular and never had a lock?
A: The early religious immigrants to America carried their most prized possession and family papers in a Bible box. It was a well-made small chest, kind of like an early cardboard box. It never had a lock since you had to be able to get to it easily.
Q: The word “ragpicker” refers to what kind of 19th century furniture?
A: Ragpicker is the meaning of the French word “chiffonier” which meant a tall chest of drawers used to keep sewing notions and needlework. The American version of Chifferobe usually had a mirror.
Q: What antiquities are often called “Paul and Virginia?”
A: Paul and Virginia refer to the figures used in Victorian girandoles-those 3 piece candlelabra sets that sit on mantels, usually having a marble base, cut crystal prisms, and brass figural stems. They’re also known as John & Priscillas. (We’ll tell you why!)
Q: What comic character began his life before Mickey Mouse. Some figures were even made by the Schoenhut Company. Hint: most figures are in black and white.
A: Felix the cat figures originated in the early 20th century. They usually have the name Felix printed on front And come in black and white.
Q: Winston Churchill, the Mad Hatter, and Old King Cole all have something in common. What is it?
A: Winston Churchill, The Mad Hatter, and Old King Cole are all character mugs made by Royal Doulton in England.
Q: What cowboy advertised Sunbeam Bread in the 1950s?
A: Gene Autry advertised Sunbeam Bread in the 1950s. (Guess that’s better than Bimbo Bread with the Philadelphia Union Soccer team.) His pin can sell for about $25.
Q: The Sprite Boy was a character the Coca-Cola Company used in the 1940s. He wore a bottle cap as a hat. What did his name mean?
A: The Sprite Boy first appeared in a Coke ad as one of Santa’s elves-or sprites. He was created by the artist that developed the jolly old Santa Claus for Coke. Ho, ho, ho!
Q: What china company founded in Japan in 1904 was eventually distributed by the Larkin Company of Buffalo, NY and included dinner sets that are very collectible today?
A: The Noritake China Company was founded in Nagoya Japan in 1904. During the 1920s the Larkin Soap Company offered many of the Noritake patterns as part of their premium line including the highly collectible Azalea pattern.
Q: What pottery was an outgrowth of an early 20th century craft night for young female immigrants in Boston?
A: Paul Revere Pottery started as a craft exercise for young female immigrants in Boston around 1905. They were known as "The Saturday Evening Girls" and their pieces, as well as those marked Paul Revere Pottery are worth two lanterns in North Church.
Q: What do Angeline Jolie, George W. Bush, and Morgan Freeman have in common?
A: They all get high together (they are pilots).
Q: What item do we usually find in an attic packed in a suitcase that was patented in Philadelphia in 1854?
A: We often find accordians in attics. They come is suitcase type boxes and were often put there because no one wanted to play them anymore. They aren't that old.
Q: Why do celebrities wear sunglasses?
A: Sunglasses first became popular in the 1920s when movie stars had to wear them to protect their eyes from the glare of photographer's flashbulbs.
Q: Who was Robert Zimmerman named after? (Hint: Figure out who Robert Zimmerman was.)
A: Robert Zimmerman changed his name to Bob Dylan. Most think it was because he revered the poet Dylan Thomas. It was not. Instead he had a favorite uncle named Dylan. (He was also a big fan of the TV show Gunsmoke, which had the main character as the US Marshall Matt Dylan.) Who would have known?
Q: When did radio as "furniture" disappear?
A: Radio as "furniture" disappeared in the late 1920's. It became cheaper to own, parts became much smaller, and they could carry "radio" with them. Good thing. Imagine what Brian and Leon's radio furniture would look like?
Q: Which silver company has used a trademark since 1848 that includes a lion, an anchor, and the letter G?
A: The Gorham Silver Company's trademark, used since 1848 but registered in 1899 is a take off of the English hallmark system. If the piece is silver it will be marked STERLING in addition to the hallmark.
Q: You have 3 coins in your pocket. They are a half eagle, an eagle, and a double eagle. How much do you have?
A: If you had a half eagle ($5), a full eagle ($10), and a double eagle ($20) in your pocket you would have $30. However, they are gold coins so they would be worth a whole lot more than $30...a whole lot more.
Q: What old time radio show was identified by the sound of a telegraph key?
A: Walter Winchell's radio show called "The Jergens Journal" was identified by the sound of the repetitive telegraph key. It was one of the first news and gossip shows on the air.
Q: What does a red star or dot on a picture hanging in an art gallery mean?
A: A red star or dot indicates that someone has already purchased the painting. It is left on the wall for exhibition purposes.
Q: The first regular showing of a motion picture in the US was in New York City. What year? (Extra credit for the name of the picture.)
A: The first regular showing of a motion picture in the US was in New York City in 1896. It was Star Wars. (Are you really reading this carefully?)
Q: When were the small bills we find in our wallets first issued?
A: Smaller size US paper currency was first issued in 1929. There are over 1,000 different varities. (Extra credit if you know why the smaller bills were created.)
Q: Plumbago was used by artists in the 18th century. What is this more commonly called? (Even school children benefited from this discovery.)
