6 Nov 2014

5 Valuable Houdini Props

Modified Handcuffs, $4000 Houdini was the real deal. If he was ever arrested, he would be out of handcuffs in a second. He rarely prepared his own props, preferring to instead use commercially purchased irons and handcuffs. However, Houdini made an exception for his most dangerous trick, the Chinese Water Torture escape. For this trick, Houdini specially modified handcuffs to make sure the catch would give under enough pressure, and thus never cause him to drown. These handcuffs are now among the most valuable Houdini props. Judd Leg Irons, $2000 Although not modified, the Judd company leg irons were specially selected by Houdini to use in his more dangerous escapes. Their short chain gave a sense of danger and confinement, but their shackles were just loose enough for Houdini to contort himself free. Autographed Straitjacket, $47,000 Houdini used patchwork straitjackets of the same type used to imprison the unfortunate inmates in Bedlam. The rough canvas, thickly stitched together with no…

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3 Nov 2014

If you have ever taken an interest in collecting sports cards or jerseys, or even been a fan for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly heard the words memorabilia and collectible. These words are often used interchangeably, but there is technically a difference between them. Sports Memorabilia Something is generally considered sports memorabilia when it has been signed by an athlete and the signature has been verified and certified by a reputable source. Items range from photos to jerseys to cards to sports equipment. The source certifying the signature is usually a distributor or dealer. Sports Collectibles On the flip side, sports products that aren’t signed by an athlete or are signed but haven’t been officially authenticated are considered collectibles.…

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28 Oct 2014

Whether it is a movie star, singer, athlete or author, famous autographs are sought-after and potentially valuable. But only if they are authentic. Passing off signatures that aren’t real as the real thing has become an art form for a lot of criminals. And even though experts are occasionally fooled, there are a few things you can look for to help you determine if the one you’re looking at is real. Does It Cost More? Sometimes, there is no malicious intent when it comes to items bearing a famous autograph. The items, whether they be sports collectibles or celebrity products, are mass-produced with printed autographs. The idea is to sell them as mementos or collectibles, with no real thought to…

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21 Oct 2014

The decision to use a self storage facility for your “extras” is a relatively easy one. Storage units are convenient and inexpensive and usually do a great job keeping your things safe. However, not all self storage facilities are created equal and not any old one will do when it comes to storing your possessions. Consider Your Needs It’s always wise to think about why you need a self storage unit in the first place, before you start searching. Depending on what you need to store and for how long, the features of the ideal unit for you may vary. Things like quality security and controlling the climate inside the units is important for everyone. But if you have a…

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17 Oct 2014

One of the unwritten rules of moving is that there will be a period of time during the process where some or all of your possessions will have no permanent place to stay. Many people forget this rule when they begin the process, and end up scrambling when the time comes. A self storage unit offers several benefits when you’re moving, and will help the process run a lot more smoothly. For Buyers Sometimes, when you buy a home there is a gap between the time you have to vacate your current dwelling and when you’re able to move in to the new one. Finding accommodations may not be an issue for you, but that doesn’t mean your possessions will…

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13 Oct 2014

Most people, especially those with kids and a lot of household activity, can relate to the concept of a cluttered home. Of course, there are varying degrees of clutter, but the process of organizing any cluttered home can be maddening. It often seems like just you’re clearing mess from one area just to start a new one somewhere else. A cost-effective and convenient option is needed, and for most situations self storage fits the bill. How Bad Is It? The first thing you need to do is to determine just how bad the situation is around your house. Do you have that ‘sort of getting in the way’ kind of clutter, the ‘this is totally disrupting our lives’ kind of…

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10 Oct 2014

Fabergé Eggs were originally made for Russian aristocrats who liked to celebrate Easter not with chocolate, but with giant jeweled eggs polished with the tears of peasants. Although many knockoff “Fabergé” eggs now exist, there are only 65 true Fabergé Eggs in the world. However, many are still unaccounted for, and may be collecting dust in antique shops and personal collections around the world, waiting to be discovered. #1. Third Imperial Fabergé Egg. Since the days of the stars, you’d there would be less demand for big egg jewelry, but there’s actually more. The price of many of these eggs has increased, allowing some people to make an absolute killing buying up eggs for their face value and selling them…

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7 Oct 2014

In the world of book collecting, there’s nothing quite like a signed first edition to really get a collector excited. Quite often, that first edition was written when no one knew who the author was, or if they would ever become well known. Here’s a list of 7 signed first editions, that sold for amounts that would make anyone think about becoming an antique book collector. The Beautiful and Damned F Scott Fitzgerald is a writer most people have heard of, and a writer every book collector knows. A first edition of his book ‘The Beautiful and Damned’ with the inscription: “To William Judd. Parisien / Critic / Playrite / Bibliophile / Drunkard / and / Good Egg” sold for…

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30 Sep 2014

The world’s best experts at storing photographs are archivists, people with up to a decade of education and hefty resources at their disposal. Although it’s unrealistic to try to store photographs exactly like an archivist would, here are some tips and tricks from the professional world that can be done at home. Use proper envelopes or other storage materials. Archives have something called the Photographic Activity Test, a test to see whether or not any material interacts with photographs. Sounds complicated, right? Well, archivists have done enough PATs that the world already knows which materials pass and which materials fail. The best material for housing photographs are: non-acidified, lignin-free 100% cotton paper without any seams pure polyethylene or polyester, both…

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23 Sep 2014

Storing collectibles properly takes careful control of three major environmental conditions: light moisture temperature Light Light is bad for most collectibles, and good for none. Light exposure causes fading in wood, paper, and other organic substances. This is due to a process known as photodegredation. What we think of as color is actually just caused by a substance reflecting some of the light spectrum, while absorbing the rest. Unfortunately, when pigments absorb the energy from light, they also break down. Over time, this causes a steady shift towards less vibrant pigmentation. Photodegradation is even more of a concern with plastics. Photodegradation is actually one of the few methods available to environmental engineers to decompose plastics: with enough light, most plastics…

