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It’s fall festival time and the end of flea market season is near but it is my favorite time of the year to be out and about rooting around. Not a lot of great or amazing finds of recent...more like parts and pieces mostly. But, there is a pretty nice Bishop backsaw to add to my shop, NOS Stanley iron for a number 8, and a nearly new iron for a number 7, misc. other irons , scrapers and bits, and parts enough to complete an orphaned 71 so useful enough I guess! The line wrenches will good for working on my kids fleet of not so new automobiles too! The grab box of irons also included several that have given their whole lives to the cause! The hunt is half the fun and time with family makes it extra good! I am 19 bucks lighter for it all. The big jointer is from a different hunt last year and was out for a separate adventure to the local public library but that’s another story! Kinda pumped about that saw for a buck!
As hard as I try, I just have a hard time driving by a flea market and not stopping and just walking around. Believe it or not, there are times I come away with nothing. I know you all find that hard to believe but it is true. Tuesday I drove by one after dropping my wife off to work, (I am getting in practice for retirement). I walked around and was almost finished and I stopped at this booth and looked in a small wooden display case. You find some really good stuff in those cases. I ask the gentleman if it was okay to open it and look at something inside and he gave me permission. Inside almost hidden under other stuff was this great little level. This little pocket level came out in the late 1800's. It was made either all japanned, or with a brass top and japanned bottom or all brass. It is made to attach to a ruler and could have been and early combination square. When I took it out he said he had gotten it this past week and had no idea what it was. I ask him the price and he said 10.00. I offered 5.00 and he took it. I then explained to him what it was and about the age. I guess I shouldn't have done that after getting it for less. I have bought a couple of them for .50. This one has the vial in it and the bubble works great. Most of the time when you find them the loop where the screw is has been broken from being over tightened. This one was in great condition. Stanley make it with a leave or a vine design on the top. It has not marking on it, but the catalog says it had no markings. So glad I recognized it. There were two other men standing there when I got it out that ask what it was. Said they had never seen one. So I made my way on around to the last few booths before heading back to the truck. Then there is was sitting on a table all dirty and tarnished. Not really looking too good but I picked it up to see if there was a name on it. Expecting to see Stanley I was surprised to see H Chapin. I have found a few Chapin folding rulers but this was a first on the level. The guy behind the table said that is an old one. I played as though i didn't know much about it and said, "really'. He said yea it has a name on it. I said really, you know anything about the name. He said no, but it must be old to be wood and brass and have a name other than Stanley on it. Well he was right. H Chapin started in 1836 I believe. Later it became H Chapin and Sons then it became H Chapin's sons and then H Chapin's son and them Chapin-Stephens. He said he wanted 35.00 for it. I pointed out a chip on the bottom and one small bad spot on the brass and offered 15.00. He countered with 25.00 and I countered with 20.00 and he took the offer. I believe this ruler to be some where between 1836 and 1870 in age. I cleaned it off with some Murphy's soap and a little Brasso to see what was there. After the leaning it is stamped on the end, No.290. I told him a little of the history of H Chapin after making the transaction. I didn't get it at a steal, but it was a good price and for the most part in good condition except the spot on the bottom. Both vials work and the bubbles appear to be dead on after all these years. So a nice stop at the flea market and I walked away happy with two great finds from the 1800's that will get added to the collection. I got to find a little more room Lew!!! I love this Patriot Picking so until the next pick....