A: Graphite, also called black lead or plumbago, was discovered in England in the 18th century. In 1795 a man called Conte discovered a way to make plumbago into sticks. He fired this in a kiln and the pencil was born.
Q: People who collect teddy bears are called what?
A: Arctophily is the name for people who collect (and love) Teddy Bears.
Q: What color was most 19th century clothing?
A: Most clothing of the 19th century was black, partly due to Queen Victoria's long and drawn out mourning of her departed husband Albert.
Q: What did the woman of the house wear in Victorian times to assist her in daily chores?
A: A Victorian woman of the house wore an article called a chatelaine from her waist. It contained a pair of scissors, a knife, and other impliments--kind of like the original Swiss Army knife.
Q: What is considered the first mass produced clock in American history?
A: The pillar and scroll clock was developed by Eli Terry around 1805 and became the first mass produced clock in American history.
Q: What is the name for furniture given away as soap premiums often made in Grand Rapids, Michigan?
A: Borax is the term for furniture made in Grand Rapids, MI that was given away as soap premiums. Now what was the TV show that advertised Borax?
Q: Who is known as the developer of the famous marshmallow sofa?
A: George Nelson invented the marshmallow sofa. He was Ricky Nelson's uncle...no he wasn't. He worked as a designer for Herman Miller (they make office chairs).
Q: What is a cow creamer?
A: Figural cow pitchers were made from silver, porcelain, and pottery. They have an opening on top, often with a lid or cover, and cream comes out the mouth which acts as a spout. The tail is the handle. Don't get the two ends confused.
Q: What do the terms bombe, breakfront, and serpentine refer to?
A: Bombe, breakfront, and serpentine are all names of the shapes of dressers, chests, or commodes. If you don't know the difference, call us.
Q: What was the Beev's address? (You know, Wally's brother.)
A: Beaver Cleaver's address was 211 Pine Street, Mayfield, USA. Now what was Eddie's address?
Q: What secret slogan was in each of the Peanuts comic strips on every August 5 issue?
A: Charles Schulz hid a secret message in his Peanuts comic strip every August 5. It said "Happy Birthday Amy." Amy was his daughter.
Q: Black as night I'll always be, Until my mother smothers me. Then clear as ice I will become. In the rough. Thank you mum! What am I?
A: The answer is coal. It starts out black but is smothered by earth and after gazillion years it becomes a diamond.
Q: Who coined the term knucklehead and what does it mean?
A: The word knucklehead originated with Brian Kathenes. (No it didn't.) It actually was coined in 1942 by the 3 Stooges. It means a "not very bright person." Knucklhead was also used by Paul Winchell in the 1950's for a dummy who was a friend of Jerry Mahoney (another dummy).
Q: What was on the dessert menu on April 14, 1912 when a huge ship struck and iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank?
A: Waldorf Pudding, Peaches in Jelly, Chocolate Eclairs, and French Ice Cream were on the menu the night the Titanic sunk.
Q: What TV theme song debuted in 1960 with no lyrics and only a whistler?
A: The Andy Griffith Show had a theme song titled "The Fishin Hole" which was whistled while it depicted Andy and Opie headed off for some fishin time. It has no lyrics.
Q: What do Jerry seinfeld, Aaron Copeland, and Mary Tyler Moore all have in common?
A: Jerry Seinfeld, Aaron Copeland, and Mary Tyler Moore were all born in Brooklyn, NY.
Q: In Navel timekeeping, how many bells are struck at midnight on New Year's Eve?
A: Sixteen bells are struck in the Navy on New Year's Eve. (Brian will tell you why!)
Q: Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Walter Brennan, and Ingrid Bergman have each won 3 best acting awards. Who has won 4?
A: Katherine Hepburn has won 4 Oscars for her performance, one more than Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, and Ingrid Bergman.
Q: What scale is used to measure the hardness of minerals and other substances?
A: The MOHS scaloe measures the hardness of minerals. Talc measures 1 on the scale (the softest). Diamonds are rated 10.
Q: What collectibles are easily recognized by the Trylon and Perisphere?
A: The New York World's Fair (the first one) featured a trylon and perishere in 1939. It was a pointed obelisk and a sphere.
Q: What US company is know for its hand made circus figures?
A: Albert Schoenhut (1850-1934) founded his factory in 1872. His specialty, circus toys, became a hit around the turn of that century. Some animals and clowns are jointed with glass eyes. He created a Humpty-Dumpty circus with wood figures. It even had a cloth "bigtop."
Q: In chess sets made in Russia, what does the rook look like?
A: Rooks are usually ships in Russian chess sets, due to a mistranslation of the Russian word for rook.
Q: What is the term used for scratching a design into a piece of pottery, particularly American redware?
A: Sgraffito is the term used when lines are incised into pottery, exposing a bottom layer color.
Q: Which country is known for marking its silver with a crescent and crown?
A: Since Germany requires silver to be at least 80% pure, they mark it 800 and use a crescent moon and crown. It is called the German mark (not to be confused with their dollar--also a German mark.)
Q: What was the earliest form of currency in the New World (New England)?
A: The earliest authorized currency in the New World was wampum, shells of various colors the size of a kernal of corn with a hole drilled through (to keep on a leather thong).
Q: Why are piggy banks shaped like a pig? (Then they'd be called something else...no, not the answer.)
A: Pigg was the name for a clump of clay or iron. They were sometimes made to hold money. Someone reportedly misunderstood a request to make a pygg bank as a piggy bank and made one in the shape of a pig. (Sorry, that's all there is to it!)
Q: What was Oscar (Academy Award) originally called?
A: Oscar was first awarded in 1927. It had no name. It was just called a statuette. It stood 10" tall and weighed 7 pounds. A librarian for the Academy, Margaret Herrick, commented to a reporter that the statue looked like her uncle Oscar from Texas. It stuck.
Q: In baseball a strikeout is referred to as "K." Why?
A: In baseball, when someone stikes out they are given a K in the scorebook. In the early days when someone struck out it was said they "struck." Score cards were developed to keep track and records of the game. A simple shorthand was developed to help. The letter E stood for error, and S stood for a sacrifice. Since S was already used, when someone "struck" it was assigned the letter K, so ever since 1880, K stands for a strike out.
Q: Why are barns painted red?
A: Barns are painted red because yellow and green polka dots would take too long. (No, not really.) Paint was expensive in early America. Most wood was whitewashed instead of actually painted. Farmers found that if they added soil (yes-dirt) to the paint mixture it would stretch and save money. The iron oxide in the soil gave the mixture a red color...and what do cows care? (Now we'll get letters from all the cow lovers!)
Q: When was the Brownie camera "developed?"
A: The Brownie camera was developed in 1900 (it actually took a while to develop...we didn't have instant cameras) by the Esstman Kodak company. It was not named after a girl scout but a cartoon character named Brownie. It brought picture taking to the masses.
Q: William Boyd was a lover of milk and promoted it by visiting or endorsing dairies. Who was he and why did children listen?
A: Wallace Boyd played Hopalong Cassidy in the 1930's. He starred as Hoppy in the 1949 WNBC television series. As all good cowboys and cowgirls know, drinking milk is important. That's why we visited a lot of dairies.
Q: How many ships did the Confederate Navy use during the Civil War?
A: The Confederate Navy, as it was, used 18 ships during the Civil War (most made in England). The Union Navy started out with 42 and had over 700 by the war's end.
Q: What gemstone is believed to have magical powers and if worn in battle would protect soldiers from injury and insure victory? (Hint: It's not kryptonite.)
A: Amethyst is the magical gemstone thought to have magical protective powers. It is also supposed to bring about the purest and most noble of intentions. It is no wonder it's Brian and Leon's favorite color!
Q: What is the term used for artists who paint outdoors rather than in a studio?
A: Plein art is a French term for painting outdoors or in the "open air." In Italian it is called "alfresco." The practice started when paints could be sold in tubes. It was popular with the Impressionists.
Q: Which early TV series had a lead character depicted as a NASA astronaut?
A: The television series "I Dream of Jeannie" had a lead character who was a NASA astrounaut. Larry Hagman (Dallas star) played Captain/Major Tony Nelson. The show ran for five years from 1965-1970.
Q: Why do police hang their hats above the passenger side seat in patrol cars?
A: By hanging their hats on the passenger side, it provides a silhouette of two people in the car at night.
Q: How can one tell if a Mickey mouse collectible is really old?
A: Early depictions of Mickey Mouse had eyes without pupils, legs like pipe cleaners, a neck and white inside his ears. Through the years his nose has gotten shorter and tilted.
Q: Why did the Chinese develop a small glass bottle to hold snuff?
A: Europeans developed small boxes to hold their snuff. The Chinese didn't have pocklets in their robes so they developed small bottles that would fit in the folds of the sleeves. They were also hidden.
Q: What was the first American science fiction comic strip?
A: The first American science fiction comic strip was Buck Rogers. It started in 1929 and continued until 1967.
Q: Where was Buffalo pottery made?
A: Buffalo China was made in Buffalo, NY by the Larkin Soap Company around 1902-1910. The back has a trademark depicting an American Bison.
Q: Why did early beds have canopies?
A: Canopies over beds provided two things: they kept in warmth (body heat) and they kept insects and bugs out (due to thatch roofs).
Q: One of the most famous television jingles was written by a singer who only had one minor hit in 1982-"If the Love Fits, Wear It." The commercial still airs today. What was the jingle she wrote in 1984 and what did it advertise?
A: "The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup" was the jingle wrote in 1984 that is one of the most famous television jingles ever written.
Q: How many rovers are still on the moon?
A: There are 3 lunar rovers still on the moon.
Q: What does the crown symbolize in the Statue of Liberty?
A: The crown on the statue of liberty has 7 rays. It stands for the 7 continents and the 7 seas.
Q: What is the name of a porcelain doll that has painted features, extended hands, separated legs, and looks kind of like a European sumo wrestler?
A: A porcelain doll with painted facial features, extended arms and legs, is called a frozen Charlotte.
Q: Where was the first commercial radio station in the US?
