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A New Perspective for Today: From Our Perspective

April 09, 2016 2 Comments

My cat just broke my grandmother’s orange glass boat tonight. For many years I have put it out in the fall as a candy dish. She passed away from cancer a few years ago. This dish reminds me of hers and I was happy to find yours online.
Orange Swirl Art Glass Console Dish
We hear stories like this on a regular basis. Sometimes they make us laugh. Occasionally, they bring tears to our eyes. These stories always serve as a reminder: at RoofTop Antiques, we sell more than just things.

I think I will be able to repair the item, or hope I can, as this was a childhood toy and brings back many memories. These words were shared by Dave from Australia after purchasing an old and slightly damaged Popeye toy from us. He was thrilled to receive it, warts and all. To him, he was replacing a part of his past.
Vintage Popeye Wheelbarrow Children's Toy
As we began to comb through the stories we have received over the years, we realized that they fit into three basic categories. Like the woman with the clumsy cat, many of our customers are looking to replace something that has been lost or broken. Some, like Dave, simply hope to reunite with a meaningful item from an earlier time in their life. Others who browse our shelves seek to reminisce about times passed. Regardless of the reason, it was clear that, with these simple objects, stories and memories were released.

Each item walking through our door has the potential to transport a person back to another time or place. Every object, though made of mere glass, fabric, wood or plastic, will remind someone who they are or where they came from.

One recent customer shared her story about a cookbook, the 1967 edition of the Joy of Cooking. Jan said, Thank you for the cookbook. It is in great shape! I bought mine in 1967 - which tells you how old I am. There is a fantastic recipe in the book for baking bread. I managed to lose my book and am so grateful to once again be able to make this bread (White Bread Plus). That is not a profound, emotional story, but to Jan it was important. To her, the ability to make White Bread Plus again was meaningful.
The Joy of Cooking Vintage Cookbook
The realization of the role we were playing in people’s lives gave us a new perspective on old things. We developed a new and deeper passion for what we were selling. We began to connect more intimately with our customers as we helped them reconnect with their history.

After selling a small, kitchen type scale from the HC Prange Co. to a man named Willie, he told us this story: great grandfather started the H.C. Prange Co. My grandfather then ran it, and my father ran it. I live in H. Carl Prange’s house in Wisconsin and I buy everything that comes up.

We were also able to help Travis, who purchased a glass milk bottle embossed “Mitchell Dairy Kirksville”, connect with a piece from his past. That bottle is from my Grandmother’s Father’s dairy farm. My Grandmother is still here at 97 years of age.

The joy provided by these stories compelled us to find a way to share them with others. The result is a new blog series we call A New Perspective For Today. In this series, we will share interesting, inspiring and sometimes humorous stories about objects, and their special place in the life of another. Some of these stories will be written by our staff members. Other stories will be shared by guests invited to contribute. We also take this opportunity to invite you, our friends, customers and readers to submit your stories. The purpose of each story will be to provide a new perspective on old things, and to celebrate the ability to replace, reunite and reminisce.

Many of the messages we receive are short and simple. Bradly recently purchased a box full of vintage barber’s electric razors “for parts or repair”. He shared, I am a student at the Barber School of Pittsburgh, and have found interest in rebuilding the forgotten tools of the trade. This lot is really wonderful and has great potential…my hopes are to have some of these tools back in hair cutting shape in no time.

After the sale of a Pillsbury Doughboy Canister set, we noticed the buyer’s last name was Pillsbury. When asked if there was a connection, the buyer said, According to the family history, my husband's family was part of the PILLSBURY family, but his great, great, great grandfather was somehow excommunicated from the family, and so was his chance at the fortune the other members of the family inherited. This made us snicker, and served as a subtle warning.

Fred in Texas told us, I went partially thru your store and was amazed at the variety and excellent descriptions. My eye caught that WWII book on civilians ways they could help the war effort and really perked my interest. It is interesting how some pieces bring back so many memories.

Over the years, we have heard so many sharable stories. We now look forward to the opportunity to let you hear them, too. To receive A New Perspective For Today as each story is released, be sure to sign up on our mailing list. All stories will also be published, and archived, in the blog section of our website. If you would like to submit a story for consideration we invite you to request a copy of our submission guidelines.


If you missed Paid in Full, the first installment of our A New Perspective for Today series, it is still available on our blog. It is the story of one needlework canvas created by the hands of Carmelita Kaser, before her tragic death sent shock-waves through our community.  

A New Perspective for Today with RoofTop Antiques

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