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Urban Archeologist: A Program Worth Viewing

Redding Sale brings “Sunny Skies” and a little of Danbury’s history.

“How do you find these things?” This is a typical question that often accompanies the “Where?” as well. My best advice is to look everywhere. When visiting a sale, the common approach is to separate what is for sale from what isn’t. While I do recommend making a quick review of all the rooms in an estate sale, a good friend taught me a lesson that follows the philosophy “Everything is for sale.” Rather than be concerned about the taped off rooms and the “No Entry” signs take everything in that you can and feel free to ask about what you can’t see.

A few weeks ago I found a lone estate sale deep in Redding that featured a house full of odds and ends from someone who had spent a lifetime collecting antiques. Old bicycles, farm tools, books, large items and small ones filled the home and a large room above the garage. I made a quick review of all the available rooms and then began taking a closer look at the things that caught my eye.

After an hour of looking I had only seen a pile of post cards with just a few sporting a campy holiday spot that I decided to buy (to be reserved for a December-themed post or article). I sifted through a box of sewing forms and magazines and among these I spotted a soft cover booklet that had a familiar look to it. Maybe it was the graphics or maybe it was the coloration or design but it stood out as an odd piece.

Look at the images and you’ll see why I found it appealing — I hope. This was a program for a musical comedy presented by the Athletic Association of the State Trade School in Danbury March of 1939. This 70-year-old program is in fine shape and has over 100 sponsor ads within the pages. It is an interesting snapshot of Danbury’s local commerce and industry at the time.

I wish I had full knowledge of the State Trade School System of the 1930s. This one seems to have opened in 1931 and graduated 15 boys in their first graduation exercises in 1932. I would be guessing that the trade school mentioned here was possibly replaced by or became .

For a dollar and an hour’s worth of patient digging I was able to find a nice piece of Danbury history. There are sales out there this weekend, as of this publishing about four estate sales, and one of them looks like a good dig. I’ll be out there, if you see another digger with a camera and pen, say hello and share your finds.

Take a look at the blog to figure out why “Mom doesn’t love you anymore!”

Greg Van Antwerp is a Brookfield resident and blogger, who can be found on the weekends in search of a good “dig” or a good story.  You can read more about his adventures by visiting his blog.

Jaimie Cura March 15, 2012 at 02:41 PM
As always, your patience at estate sales astounds me and you always find something interesting! And I'm going to guess that the ad on your blog is a precursor to the grey blob from the Zoloft commercials!

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