A: KDKA from Pittsburgh was our nation's first station licensed uinder the 1920 federal license act. Frank Conrad, an engineer from Westinghouse (a company that would make radios) broadcast from his garage (and sounded better than Brian and Leon--even on his bad days!)
Q: Real GI Joe dolls show a visible wound. Where and what is it?
A: Real GI Joe dolls (action figures) have a scar on the right cheek (the face).
Q: Who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776?
A: John Hancock was the only person who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Most of the others signed it August 2, 1776.
Q: If the astronauts took photographs when they were on the moon, as they supposedly did, why aren't any stars visible?
A: Stars are not visible in pictures taken on the moon because the lunar surface is incredibly bright from the sun. The stars are there but difficult to see.
Q: What do the books Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ethan Fromme, and Frankenstein all have in common?
A: They were all written by women. Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in 1852. It was the first American novel to sell 1 million copies.
Q: How many design changes have their been on the US one cent piece?
A: There have been 11 different design changes on the US one cent piece. Lincoln was introduced in 1909 and the Indian head in 1859.
Q: What is a dribbler?
A: In the 19th century British toy steam engines used water to demonstrate locomotive action. They left a trail of water behind them. Hence...a dribbler!
Q: What is a butt joint?
A: A butt joint is the connection of 2 square pieces of wood--typically used in antique furniture prior to the dovetail.
Q: If the words "microwave safe" appear on your dishes, how old can they possibly be?
A: The words "microwave safe" first appeared on ceramics in 1970.
Q: What company made a series of dolls including one of FDR?
A: The Effanbee Doll Company of New York (started in 1912) made a series of dolls including one of FDR. They also made WC Fields, Charlie McCarthy, and Howdy Doodee.
Q: What popular modern game actually originated in India in the 6th Century and was known as chaturanga?
A: Chess is thought to have originated in India in the 6th Century although some argue it was earlier and in China. The rules were made in Italy in the 15th Century. (They played without rules?)
Q: Inuit art is primarily made of what substance?
A: The majority of Inuit Art (Canadian Artic) are sculptures carved out of green or grey hardstone or whalebone.
Q: We all know that the Hummel figurines were based on the drawings of a young nun. What other smaller collectible was developed from the drawings of another young nun in England in 1934?
A: Bunnykins are ceramic figures of rabbits. They were the brainchild of Barbara Vernon, daughter of the manager of Royal Doulton in England. She became a nun. Her drawings instigated this nurseyware still available today.
Q: When was the first issue of MAD to be produced as a magazine rather than a comic book?
A: The first issue of MAD that was a true magazine, rather than a comic book, was published on July 1955 (#24) by E.C.Comics.
Q: Tiffany silver hallmarks on holloware include 2 numbers. What are they?
A: Tiffany holloware include 2 numbers--a pattern number and the order number. That's why it can be easily traced by their historical records.
Q: Which artist signed his work with a butterfly?
A: James Abott Whistler--the American artist born in Massachusetts signed his work with a stylized butterfly having a long stinging tail. He claimed he was born in Russia since he said "I can say I was born anywhere I like."
Q: What artist worked as a missionary and only after the age of 31 became a serious painter?
A: Vincent Van Gogh was a missionary to miners when he was a young man and only seriously painted after he became 31.
Q: Who coined the word "muckrackers" and what does it mean?
Q: What was the first "full length" cartoon movie? (It's not a 2 hour movie.)
A: Winso McCay's Sinking of the Lusitanica--a 12 minute animated cartoon was the first full length cartoon movie in 1918. He used 25,000 drawings for the production.
Q: What does the word philatelist really mean? (Besides...a stamp collector)
A: In Greek the word philatelist means "lover of something untaxed." Does that have political overtones?
Q: What did Christopher Columbus look like?
A: No one knows. Reportedly his portrait was never painted.
Q: What natural thing kills more people in the US every year than snakes, spiders, and scorpions combined?
A: Wasps kill more people each year than snakes, spiders, and scorpions combined.
Q: What number did both Babe Ruth and Dale Earnhardt wear?
A: The number 3!
Q: What is the name for an object made from a base metal overlaid with a design formed by enamel separated by wires?
A: Cloisonne is a French word derived from "cloison" or cell. It is a predominantly Oriental technique used to make objects with floral, geometric, or naturalistic patterns in enamel on a base metal by filling in the cells.
Q: Which 20th Century company produced a line of plastic dinnerware popular from 1947-1955? It was considered the golden age of plastic dinnerware (yum, yum).
A: American Cyanamid created a line of plastic dinnerware called Melmac. It became a brand name and was extremely popular. It fell out of favor in the 1960's.
Q: What toy company, started in 1911, began by making small scale toys and trucks but switched over to small doll furniture and eventually switched back again?
A: A company called Tootsietoy began making miniature toys in 1911. It was named after a small child (relative) of the founder, named Tootsie.
Q: Why are diamonds measured in carots?
A: The word carot is derived from a bean, a carob bean. It is always the same weight, .2 grams. There are 142 carots (carob beans) in an ounce.
Q: How old must clothing called to be "vintage?"
A: Clothing must be at least 20 years old to be considered vintage. (Brian and Leon's closets are filled with vintage clothing!)
Q: What is Buzz Aldrin's mother's maiden name? Why is he called Buzz, anyway?
A: Buzz Aldrin's mothers maiden name was "Moon." He was called Buzz because his baby sister couldn't pronounce brother. It came out as buzzer.
Q: How can you tell the difference between bakelite and tortoiseshell?
A: Tortoiseshell is expensive and natural. Bakelite was first produced in 1910 (it is an early plastic). To test, heat a needle and press into both (a small needle and not in a conspicuous place). Tortoiseshell will smell like hair burning while bakelite will smell like plastic or kerosene.
Q: What gemstone was thought to cure drunkenness?
A: Amethyst is the stone of humility, peace of mind, and piety. It became a symbol for sobriety, possibly because water in an amethyst jug looks like wine but has no intoxicating (damaging) effects.
Q: Why do we call some sculptures (like bronze)--the "lost wax" method?
A: The lost wax method of making a sculpture comes from making a model and encasing it in a liquid rubber to make a negative image. Wax is forced into the cavity and cooled. The new wax model is covered with plaster of paris and then heated. The heat melts the wax and it escapes through the hole in the bottom. Molten metal is poured into the hole and cooled. The plaster of paris outer covering is broken...and we have a casting.
Q: What's the difference between a candlstick and a candlelabrum?
A: A candlelabrum refers to a candleholder with more than 1 arm to hold many candles. A candlestick only holds one. The plural of candlelabrum is candlelabra. Weird!
Q: A seller's cabinet has been called a Hoosier Cabinet? Why is this correct or incorrect?
A: Hoosier cabinets were kitchen cabinets made around 1915. They were used to hold flour, spices, and used as a baking table with pots and pans in the bottom. Hoosier was a cabinet maker from Indiana. (Seller's was another cabinet maker.) Hoosier cabinets have chrome letter H shaped hardware.
Q: Costume jewlery was made to go with the fashions of the day. What colors of costume jewelry were most popular in the 1940's?
A: Red, white and blue costume jewelry was popular in the 1940's.
Q: Who is the only president buried in Washington, DC?
A: Woodrow Wilson is the only former US President buried in Washington, DC. (JFK is buried in Arlington, VA.)
Q: Who are the only real people to have been featured on PEZ dispensers
A: Betsy Ross and Daniel Boone are the only 2 real people to be featured on a PEZ dispenser. A "Paul Reveer" look alike was really a generic soldier called "captain."
Q: What modern day group is responsible for liberating terra cotta gartenzwerges?
A: The Front de Liberation des Nains de Jardins (Garden Gnome Liberation Front) was formed in the 1990's to end gnome trafficing and free gnomes from garden servitude. (Despite that they still are popular collectibles.)
Q: Who created the game Monopoly and when? (It wasn't Donald Trump.)
A: The game Monopoly was first introduced as The Landlord Game. A man called Charles Darrow produced his own version of that game 30 years later and sold it to Parker Brothers as Monopoly--even though they had refused it when offered by the creator Lizzie J. Magie years before. (They bought out the $500 patent rights and have sold more than 250 million copies. Guess you really had a monopoly?)
What does the term "the big cheese" refer to?
A: In 1802 a cheese maker delivered a 1,235 pound wheel of cheese to President Thomas Jefferson at the White House. Citizens referred to it and the president as "the big cheese."
Q: Bellek porcelain is made in Ireland. What does the term "black Beleek" mean?
A: Bellek porcelain is made in the town of Beleek, Ireland. It has a trademark on the bottom. If it has a black mark it was made prior to 1946. If it is green, then it is after 1946. The black mark had 3 versions, further dating it. So "black" Beleek refers to earlier pieces which are generally more collectible.
Q: What is the name for painted plaster figures or vases given away as prizes at carnivals during the late 19th/early 20th Century?
A: Chalkware is plaster of paris decorated with watercolors or airbrushed with paint and those from 1900-1940 is collectible.
Q: Who was the inventoru of furniture that looks like bent tree branches?
A: Thonet, an Austrian, "invented" bentwood chairs in 1830. His Chair #14, Coffee Shop Chair, with a cane seat and bentwood frame, sold over 50 million by 1930.
Q: What was the first commemorative coin issued by the US? What is an average one worth right now?
A: The first US Commemorative coin was the 1892 Columbian Half Dollar celebrating the Columbia Exhibition in Chicago. The US Mint struck almost a million coins the first year. An average one is worth about $15.
Q: Why is the pocket sized edition of The Good earth by Pearl Buck so valuable?
A: Pearl Buck's "The Good Earth" that was published by Pocket Books in 1938 was the first mass produced pocket size paperback printed in the US. Only 2000 copies were printed on a trial basis. Less than a dozen known copies exist. They range in value from $1,500 to over $15,000.
Q: Fiestaware is bright colored ceramic dinnerware. Why are the newer pieces slightly smaller than the older ones?
A: Fiestaware was made by the Homer Laughlin Company starting in 1936. It stopped production in 1972 but started again in 1986. The newer pieces have a slightly different ceramic composition and shrink more than the old ones. There are now 35 different colors.
