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!