Flight 93 Memorial Fire Shows Struggle to Keep Artifacts Safe


Flight 93 Memorial Fire Shows Struggle to Keep Artifacts Safe
DEBRA ERDLEY ON OCT 25, 2014
SOURCE: THE PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Oct. 25–The loss of historic artifacts in a fire this month at the Flight 93 National Memorial — including the soot-stained flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 11, 2001 — may be symptomatic of a larger problem afflicting the nation’s park service, some experts believe.

The problem is a lack of resources to adequately protect and preserve these artifacts, experts said Friday as a team of museum professionals and archaeologists from the National Park Service released an inventory of all that was lost in the fire, labeling the toll “significant.”

The flag, soiled by smoke emanating from the crash of American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, was presented just last month to the memorial by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., who said Flight 93’s passengers saved thousands of lives when they died while preventing the hijackers from reaching their intended target, thought to be the Capitol.

Also lost in the fire were 334 original photographs along with numerous items connected to the plane’s occupants, including a boarding pass, a parking receipt from Newark International Airport where the flight originated, passengers’ identification cards recovered from the crash site, items donated by family and friends of the 40 passengers and crew, and tributes left by visitors at the temporary and permanent memorials.

“These items are irreplaceable, and we are devastated by their loss,” said Jeff Reinbold, superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

Items destroyed had been assembled in the temporary office and storage area in preparation for a visit later this month from experts preparing exhibits for a permanent visitor’s center scheduled to open in 2015.

Although the office trailers were equipped with fire alarms, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, Reinbold said there were no sprinkler systems.

“There is no easily accessible water (source). There is not public water at the park,” Reinbold said.

The losses came as no surprise to a group that advocates for the National Park Service.

Three years ago, the National Parks Conservation Association released a lengthy report warning that millions of historic documents and artifacts at parks across the country were at risk.

“The issue here is really that the park service lacks the resources to adequately preserve and protect our antiquities because Congress has failed to invest in this. … The park service has had a lot of trouble not only protecting, but cataloging these resources because they lack the staff,” said John Garder, budget and appropriations director for the association.

The conservation and protection of historic documents and artifacts is an ongoing concern at state, federal and nonprofit institutions across the nation, said Lesley Langa, director of the 2014 Heritage Health Information Survey for Heritage Preservation, an independent public policy organization dedicated to preserving the nation’s cultural, historic and scientific heritage.

Garder said the National Park Service, whose budget has declined by more than 18 percent since 2002 even as new sites came online, is struggling.

Mike Nardolilli, president of the C&O Canal Trust, a nonprofit that supports the C&O Canal National Park, said preservation is a concern for his group

The park, which has a library in Hagerstown, Md., full of historic documents detailing the construction of the canal, is “stuffed to the gills” and staffed by volunteers.

“I believe the park service is doing a remarkable job, but it’s a question of resources,” Nardolilli said, adding that his group is storing artifacts because the park service lacks adequate space.

“There are a number of parks where there is really inadequate storage of cultural resources,” Garder said.

In a recent survey, his group found that collections of historic artifacts at one out of four park service sites were not in good condition.

One example of that kind of threat was at Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument in Montana, where nearly 150,000 documents and other historic objects were not being adequately cared for, Garder said.

“They were stored in an insufficient, outdated room in the 1952 visitors center that had all kinds of problems. They stored them in a basement that was damp, and in heavy rain, water was running down the walls. … And that is not unusual in historic sites that the park service is protecting,” Garder added.

The collection was moved to a facility in Arizona three years ago until a permanent repository is available at the battlefield.

Asked about such claims, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, whose district includes the Flight 93 Memorial, would not address the preservation issues, saying only that he remains “committed to supporting this national park and the people and families who inspired it through actions such as my legislation, which secured a Congressional Gold Medal for the site.”

The Gold Medal, along with a number of other items stored off-site, escaped damage.

The Guardian Picks A Fight With Collectors Over Breaking Bad Action Figures


I just finished recording and uploading the Collectors Show (www.webtalkradio.net) and had said to the audience that I was not going to post this article on the web site, but I changed my mind.

If parents do not want their children influenced by these Action Figures from Breaking Bad, then don't buy them.

If parents do not want their children influenced by these Action Figures from Breaking Bad, then don’t buy them.

There is a lot of fuss over the Toys R Us ban on the “Breaking Bad” Action Figures. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are not suitable for Toys R Us customers regardless of their age. Collectors of Action Figures, and there are lots of them, are not amused. In the case of Daniel Pickett of Action Figure Insider, he has started an on line petition asking Toys R Us to reconsider. You may remember that Daniel was on The Collectors Show twice! And unfortunately Daniel was painted with the same broad stroke of collectors as the rest except poor Daniel was called out by name in an article from The Guardian. You can read the whole article here.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/22/banned-breaking-bad-figurines-how-infantilised-are-we

Writer Rupert Snider of  The Guardian dismisses all collectors of action figures, characterizing them all as “adults playing with doll versions of their TV heroes, while locked in a bedroom.” Well, speak for yourself Rupert.