Q: Why is a glass tumbler a misnoamer?
A: Glass tumblers are veberage glasses with a flat bottom and no stem--so they don't fall over. They should be called non-tumblers.
Q: What comic figure does Jerry Seinfeld have prominantly displayed in his TV apartment?
A: Jerry Seinfeld loves Superman. A Superman figure is in his apartment and can be seen if you're watching the show. It does not look like Kramer.
Q: What is Barbie's home town?
A: Barbie's home town is Lake Wobegon. No, sorry. It's Willows, Wisconsin.
Q: How many footballs are made for the Superbowl?
A: There are 72 footballs made for a superbowl.
Q: What minor leaguer who never played in the majors made a 4 million a year salary?
A: In 1994 Micheal Jordan made 4 million dollars a year from the Chicago White Sox, even though he only played in the minors and never made it up to the top.
Q: What 1920's figure was used as a symbol for the anti-vaccination movement?
A: Raggedy Ann, the cloth doll with red yarn hair, was used as a symbol for the 1920's anti-vaccination movement. Her creator, John Gruelle, made the doll as a character for his books in 1915. His daughter died of a vaccination when she was 13 so they became part of the movement and used the doll as a symbol.
Q: Who has the world's largest comic book collection?
A: The Library of Congress has over 100,000 comic books--the largest collection in the world (that we know of).
Q: How many first ladys have visited Sesame Street?
A: Four first ladies have visited Seasame Street: Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama.
Q: Royal Doulton produced many porcelain figures of ladies in gowns. The bottoms are marked with a stock number, proceeded by the letters HN. What does HN stand for?
A: The letters HN on Royal Doulton figurines stand for the head of the painting department, Harry Nixon, used from 1912 on, when they started making figures.
Q: What ceramic item was given away at fairs during the late 19th & early 20th Century as a prize?
A: Fairings take their name from fairgrounds. They are ceramic or porcelain trinket boxes, usually with figures, made kin Germany or England. Some were quite risque.
Q: Who was the only president to be defeated by his vice-president?
Answer: John Adams was defeated for re-election by Thomas Jefferson, the only vice-president to defeat his one time leader.
Q: What was the name of the Confederate submarine that sunk the Union Housatonic?
Answer: The submarine H.L. Hunley sank the Union Housatonic in a major battle, but it also sank itself 3 times, drowing the crew each time. The inventor, Horace Hunley, also drowned.
Q: What car was used for the movie "Back to the Future" and used the flux capacitor for energy?
A:In Back to the Future the car used was a Delorean and the engine was a Flux Capacitor.
Q: Name 5 pottery companies in Ohio that made pottery now considered collectible?
A: There are over 300 pottery companies that worked along the Ohio River. They produced over 50% of all pottery in the US. It included Roseville, Weller, Hall, American Limoges, Homer Laughlin, Rookwood, etc.
Q: What did a bitter bottle contain?
A: Bitter was a description of the taste of the contents. It often included a mixture of herbs, spices, roots, and alcohol--often with a touch of opium or marijuana. It was considered a medicinal tonic and a wonder cure. No wonder!
Q: When did the Coca-Cola slogan "It's the Real Thing" originate?
A: "It's the Real Thing" advertising slogan was actually used in Coke's 1942 advertising campaign.
Q: What is a Flivver? (That's with 2 "v"s.)
A flivver is also known as a "tin lizzie." It's also called by the proper name--a Model T car. This was the first car mass produced on assembly lines with interchangeable parts.
Q: Why did 18th Century knifeboxes disappear in the 19th Century?
A: The invention or design of fitted top drawers in a sideboard led to the demise of knife boxes, which usually sat on the sideboard.
Q: Which famous Danish designer started a small porcelain factory that failed before he became famous for something else?
A: George Jensen, on par with LC Tiffany, is perhaps one of the greatest silversmiths of the 20th Century. His attempt at producing porcelain failed, prior to going into jewelry and silver.
Q: Which southern state capitol was the first to fall to Union troops?
A:Nashville, TN was the first southern capitol to fall to Union troops in Feb. 1862, less than a year after the Civil War started.
Q: Which US postage stamp features our 9th president?
A: William Henry Harrison, our 9th president, is featured on the 1938 nine cent stamp (yes, we had a nine cent stamp).
Q: What was Elvis' shoe size?
Answer: Elvis wore size 11 D shoes, but size 12 in Combat Boots.
Q:What product was made and sold by a company called Craft Master in 1952, sold for about $1.79, and decorated famous homes?
A: In 1952 a Detroit paint company owner named Max Klein developed the first world's first paint by number kit marketed under the name Craft Master. Each kit contained a rolled up canvas and jars of paint.
PS The first paint by number "master" might have been Leonardo Di Vinci.
Q:What was the first food product permitted by law to have artifical coloring?
A: Butter was the first product to have a "legal" coloring additive. It's white, coloring makes it creamy yellow. (Some can remember that margerine was sold with a gelcap to make it look like butter.)
Q: What was the first in flight meal? Hint: It wasn't Oral B toothpaste.
A: The first in flight meal was on a Zeppelin (Ilia Mouriametz) in 1914. It was a dinner of turkey and vegetables.
