Collecting the Eclipse

You’ve got your NASA approved eclipse glasses and I’m sure you’re going to get a thrill out of watching this rare event occurring on August 21, 2017. But when it’s all over you might want to hang onto those eclipse glasses as they might just become collectible.  

Kids watching a 1920s eclipse

There are a few contemporary things that can join the vintage and antique items that eclipse lovers already collect. The glasses, t-shirts, and the lovely posters that have been created just for this happening.  

There are some really cool old items that fit the category of eclipse collectibles. Perhaps most well known are the vintage “eclipse pattern” tumblers by the iconic mid century designer, Russell Wright.

Tumblers by Russell Wright

Vintage 1970s eclipse t-shirt

Antique pull down eclipse chart

Then there are the old astronomical charts, old photos, etc. All endlessly interesting and historical. It’s so much fun to build a collection. 

Eclipse glasses, 1932

Eclipse photo, 1898

 Come on in to the Midtown Mercantile Mall at 4443 E. Speedway. We just might have an old eclipse collectible waiting for you.

Carol Fenn 8-2017

Back To School – Then and Now!

Back in the day, before the first day of school, (which used to be mid-September) your Mom or Dad would take you shopping for new clothes and new shoes.  

Shopping at one of those newfangled “shopping malls.”

No self service shoes back then

We loved our lunch boxes

In those days, the clothes, no matter how much they cost, a lot or a little, were quality, finely made, and they lasted until you grew out of them. And this was probably the only time you got new clothes until the next year.  
After you were done shopping for clothes you might get treated to a brand new lunch box. Which one should you get? Yogi Bear, Peanuts, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Popeye, Underdog, Huckleberry Hound, Mary Poppins, Hee Haw, Batman, Julia, The Flintstones, or what? There were so many! Why is it so hard to pick?   

So many to choose from!

Last, grab a composition book, a pack of pencils and maybe a cool pencil box. That’s all you needed. Everything else was supplied by the school.  Oh, and hopefully your mom will save some paper grocery bags so that you can cover your textbooks with them.

We didn’t have to pay for books but we had to protect them

Today, kids go back to school in the middle of summer and parents receive the school’s annual list of classroom supplies that they must purchase and deliver. It can be three or four pages long. It includes several cleaning products and also requests a Costco-sized package of toilet paper. It might even include a huge bag of flour! This is in addition to the school supplies for your own child. A backpack, paper, pens, folders, notebooks, a calligraphy set, fifteen new apps for their tablets, a graphing calculator, a scalpel, an electron microscope and a centrifuge. And clothing? You’ll be buying clothes all year because today’s clothes only last thru maybe a half a dozen laundry cycles. Doesn’t sound like much fun does it? And not to mention the expense. Many parents cannot afford all of these items, hence the school supply drives that pop up this time of year.  

And I’m certainly not a snob about how people dress but just check out the difference in the crossing guards then and now.



Hey, to beat those back to school blues come on in to The Mercantile at 4443 E. Speedway, Tucson AZ.  You might find one of those old lunch boxes to help bring back those “back in the day” memories.

Carol Fenn 8-2017