Monday, April 30, 2012

Stating my Case(s)

I can't believe it's taken me this long to get to one of my favorite items in my (ever-growing) collection - needle cases!

I love everything about these - the subject matter, the colors, the form/function duality, the size - what can I say?  They bring me joy.  :)

I began collecting these guys about 12 years ago.  The first one I ever got was this Red Owl specimen of loveliness.  Red Owl and I go way back; indeed, my mom says my first words were "Owie Owl" (is it any wonder that I have a fondness for vintage supermarkets?).  I found it at an estate sale here in Fond du Lac, back when there was a company that staged them at least once a month.  I believe it cost me two bucks, which was a steal even in 2000.  If you're not aware of the Red Owl chain, they began in Minnesota and spread to other parts of the Midwest.  Incidentally, one of the last two remaining Red Owls is located right in my hometown of Green Bay - Mason's Red Owl, which is probably the one where my parents shopped.  It opened in 1969 and is one of the smallest full-service grocery stores in the nation.  How's that for cool?  :D

This next case was a gift from my friend Carolyn - I love mini die-cuts, so this is right up my alley.  It's just so perfect, isn't it?  Incidentally, the company who's advertised on this case, Gambles-Skogmo, were the original owners of the Red Owl franchise!  I didn't know that until doing research for this post!  How's that for a coinky-dink?  The company also owned other stores, like Women's World, Snyder Drug (more on that chain after the jump), and Leath Furniture, which was a downtown Fond du Lac institution until 2006.

And in yet ANOTHER circle-of-life turn of events, we come to this Walgreen needle case, which I just picked up last weekend at the estate sale I attended.  I bought it not only for my collection, but because my brother in-law Mike is a pharmacist there and thought he might like to see it.  Here comes the circle-of-life part - Walgreen (which is now called Walgreens, as we all know) bought out the Snyder Drug chain back in 2010!  So in essence, all three of these needle cases I've talked about today have some ties to the same company, Gambles-Skogmo!  Amazing!!  G-d bless the Internet!

Also included in my collection are this wonderful A&P case; this awesome Kresge case, which I specifically bought online because of my love of the K-Mart family of stores (Kresge, Jupiter and K-Mart); and a "Happy Home" case, which could be anywhere from the 40s-60s, according to some accounts I read online.  It's a very common needle case (made in Japan, I believe), but I love it nonetheless.

I have a Food Fair needle case as well, but it's buried in one of my piles o' ephemera somewhere.  It'll resurface just when I've given up hope of ever finding it again.  :)


  1. Loved seeing yours Mel - I have a quite a few too that have somehow multiplied over the years - had not seen most of yours though! J

    1. Isn't it funny how we begin collecting something without really knowing it? Mine sort of "multiplied" over the years, too! Thank you for your kind words, J! :D