Let's talk about cardboard Christmas houses and accessories

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2024 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:51 pm
Posts: 109
Hi guys....

Paul, thank you for your thoughtful reply to my question. I thought there might be some German heritage in your background,
especially given your wonderful trains. What a shame you have no pictures... if my math is right, your grandfather was still
putzing the 60's, which doesn't seem that long ago to me! Anyway, I'm glad you got the trains from your cousins. Interesting
what you said about the Baltimore garden train tradition. My sister Barb has been collecting "Baltimore" houses for several years
now... she rehabs them.... but they are somewhat difficult to use in the putz village because of their larger scale. She rehabbed
an architecturally interesting house a few years back... maybe we can get her to start a new post on them.

Howard, sometimes I forget how eagle-eyed you are. Probably comes as no surprise that hubby and I are big collectors of small
things, and he arranged some small Americana in that cant-back shelf on the mantel. The wood fence around the feather tree is
part of an interesting tradition among firefighters who would pass the time making wooden fences, I believe for charity, to surround christmas trees. This particular one was made near Stamford, Connecticut and is signed by the makers, along with their FD company identification.

As to my "creative endeavors", I've been keeping busy making roomboxes of various interior scenes... allows me to indulge my interest
in diverse interior designs without ripping my house apart every few months!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2024 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2024 3:09 pm
Posts: 40
Pat, sometime when you have a moment, ask your sis to post a pic of a "Baltimore" house...that's a term I'm unfamiliar with. I may have seen one or two over the years, just didn't recognize them for what they are.

My grandfather's little electric-profile American Flyer is currently with a guy who does an occasional repair that's beyond my feeble skills. I'm looking forward to getting it back soon. It turns 100 in a year or two...I'll post a few pics when it returns.

Paul


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2024 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 231
Hi Paul,

If you search "Fixer Upper" on this site you'll see some pictures of my first big "Baltimore House". We found it at an antique toy show several years ago, and although it was in pitiful shape you could see that it had great bones and looked like a fun restore project. This is a link to the video of the restore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BhvL8uMSDg

It's my understanding that these houses may have been built by Baltimore firemen in their downtime at the firehouse, (similar to the Bridgeport CT firemen who built Christmas tree stands and sold them as a fundraiser) and then displayed at the annual Christmas Train Garden.

I have a fairly large collection of smaller Baltimore houses, and I'll see if I can dig out some pictures.

Barb


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2024 8:19 am 
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Posts: 40
Barb, thanks very much for the video link and the information re: "Baltimore" houses. Having lived my entire life in the greater Baltimore area, I find the topic terrifically interesting.

There are a few local toy train oriented shows held each year here during the run-up to Christmas that have proven a great source for vintage "garden" materials. My parents grew up in the Arbutus-Halethorpe-Catonsville area, a southwestern suburb of the city and an area rich in the tradition. I have found a lot of great stuff at the meet held annually at the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Company; likely a good source for things such as "Baltimore" houses if I'd known what I was looking at.

That video is a great demo for laying out the steps taken to stabilize and refurbish a vintage house. It's great to see people's methods. I've not done any restorations/refurbishments of cardboard or wood houses, but if I found a decent example, I might take a stab at it. Most of the ones I see are the "ten cent city" type, quite small and usually in very rough shape.

Anyway, thanks again for the video and the info. If you turn up any other pics, that would be great. It would be handy to see a few other examples.

Paul


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2024 11:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 231
Hi,

I dug out some additional pix of my Baltimore houses. I found a second large house and rehabbed it. This one had fewer existing features in terms of bays and porches, so I gave it my best guess in terms of what was missing. It may not be true to the original but I was pleased with the result. The smaller houses set up in the display are some of my favorites.

I'm attaching a link of an article sent to me by a member of the Dill family which talks about the origins of the Baltimore fire company houses, and the Dill toy houses.

https://www.baltimoresun.com/2003/12/20 ... n-gardens/

And the pix are way out of order! I struggle with this every time.


Attachments:
Balt Fixer Upper IV.jpg
Balt Fixer Upper IV.jpg [ 274.79 KiB | Viewed 300 times ]
Balt Fixer Upper III.jpg
Balt Fixer Upper III.jpg [ 92.39 KiB | Viewed 300 times ]
Balt Houses in Putz !!.jpg
Balt Houses in Putz !!.jpg [ 318.43 KiB | Viewed 300 times ]
Balt Houses in Putz.jpg
Balt Houses in Putz.jpg [ 148.6 KiB | Viewed 300 times ]
Baltimore House II.jpg
Baltimore House II.jpg [ 2.32 MiB | Viewed 300 times ]
Baltimore Fixer Upper II.jpg
Baltimore Fixer Upper II.jpg [ 14.62 KiB | Viewed 300 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2024 2:33 pm 
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Wow, Barb, that looks like a big house. What is it made of? It almost looks like thin masonite or a thin plywood that is used for veneers. Regardless, it is a masterpiece. The others in your fireplace display are lovely as well. I especially appreciate the designs that reflect some of the architectural sensibilities of the prewar era. They are pretty neat. One has to suspect there are still examples to find, so I'll have to keep my eyes open.

The column re: the Dill brothers was a good piece, one that I've printed and will stick in the reference binder. I am not familiar with these guys, although I had been to Klein's shop at 164 N. Gay Street many times. FYI: a few years back Klein's moved to the northern suburb community of Cockeysville where they had a store. A couple years ago, they closed the store but continued to operate as an online business. Less than a year ago, the company was acquired by Hatton's of the UK, which folded in the last few months, closing Klein's as well. I think both names have subsequently been acquired and will resume business in some form under new ownership (now you know more than you ever wanted to know about Klein's).

Thanks for the "Baltimore" house photos. They are very informative (and inspirational).

Paul


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Note: All content on this forum is Copyright (c) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 by Paul D. Race
and by the posters who have contributed specific content. All material is for your personal use only. No content
or plans may be republished or sold, nor may any plans be used to make products to sell without prior written
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