Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Don't Store Old Photos in Plastic Sleeves, Pages

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Don't Store Old Photos in Plastic Sleeves, Pages

Article excerpt

Dear Ralph and Terry: How should I store old family photographs?

Do not keep photos in an album with black paper pages. The sulfur in the paper will slowly destroy the photos. The magnetic albums with plastic pages also can cause damage. Look for an album with archival-quality paper. If the album you buy smells like plastic, it will be harmful for photos. There are now many types of boxes for photo storage. They also should be made from archival-quality paper.

Be sure to label the pictures with the name of the subject, location, occasion and the date. When cleaning out memorabilia after a death, there always seems to be boxes of pictures of relatives and friends that can't be identified.

Never store photos, slides or negatives in very hot, humid places, or in an attic or basement. Never keep color pictures in bright sunlight.

*****

Dear Ralph and Terry: I have had this piece of silver for over 70 years. It is a box with a drawer containing a bottle in a holder. The drawer is lined with a pale green satin. The bottom is marked "James W. Tufts, Boston, Warranted, quadruple plate."

You have an unusual piece of American silver-plated ware. Sets for toilet stands were made from the 1870s to the 1890s. They held bottles and jars for cologne, toilet water and other necessities. Many different styles were made and offered for sale. The old ones are seldom found at antiques shows.

The stands were made to hold single bottles and often had a jewelry drawer. Stands were also made for several bottles, and some included a mirror, candelabra, flower vase and decorative figures. The glass bottles were made of many different colors.

Catalogs no longer listed the toilet stands by 1900. Today an elaborate stand like yours with figurines and bottles would sell for at least $500. James Tufts was a manufacturer in Boston and used the mark from 1875. Tufts died in 1902.

*****

Tip: If you have a smelly tin, try filling it with fragrant peppermint tea for a few weeks. …

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