Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bates and Klinke Pewter Souvenir Buildings

Monticello & Poplar Forest 
The company, Bates & Klinke,  was founded by Harold Bates & Oscar Klinke and manufactured pewter products in the U.S. since 1919. Bates and Klinke, Inc. produced a number of product lines in Attleboro, Massachusetts, at town which was a major center for jewelry production in the early 20th century.  The company is noted for making souvenir silver charms from tourist travel destinations, along with souvenir spoons, brass souvenir plates, medals, key chains, & military insignia. Later, the company did business as B&J Manufacturing Corporation. However, neither of the companies' website are active and only their LinkedIn page works, so they may be out of business. Here’s a bit of trivia I discovered:  Did you know that in 1935, Bates and Klinke, Inc. was sued for patent infringement in the U.S. Supreme Court? PetersPatent Corp. v. Bates & Klinke, Inc. They produced a number of souvenir buildings and monuments and Building Collector reader, Gary, asked if I could compile a list and photos and below is what I have so far. I noticed on both the Monticello and Poplar Forest pewter souvenirs the shallow diamond logo which leads me to believe they were also produced by Bates and Klinke even though the name is missing. I wrote previously about other souvenir buildingsmade of pewter. Below are photos of buildings and monuments made by Bates & Klinke. Do you know of others?

540 Madison Ave. NY & Sears/Willis Tower

The Siege Museum & Lincoln in chair 

Washington, D.C. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mold-A-Rama Plastic Souvenir Buildings

While in Chicago recently, we visited the Willis (formally Sears) Tower.  After assenting to the top for magnificent views and bravely stepping onto the new glass floor feature of the observations deck, we scoured the ground-floor gift shop for souvenirs. Unfortunately, the only building replicas came in the form of resin and a small metal pencil sharpener, which I already own. However, we did discover a Mold-A-Rama machine! Might have been the first time I’ve seen one. This vending machine “factory” has been melting raw plastic to form souvenir dinosaurs, animals and other figures via the plastic injection method at tourist destinations since 1955.  For just a few dollars, this machine turned out a black replica of the Willis Tower while we watched. It was still warm and smelled of hot plastic after being molded and unceremoniously pushed into the retrieval shoot.  Watch the video of my miniature tower under construction below. Do you remember the TV show, “Wonderfalls?” Set in Niagara Falls, the show features a talking, deformed Mold-A-Rama lion who convinces a store clerk to do good deeds. To refresh your memory, check out this Wonderfalls video  (the Mold-A-Rama lion scene comes at time 5:38) The website, Moldville, has excellent information about Mold-A-Rama figurines, machines and history of the company.  You can even buy your own machine from them and produce your own souvenirs hot off the press. Most photos here are courtesy of Moldville. 

Better Living Pavilion ’65 NY World’s Fair    
      Friendship International Airport, Baltimore & Humble Building 

                 Grauman’s Chinese Theatre & Empire State Building

            Pacific Science Center Building & Gateway Arch in St. Louis 

                                      Hollywood Bowl in California

          Seattle Space Needle, Willis Tower (formerly Sears) & Eiffel Tower 
Stone Mountain Monument, Georgia & Georgia State Capitol Building

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Waterpoort in Sneek, Netherlands Souvenir Building

This replica of the Waterpoort in Sneek, Netherlands (Holland) is pewter on a marble base.  A Waterpoort or Hoogendster Pijp is a gate in a defensive wall that connects a city to a waterway. In the 15th and 16th century, a defensive wall was built around the town of Sneek. The city lay on the important trade route between Leeuwarden and Stavoren, from which the rich western parts of the Netherlands (now North Holland and South Holland) could be reached. To facilitate this trade, a new harbor called the "Kolk" was built to the southwest of the city and in 1613 the Waterpoort was erected to connect city and harbor. It formed part of the city walls, but when large parts of these were demolished in the early 18th century, it was decided to leave the Waterpoort intact. The style of the gate, now the symbol of Sneek, can be described as Manierist. Above the gate itself, which originally would have had wooden fences, is a loggia (gallery) and above that are what were the quarters of the gatekeeper. On each side is an octagonal tower. 

I collect 3D metal souvenir building replica of architecture from around the world. If you have any to sell or trade, contact me via my email address in the “complete profile” link at the top right of this blog.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Zeppelin / Blimp Mooring Souvenir Buildings

I’ve seen two different souvenir replicas of structures meant to moor or dock blimps – also called zeppelins, dirigibles, and airships. Did you know that the Empire State Building was designed to allow blimps to dock at the top and load and unload passengers? A souvenir illustrating this was made in the 1930’s and measures approximately 6 1/2" high and the airship measures approximately 6" in length. The 4 sides of the building read:  "Worlds Tallest Structure, Empire State Mooring Mast, 1250 Feet High, and New York.” Perched atop the building and mooring mast is an airship, which reads on both sides "Zeppelin." In the 1930’s, the Graf Zeppelin was making regular passenger flights to the United States and it was thought that docking at this new feat of architectural engineering would be quite the marvel. In actuality, this never came to pass due to strong wind conditions especially since the passengers and crew would have disembarked on a narrow open-air walkway. Another antique souvenir is a doorstop made of cast iron depicting a Graf Zeppelin at a Mooring tower and measures 8 3/4" tall x 13 1/8" wide. The towers were used for short term use when the airship was not in the hanger. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Markle Bank Building in Hazleton, Pa.

