Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

The Find of the Day

Sometimes a trip to a flea market yields a Find of the Day: An unusual or otherwise special item that you wouldn't have found anywhere but that particular flea market on that particular day at that particular time. When I went to the Brimfield market in Massachusetts with mrsmurphy18 about 25 years ago she came across the Find of the Find of the Day for all time (it would be hard to explain in full why, but in summary it was a full set of some quite rare Hall China kitchenware cannisters and shakers in a rare decoration from the 1930s that was her absolute favorite and which she had been lucky enough to previously find one single piece of and the whole set of six cost about one-quarter or less of what an individual piece would usually sell for). My Find of the Day was nothing of this sort, but it is wonderful nonetheless.

What I found was a 1938 catalog from the Globe Company in Chicago. The catalog is hardbound, and it looks exactly like a yearbook. The Globe company made industrial equipment for the meat industry. You know: beef killing equipment, offal handling equipment, that sort of thing. In fact, those are the titles of two sections of the catalog. There is also a section entitled "Useful Information" with, for example, a table of the "Average Yield of 200 Lb. Hog -- Live Weight" ("The yields given figure all fats converted into tallow and all offal and bone converted into dry rendered tankage.") Did you know that, on average, a 200 lb. hog yields 1 pound of Bung Gut Fat? and 1/8 pound of weasand? Most of the yield is "Hams Skinned" (29 1/2), "Picnics" (12 1/2), "Back Fat" (21 1/2), "S. P. Bellies" (27) and "Viscera" (22 1/2).

This is an entire new area of geekery!

I don't have easy access to a good scanner, but I have access to a copier that basically turns a xerox into a .pdf file which I can then make into a screen capture to crop and convert to a .jpg. You'll have to click on the images. Unfortunately the wonderful texture of the illustrations doesn't transfer at all, and the printing might not be easy to read, but you'll get the idea.

In the market for a head flusher? Look no further:

A page that effectively illustrates what it can feel like to have a "splitting headache":

Somebody had to design a Cattle Jaw Puller (and then sleep at night). "This efficient machine will perform its duties as fast as heads can be fed onto the steel horn."

It's not all about cattle heads, though. The Globe company sold viscera inspection tables, and a hog front toe nail puller, and an ethmoid bone and tooth remover, and oh so many things the likes of which modern urban man has rarely seen.

In its own niche way, it's a beautiful book.
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