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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:50 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:36 pm
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I am trying to ID this Cracker Jack prize. I was out in the Arizona desert today metal detecting and I found this. It is 1 1/2 inches in diameter, embossed tin?, does not appear to have been painted but after laying around in the dirt for some years who knows. I am guessing something went in the hole. Perhaps it was a spinning top. I checked on ebay and several sites with Cracker Jack items but did not run across anything that looked like this.

Does anyone know what it was and about how old it may be? Thanks

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:06 pm 
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Hi DesertDonn, This, in my opinion, is the nicest spinner Cracker Jack used. I'm not sure of the date, but judging by the quality of the metal finish and engraving it must predate the more common tin spinners made in the 1910's. Unless it was a special premium they offered. It's definitely pre 1928. The original finish almost gives the appearance of stainless steel, though it's not stainless. But I think it's steel, not tin. It's very different from the look of the tin spinners. And, no, it wasn't painted. A pointed wooden stick went into the hole. This spinner doesn't show up very often. I don't know if your find is salvageable but I'd have to give Naval Jelly a try.

Barbara


Last edited by bacj on Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:31 pm 

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Thanks very much for the information. You are correct it is not tin, it is steel, I tested it with a magnet. I just called it tin because a lot of the Cracker Jack toys were called Tin toys. It may have been a tin plated steel. Do you know if it had a top and bottom, all I have is one piece, on the other side you can see the embossed letters that were on the top so the steel is quite thin. I did not really want to do any cleaning until I found out if it might effect the value if it was cleaned, I think that is from watching too many Antiques Roadshows. Would you happen to know where I might find a photo of one of these that shows it original condition?
Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:44 pm 
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There was only the one piece to the spinner. I haven't seen it pictured in any of the Cracker Jack books. I don't know what advice an expert would give you about cleaning but I don't really think it has value as is.
Barbara


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:22 am 
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Hi Donn, You seem to know about metals so I have a question for you. According to what I have read, tin is not magnetic but my tin litho toys including CJ spinners are attracted to a magnet. I've always assumed that they are tin. No?
Barbara


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:38 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Hello all,
"Tin litho" is a phrase used by most all antique and toy dealers/collectors to include not only tin toys, but stamped sheet metal toys as well, The metal usually is steel as pure tin is very soft. The steel is covered with a thin layer of tin and then offset lithography was used to print the pattern. Hence tin litho. The only true tin toys were poured into molds and usually are very flowery and fragile. Germany made a lot as well as Japan and some typical examples are the German baby strollers. I will try to post pictures of some. True tin toys are almost impossible to repair - touch them with a soldering iron and POOOF - gone; mainly because "solder" is a amalgam of lead and tin to produce a low melting point.

I would also try WD-40. Right now the top is probably worth under $5.00; a top in very good condition would be worth about $50-100. So, you do not have much to lose by trying to restore it.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:02 am 
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Hello Everyone!!!
Here's a few photos of this top in it's original condition (almost, there's a few spots on it), with the original dowel. This is a great spinning top! The sheet metal is a little thicker than the similar litho printed tops, and the crimping design puts a little more mass on the outer edge of the diameter.
Note the manufacturers ID on the underside near the center.
Stewart


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:54 am 
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Hi Larry and Stewart,
Thanks for the information about tin toys, Larry. I didn't know that. I also never thought of trying WD40. I'll have to try that. And thanks for the photos, Stewart. I never noticed the manufacturer's name on the spinner.
Barbara


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:08 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:36 pm
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Hi Stewart

Great photos, no question, mine is the same as in your photos. The rust is a little heavy on the bottom of mine, but I can even see some of the letters of the manufacturer’s name.

Any idea of the date, was it before the tin lithograph versions of the spinner?

I found my spinner at an old silver mine about 30 miles southwest of Tucson, AZ which operated in the early 1900’s. Looks like Cracker Jack was even available in the old west. Arizona became a state in 1912 the same time that they started putting prizes in Cracker Jack.

Thanks again for helping me identify my piece and everyone for your help.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:45 am
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Location: Boston, MA
Hello all,
If the WD-40 or other stuff does not work (and from the photos I doubt if it will have much effect), you will have to go to harsher tactics. Might be a help if you are willing to try the WD-40 or other stuff and give us a pix of the results, then we could recommend next course. Soft Scrub or a cleanser (AJAX) may be the next step, but let's see what the WD-40 etc does first.

CSI-CJCA continues.

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