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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Gents,

BREAKING NEWS! Literally!!! :) ...

As I've dusted off my old box of Lionel trains (ca. 1958), I've also "discovered" a nice all-wood (O-scale?) newsstand. I poked around the 'net a bit, and found that it was made by the Mini-Craft Manufacturing Corp, likely around that same timeframe. It says "Mini-News Company" on the front face, and it appears (via 'net searching) that this is similar (though not identical) to models #700 and #272 made by Mini-Craft. Overall dims are 12" x 4" x 5" height.

See my attached pics of "mine" (green shed, green roof), and some 'net pics of similar items.

Though the condition is generally good, there is some damage:

1. The (wood?) billboard sign on the roof is missing. I'm not sure what word(s) it might have contained.
2. The clock between "Mini-News" and "Company" is missing.
3. The "magazines" over the salesman window are torn and missing the left images.
4. Two (of 4) of the base cleats (on the bottom) are missing.

So, here's my question ...

I'm considering restoring this newsstand via replacement / repair of the items above. I think I can do a reasonably faithful job of recreating what was there, having the "new stuff" blend in with color, aging, etc. However ...

I'm no antique expert. And whenever I've watched Antiques Roadshow and the like, the experts all tout "ORIGINAL FINISH, ORIGINAL MATERIALS, etc."

I do NOT intend to sell the newsstand, and I'm really not concerned about it's value. However, I'd like to "do right by the thing", as corny as that may sound. In other words, I'm just a caretaker of the thing, for now, and I'd like to think that someone, somewhere many years down the road will appreciate it for its pedigree, historical nature, etc. But, will that person:

a) be glad that I repaired/restored the newsstand, or

b) be bloody pissed off that I dare to detract from it's "original" condition?

So ... should I repair/restore, or should I simply clean up but leave as is ???

I expect that there's no 100% right answer, but you guys have been doing this stuff MUCH longer than me, and I'd value your opinion.

If I jump (and tackle the repair), the tricky part will be replacing the torn/missing "magazines" over the window. I was thinking of taking a higher res photo of the lower magazines (below the window), which are identical, and then printing that out on suitable paper. But I suspect the "new" magazines won't quite have that aged, brownish look. Any other suggestions here ???

Thanks!!!

TJ

MY NEWSSTAND:









SOME OTHER (INTERNET) EXAMPLES:



 

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Tim, I have the same concerns---we're custodians of history instead of owners. So, here's my three-part solution. *L*
1. When you make your new magazines, don't use white paper. Look for something similar in color to your faded-white on the stand. Check the stationery aisle.
2. Billboard: make a new one because it's fun. Don't attach it: just bring your vertical billboard support, on either end, down to a "Y" that will straddle the roof-peak and let the billboard rest on top of the building. New sign, no alteration.

But wait---there's more! *L* Check hobby shops and doll-house shops; find a suitable replacement clock. If it's a little bit larger than the spot, that's not an issue. Next, get a piece of thin plexiglass and cut it to match the vertical wall the clock was on---it's full length. The idea is to use a teeny dab of silicone or earthquake putty to attach the plexi at the point where the clock is missing. Duplicate the existing display or make one of your own---you could make one on your pc of the entire front, print it out on paper, and then glue the whole thing right onto the plexi. Or, you can paint the front of the plex. Your new magazines can be part of the printout or glued to the front. Since you'd be making both sides up instead of just one side, they'll match. Someday, when your family decides to sell the 300-year-old news-stand, they can either pull the front off and toss it, or make it part of the history of the item; "Great Grandpa TJ restored it, back in 2010.
 

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As for the legs....a thin rectangle of wood, with another on top of it. The top one fits between the existing cleats and is the same height, making them superfluous. The bottom piece becomes the new base. It can be plexi if you want it really thin. paint it or bury it under your display. You have the stand stabilized without any alteration to the cleats.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Reckers,

Thanks for the quick / insighful response. I hadn't thought about making the replacements "removable" via plexi, etc. That 's a great idea ... best of both worlds, perhaps.

Good tip, too, on checking out a doll shop for a clock ... a simple one (about the right size) should be easy to find. Interestingly, there's a notch in the middle of the rear base-strip, and a 2" hole through the base up into the shed. Got me thinking that some versions of the newsstand (though not mine) were likely wired with light ... perhaps even a lighted face on the clock.

I like the stationery-paper idea ... I can play with the best color choice, and perhaps get something acid-free so it will last without degrading.

I only have a simple point-and-shoot digital camera ... I don't think I can zoom in enough to take a clear pic of the lower (good) magazines. I'll see if a photographer friends of mine can help here.

I'm glad I'm not alone/solo in thinking that I'm simply a caretaker for this stuff. It won't change the world, or anything ... but it might make someone happy down the road!


(Gotta get back to work ... this "train" stuff is addictive!)