This metal coin bank represents the Markle Bank Building and is made by American Art Works. The base has the words, “Markle Bank, Member Federal Reserve, Save on Pay Day.”  Originally known as the Markle Banking & Trust Company Building, later the Northeastern Bank Building, and today, the Hayden Tower at the Markle stands in Downtown Hazleton, Pennsylvania at Broad and Wyoming streets. Built in 1910, the 11-story commercial building has 3 bays wide and 7 bays deep, with a 6-story addition in the Classical Revival style. It is constructed of reinforced concrete with a limestone and white brink facing. A six-story addition was added to the east of the original building in 1923. The structure was deemed unsafe in 1998 and closed, but then saved from the wrecking ball in 2001 by local businessman George F. Hayden. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Here are some great vintage photos of the building over the years.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Metal German TV & Radio Tower Replicas

Most metal souvenir buildings are created either by pouring molten metal into a mold or they are die cast. But not all are produced this way. Most of us have seen these various TV and Radio tower replicas from Germany and I’ve always wondered how and why they were made because they seemed different than other souvenir towers. Although there must be hundreds made representing various towers around Germany, they don’t seem to be mass-produced for tourists. To me, they are clearly carved on a lathe in a machine shop using a solid blank of aluminum or brass metal. Many collectors believe they were crafted by German metal smith students honing their craft and now I’ve found proof. In the photo, below, the caption reads, "German chancellor Angela Merkel receives an aluminum model of the Berlin TV tower from the trainee Ricardo Krille during her visit at the Siemens trainee center in the machining department in Berlin, Germany, 7 May 2012. Trainees produce the miniature in a project which includes school and practical work.”
   A German resident also commented in a story about the towers on the website, Apartment Therapy, writing, “…these models are "Gesellenst├╝cke" from people who learn to be a machinist. You have to learn for three years and at the end there is a theoretical and a practical test the "Gesellenpr├╝fung" When you've done everything alright in that test, you are a “Handwerkergeselle.” There you have it – evidence of what some suspected for years. Now, you ask…why does Germany have so many towers like this around their country? Way before cable and the internet, TV and radio stations would broadcast their programs via airwaves emitting their signal from antennae atop these gigantic TV Towers, called Fernsehturm or Fernmeldeturm in German. The German towers tend to have lots of layers or 'shelves’ to support communication equipment.   Throughout Germany there are seventy-seven or so such towers, six of which offer folks the chance to climb high above the ground to their observation decks. Born from practical reasons, many towers have now become iconic structures in their respective cities. So, Why do most major German cities have large TV towers, while you don’t see these structures in the rest or Europe or in the U.S.? This link has an interesting guess. North America does have towers which we also use for communication and the most notable examples are the Seattle Space needle and Toronto’s CN Tower. Other tall buildings including the Willis Tower in Chicago and World Trade Center in NYC have antennae on top, which eliminates the need for separate towers dedicated to communication.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Great Mosque of Samarra’s Malwiya Minaret

Many people mistakenly identify this building as the Tower of Babel, which looks much different.  Others call is the Great Mosque of Samarra, which is closer, but still not 100% true. The true name is the Malwiya Minaret, which was part of what was the Great Mosque of Samarra in Iraq. Microsocms made metal replicas in a gold finish in the 1990’s and then later made solid bronze versions on a marble base.  A few places sell plastic / resin replicas.  Radafian bank also made a metal coin bank version. A spiraling conical design rising 52 meters high, the minaret of the Great Mosque of Samarra is the most prominent structure remaining of a mosque that was once the largest in the world. Called the
‘malwiya’ or the snail shell minaret, this 180-foot tower was the main focal point of the mosque, which covered 42 acres at its peak. The minaret was originally connected to the mosque by a bridge. In the mid-9th century, the great work was commissioned by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil who allegedly rode a white donkey up the spiraling paths to the top. Constructed of sandstons between 848 – 852, it is because of its ascending spiral conical design. The word "malwiya" translates as "twisted" or "snail shell" and was used for the call to prayer. Over time, the mosque was slowly destroyed and fell into disuse by the 11th century after the Hulagu Khan invasion of Iraq. Only the outer wall and its minaret remain.
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