{The Curious Case of Benjamin Bubble Garden}


The hubs and I love visiting River Market Antiques. It is 30,000 square feet (that is not a typo) of vintage heaven. On one of our visits I ran across a mysterious glass globe with a metal dowel rod and wooden handle. I had no idea what it was, but I loved it. In a moment of crippling fiscal responsibility, I saved $16 and walked away. But it was one of those unique pieces that you just can’t live without. After several days of daydreaming about the mysterious globe, I could resist any longer. I returned to River Market Antiques, scrambled to the second floor, found it, and bought the hell out of it.

I’m still baffled by this piece. I’ve tried Googling “Trans-Plastic Inc.” and “Bubble Garden,” but haven’t found an ounce of information. It seems like the perfect candidate for a terrarium (you know…since it has the word “garden” in the product name…), but I can’t figure out how I would water the plants inside since the only way to access it is by completely unscrewing the metal plate on the bottom. I know myself well enough to know that carefully arranging a tiny fauna universe only to destroy it every two weeks just to water it would irritate me beyond reason. Not. worth. it.

For now, four vintage picture cards are displayed inside. The benefit here is that I don’t have to water them. Picture cards were included in product packages or provided in exchange for product wrappers. They are typically winter or Christmas themed, and these particular picture cards are from Lion Coffee and Dayton Spice Mills Company’s Jersey Coffee.

The pictures are amaaaahzing, but it’s the text on the back that really gives these little cards character. I’ve always gotten a kick out of reading vintage ads. Back in the day, ads and promotional pieces like these picture cards were filled to the brim with flowery, often hilarious, text. Here, Jersey Coffee boasts that it will offer multiple design options, “thus giving to regular Consumers of Jersey Coffee, an elegant VARIETY of beautiful works of Art with which to adorn and beautify their homes, FREE OF COST.” 

My favorite is the Lion Coffee card that provides comfort to the covetous non-owner by letting him or her know just how simple it is to acquire one for themselves: “To secure a picture card like this you have only to buy a package of Lion Coffee…”

I’d love to hear some suggestions for other things I could display inside of the mysterious Trans-Plastic Inc. Bubble Garden. Fair warning: No plant-related suggestions will be accepted unless you have a simple watering solution or offer to come over every week to disassemble the garden completely, water it, and reassemble it with the utmost care.

Enjoy the holiday weekend, all!

About these ads

8 Comments to “{The Curious Case of Benjamin Bubble Garden}”

  1. LOVE the glass globe! I want you to keep a pet inside… perhaps a frog? A turtle? Many spider varieties? The possibilities are endless.

  2. a terrarium would be way cute in there!!

    • I totally agree! I just imagine that it would be difficult-to-impossible to water and would get mildewy fast because there’s no way for air to circulate in there. Benjamin Bubble Garden is the rubik’s cube of terrariums…

  3. You had me at 30,000 square feet…that would be a dream come true. I could see fabulous sea shells in that globe. Ones collected over time from destinations yet to be traveled.

  4. I have one of these. It’s a lamp with dried flowers in the globe. It was my Moms and I remember her using it in the 1950′s. mine still works. It has the same markings on the bottom, just like yours. So now you know yours was a lamp with dried flowers and dates to the early 1950′s. Hope I was helpful.

  5. My siblings and I discovered a Bubble Garden Lamp in my family items. This one is not in good condition, but the plastic bubble part is still in tact and the dried flower garden inside the glass globe nice. Is it just a sentimental piece or might it have more value than that?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 197 other followers

%d bloggers like this: