The Crazy Suburban Mom: Guitar picking through my vintage buttons

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guitar picking through my vintage buttons

I've been trying to get my family to go to estate sales with me for, oh...ever. Mostly they just eyeroll me.

Especially my son. And he needs to go... You have to really know his situation to know why. He's finishing up Luthier School which means he's going to be working as a guitar technician in about a month - I'm so proud of him - (but that's a whole different post), the thing is he needs parts. Guitarage. Pieces. Bits... I don't know exactly what; he has the tools (Boy- does he have tools!) but he has to buy the guitar micro-bits himself.

His instructor said, Go to flea markets and buy trashed guitars and break them down for parts.

Yeah, guess they don't know this isn't flea market season? So I keep saying, Go with me to estate sales. And he keeps looking at the Pyrex, buttons, aprons and girlyphenalia I bring home... and says, Oh, like there will be anything at all I will want?

Remember that Jackpot of buttons I found about a week ago?

004 - Copy

And I was saying how I thought button boxes
were the junk drawers of the past?

Look what I found?

nick lucas guitar pick

And I know, you're saying what I said...

nick lucas guitar pick

It's a guitar pick...Mmmm, kay.

This morning I was playing with my buttons. I mean separating them into colors and looked at it again and noticed it had a name on it (hard to read, I know...) , so I googled Nick Lucas. And Whoa! Well, actually not just Whoa! but the mother of all Whoa!...

Nick Lucas has a website devoted to him and he was an important man in guitars (from New Jersey, I might add) with a career that started in 1915 and lasted until his death in 1984. A few highlights:

He was the first person to put a guitar into a band.

He was the first intimate crooner.

He was the first 'guitar star'.

In 1924 Frank Campbell, who was general sales manager for Gibson Guitars was looking for an endorsement by a well-known star to push an expensive guitar. Nick Lucas, who had the first guitar instrumental hit record in 1922,was an obvious choice.

(are you watching? Here's the biggie)

The first to have a guitar pick made with his name; Nick Lucas established and mastered the guitar pick. In the early 1930's Joe Nicomeda, a friend of Lugi D'Andrea (the first manufacture of guitar picks) worked out a deal with Lucas to make a flat pick. The finished product featured a stylized impression of Nick Lucas' name.... the first imprinted guitar pick.

The pick I found could be 80 years old and my son was very impressed when I showed him the Nick Lucas website. I revisited my son going with me and guess what? He's way more interested now! I told him (again) I've seen guitars and maybe he could pick up a broken one or two - and that no, it's not estate sale season but it's not that far away!

So yay! Maybe I will not be estate saling alone this year!

And I owe it all to buttons.

Okay, well kinda.

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Postcardy 1/14/10, 9:00 AM  

It's interesting how much you can learn about a little thing like that guitar pick.

Mary 1/14/10, 9:09 AM  

Cool find!

You all don't have estate sales in winter? That's funny.

Also, I suck. I had some stuff to put on Retro Tues. here and totally got distracted and didn't get it done. So I was going to put it on VTT tomorrow. Well, as it turns out, today is Thursday. I did not realize that.

Sigh. There's always next week. And you will be so jealous of what my mom gave me. ;)

mama-face 1/14/10, 9:15 AM  

Is it a coincidence? hmmm. Does he love it? I can't even begin to imagine my son going to an estate sale no matter ANY scenerio! Ha. You will have to do it for him. I just said the mother of all obviousness.

How do you find out about these sales to begin with?


The Crazy Suburban Mom 1/14/10, 9:21 AM  

postcardy! i know, such a little thing!

mary - yes, there are estate sales but not the flea market things with really really cheap stuff - and people wanting to unload junk. real junk. and im jealous already! lol

mama-face, yeah when push comes to shove, lol. probably. i check this site

Paul Wynn 1/14/10, 9:47 AM  

Never new what a jackpot of buttons were but dang that's a bunch of buttons AND a bonus guitar pick!

LV 1/14/10, 9:52 AM  

I remember your post of the all the buttons you found. When you buy something like that, you can be surprised at what may be lost down in the bottom. That is neat tho that you found the pick for your son.

Happy Cottage Quilter 1/14/10, 10:36 AM  

Wow what a great find! And of course the buttons are great too :-)


Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom 1/14/10, 10:46 AM  

Unfreakin' believable!

I have a Nick Lucas Archtop Acoustic Guitar from the 1930's - we aren't sure exactly when it was made but to the best of Gruhn Guitars in Nashville's knowledge, that is when it was made -

He's in great shape - even if he sulks since I have no clue how to play -

I'll never forget the day we unboxed him after his trip from TN to PA - our jaws dropped because he was a handsome fella inspite of his years -

We wished he could tell us his story -

Thanks for sharing!

RainGardener 1/14/10, 10:52 AM  

How exciting about the pick you found - I'll bet your son was impressed. That's neat that he may go salin'/junkin' with ya now.

The Crazy Suburban Mom 1/14/10, 10:52 AM  

LV - I know and it gave him a whole new perspective about estate sales!

Jocelyn - LOL! I know...

Khyra and mom :) OMG - do you have a pic I could show my kid? I just sent an email asking you but don't know if its email you check or not... How in the world did you find an guitar like that? Were you shopping for one?

Beansieleigh 1/14/10, 10:54 AM  

Hi Tracy! Nice to meet you too!.. Loved this post, as I have several tins of buttons my grandmother left to me, asking me just before she passed away to "take good care of them". The funny thing is, I think there WAS a guitar pick or two in there, that I thought was strange, but I never gave it a second thought and just LEFT THEM THERE! You can be sure I will be looking through those buttons later to get a closer look again!.. I just love stuff like this though.. discovering the most ordinary object is really a treasure with a wonderful story/history behind it like that!.. Looking forward to visiting with you again soon! ~tina

The Crazy Suburban Mom 1/14/10, 11:09 AM  

Rain, My son all of a sudden realized there were cool things to be had! LOL

The Crazy Suburban Mom 1/14/10, 11:12 AM  

Tina -- You should definitely look! Colorado Lady does vintage thingies thursday every week - I linked to it - and my last thursday post was about the tin of buttons itself! And how I think button tins were the junk drawers of the past because I found everything from fish hooks to garters in there! But I'm always amazed at how many things on second or third glance are really worth that second or third look!


Maureen 1/14/10, 11:24 AM  

Good homework! I am curious to see how the mother son estate sale'ing goes. I would be getting the "Are you done yet?". And that would not be good.

Jingle 1/14/10, 11:45 AM  

That is very cool! I'm still totally jealous of that button stash! HA!

Vonlipi 1/14/10, 11:48 AM  

Yeah! Buttonosis! I made that one up just for you dear! Guess what? I bought a bag of vintage buttons yesterday....I thought of you of course

@eloh 1/14/10, 11:51 AM  

Just think, you have "birthed" him a second time!
I've seen picks in more than one button box. Probably not "the" pick... what were the odds on that!

A nice frame for that pick would be a nice start.

Lynette 1/14/10, 11:58 AM  

how amazing and find such a great treasure. Well, there is a place called Wear Your Music. And they have the coolest bracelets made from guitar strings. your son may like this place too!

Kendall at Finesse Your Nest 1/14/10, 11:59 AM  

What a great find! You may just be the first person who will be able to say, "I made my millions off a little guitar pick." Coolio!

Hey, thanks for checking out my blog. I'm so glad you visited and I'm having fun now reading yours! Love your blog header. I'm a crazy suburban Mom too!

ladyjanewriter 1/14/10, 12:15 PM  

Yay! 2nd Generation of estate sale junkies, commence!

Also, I think it's neato and smart for your son to recon guitars on the cheap. I know John Entwistle of The Who made his own famous "Frankenstein" base from the remnants of 5 smashed basses. :-D

Miri 1/14/10, 12:57 PM  

Wonderful guitar pick and story! Bet your DS does goes with you when spring rolls around!

CC 1/14/10, 1:44 PM  

Wonderful guitar's very pretty. If your son isn't interested in going with you now, just shake him and take him anyway. lol. I realize that would br hard as my 2 sons are twice as big as me..I do hope he goes with you though. What great fun it would be.

My Grama's Soul 1/14/10, 3:01 PM  

My first husband was a guitar player. Oh -- does that bring back memories. I used to find pics in my laundry all the time.

Thanks for stopping by to say hi,


~~Carol~~ 1/14/10, 3:54 PM  

That guitar pick is an amazing find! My husband is a musician, so I'll have to ask him if he's heard of Nick Lucas.
I've always said that you never know what you're going to find at estate sales. I hope your son does eventually go with you. It's so much more fun when you have a shopping buddy!
Happy VTT!

manic momma 1/14/10, 5:44 PM  

That's so awesome! I also love estate sales, and like you, no one seems interested in coming along either. I always daydream of finding something cool like that, but hasn't happened yet:-)

CollectIn Texas Gal 1/14/10, 6:14 PM  

Don'tCha just love ButtonBoxes, Jars and Tins? I've found the most wonderful thingies in them...yep, even a guitar pick! I didn't know enough to check it out tho! Super find and very interesting information. It's so amazing that you can find out AnyThingy on the Net! And yes, it's getting close to Estate Sale Time here in Texas, too. I'm ready for the cold to go away and get back to those Treasure Troves. This is my first VTT and it's been great fun seeing everyones collections. I hope you'll have a chance to make a quick trip to Texas and see my post about Head Vases.

viridian 1/14/10, 6:51 PM  

Love the buttons. I did my button box for a previous VTT. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Deborah 1/14/10, 7:01 PM  

Gorgeous button finds and I too have found lots of treasures in button tins over the years. I have even found a guitar pick or two. I look for decorative knives for my son when I go thrifting. He loves those.

Heidi 1/14/10, 7:06 PM  

What a great story, and love the buttons, too! How clever of you to dig deeper and find out all that info about the pick. I would have thought nothing of it...just another pick to "pick up" off the floor!! Like I do with all the ones my hubby leaves laying around.
Thanks for stopping by to visit, hope you'll be back soon!
Heidi - Heart and Home

KK 1/14/10, 8:00 PM  

I enjoyed your button post last week so now I am thrilled that you found the pick. Please show some more stuff you found in that tin!

Coloradolady 1/14/10, 8:58 PM  

That is very interesting...great story about how a little ole box of buttons sparks interest in those not interested!! Love that!! Happy VTT!

Serendipity Handmade 1/14/10, 9:38 PM  

That *is* cool! Happy VTT!

Jeanne 1/14/10, 11:55 PM  

Love your guitar pickin story today. How fun to find a pick in a box of buttons. It developed a heck of a story. It is all fun and good.

Hugs, Jeanne

GardenofDaisies 1/15/10, 12:56 AM  

How nice that you found a special treasure in your batch of buttons! I love your buttons btw. I have a few jars of them myself.

Sweet Bee Cottage 1/16/10, 1:31 AM  

What a great story. Now have you convinced your son to go with you next time?

Aunt Becky 1/16/10, 10:01 PM  

Now THAT is wicked awesome.

Fine Estate Sales 1/17/10, 9:14 AM  

Oh No...that's the magic of so many people writing about antiques and collectibles...That one writer can teach another about something as simple as guitar picks.

And that's the other thing about something as simple as a guitar pick - that it leads to an exploration of vintage guitar history.

Well Done, and Thanks


Leigh of Bloggeritaville 1/17/10, 10:54 AM  

I too am IMPRESSED. As a guitar lover (I have 2) I love that story! I love when things like that happen. How cool is that! You should put it into a tiny frame (shadowbox style) and tell the tale anytime someone ask about it!
Sorry I am so late. As it ended up, we did have a (6 hour) 2AM-8Am stint in the ER with my son. Praise God, all is ok. But,it's taken me some time to recover from being up all night. Alas, I am late in getting around to everyone this week. My apologies.
Sincere thanks for linking up to Tales from Bloggeritville Thrifty Thursday!

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