Q: What brand of toothpaste was carried aboard Apollo 11 on their mission to the moon?
A: Oral B toothpaste was used on Apollo 11 on their trip to the moon.
Q: What is the only Beatles song in which no Beatle plays an instrument?
A: Eleanore Rigby was the only Beatles song where no Beatle played an instrument.
Q: What was the longest running, most produced car in automotive history?
A: The original VW Beetle sold over 21 million cars from 1938 to 2003.
Q: Betty Boop (the cartoon character) first appeared in 1931. Who was she modelled after? (Hint: It wasn't Brian or Leon.)
A: Betty Boop first appeared in 1931. Her face was modelled after the singer Helen Kane. Her body was modelled after Mae West. Want to come up and see her sometime?
Q: What material is made from a mixture of resins from Malaysian trees? (Hint: some early daguerriatypes were made from it.)
A: The material called "gutta-percha" is made from tress found in Malaysia. It's kind of a cross between celluloid, wood, and plastic, usually dark brown in color.
Q: In what year did the US allow the use and mailing of a post card?
A: The US allowed the use and mailing of a postal card in 1872. Since then these cards have been made out of cardboard, cloth, leather, tree bark, plastic, and other material.
Q: Which actress was depicted in blue glass dishes given away as premiums for Wheaties and Bisquick in the 1930's?
A: Shirley Temple (Black) was born in 1928. She was a child star making her first movie when she was four. Dishes made by the Hazel Atlas Glass & US Glass Companies from 1934 to 1942 depicting her were given away as premiums.
Q: The pink rosy color has given its name to three groups of Chinese export porcelain. What are they? (Hint: It is not China Rose.)
A: Rose Mandarin, Rose medallion, and Rose Canton are three types of Oriental porcelain using a green and rose color decoration. Rose Mandarin depicts figures in a garden scene, Rose Medallion has panels of birds and flowers, and Rose Canton uses panels of pink flowers.
Q: When were wristwatches first introduced in the United States?
A: Wristwatches were first introduced in America in 1895. They did not catch on until after WWI, however, since men thought they were too "girly." During the war soldiers used them and they became important and efficient time pieces.
Q: Who was the first president to claim he had seen Lincoln's ghost?
A: Lincoln himself. According to legend, shortly after Lincoln was elected in 1860 he saw a double image of himself in a mirror. One was normal but the other was a pale double. Mrs. lincoln did not see the image but when told was convinced it was a sign Lincoln would die.
Q: What do the inventors of Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper all have in common? (Yes, we know they are all dead. We know they all liked soft drinks and yes, they were really wired with caffeine. What else?)
A: The makers of Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper were all civil war veterans.
Q: Who is the world's largest manufacturer of female apparel?
The world's largest (biggest) manufacturer of female apparel is Mattel. They make Barbie doll outfits.
Q: During WWII the Oscar statue was made of a different substance than it is now. What was it?
A: During WWII the Oscar was made of plaster since metal was deemed too essential and saved for war material.
Q: Which weighs more: a pound of feathers or a pound of gold?
A: A pound of feathers weighs more since they are weighed 16 ounces to the pound. A pound of gold is weighed on the troy system, 12 ounces to the pound.
Q: Who created the Gibson Girl?
A: Charles Dana Gibson first created the "Gibson" girl in the 1890's which was featured in newspapaers, magazines, and pen and ink drawings.
Q: What was the first big political campaign (presidential) to have used souvenier items to promote their candidate?
A: The political campaign of William Henry Harrison, our 9th president, first used give-a-way political momentos in the campaign of 1840.
Q: What china pattern depicts the flight of two lovers fleeing from an irrate father who drown in their attempted escape? A pair of doves, or lovebirds, at the top depict the souls of the lovers
A: The famous Blue Willow Pattern, used for many years by many companies, depicts an Oriental scene of a bridge over water, figures often moving toward the bridge, and doves at the top. The story about lost love was concoted after the pattern had been in production and probably has nothing to do with the scene.
Which Biblical motif toy has become the most sought after plaything of the 19th century?
A: In the 19th century children had few playthings. They were allowed to play on Sunday afternoons (after church) with a wooden set of Noah's Ark and animals. These were made of wood, often by the father or local craftsman, and painted. They are now considered folk art and can command thousands of dollars.
What unique Victorian object was used to store potpourri?
A: Potpourri or perfurmed dried flowers, like roses, were kept in the Victorian period to remember a sentiment. A rose bowl was developed to hold the mixture, which was like a round ball with an opening at the top. It was usually made of glass in very pretty colors and textures, like satin glass.
What potter was "discovered" in 1972 when nearly 6,000 pieces of his pottery stored since 1906 were discovered in Mississippi?
Answer: George Ohr, otherwise know as the mad potter of Biloxi, became known in 1972 when nearly 6,000 pieces of his pottery were discovered stored in Mississippi.
Which US currency bill features a buffalo in the center flanked by portraits of Lewis and Clark?
A: The 1910 Ten Dollar Note!
Q: Who was the first recognized American furniture maker to have a complete style or design named after him?
