“How Much is that Coin Worth?”

Posted in Documentation, Links at 7:27 am by jtsblog

We sell replica coins of the 18th century and we get lots of questions about their respective worth. I thought I would pass along this wonderful website which has links to many useful tools to answer the question. It’s called “Current Value of Old Money”.


“Is this Product Right for Me?”

Posted in Documentation at 9:19 am by jtsblog

We get asked this question all the time about which item is historically correct for a particular customer. Or some people assume that if a product is offered on our website or in our print catalog that it is appropriate for them. Fortunately or unfortunately Jas. Townsend and Son carries lots of products that stretch over a wide time frame and straddle many levels of society. Some of our products would have only been owned by very rich people and some products would be owned by the most modest of means.

“Is it right for me?” This begs the question “Who are you?” What year, month, day, even hour are you trying to do? Where is your persona located? What is the socio/economic background of your persona? What is your persona doing? I could probably ask another 10 questions that would need answers before precise answers could start to be formed. Even then we are only able to give very generic answers to people to ask. I know I am not making it easy, but easy stuff isn’t always the most fun.

If you have questions, it is time to start studying. Look at those pictures, read those books and search the web,  most of those answers are just waiting for you.  If you want generic answers we can try to point you in the right direction.


Spanish Colonial Military Artifacts

Posted in Documentation, Links at 7:39 am by jtsblog

I like websites like this one.  The items are catagorized and dated and have particularly good pictures.   If you are looking for button or buckle ideas this is a great place to stop and study.


Speaking of Gutenberg

Posted in Documentation, Links at 7:44 am by jtsblog

Project Gutenberg can be a very useful reference from time to time.   It is a collection of public domain texts available online.  They have some 17th and 18th century texts and the contents are fully searchable. Do you want to know if Jonathan Swift used the word “gorget”?  Try out the advanced search page!

Silver Bullion and Paper Money

Posted in JTS News at 7:15 am by jtsblog

Silver Round

We are now offering silver rounds on our website HERE  In all centuries prior to the 20th century including the 18th century most folks around the world had a healthy disrespect for paper money as apposed to hard money.   And for the most part paper money in the 18th century was a down right scam.   Check out FIAT MONEY INFLATION IN FRANCE, now that is a funny/scary read.


The Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection

Posted in Documentation, Links at 7:56 am by jtsblog

Here you go, this is a super website you have just got to check out.

This site has hundreds of 18th and 19th century political cartoons. One of the best features is using the “call number query” to just look a one year at a time and watch the clothing fashions change. The trick to the search feature is putting the year minus the leading 1 into the “call number query” box. So if you want to see all the pictures from 1780 just put in 780. Yes, I know you are saying “Wow, how intuitive!”

Probably the most interesting picture for me lately is THIS ONE. This print is dated 1772 but what is that hat?

You tell me what you think.


Documenting Charcloth

Posted in Documentation at 6:21 am by jtsblog

Steve M_ emailed me asking if we had run across documentation for charred cloth being used as tinder in the 18th century.
I have to admit he had me stumped for a bit. Charred linen is a given as tinder and can be a bit of difficult to find reference to: as most things just say tinder and don’t bother to explain it unless it is unusual and not make of charred cloth.

But with a bit of digging I found this. It is early but at least gives us something to work with.

Oxford English Dictionary 1971 edition.

Tinder (many alternate spellings one of which is tendre)
Any inflammable substance that readily take fire from spark and burns or moulders; esp. that prepared from partially charred linen and from species of Polyporus or corkwood fungus…..

( I thought it interesting that charred linen was specifically mentioned in the definition.)
(Of course, the best part is that the OED has word etymologies.)

tendre 1541 R. Copland GUYDON’S QUEST “They be made of softe tendre as of olde lynen cloth.”

It contains lots of other interesting references including early references to fungus used as tinder. Even fungus being called “German Tinder”.
If you have documentation for charred linen used as tinder in the 18th century speak up.


Burntmud Website

Posted in Links at 6:55 am by jtsblog

Erik Vosteen is a local person who specializes in woodlands indian lifeways research and items like: open fired pottery, elm bark items, primitive tools and other natural materials. He does interpretive services and sells some interesting products. You can see his website here at www.burntmud.com

Great Website for Eyeglasses Research

Posted in Documentation, Links at 6:25 am by jtsblog

I was contacted by the author of this site a few months ago and I have to say it has more antique eyewear info in one place than anything else I have run into. Super informative section on dating specific features of eyeglasses, but it can be a bit slim on giving the primary documentation on those specific features. You won’t find anything better about 18th century spectacles on the web.


New Pottery Pieces on the Website

Posted in JTS News at 7:50 am by jtsblog

If you’ve been watching our “New Products” page you have probably noticed quite a few new pottery pieces showing up lately. One of our newer employees has had some past experience with pots and he was interested in getting back into clay. I have given him a free hand and he is really churning out some very interesting pieces. If you have any suggestions or requests for specific pieces just drop us a note on the website message form HERE.

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