Decorating with Antiques, New England Style

My wife and I have  been collecting various sorts of antiques for many years now. Some people would call it collecting junk. Some might call it decorating. No matter how you look at it, antiquing provides us with an abundance of fun.

Of course, you have to know where to go to do this antiquing stuff. We visit many different places but relatively few make our list of worthwhile haunts.

This set of milk bottles and carrier was found at the Brimfield Flea Market, another source of home decoration items.

This set of milk bottles and carrier was found at the Brimfield Flea Market, another source of home decoration items.

The most consistently rewarding store over the years has been the Antiques Marketplace in Putnam, Connecticut. They have 3 floors of merchandise. The quality of items ranges from high-end 18th and 19th century art work right on down to flea market quality junk (mostly in the basement). We always walk away with great finds. The prices are reasonable and the stock is changed frequently. We park in a municipal lot just down the road. The only downside is the 1.5 hour ride to get there from our home. That’s no big deal, especially since there are several other antique stores in the same town and the Connecticut countryside is beautiful.

Another favorite of ours, just 10 minutes away on route 138, is Jules Antiques and General Store, formerly The Richmond Antique Center. This place is huge! It is well laid out and the new owners are working real hard to make it a success. The best test of a place is whether or not we make purchases.

This medical instrument table was found at Nana's Jules. The flower frogs came from various places including Brimfield and Putman. We also have milk glass (too much now!).

This medical instrument table was found at Nana’s Jules. The flower frogs came from various places including Brimfield and Putnam. We also have collected milk glass, some of which is displayed on the second shelf.

We almost always come away with something from Jules. You can easily recognize the place by the large parking lot and the Amish buggies parked outside. They also have a smaller place (Nana’s Jules) just down the road.


Camille has been collecting old luggage for some time. The 1950’s train case came from Jules Antiques . The large piece on the bottom is the most recent addition & it came from Bernat Antiques. Some of the cases are used to store old works of art produced by each of our children. Note the old luggage tags and the different handle designs.


The items on the bottom shelf came from Bernat Antiques. Note how a little chalk helped highlight the graphics on the old Fluff container on the top shelf.

This past Saturday I was reading Craigs List ads (I do this too often) and read about a place in Douglas, Massachusetts. It sounded interesting.

The whisk on the right was purchased a few days ago while we had the other one for years. Camille doesn't like where I hung them. Your thoughts?

The whisk on the right was purchased a few days ago while we had the other one for years. Camille doesn’t like where I hung them. Your thoughts?

I researched a bit more and found that the consistent message was ‘pass up Douglas and go to Uxbridge’. So, we went to Bernat Antiques in Uxbridge. We took my wife’s new VW Beetle – she even let me drive it. We found our way using a Garmin Nuvi GPS that worked real well. The shop sprawls over two floors in an 18th century mill building (one of the oldest mills in New England). There are over 100 dealers and plenty of parking. They don’t haggle on prices and there is no need to. The merchants have already put very reasonable stickers on the products. My wife and  I both came away with plenty of treasures on our first trip. She got 5 or 6 kitchen antiques, an old flower frog, and another antique suitcase for her growing living room display.



I believe this to be from a 1949 Buick (remember the one used in the movie Rain Man). Here it is shown upside-down. It is very similar to the one in my '41 Buick, but my speaker is supposed to be on the top.

I believe this to be from a 1949 Buick (like in the movie Rain Man). Here it is shown upside-down. It is very similar to the one in my ’41 Buick, but my speaker is supposed to be on the top.


I became intrigued when I could not locate the typical air-variable tuning capacitors. Then I saw the slug-tuned or permeability capacitors (cans at lower foreground). These are a really neat system. All gears, no strings that I could see.

I found a really neat 1949 Buick radio (very similar to my ’41) and a 1929 Remington cash register. The radio is in nice shape and it looks like it will be easy to restore.

Most of the tubes in the radio are late 1930’s metal envelope style. All of them were made by Delco and this leads me to believe that they are either original or any past servicing was professional.

The components inside are in real good shape. I just did a quick dusting of the tubes.

