Q: I collect drugstore memorabilia, including oddball medicines sold over the counter in boxes, bottles, tubes, tins and other types of containers. How can I learn the value of such items, and where can I find unusual examples to add to my collection? I'm also interested in getting old prophylactic tins, which I'm told are quite valuable.
A: Colorful and curious containers of such products once sold in pharmacies and country stores can be found at major advertising shows.
One such show is the Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot-Machine & Jukebox Show, April 20 and 21, at the Pheasant Run Mega Center & Pavilion Building on North Avenue (Illinois Highway 64) in St. Charles, Ill. Admission is $5. A preview of the show will be held April 19, for which there is a $50 admission.
The show will include country store items, antique slot and penny arcade machines, gum-ball machines, advertising, pinball machines, beer signs, scales, carousel horses and other items from old stores and amusement arcades. For details, phone Steve Gronowski at (708) 381-1234.
"Country Store Collectibles," by Douglas Congdon-Martin with Robert Biondi, describes and prices old store products, containers and tins, which held everything from prophylactics to talcum powder. The picture book is available for $26.95 postpaid from Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1469 Morstein Road, West Chester, Pa. 19380; phone (215) 696-1001.
Patricia McDaniel sells a list of old store medicine-related products for $1.50. She also sells 19 lists ($26) of country store items of all types that can be ordered. Write to her in care of Old Storefront Antiques, 1827 Main St., Box 357, Dublin, Ind. 47335, or call (317) 478-4809.
Q: Where can I get a replacement for a broken prism on an old chandelier?
A: For information on obtaining replacement prisms for chandeliers and lamps, as well as glass chains, Czechoslovakian cut balls, pendalogues and bobeches, write to Crystal Mountain Prisms, Box 31, Westfield, N.Y. 14787, or phone (716) 326-3676. The company sells by mail order only.
Anita Gold can be reached by writing Anita Gold, Maryland Living, The Sun, Baltimore 21278. Selected questions will appear in her column. The volume of mail makes individual replies impossible. When writing sources listed in this column, enclose an addressed, stamped envelope for replies.