Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Book of Knowledge ($2)

One of the things I love about nice weather is visiting local flea markets.  I get to indulge my love of so many eclectic things, and most of the fun is in hunting through the thousands of items to find that one special keepsake.
My standard list of items worth searching for is as follows:

  • Vintage CASE knives.  
  • A sturdy, USA made folding knife for outdoors carry.  (Something I won't be afraid to ding up.)
  • Something hawk related.  I'm obsessed with the hawks that hunt near my house.  I actually cheer them on when I drive past them.  
  • Johnny Cash record albums.  Also, Prince, James Bond soundtracks, Waylon Jennings, and Morrissey (or The Smiths, obviously).
  • Vintage baseball, basketball, and boxing cards.  
  • Historical prints from American or European history. 
That's about it as far as what I typically look for.  Today I took my son, and it gave us a chance to talk about the things we were looking at (and for).  It's a good bonding experience.

So, just as we came to the end of the tables, I saw something completely different than anything on my list, but I simply had to have it.

The Book of Knowledge, Vol. 12, released by The Grolier Society in 1927.  It is a children's encyclopedia that was apparently produced annually.  As I flipped through the pages, I was amazed at the amount of information contained within it, but nothing so much as the engravings.  Take a look at the one below.

Now, I can only imagine that the one on the upper left hand corner was some sort of aquatic infiltration device, maybe used by knights trying to get through a castle moat.  Unless they carried all those weapons with them to fight off sea monsters.  
 I think I have to add antique diving helmets to my list of things to look for.
The colors are still so rich and vibrant on these pages.  
I really can't imagine what the other volumes in the series are like.  This one seemed pretty thorough and complete.  I will definitely be looking for more volumes to add to this one.  
Best of all, there I was gushing over the book, and when I asked the guy how much he wanted for it, he said, "Two dollars." 
In this day and age, folks, one has to take knowledge when he can get it.  When you buy something at a cheap price but would have been willing to spend ten times as much, you done good, my friends.  You done good.  

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