The components inside are in real good shape. I just did a quick dusting of the tubes. Notice the vibrator in the upper left and the cloth-covered wiring that still retains its color coding. The trimmer capacitor is the white block in the lower right. It is accessible through a hole in the case.

The cash register was so big that I could not fit it in my wife’s VW Beetle convertible. I had to go back later with my truck. You might not think the one hour trip worthwhile, but since I paid only $25 for a really cool register I had no problem with the second trip. Now I have plenty more things to play with during the winter.


Remington was also making firearms and typewriters in the 1920’s, so cash registers were a natural. The case is made of wood-grained metal. The finish is in good condition except on one side. Does anyone have a key? I will be making a new glass back window for the top. The very top can be done in glass too but often there was a metal cap with a sign on it (a top sign). These are hard to find. Maybe I’ll make my own, say one for Narragansett Beer. There’s an idea!


Here you can see the paper roll for printed receipts. Note that the dollar amount on keys goes only up to $5 indicating the register may have been used in a small store. The marble shelf was used to test the ring of coins and so detect counterfeits.


This profile view shows the nice wood grain. I have not cleaned it yet. The back of the register has the Remington logo.

This profile view shows the nice wood grain. I have not cleaned it yet. I did look through the key slots and I think I see a dead mouse inside. The back of the register has the Remington logo.

Do you have any information on Remington cash registers? I do know that they were made by the same company that makes Remington guns. The cash register part of their business was bought out by National Cash Register back around 1931.

The register I have is a model 212TCS (I think?) and the certification glued to the bottom of the cash tray indicates that it was made in 1929. Any information (operation manual, source for keys, photograph of complete unit, etc.) is appreciated.

(clicking on any photograph will provide you with a larger image)


Dick & Joan’s Antiques – this website is full of information on the collecting of cash registers. They even have reference material that helps date various brands of registers. The gallery section is amazing!

Cash Register Collectors Club – If you really get into cash registers (I don’t think I will) you may want to join a club. This club has a nice web site with plenty of great pictures.

Antique Cash Registers – This is a site managed by a collector. There are plenty of new and old photographs of ornate registers.

National Milk Glass Collectors Society – These people have the information including a nice reference list.

Collector’s Encyclopedia of Milk Glass by Betty & Bill Newbound. My wife has this book. It is the best!

300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles by Linda Franklin, various editions. Huge book full of information. Buy it cheap on Amazon. I have this one also.

The Old Car Manual Project – This web site has manuals and brochures for quite a few cars. They also have the manual for the 1949 Buick Radio! They accept your scanned donations. Check it out.

Brimfield Flea Market – This is the one if you are in New England. Bring water, food, and good walking shoes. We like to park at the little church just outside of the main show area. They leave their restrooms open and you can picnic on the lawn. What a deal.

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6 Responses to Decorating with Antiques, New England Style

  1. Kenneth,
    Just came across this online. Thank you so much for the mention. Please introduce yourself next time you stop in.

    Thanks again,
    Julie, Chad, and Pam
    Jules Antiques and General Store

    • Kenneth Carr says:

      Julie, you are quite welcome! You run a quality shop and best of all it is only minutes from our home.

      • Julie says:

        I’ve made another funny discovery when I continued to explore your flicker site. I came across a picture and said to my co-worker “I swear that picture is right behind my house” . It is the picture of the 1920’s car in the woods. At first I thought maybe it’s a similar car but, then knew it was the car I’ve seen for 12 years. I did a little internet search and found we live 100 yards apart! If you walk straight through woods you will go from your back yard to ours. What a small world.

        • Kenneth Carr says:

          Julie, that is incredible but so Rhode Island! We live in a great town that I believe to be the best part of Rhode Island.

  2. Ralf Schmitt says:

    Wow. What a nice collection. Is there any chance that you’re selling this radio? It would find a great new home in a 1949 Buick.

    • Kenneth Carr says:

      Thanks for the comment, Ray.
      I am keeping the radio, unfortunately. I do plan to restore it and keep it as a backup for the one I presently have in the ’41 (the electronics are interchageable).

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