Miller's Old Stuff on Ebay
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Ron & Donna Miller - Publishers

Several Tries To Make Barbed Wire

The first barbed wire was patented in 1867. It consisted of a strand of wire with wooden blocks suspended on it. The blocks were pierced with sharp nails.

This idea didn’t work very well, Neither did a couple of later ideas, including one called Hunt’s Patent, which was spurlike, with revolving disks at the end and another called Buckthorn, which was a sawtooth ribbon.

However, once the general idea was accepted - that wire with sharp things on it would be an effective deterrent - more acceptable ideas came along. The solution came with Joseph Glidden’s simple double-strand wire with prongs, patented in 1876.

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Collecting Christmas Postmarks

Looking for a new direction to head with your Christmas collectibles? Consider collecting envelope cancellations from different Christmas-related cities..

There are post offices in cities named Bethlehem, Christmas, Evergreen, Holly and Hope. There is a Joy in Illinois and Mistletoe in Kentucky. Several states have Palestine, and Rudolph can be found in Ohio and Wisconsin.

Nazareth and Noel are both names of U.S. cities and, of course, there’s Santa’s home in North Pole, Alaska.

Oregon has a Christmas Valley. It seems that La Pine should also qualify for this collection. Washington’s Carroll should be included, even if the spelling is different.
Many postmasters will mail to your address a pre-stamped envelope or postcard. Mark the outside of your envelope “Postmark Request.”

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Bubble Lights

From the mid-1940s through the 1950s, nearly every Christmas tree in America wore at least one strand of bubble lights.

They were first marketed in 1945 by the NOMA Electric Co. and were so successful that within a few years, more than 30 styles and brands were on the market.

Collectors of bubble lights should watch especially for those with bases of unusual shapes.

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