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From a Different Time

October 26th, 2009

Mr Chiots and I went to a Newell auction on Saturday morning (actually 2). This year we started going, because I’ve been searching for old short wide mouth pint jars. I’ve also been looking for a few Griswold cast iron skillets to add to my collection.
Auctions are interesting, sad and hopeful all at the same time. They definitely herald back to a different time when people saved things they though they’d use again, not willing to buy new when they could reuse something they already had.
It’s sad to see these people lives spread out on the lawn, others looking over it decided what they want. It’s sad to see the things people valued enough to save going to the highest bidder, and sometimes not being bid on at all or going for next to nothing.
It’s also hopeful to see people in attendance willing to buy used items, placing value in something that’s been around for a while and already has a story. They don’t need to buy some shiny new homogenized item at the big box store, they want something unique, something that has already seen some life.
One thing I love about auctions is all the unique stuff you find. It’s so fascinating to me to see what people saved.
I was happy to see lots of canning jars for sale, they even had a few of the wide mouth pint jars I was looking for. Sadly, we had to be somewhere that afternoon so I couldn’t stay to buy them.
I wonder if auctions will fall out of favor when all the classic old stuff is gone. Is any of the stuff we purchase now going to last 40 years and still have enough life left for someone to want to buy it? Are we going to save anything that someone will find valuable?
I’m definitely reaching a point in my life where I’m starting to appreciate the stuff that’s been around for a while. I’d much rather purchase something used than something new. It’s not only more environmentally friendly but it’s so much fun as well.
I still buy some new things, but I’m definitely trying to focus on buying used. The things that I do purchase new, I’m trying to invest in good quality items that I’ll be able to use for the rest of my life, and hopefully someone after me will find them useful as well. So I’ll be attending more auctions trying to find those elusive short wide mouth pint canning jars and perhaps a few other treasures that can continue to live on and be useful in our home.

Do you like to buy used items, or do you prefer new?

15 Comments to “From a Different Time”
  1. annie avery on October 26, 2009 at 8:48 am

    estate sales are painful..i appreciate the things found there, want to buy them all, save the heritage of the past.. being a good packrat, i can understand. man!! all those jars!! wow.. and mortar and pestles? i’m lookin’..

    Reply to annie avery's comment

    • annie avery on October 26, 2009 at 8:54 am

      and i rarely buy anything new. second hand shops and flea markets are my favorite spots.

      Reply to annie avery's comment

  2. Throwback at Trapper Creek on October 26, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Definitely used if possible and affordable. Many new designs don’t work properly because the subtle reasons the original designs worked so well have been forgotten. Even antique stores have good used items that cost less or the same as new and will continue a long useful life in the right hands.

    LOL, I covet those wide mouth pints myself, and my DH collects Griswold, our original Griswold pans I inherited should last forever, and I use them everyday!
    .-= Throwback at Trapper Creek´s last blog ..What! Exotics at Meat & Potato Farm? =-.

    Reply to Throwback at Trapper Creek's comment

  3. Colleen on October 26, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I definitely buy used whenever I can. I think older things have so much more character and warmth than sparkling new items. Seeing new life brought to old things also makes me smile, as when I was growing up, my grandparents were very much into yard sales, estate sales, auctions, etc. Many of the items they gave us to put to good use in our house were actually “antiques” that other folks would probably have put on shelves to display – like the colorful old pyrex containers I still have (and use!), that my grandmother called “early tupperware” :-)

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  4. Teri on October 26, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Used all the way. I love thrift shops and second hand stores. Good luck on the Griswold. We found an 8″ skillet at a flea market years ago, I love it. I saw one in an antique store last weekend for $85! Yikes.
    .-= Teri´s last blog ..285/365 =-.

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    • Susy on October 26, 2009 at 10:55 am

      I have an old Griswold that my mom gave me, it was left in their first house by the old man they bought it off of. I love it and I’d love to have a bigger one.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Kimberly on October 26, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I LOVE the wide-mouth pints! I recently started baking cakes and breads in them and wish I had more. Well, I have more, but they are all filled with other canned foods I put up earlier in the summer.
    What are you planning to do with your jars??
    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..Alive & Cookin’ =-.

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    • Susy on October 26, 2009 at 10:56 am

      I like to can in them. I find the widemouth pints perfect for pickles and other condiments.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. warren on October 26, 2009 at 10:54 am

    We often get used stuff where it seems to make sense. I love old tools and stuff like that. I tend not to collect stuff though.
    .-= warren´s last blog ..Going for Broke =-.

    Reply to warren's comment

    • Susy on October 26, 2009 at 10:57 am

      True, we try to only buy things we need & use. We don’t keep stuff around we’re not using. All of our “collections” are used almost daily!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Carter @ The Kitchenette on October 26, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I don’t often attend estate sales, but I wish I could attend them more often. I am particularly entranced by that lard bucket – I kind of want it really badly now! My husband and I are at odds over new vs. used – he likes to buy things new, but I don’t mind the old. Where we have come to an agreement is over children’s clothes and toys. I see no point in buying new clothes or toys, since I figure we’ll probably give them away sooner or later anyways. I also love the old style canning jars as well, to use as cups/glasses or to can in as well. There’s so much great stuff out there!

    Reply to Carter @ The Kitchenette's comment

    • Susy on October 26, 2009 at 11:17 am

      I too loved the lard bucket, it’s particularly interesting because it was a company that was in the closest small city, so it’s very local. I think it would make a great planter.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Jaspenelle on October 26, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Generally speaking, I buy used goods whenever possible but then I tend to buy only things I absolutely need. It is easy to overbuy when I am in the heat of a thrift store or garage sale. I keep a list of things I am looking for when I go so that I don’t clutter our home with items we don’t really need. (Except books, I have a HUGE weakness for old or current used nonfiction.)

    Some things simply have to be new for me though. Jeans for one, it is hard enough to find my size in a normal store, much less a thrift store. Beyond undergarments the rest of my clothes tend to be handmade or Goodwill buys that I alter though. Electric kitchen appliances generally have to be new, high quality and energy efficient for me to buy them, on the flip side my cast iron all has to be old and rescued! I think all my canning jars were purchased new too, I would be too worried about old ones having stress fractures and exploding in my pressure canner…
    .-= Jaspenelle´s last blog ..Shopping =-.

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  9. Annette on October 26, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I agree with your assessment: these sales are both sad and exciting! I will always try to buy used before purchasing new.
    .-= Annette´s last blog ..Award Lovin =-.

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  10. jeline equi on November 1, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    i am also a used buyer,,,,, love the stuff and intend to pass down to my children…. i was lucky enough to find a 6″ griswald still looking for a 8″. i am also looking for the old canning jars.
    it is just so rewarding, to see all my garden fruits canned in those old timey jars and lids.

    Reply to jeline equi's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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