Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures: What Is It?

(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Civil War Gun and Soldier’s Diary
Diary of sergeant in a PA regiment: Civil War soldier diaries provide a personal perspective on our nation’s bloodiest war. Derringer gun: It’s a little weapon and a small book but they packed a good appraisal. APPRAISAL: $1,000 for diary, $100-$200 for gun
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Swivel Cannon
The original versions of these wall-mounted cannons were used at Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne during the French & Indian War. APPRAISAL: $5,000
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Civil War Photo Album
Photography was in its infancy during the Civil War – that conflict became the most documented war in history up to that time. Most Civil War portraits were done in photo studios since the exposure time was so slow. Action shots were unheard of during the Civil War. APPRAISAL: $700
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Civil War Letters
Civil War letters provide a personal account of a soldier’s day-to-day life. These letters were kept in excellent condition, considering they are 150-years-old. APPRAISAL: $3,000
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Wooly Chaps (From a Carnival or Rodeo)
Collectibles from the Wild West are really popular. Whether its guns, chaps, spurs, bits, or saddles, if it was used in the old west, you can bet someone collects it. APPRAISAL: $1,000
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Linen and Wool Coverlet
This linen and wool coverlet was made by the Society of Harmonists, a religious sect founded by Johann Georg Rapp in the late 1700s. APPRAISAL: $1,000
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Revolutionary War Powder Horn from 18th Century
From 1775: A powder horn was often used by hunters and soldiers in the 18th and 19th centuries to keep gun powder dry and to help pour the powder into the gun. Engravings on powder horns developed into artistic representations of military battles and soldier life. APPRAISAL: $12,000
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Ming Dynasty Urn
The Ming Dynasty in China lasted from 1368 to 1644. During that time, artisans developed new and interesting techniques for creating ceramics. If it truly is a Ming Dynasty urn or vase it could be valued even higher. APPRAISAL: $600
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Toy Gas Station Set with Toy Car
“The Lincoln Highway Set” was made by Louis Mark & Co. Toys of Erie, Pa.; has original instruction sheet. In 1913, the first full-service automobile gas station, built by Gulf Refining Company, opened in Pittsburgh at Baum Boulevard and St. Clair Street in East Liberty. It’s another Pittsburgh innovation. APPRAISAL: $1,200
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Landscape Painting
1850-1870 era painting; might be a scene from a European garden. Had glass covering to protect painting from soot and coal furnaces. Lucien Whiting Powell was an internationally known landscape painter who was prominent in the Washington, D.C. area. He was a soldier in the Confederate Army before his career as an artist. APPRAISAL: $4,000-$5,000
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Coca-Cola Cooler
This item is a red Coca-Cola cooler that holds a six-pack of Coke; it was used for salesmen to showcase their products H.J. Heinz, who was a marketing genius, pioneered the use of miniature samples which salesmen took on the road with his famous tin pickles. APPRAISAL: $6,000
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Samurai Sword
From 1500 or 1600s: Genuine Samurai swords were used for centuries by Samurai, the highly-trained members of Japan’s warrior class. Thousands of beautiful and valuable swords were brought back to Western Pennsylvania by G.I.’s during World War II and are very collectible items today. APPRAISAL: $1,500-2,000
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Tommy Gun
This Tommy Gun was donated to the History Center by the Pittsburgh Police Historical Association. Thompson submachine guns were created by Gen. John T. Thompson who wanted a hand-held machine gun that could help end WWI. Today, Tommy Guns are more commonly associated with gangster movies from the 1920s and 30s. APPRAISAL: $12,000-20,000
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
Hidden Treasures: Sam Parks Golf Club
Sam Parks Jr. was born in Bellevue and attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he helped to found the Pitt golf team in the 1920s. This club is from the 1935 U.S Open, which Parks won at Oakmont Country Club. At the time, Parks was the club professional at nearby South Hills Country Club. APPRAISAL: $7,000
(Photo Courtesy: Heinz History Center)
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