Beton Indian Story: A collector’s tale of recovery and renewal

The once buried Beton Indian figure, circa 1948, with missing arm and stand, recovered from beneath an apartment building in Brooklyn. (Photo courtesy Robert Rentzer)

When I was 8 or 9 years old, my dad gave me a dime store package of the Beton Indian figures. Eventually they all met the same fate as the real Indians of the West (going to the Happy Hunting Grounds), with one exception: A one-armed Indian who was carefully laid to rest. Perhaps, sorry for his loss of a limb, I decided to put him to rest in a mausoleum of sorts. Some 55 years later, I had occasion to return to New York with my wife. Wanting to show her where I grew up, we paid a visit to my old apartment building and even dared knock on the door. Read More +

Reader solves mystery hidden inside Acme Semaphore Traffic Signal


In the April 6, April 20 and May 4, 2011 editions Antique Trader honored me by breaking tradition and for the first time in their history ran an article over three editions. The article was titled, “One Collector’s Holy Grail” and was the complete (actually, almost complete) story of the rise and fall of the Acme Semaphore Traffic Signal Company. For those who missed any part, and even for those who read it all, the article can now be found in a full-color download posted online. Read More +

The Holy Grail of Traffic Signals – One collector’s quest to find and restore an iconic 1924 Acme traffic signal

One collector’s quest to find and restore the iconic 1924 Acme traffic signal takes a number of twists and turns. The tale takes us from a downtown Los Angeles street corner in 1924 all the way to 2010. In this three-part series (each in a free PDF format) you’ll learn the lengths collector Robert D. Rentzer went to find and restore this piece of vintage American roadway history. Read More +