Whether action figures or stamps, the reasons we like to collect are many. And stigmatizing collectors of this or anything else shows only how narrow minded  or unacquainted with collectors Mr. Snider is.  Making judgements about groups of people you do not know is pretty uncool all by itself. I know that Daniel is married and has a family. Me too as are most adult collectors of Action Figures. They have jobs, families, mortgages, etc. They also have a nice hobby. If Walter White sets a bad example for children, then don’t them for your kids. If you are an adult, you should be free to buy them, collect them, sell them, or display them.

It’s unfair to judge all journalists or writers as a group or to characterize The Guardian as a periodical that simply disdains members of its audience. So this one is on you Rupert.

Collecting Halloween With Mark Ledenbach Listen On Web Talk Radio (www.webtalkradio.net) or on iTunes


This week on The Collectors Show we meet Mark B. Ledenbach to talk about collecting Halloween. He is an extremely well respected collector and writer. Mark is the author of an incredibly informative and beautifully illustrated book called “Vintage Halloween Collectibles” now in its 3rd edition. Mark has been all over television including a segment on Martha Stewart Living, HGTV and all of the major print publications, and the owner of http://www.halloweencollector.com.

The trouble with collecting Halloween items is that so many of them were made to be used once and thrown out, which is exactly what most people did with them.

I was really happy to see some die-cut items in his collection that I had not seen

This was a die cut decoration from Beistle that was made in the 1930's. But I remember seeing it in elementary school back in the 1960's.

This was a die cut decoration from Beistle that was made in the 1930’s. But I remember seeing it in elementary school back in the 1960’s.

since elementary school.

This one in particular is a Beistle Die Cut cut out. It was supposed to have been made in 1930’s, while I was in elementary school in the 1960’s. So the ones I saw when I was a kid may have been knock-offs, but it was still fun to see again.

Things That Go Bump

This week’s bump music comes from the soundtrack of the television classic, “it’s the great pumpkin charlie brown” which first aired in 1966 when I was 7 years old! This music was also used in the Charlie Brown Christmas, but this music is played under the opening segment where Linus and Lucy find a pumpkin and bring it home to be made into a Jack O Lantern. You may be able to hear some of the action in the bumps. And while almost 50 years old, the music and the program still hold up.

Why I Like Halloween

Some of my best memories of being a kid were around Halloween. I did not grow up to be an astronaut, like I planned and rehearsed for every October 31, but it was still fun.

Did you get a rock?

Did you get a rock?

My sister and I went to at least two blocks near where we lived with some of our friends. It was safe to do that in those days. And like I said during the interview it was still OK to post Halloween decorations at school. We even sang Halloween songs. Halloween, like Christmas and Thanksgiving is an American celebration that borrows from the diverse heritage of all the people who live here.

Halloween is not strictly a set of traditions we took and grafted onto our culture. Instead we borrowed the parts we liked best and that we were most suited to and made them uniquely our own. It’s too bad for kids growing up today to miss out on that.

Next week, Legos and Will Reed from the web site Brick blogger to discuss a hobby that is completely out of control. Lego!

Collecting Halloween With Mark B. Ledenbach


Vintage Halloween Collectibles is now in its 3rd edition.  The writer, Mark B. Ledenbach is the guest on The Collectors Show this week.

Vintage Halloween Collectibles is now in its 3rd edition. The writer, Mark B. Ledenbach is the guest on The Collectors Show this week.

This week on The Collectors Show we meet Mark B. Ledenbach. He is an extremely well respected collector and writer. Mark is the author of an incredibly informative and beautifully illustrated book called “Vintage Halloween Collectibles” now in its 3rd edition. Listen here: http://webtalkradio.net/internet-talk-radio/2014/10/20/the-collectors-show-2/

He has been all over television including a segment on Martha Stewart Living, HGTV and all of the major print publications, and the owner of http://www.halloweencollector.com. In the news segment we learn about two significant crimes that were committed against collectors.

To see all of the news be sure to visit http://www.collectorsshow.net. And send comments and suggestions to me at haroldnicoll@gmail.com.

Couple Sues Arizona Art Gallery Over Sold Warhol


Couple Sues Arizona Art Gallery Over Sold Warhol.

Couple Sues Arizona Art Gallery Over Sold Warhol


A couple says a Scottsdale art gallery that was storing their Andy Warhol work sold it without their permission. The painting was called The Red Shoes.

