A very rare "Griswold" No. 26 double loaf bread pan made between 1900 and 1910 was found recently at a garage sale in Marietta. The $2 item valued at $4,500 was found down inside a box of old cooking utensils. The buyer who wrote me had no idea the pan was rare and valuable to Griswold collectors. One of these bread pans sold at Simmons Auction House in Richmond, Mo., in 2008 for $4,500. The Griswold Company first started out in 1865 making door hinges. In 1897, the company started making cast-iron and aluminum cookware. In 1957, the company was sold to Wagner Manufacturing of Sidney, Ohio. Today, collectors not only hunt for Griswold cast iron skillets, pots and pans, but also hunt for other items the company made, such as tobacco cutters, spittoons, waffle irons, and restaurant items. Griswold pans have a line on the bottom, called a gatemark, that was made during casting.
Question: I have a child's bank that is marked A.C. Williams Company, Ravenna, Ohio. How old might it be? - W.N., Newport.
Answer: A.C. Williams Company, Ravenna, Ohio, was founded in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, in 1886. The company made cast iron hardware, tools and furnishings. It moved to nearby Ravenna after a fire in 1893, which is about the time it started making small toy banks, cars and airplanes. Toy production ended in 1938, but the firm is still in business as the parent of two companies that sell metal castings.
Q.: I'm sending a photo of a Fisher Price toy truck that belonged to my brother who recently passed away. It's a farm truck with the design of children on the sides of the truck. When was it made, and what is it worth? - C.E., Marietta.
A.: Your wooden truck was an advertising tie-in with Campbell's Soup Company in 1954. Your truck pictures the chubby-face Campbell Soup kids. The truck swayed back and forth when it was pulled along and originally came with a booklet of vegetable cutouts. The truck was made for two years, so it is rare. Value, in excellent condition, $600 to $750.
Q.: Are Coleco Cabbage Patch Dolls worth money today? - T.H., Beverly.
A.: Millions of Cabbage Patch Dolls were produced by several different companies. The big moneymaker today is for the original handmade Xavier Roberts "Little People." A signed soft doll, made between 1976 and 1978 with adoption papers and the original box it came in, is worth thousands. They were handmade and were adopted for a $40 fee. Coleco later bought the rights to mass produce these dolls and renamed them Cabbage Patch Kids. The earlier dolls produced are the most valuable, not the ones made by Coleco.
Q.: I have a collection of old cookie jars. What would you say is the most valuable cookie jar out there? - S.L., Belpre.
A.: One of the most valuable cookie jars today would be, "The Indian Head" cookie jar without the words "cookie" on the front of it, originally made by McCoy Pottery of Roseville, Ohio, in 1954 as a promotion for the Pontiac Motors division of General Mills. The promotion didn't take off, and only a few of these jars were made, which are too rare to price. It's easy to find one today which is marked "cookies" on the front. These sell for $100 up to $500.
Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org.