Mike's Favorite Items 11/13/2014!!

It's so hard to pick my favorite items, but here are a few that I have been loosing sleep over.

Conestoga Big Bang Cannon: Model 6F


Manufacturing of the Big Bang Cannons began in 1912 by the Gas Cannon Company. The original patent for the firing mechanism was developed by a Lehigh University physics professor in 1907. The company became Toy Cannon Works in 1916 and changed names again to The Conestoga Company in 1924. They remain The Conestoga Company today. 

These toys are operated by placing a little carbide into a chamber containing some water where it reacts immediately to release acetylene gas. A few seconds later it is ignited. A means for introducing fresh air for the next explosion is also provided.. Acetylene in air has the widest range of explosive limit of any common chemical[3] and also a very low ignition energy, a combination which very reliably produces a loud “bang” explosion compared to other vapor explosions.


Steve Canyon Lunch Box Thermos 1959
  • Manufactured by: Alladin 
  • Size: Half Pint


Steve Canyon was an adventure comic strip drawn and written by Milton Caniff. The comic strip ran for over 40 years from January 13, 1947 until June 4, 1988. Steve was originally an Air Force veteran running his own air transport service. During the Korean War Steve rejoined the U.S. Air Force and he remained there for the rest of the comic strips run. In the beginning, his friends and costars of the strip were fellow veterans, and a romantic interest was provided by Copper Calhoon. Eventually, Canyon developed a sometime-sidekick in crotchety millionaire adventurer Happy Easter, along with a permanent love interest in Summer Olson, Calhoon's private secretary. General Philerie was based on World War II hero Phil Cochran, who came from Erie, as noted in the character's name (Phil-Erie). Steve Canyon had deep patriotic undertones, and with Canyon's return to the military, the story began to revolve around the duties of American citizens and Cold War Intrigue.

The strip was also adapted in to a 34 episode TV series. The episodes aired on NBC from 1958 to 1959 and reruns on ABC in 1960. In the show Steve Canyon was played by Dean Fredericks.





Pyrex Spring Blossom Green Mixing Bowls 
  • Manufactured by: Pyrex
  • Pattern: Spring Blossom Green
  • Time Period: Early 1970's



The Pyrex Spring Blossom design shares many design details and is often confused with the Crazy Daisy pattern. They are often considered to be two different variations of the same design with Crazy Daisy being the first. Spring Blossom often has fan-shaped 4 leaf clusters instead of three leaf ones as well as dots that are both colored in and hollow. There are no single leaf motifs as well. The Spring Blossom Green 400 bowl set has the usual 401-404 bowls with 1 1/2 pint, 1 1/2 quart, 2 1/2 quart and 4 quart bowls. As is the case with many of these mixing bowls, the color alternates so that 401 and 403 are white on green and 402 and 404 are green on white.

Girard Trust Bank Lock Box

Having lived near Girard Avenue in Philadelphia, this little guy hits close to home. I love old Philadelphia items especially if they reference my neighborhood. Girard Bank was founded over 200 years ago by Stephen Girard in 1811. After the expiration of the First Bank of the United States charter in 1811, Girard purchased most of its stock and the building located at 120 South 3rd Street in center city, Philadelphia. 

First Bank of the United States & Girard Trust Building at 120 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA. As seen today.

During the War of 1812 the United States Government turned to Girard Bank as principal source of credit.. Towards the end of the war, when the financial credit of the U.S. government was at its lowest, Girard placed nearly all of his resources at the disposal of the government and underwrote up to 95 percent of the war loan issue, which enabled the United States to carry on the war. 

In 1983 Girard Bank was merged with Mellon Bank in a deal valued at $220 million. Following the merger, the bank was renamed Mellon Bank (East). The century-old Girard Bank lost its corporate identity. Almost 2 decades later the the bank was sold again. This time to Citizens Bank, which is still in business today.
Girard Trust Bank on Broad Street, as seen today as the Ritz Carlton. 
-Mike McFadden


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