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19 Sep 2014

Jiffy Self Storage gets many requests for and questions about outdoor truck parking in Toronto during the winter. Here are some of the more common questions, along with what is all of the information you will need about Jiffy’s long-term parking service. 1. Do you provide truck storage parking services for large trucks in Toronto? Yes, we do! In fact, Jiffy Self Storage has been providing this service for many years and is one of the more trusted places for professional drivers to park their dump trucks and other large vehicles during the harsh winter months. 2. Can I plug my block heater in? Yes! We supply power to our tenants’ block heaters so that they can start their trucks…

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16 Sep 2014

6. Buick Grand National Nothing signaled the end of the oil crisis like the popularity of the Buick Grand National. A big muscle car with terrible mileage, nothing like it would have sold during the energy crisis. However, it fit right into the world of the 1980s. 5. Volvo 760 Turbo Wagon Nothing says a 1980s childhood like a station wagon. The Volvo Turbo Wagon was a total workhouse, using 182 horsepower to haul nuclear American families across suburbs and on vacations all over the country. 4. The 1983 Ford Thunderbird No car of the 1980s had the same magnetic power, the same envy-inspiring flash, the same teenage-dream qualities as the Ford Thunderbird. The Thunderbird’s beauty came from one thing:…

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9 Sep 2014

We pride ourselves on keeping moisture out of storage units. However, even the best-kept units can get a little musty if their renters do not take steps. Here are some easy ways to keep the mustiness down: Use vinegar. For everything. White vinegar is a natural cleaner that kills germs and mildew with acidity. You can use it in one of two ways: placing open containers or dishes in your unit, or washing with vinegar. Open containers of white vinegar will slowly evaporate, acidifying the air and the condensation inside the unit. This will kill mildew, even in areas that are hard to reach. Alternatively, you can mop the floor or scrub the walls with vinegar. Do not rinse afterwards;…

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2 Sep 2014

Compact collections have been a surprisingly great investment over the last decade. Compacts’ strength is their availability: compacts used to be almost as common as purses among middle- and high-class ladies. Touching up makeup was a public event, and women wanted to have compacts that made a statement. Luxury compacts were sold by the thousands on cruise ships and in hotel gift shops. Soldiers in wars sent them home to their sweethearts. Best of all, they are surprisingly resilient. Fairly few have been damaged, rusted, or otherwise taken out of circulation. Since 1980, putting on makeup has become less of a public event. Women wore less makeup, and rarely needed to touch it up, let alone in public. Disposable plastic…

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26 Aug 2014

Slot Cars The world’s biggest collection of slot cars was recently sold to a private buyer. It included 2.5 million miles of track and over 1,000 model cars. Naval Fuzz Belly button fuzz is the subject of some serious curiosity. There has been an actual scientific study that determined the exact mechanism by thin body hair traps lint. However, the world’s greatest collection is not in the hands of scientists, but instead in the hands of a private citizen, Georg Steinhauser. Steinhauser has been collecting his own belly lint for decades, resulting in several jars of the stuff. Chocolate Wrappers Martin Mihál is a German chocolate wrapper collector. He has almost 10,000 wrappers from all over the world, showing off…

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19 Aug 2014

Some people can go a little too far with collecting. Some choices of things to collect might seem a little questionable. Among the least cool collections we’ve ever heard of include: 1. Low-quality plastic toys In the 90s, tons of collectors tried to buy up complete sets of toys from Happy Meals, Kinder Surprise, vending machines, etc. However, these were all boring and cheap, destined for the landfill from the very moment they were designed. Nobody tries to relive their childhood by choosing the worst toys they had as kids, so nobody is willing to pay any money for them now.Most of the existing collections will likely be trashed long before anyone puts value on them. 2. Clown dolls The…

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12 Aug 2014

Specialized Clutter Boxes One personality trait that causes clutter is procrastination. Most people at one point in their lives used a space in their houses just to “age” clutter. This might have been a drawer, table, or even a pile on the floor, where clutter patiently awaited a time when we’d make a decision about what to do with it. Unfortunately, the larger that pile got, the less we wanted to do something about it. This can be avoided by forcing ourselves to make decisions about clutter as soon as it is produced. Instead of one big pile of “decision pending” items, use separate boxes for “move,” “sell,” and “store.” These boxes force a decision about the item: either it…

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5 Aug 2014

With every new album, tour or television special, potential pieces of music memorabilia are born. This is a gigantic industry and determining the value of what you have can often pose quite the challenge. You may feel that your memorabilia is going to set you up for years to come, only to find it isn’t worth much at all. Here’s some information that will help point you in the right direction. Different Types of Memorabilia Getting to know the various types of music memorabilia always a good start, because it includes a wide range of items. Things like album covers, instruments, posters, concert tickets, novelty items and clothing signed or used by specific artists are usually memorabilia-worthy. Music memorabilia is…

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29 Jul 2014

Aside from building one of the more successful international companies over the past century, Coca-Cola has also succeeded in creating a boatload of collectibles. The huge variety of promotional items coke has produced over the years include things like bottles, cups, glasses, clothing , trays, bottle openers, toy cars and trucks, signs and puzzles. If you have been thinking of starting a Coca-Cola collection of your own, it can get a little overwhelming, so here are a few tips to point you in the right direction. Join the Club There is a club called the Coca-Cola Collectors Club that has over 40 chapters in several parts of the world. They have a website where members discuss different aspects of collecting…

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