Saturday, July 19, 2014


I intended to knock out a quick post about all of my antique and vintage sewing trinkets.  Who was I kidding? --  this is going to take several posts.  Hope you will stay with me!!

I'm going to start with my Coats and Clark's thread stuff as it is the most sizable in quantity.  If you are interested in the history of the company, there is all kind of info out there on the web.  I'll spare you a really long history lesson.

What got me intrigued with Clark's O.N.T. collectibles was this thread cabinet.  One day while scrounging in the out buildings of my family's farm I noticed it.  It probably had been there my entire life - my Dad said it came from a local mercantile company that was throwing it away years and years ago.  The top was broken in seven pieces where my Dad's vise had been mounted.  This was one of Bob's first furniture restoration projects some 40 years ago.  We've never replaced the broken "George A. Clark" glass on the fifth drawer, however.
On the bottom of the top drawer is stamped C. Tollner (the cabinet maker ?), the date of Jul. 30 1887, and Pulaski, NY.  Anyway, I think it says Pulaski -- the only thing I can discover is that in 1877, the Clark Co. established a special box factory in Pawtucket, RI and turned out 1000s of cabinets to distribute to general stores that sold their thread.  I haven't been able to reconcile the Pulaski, NY location.
In 1970, when I found my thread cabinet, I wrote to Coats and Clark, Inc.; and they sent me the following brochure from their archives.  It has the 1887 date on it and looks just like my walnut cabinet.

Several years later I found this small sewing box with the Clark's O.N.T. advertising on it.
It has the same name on it as our cabinet with the patent date of June 1st, 1880.
I have four of these small sewing boxes with different graphics on the inside top cover -- the cowboy is my favorite!
Over the years I have accumulated a number of trade cards used in advertising Clark's O.N.T. Thread in the 1870s-1880s.
 They knew how to market their thread -- showing darling images of children!

 Below is a little book of nursery rhymes.
 This card has elastic on each side which you can twist -- when you release the twist, it twirls around and it looks like the girl is jumping rope.

Below a little Christmas gift of a calendar - 1878

 A large folding trade card - "Our unanimous verdict is that O.N.T. beats all others." 

 O.N.T. stands for 'our new thread' developed after the sewing machine was patented in America in 1846.

Not all of the trade cards have children pictured.  I have several that depict scenes around the world such as 'The Tower of London'.
My next post will have some of my other Clark's O.N.T. items.
I know --- this collecting thing has to stop!

I'm joining the following:
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
Boogie Board Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Knick of Time Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks


SmilingSally said...

Morning Sally,

Oh, you really have some treasures there! I have some old (very old) spools but that's all.

Isn’t it fun finding blues?

Happy Blue Monday!

bj said...

Hi, Sally...I love that cabinet so much. It is beautiful...and I love all the other ONT items. A great collection.

Regarding our trip to Santa Fe...I guess I just wasn't in the mood to buy more jewelry for myself. I did, however, buy 9 silver and turquoise crosses for our grandgirls for Christmas. Must buy 9 sterling chains now..think I'll ck them out on Ebay. The crosses are so pretty and actually bought them all from a reputable shop in Red River.
O.K......I DID buy myself a pair of silver and turq earrings there. :)

Joy H said...

Love those prints or cards. I really like prints with vintage graphics on them especially children and dogs and cats.

Donna Wilkes said...

I have seen trade cards with "O.N.T." on them and wondered what it stood for. Love this collection.

Shelia said...

Hi Sally! The thread cabinet is beautiful and those cards! My goodness, I love these things. Again, you have the most wonderful things. Don't you love Barbies? I felt almost like a girl again as I sewed and dressed Barbie! :) I don't want to grow up! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Ann said...

This is an amazing collection. I love vintage sewing items. And, your thread cabinet is to die for. I'll be watching for the next installment. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful! I love that box! I grabbed the calendar image to use in one of my boxes, thank you!

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Good morning and Hello too. Visiting from bj's blog and so happy she wrote about your visit with her. I've been reading your posts back in time. Treasures. Love your sewing/thread collectibles. Visual treats.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh, I love everything and the images are amazing! Thanks for sharing! Sweet hugs, Diane

bj said...

Hi, again...just by to say I still love that cabinet. hahhaa

Jann Olson said...

Sally, I have so been looking forward to this post!! I love Anything Coats and Clark. I have a few small items, one is a decorative plate, but nothing like your treasures. That cabinet is a beauty and would cost a bundle at an antique store. I would NEVER replace that broken glass. It's priceless. The nursery rhyme is just too cute and I do adore those babies! Thanks for sharing with SYC. You know I will be featuring this next week!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Just the find of the cabinet is worth 10 posts! : ) I'd be over the moon.

Sarah said...

What fun to see this collection. I look forward to the sequels. I collect sewing items too. I think your cabinet is one fabulous piece!