Andy Warhol and The Red Shoes.

Andy Warhol and The Red Shoes.

Amy Koler and Stephen Meyer sued American Fine Art Editions, Phillip Koss, Jacqueline Carroll, and Jeff Dippold in Maricopa County Court, alleging conversion and breach of fiduciary duty. The couple had moved out of state and kept Warhol’s “Red Shoes” in storage at the gallery.

Koler and Meyer say they bought the Warhol from American Fine Art Editions in 2005 for $65,000. They were offered that same price by the gallery as reimbursement for the sale, but maintain that the Warhol is worth much more now.

Read more at Courthouse News

Owner of the most famous stamp ever may not know it was stolen


You’ve probably heard or seen the “Inverted Jenny” stamp. Even people who do not collect stamps know about the stamp with the upside down airplaine. We learn from Antique Trader (www.antiquetrader.com) magazine that one of the two of these was stolen!

The inverted jenny stamp. If you have one it may be stolen!

The inverted jenny stamp. If you have one it may be stolen!

A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered to locate two of the world’s most famous rare postage stamps that are still missing after they were stolen from the exhibit of a wealthy New York City woman in Virginia nearly 60 years ago. They were part of an intact block of four stamps from the fabled sheet of 100 “Inverted Jenny” airmail stamps mistakenly printed in 1918 with an upside down image of a Curtis Jenny airplane.

“It’s possible that the two remaining missing stamps were innocently acquired by collectors decades ago who did not realize they had been stolen. With the passage of time, the heirs of those collectors may not realize they’ve inherited stolen property,” said Donald Sundman, President of Mystic Stamp Company in Camden, New York. Sundman is offering the reward of $50,000 per stamp on behalf of their current, legal owners, the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

He made the reward announcement, Saturday, September 13, 2014, at Aerophilately 2014, an annual convention of airmail stamp collectors held at the American Philatelic Society headquarters in Bellefonte.

For 19 years the stamps were the prize possession of Ethel B. McCoy (1893 – 1980), a patron of performing arts and an avid collector whose father, Charles Bergstresser, was a co-founder of the Dow Jones company.

She acquired the block of four Inverted Jenny 24-cent denomination airmail stamps for $16,000 in 1936, and it was stolen in September 1955 while on exhibit at the American Philatelic Society convention in Norfolk, Virginia. The block was broken apart, and one of the stolen stamps was discovered in 1977, another in 1981. Both were recovered with the participation of the FBI. Only 100 of the legendary Inverted Jenny stamps were ever reported, all coming from a single sheet purchased in 1918 at a Washington, D.C. Post Office by William T. Robey for their combined face value, $24. In short order, the sheet changed hands and it was broken apart, sometimes as single stamps, sometimes as blocks.

“Many people who have never licked a stamp hinge know about the Post Office printing error that produced an inverted biplane on a 24¢ airmail stamp in 1918. To them it is ‘the

Before she died at the age of 87 in 1980, McCoy donated both of them along with the legal rights to the two still missing stamps to the American Philatelic Research Library.

McCoy’s first husband, Bert A. Stewart, a coin collector, died in 1936. In 1941 she married a prominent stamp collector, Walter R. McCoy, and they were active in philatelic organizations. In 1937 she was named a director of the American Air Mail Society and was posthumously named to the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame in 1981.

Only 100 of the legendary Inverted Jenny stamps were ever reported, all coming from a single sheet purchased in 1918 at a Washington, D.C. Post Office by William T. Robey for their combined face value, $24. In short order, the sheet changed hands and it was broken apart, sometimes as single stamps, sometimes as blocks.

“Many people who have never licked a stamp hinge know about the Post Office printing error that produced an inverted biplane on a 24¢ airmail stamp in 1918. To them it is ‘the upside-down airmail stamp’ and immediately recognizable as a symbol of stamp collecting,” said Rob Haeseler, Chairman of the American Philatelic Research Library’s McCoy Reward Committee.

In 2005, Sundman traded one of the two known 1868 Ben Franklin one-cent denomination “Z Grill” postage stamps for the unique, numbered plate block of four Inverted Jenny stamps then owned by Wall Street bonds trader Bill Gross. The exchange was valued at $6 million at the time.

The reward offer for the missing McCoy stamps is being made by Sundman for one year, through September 2015. Anyone with information about the missing stamps can contact the American Philatelic Society at 800-782-9580 extension 246 or by email at Jenny@stamps.org.

- See more at: http://www.antiquetrader.com/antiques/collectibles/philatelic-society-offering-100000-reward-return-stolen-rare-stamps#sthash.p4pYQQB0.dpuf