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 Company in New York and works. The canner is 15 inches high and 39 inches in circumference. I was looking on line for spare parts, just in case I needed them. I came up completely empty-handed and now 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 pottery figurine of a wren. The bird is on a base and has a multicolored black and 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 was founded by Martin Stangl in Trenton, N.J. Stangl was a successful designer and ceramic engineer. His company produced dinnerware, artware 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. “3590” is the number for the Carolina Wren. Stangl died in 1972, and after his death, the company produced revised editions of their birds. They are no longer in business.
Your wren was made in the 1940s and would probably be worth $75 to $125.
Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com