Q&A on Collecting
Collector could scour Internet for pot parts
Q: I recently became interested in canning, and when I found the canner seen in this photo in an antiques shop, I bought it. I paid $25 and it works great. On the tip are the words “Automatic Canning Devices Inc. — Chicago.” It has a metal bail handle and a black plastic one. The gauge was made by U.S. Automatic Gauge Co. in New York and works. The canner is 15 inches high and 39 inches in circumference. I was looking online for spare parts, just in case I needed them. I came up completely empty-handed and now I am more curious about my canner. Could you tell me anything about it?
A: Automatic Canning Devices Inc. made canners and pressure cookers in the early 1900s in Chicago. Their advertising claim in 1936 stated, “Canning outfit that works every day in the year.” Keep scouring the Internet for pot parts — sooner or later they will turn up.
Your canner was made around the 1920s to 1930s and can be found selling anywhere from $10 to $35.
Q: Enclosed is the mark on the bottom of a wren pottery figurine. The bird is on a base and has a multicolored back, brown body and a yellow breast. The overall height is 4 inches, and it is in perfect condition. Also marked on the bottom is the number “3590.” It belonged to my great-grandmother and was given to her by a friend in the 1950s. What can you tell me about my figurine and its history?
A: Stangl Pottery, originally Hill Pottery, was taken over by Martin Stangl. Stangl was a successful designer and ceramic engineer. His New Jersey company produced dinnerware, art ware and novelties. In 1940, he introduced a line of ceramic birds and animals. Most pieces were marked with a number and the name of the decorator. The number for the Carolina Wren is “3590.” Stangl died in 1972, and after his death, the company produced revised editions of its birds. They are no longer in business.
Your wren was made in the 1940s and would probably be worth $75 to $125.
Address questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Because of the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters.