Thursday, July 9, 2009

One of My Ideas is Executed--Our Case of Curiosities is Filled with Old Bandage Tins

One of the things I inherited from the Downer Schwartz were two glass cases. These were used for expensive rare books, and perhaps before that, for expensive sidelines.

They were currently not usable because both locks were gone. It seemed like a bad idea to put things in an unlocked glass case. I can only imagine theft and breakage, a combinage that gives me nightmares.

Thanks to Urich, locks were ordered (from Europe!) and they now pretty much work. Well, at least the one on the right--the one on the left is a little tempermental.

But at least for now, my idea is to display things not for sale, but for show. Collections of various sorts dazzled my imagination. Of course I had one of my own to start things off. Below is my explanation that hangs alongside the case...

Assorted Bandage Tins

It was the mid 1980’s when I realized that the ubiquitous bandage tins I saw everywhere would soon disappear. There was a distinct trend away from metal in all things packaging.

The bandage tin, however, is a beautifully designed container. Homage has been paid in the retro Accoutrements tins filled with bacon and pickle shaped bandages. And yes, I have a few of these.

I love place and I love retail. When you think of cities, you might think of baseball teams or landmark buildings. I think of old retailers. I saw the regional food and drug chains consolidating at a rapid pace, and I panicked…and started collecting.

The march against the bandage tin reminds me of what the soothsayers pronounce now for the book. And the examples I have remind me of the somewhat lost vibrancy of regional retailing.

All of which explains a bit why I chose to open an independent bookstore in Milwaukee. Enjoy the collection.


dW said...

Daniel - you've given me two great childhood memories in one week! My sister and I used to employ a bandaid tin on pulleys outside our bedroom windows to send messages back and forth. Both bandaid tins and paper messages have now been replaced by texting for today's generation, of course. I look forward to seeing your collection.

Anonymous said...

This comment came through on my feed reader and I thought, "Wow, two other sisters with a Band-Aid box on a string?" It took me a second to realize I'm the very sister in the comment and dW is talking about our very Band-Aid box. Sounds like technology (in this case RSS) has replaced box-and-string communication even for *our* generation! Daniel, thanks for a fun memory and can't wait to see your boxes.