Regards,

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Via link above ...

Clear-rubber suction cups turned into little light shades ... how COOL is that?!?!? Very clever.
 

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I thought those were just beautiful, when I saw them. I wish I had that kind of imagination!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hi guys,

Well, I'm finally dusting off this thread / project ...

Per above, I have an old, wood "Mini News Newsstand". Generally in OK condition, except that the paper "magazines" displayed above the salesman's window are brittle and partially missing. There's an identical "row" of magazines below the window, and my hope was that I could photograph that, print out a duplicate on paper, and glue that on carefully to repair the missing magazines on the top row.

Except that my camera wouldn't zoom in and focus to a detail that small ...

Or, was it a case of "operator error" ... or perhaps "operator ignorance" ... ??? Normally, they say "ignorance is bliss". But it this case, it was killing me.

Step forward, my wife. She's taking a photography-101 course, and she "discovered" the "macro" setting on our camera. (I know ... I know ... I'm a dunce for not having discovered this in the past!) Anyway, with the macro setting, I can zoom in to capture tiny features in clear focus.

Accordingly, here's my new (eureka moment!) pic zoomed in to the magazines around the salesman's booth ...



I'm hoping that I can get a pretty crisp / clear printout of that bottom row of magazines to use as a repro to repair the top row. I think I'll try to print it out on beige (rather than pure white) paper, as discussed earlier.

The "big blob" between the "Mini News" and "Company" words is where a clock was glued on at some point. I'll likely make one out of a button and a clockface printout. My wife has the magic "button jar" stash!

I'll also need to make a new town nameplate for the top of the stand, along with some minor replacements to the supports on the bottom.

A good fall-season project ...

Cheers,

TJ

PS -- Why do they call it a "macro" setting on the camera to zoom in closely, rather than a "micro" setting? Seems counterintuitive to me ??? :confused:
 

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From the Internet.

Macrophotography is close-up photography, usually of very small subjects. Classically a macrophotograph is one in which the size of the subject on the negative is greater than life size.
Why not just lay some magazines out and make a custom row? ;)
 

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Nice TJ :thumbsup:
this is the first time I saw this thread.:eek:

you ought to look for a lady's windup wrist watch with a broken band and mount the faceplate on the newsstand.

next time please kindly point out what I am missing.;)
I never saw one of those.....cool.:thumbsup:

you know me, normally I have something to say.:rolleyes:
if I don't comment most likely I missed it.:D
 

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Shame you can not get those magazines on a scanner bed. I did that
with some Kibri Germany New papers and did a nice job of filling out my
newstand with new papers. Nothing quite like 1200 ppi for detail.

Pookybear
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey guys,

I'm trying to restore the newsstand, hence my aim to reproduce the mags as close as possible to the way they were originally. No smut rags ... sorry!

The print resolution of the original mags is relatively low ... and with 3 (?) color offset printing, too, with some slight skew to the intended color alignment. As I said, I'm trying to reproduce what was originally there, rather than more life-like images of real magazines. As such, I'm hoping the resolution of my photo (as opposed to a high-res direct scan) will be sufficient.

Ed ... as far as I know, Mini News (or Mini Craft ?) made these types of stands for independent sales and for AF / Gilbert sales back in the late '50's / '60's. I was at a train show some months back, and it looks like faithful repros/replicas are still being made for today's AF / Gilbert buyers.

Often, stands of the same model will have subtle unique touches to each. It's somewhat rare to find two exactly alike.

I hadn't seen that freight office model before. Nice.

Separately ... I still don't get the "macro" description of close-up photography. It seems like "micro" would be a more fitting term to me. After all, we look at tiny things with a microscope ... not a macroscope, right ?!?

Cheers,

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #17
All Buttoned Up ...

What time is it?

Well, I'm happy to report that my little newsstand now has a clock. I rummaged through my wife's button jar and found a suitably sized button with a raised rim. A quick Google search yielded a nice Roman clock face, which I printed out and glued to the button ... quickie clock.

I also printed out my photo of the lower row of magazines to make replacements for the damaged magazines on the top row. A reasonable (though not super clear) match.

I made a replacement for the missing station sign on top of the stand, and printed out a home-port "Newport" sign.

I made replacements for two missing cleat-feet on the bottom of the stand.

And, finally, some GooGone and tiny dabs of SoftScrub helped clean the grime and a few scratches off of the old/original painted surfaces.

Overall, the newsstand still shows some age, but I'm happy to have repaired it a bit for a newer lease on life.

Cheers,

TJ



 

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It looks wonderful Tj, another piece of history saved. Can't wait to see your next project. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks, GC. As for my next victims, I stripped a tinplate tender today, and disassembled my 610/612 passenger cars. I'm trying to squeeze in a bit more outside paint work before the weather gets too cold.

Cheers,

TJ
 
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