Indy Ad Show milestone fills fairground hall

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INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly 400 tables were filled with antique and early advertising materials for the second time in this, the 40th year of the Indy Ad Show, Sept. 25-26, 2010. The B & D production was managed by partners Doug Moore and Bruce Weir with great attendance and, according to Moore, good sales reported by most of the exhibiting dealers and collectors.

The show has a most colorful motif — advertising paraphernalia from the past. There may be a Coca-Cola sign from 1980 next to a handbill for a tent carnival circa 1890 with some early 19th-century point of purchase displays. The interest is in the condition and uniqueness of each item. Many objects have a tractable market value, because they are highly sought, while other things are one of a kind, such as a very specific sign.

There was a salesman’s sample of the Coca-Cola display, complete with miniature Coke bottles, offered by Gus Brown from Piney Flats, Tenn. A peep show in the form of a young woman and man in barrels as their only dress offered perhaps an interesting view inside for only a nickel — but now is worth several thousand dollars.

The Coca-Cola salesman left his miniature display somewhere some time, a long time ago, for the two-case display with 48 tiny Coke bottles had not an ounce of “the pause that refreshes,” and now is a prized collectible at $9,800.

Cigars were a popular medium for the early advertisers. An old broadside for American Empire Cigars was offered by Jack Dixey of Mid Ohio Antiques, Canfield, Ohio, at $3,200.

Probably used as a window display, another broadside promoting Ath Lo Pho Ros, a patent medicine from the early 20th century, was offered by Dave Delongchamp, “The Tins Man” of Perrington, Mich. It was valued at $500.

Greg and Anne Rosenak of Anne’s Anteex were offering their Berghoff Beer wall hanging. From Peoria, Ill., these collectors had a cardboard over tin print of pointer dogs, which had been used as a back bar sign to encourage Berghoff Beer over the other brews.

Moxie was a soft drink popular in the Northeast in the first quarter of the 20th century. An early sales promotion piece essential then for all who would enjoy the drink — the bottle cap opener — now was offered by Anne’s Anteex for $165.

As with the bottle opener, many advertising antiques were functional. Bruce Weir, co-producer of the Indy Ad Show, offered a lighted, circa 1890 saloon beer and ale dispenser featuring the brewery’s logo. Very rare to find in good order, this was priced at $3,900.

The show has great following with more new customers, who remember offerings as objects from their younger days. There are also objects that make you smile, laugh or perhaps feel nostalgic about them. It is also a great place to visit to find that there is good value in the attic.

The show is held a twice each year, with the next event scheduled for March 19-20, 2011, again at the Indianapolis Fairgrounds.

Check with Bruce Weir at 217-536 9536 or Doug Moore at 317-694-0253 for information for both dealers and visitors.

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