A: Duncan Phyfe of New York was the first American furniture maker to have a style named in his honor. Almost none of the Duncan Phyfe furniture sold under that name was actually made by him.
Q: What US coin was struck in commemoration of the pioneers who died along the 2,000 mile western trail called "the highway of history"?
A: In 1926 the US Mint Commemorated the Oregon Trail by issuing a special half dollar.
Q: Speaking of color, what color is black amethyst glass?
A: Black amethyst glass appears black until held up to the light, then a dark purple or amethyst can be seen.
A: The first television sets had 5 channels. In 1949 additional UHF channels were added. The first color set was introduced in 1951.
Q: 6 Union officers ascended to the Presidency. Who were they?
Q: What is the difference between Goebel and Hummel?
A: Goebel is the company in Germany that made Hummel figurines (works based on the drawings of Sister Maria Innocentia, a.k.a. Berta Hummel).
Q: Where is murano glass made?
A: Venice, Italy is NOT the correct answer. It is actually Murano, a small island just off Venice. Since 1981 the term Murano glass may only be used for glass made on Murano Island.
Q: Which famous radio and tv star from the 1950's was featured on an early toy car?
A: Milton Berle, or "Uncle Miltie" as we fondly remember him by, was featured in a 1950's Marx lithographed tinplate crazy car. You wound it up and it went round and round, side to side, up and down. Kind of like laughing at Uncle Miltie's jokes.
A: Barbie's are all marked on her bottom. The date shown is the patent date, not the date she was made. Look for the tatoo.
Q: Mr. Peanut was introduced as the mascot for a firm in 1916. What company was it?
A: Planters Peanuts was founded by Polish immigrant Amadeo Obice in 1906. A few years later they introduced Mr. Peanut. (You thought it was George Washington Carver, didn't you?)
Q: Why do outhouses have half moons on or over the doors?
A: Outhouses were used in an era when people could not read so symbols differentiated the male or female outhouse (or side of the outhouse). Men were represented by a half moon and the ladies by a star. We have no idea why.
Q: How many animals can be found on an Animal Cracker box?
A: There are 17 animals. The string handle, by the way, was not to carry the box, but to hang it on a Christmas tree.
Q: What is the difference bewteen a chamberstick and a candlestick?
A: A candlestick is tall enough to stand alone on the floor. A chamberstick was to light the way when walking around the house and to your bed chamber. It usually hand a handle.
Q: When do burglaries of antiques usually occur?
A: August is the peak month for residential burglaries. April has the fewest. The average break in time is 17 minutes. (We haven't timed it.)
Q: What's the difference between a time piece and a clock?
A: A timepiece measures time but does not strike. A clock strikes hours, sometimes half hours.
Q: When did sewing machines start making quilts on a regular basis?
A: Sewing machines were used to make quilts as early as 1850.
Q: What is a confidante?
A: A confidante is called a tete a tete (now you know why it's called a confidante). It's really a double chair with each seater facing the other to discuss private matters.
Q: Why did Grand Rapids, MI become the center of furniture production in the US in 1890?
A: Grand Rapids, Michigan became the furniture capitol of the world in 1890 because they had an unlimited supply of hardwood and the trasnportation to take the finished products across the US. (The GR & Indiana RR extended the whole length of the state.) The first furniture company started in 1836, but by 1890 there were 38 factories.
Q: What is a furniture drummer?
A: A furniture drummer was a traveling sales rep that sold furniture during the last quarter of the 19th century. (That's why we call it "drumming up business.")
Q: What beer was packaged in camouflaged color cans during WWII?
A: Schaefer Beer from New York (the one beer to have when you're having more than one) made the camouflaged bottles during WWII.
Q: What is the best color for the glass of a beer bottle? Why?
A: A brown beer bottle is best because it filters out most of the light, and light can spoil a bottled beer.
Q: The Crystal Palace Exhibition was deducated to which English sovereign?
A: The Crystal Palace or The Great Exhibition of 1851 (as it was officially called) was dedicated to Prince Albert, beloved husband of Queen Victoria.
Q: How many legs does a typical Victorian Grand Piano have?
A: A Victorian Grand Piano is usually square and has 4 legs.
Q: When was the folding rocker developed and sold on a mass produced basis?
A: Folding rockers were a development of the Eastlake design popular around 1885. (It was named after Charles Eastlake.)
Q: What is the difference between an "S" and a "C" rolltop desk?
A: The "C" and "S" rolltop desks refer to the shape of the tambour or roll. A C shape is like a single curve (like the letter C). An S shape is a double camelback or S shape. The S rolls are usually much more valuable.
Q: What is the oldest major US Sporting event?
A: The Kentucky Derby is the oldest US Sporting event. It started in 1875.
Question: The Lone Ranger TV Show and Leon have something in common. What is it?
A: Leon and the Lone Ranger were both born in the same year (the TV version). Leon also wears a mask when doing very important appraisal work!
Question: In a pair of Victorian luster mantel lamps, what does the term luster refer to?
A: A Victorian luster or lustre is the name given to a lamp with glass prisms dangling to the edge or rim. They make the light shimmer and sparkle or...luster.