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Early Birds Can Pin Down the Olympics

May 21, 1987|RONALD L. SOBLE | Times Staff Writer

Question: I'm an Olympic pin collector and would like to know the dates of next winter's Olympic Games and, particularly, the advertisers, so I can make plans to try for certain pins.--G.N.

Answer: You might want to get the Bill Nelson Newsletter (monthly, $1 a copy, P.O. Box 41630, Tucson, Ariz. 85717), because he keeps careful track of such things. Nelson said the May issue is free to anyone who will write him. The winter games are Feb. 13-28.

According to Nelson: "The complete current list of the sponsors" is: Anheuser-Busch, Canon USA, Coca-Cola Ltd., Federal Express Corp., General Motors of Canada, Kodak Canada Inc., Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd., Motorola Ltd., Nova, Petro-Canada Inc., the Royal Bank of Canada, Shell Canada Ltd., 3M Co., Time Inc./Sports Illustrated and Visa International.

For further information, write: XV Olympic Winter Games Organizing Committee, P.O. Box 1988, Station C, Calgary, Alberta T2T 5R4, Canada. In many cases, Nelson said in his May newsletter, pins from some of these sponsors "are already available to collectors."

Q: I have an old lathe in my work room. It's possible it might go back to the turn of the century, and I was wondering if its age would make it particularly valuable.--T.A.

A: According to tool collectors, the concept of the lathe--a machine that holds and rotates an object--may go back about 2,000 years or more. And more modern lathes were being produced throughout the 19th Century, which still predates your lathe.

So, although your equipment is fairly old, it's not nearly as ancient as others in collectors' hands or in museums.

Still, don't despair. Depending on the condition and materials used in making your lathe, it still may have substantial retail value. It's just that age won't be a major factor in setting a resale price.

For example, a century-old lathe that still has good wood, such as mahogany, or brass fittings, may sell for more than $1,000, depending on whether the equipment still functions and what, if any, accessories come with it.

Q: Surfboards are my thing and I heard that there was a surfboard museum somewhere in California. I have a number of surfboards going back several years--lots of different shapes and colors--so I'm naturally interested in any exhibits that might be around.--M.C.

A: A Surfing Museum and Hall of Fame opened last year in Santa Cruz in the Abbott Lighthouse, a popular surfing spot there. The small museum has a number of surfboards on display, some dating back half a century or more. Unlike the modern, lightweight board, some of these "monsters" can measure about 16 feet in length and weigh more than 100 pounds!

Santa Cruz is an appropriate spot for such a museum, because surfboard historians believe the surfboard, as we know it, may have been first tested in the famous Santa Cruz surf before the turn of the century.

Q: How far back in terms of age should I look for high-quality American art calendars?--T.C.

A: Quality calendars printed in the United States go back almost a century. Many of them began surfacing as advertising vehicles for American firms, such as Armour & Co., and were printed in several colors. They also were used as marketing promotions in that they could be obtained in exchange for product labels.

In fact, the Armour firm's calendars, containing historical and other themes, became popular in the early years of this century and have become sought-after collector's items. Such calendars appeared to diminish in popularity following World War I.

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