Unusual collector's items recall a simpler time - AmericaNowNews.com

Unusual collector's items recall a simpler time

When a man wearing a "utilikilt" offers to show you his fire plugs, naturally you want to have a look.

"This is my baby. It's from the San Francisco Fire Department, Risdon Iron Works and I don't know if it was made for the Risdon Iron Works or if Risdon Iron Works manufactured it for the city of San Francisco," says Jamie Brewer, showing off his prized possessions. "Risdon was in business until 1910, and I'd like to say this was in service for the ‘06 earthquake." 

Brewer is a collector. But at first glance, the things he collects are not things most people would think of as treasures. 

"The Holly Hydrant right there, that was made in my hometown Lockport, New York. Birdsill Holly invented the fire hydrant principle and my hometown was the first city to have a fire protected system using his patented fire hydrants," he explains. 

So he knows all about fire hydrants. What about bricks?

"In the Ohio Valley, where the shale was just right, was where they made the bulk of the paver brick, although they made them in Birmingham, too. I've got a mess of Graves Pavers that were made in Birmingham," Brewer says. 

Sidewalk bricks were specially made so when they got wet, you would still have traction and they wouldn't be quite so slippery.

 Brewer has been a collector almost all his life. 

"I first started collecting old phonographs and stuff when I was 12 years old," he recalls. "My mom and dad thought I was crazy because it was stuff they grew up with and it was junk to them." 

He now has one-of-a-kind victrolas, music boxes and even an electric banjo.

Now back to the "utilikilt." It's part kilt, part work pants and as the pictures of his ancestors attest, it's a family tradition. And people do notice. 

"Every now and then, you'll get people saying something derogatory. But you learn to have a thick skin about it and I'm at the age where I don't care," he notes. 

If you ever feel overwhelmed by the fast-paced world of technology, people like Jamie Brewer can bring you back to a simpler time and show you just how far we've come.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Consumer

    How much of your donations really go to charity?

    How much of your donations really go to charity?

    In the aftermath of a disaster, donations are top of mind for many people and can do a world of good! But how do you know where your money is really going? America Now investigates!
    In the aftermath of a disaster, donations are top of mind for many people and can do a world of good! But America Now learned that some non-profit organizations receive only pennies on the dollar raised through solicitation campaigns. So how do you know where your money is really going?
Powered by WorldNow