Stereoscopes to Virtual Reality

Stereoscopes, Viewmasters, Nintendo, X-box and More…

Many of us have seen the original stereoscope, although it might have been in a museum. But it’s effect on entertainment, education, and even culture was definite. It’s amazing to think that Underwood & Underwood was producing over 25,000 images a day for the stereoscope. (See the quote below)

stereoscope with view cards from 1880-1910, Sawyer Stereoscope Viewmaster from the 1950s, modern 3D Viewmaster

Claims that there was a stereoscope in every parlor in America came as early as the 1860s (Darrah, 2), but in their second wave of popularity in the 1880s-1910s, the availability of stereographs could be quantified: Underwood & Underwood, one of the three major stereographic companies in this period, produced over 25,000 images per day (Darrah, 47), and an estimated 300 million stereographs were issued between 1854 to 1920 (Wadja, 112). Selling at six for a dollar, most stereographs captured the interest of middle class consumers, but a few companies catered to the working class, providing similar views at 3 cents a piece or 85 cents per 100 (DeLeskie, 69). Found in drugstores, distributed through mail-order catalogs, given away as premiums by cereal and tea companies, and canvassed cross-country by college students (including a young Carl Sandburg), it is no wonder that many scholars consider the stereoscope as the first mass photographic medium prior to cinema or television (see Trachtenberg, Reading, 17).     from xroads.Virginia.edu

Imagine learning about the wonders of the world, feeling like you were there, as you viewed the scenes in a stereoscope! There was a lot of promise. But, as you know, progress moves on and photographs, movies, and television replaced these viewers. But many saw great promise in connecting humanity at the time!

IN HIS WRITINGS ABOUT the stereoscope, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. was what we would now call a tech-utopian. He declared that the stereoscope would become “the card of introduction to make all mankind acquaintances.”   from BostonGlobe.com

The modern day viewmaster can still be fasinating to young children, although I’m afraid they’re now learning to ‘swipe’ rather than click the change lever. Here’s a link to a great history of our modern day view-masters.

If you’re curious as to how 3D-glasses work today (and in the movies), you may want to check out THIS LINK.

Electronic and Computer Consoles/Games

Then we moved to the beginning of electronic games in the 1970s. Many will remember their first Atari or Nintendo video games. and Sega games. In the 1990s Playstation was introduced along with the original X-Box. These links are all courtesy of Wikipedia.

NOTE: If you saw our FB question, the answer to SEGA is that originally the company provided coin-operated slot machines to U.S. bases that were called “Service Games,” later becoming SEGA! Who knew?

At Bahoukas Antique Mall you’ll be able to find some of the games for the above game stations. Stop in and see if we have one you’ve been looking for.

Atari, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Playstation and X-box games at Bahoukas Antiques in Havre de Grace, MD

Of course, if you’re a real techie, then you may want to visit the following article on CNET about Virtual Reality, 360 viewing, 3-D, augmented reality and more. ENJOY!

How Do Your Children Save Money?

Do Kids Still Use a Toy Bank to Save Coins?

cast iron mechanical banks popular in 1800s

Reproductions available at Bahoukas Antiques include the dentist by Stephens, the skeleton – not sure, the black guy is a J&E Steven and the black girl is by John Harper. Original mechanical, cast iron banks were manufactured in the 1800s and created to encourage children to save their money. These banks are frequently referred to as ‘penny banks.’

The golden age of American cast iron banks lasted from 1869 to 1910. There are two types of these banks — still and mechanical. Still banks are primarily repositories and usually take the form of an animal or human figure with a coin slot. Mechanical banks have moving parts and springs and a sequence of movements can be triggered either by simply depositing a coin or more commonly by depositing a coin and pulling a lever.   from Tribstar.com

J&E Stevens Company started in 1843 to manufacture cast-iron hardware, hammers, and a few iron toys.

A turning point in the company’s development came in 1869 with the production of their first cast-iron mechanical bank. This bank, featuring a monkey that popped out of building, inspired numerous competitors to produce similar products and helped create a new genre of product that blended art and function in ways that sparked the imagination and ingenuity of designers. In fact, between 1869 and 1890, the J & E Stevens Company produced more than 300 different models of mechanical banks.    from Connecticut History

WWI created a need for the iron to support the war efforts, essentially ending the company. But the 1920s brought renewed interest in the cast-iron mechanical banks.

Toy collecting, which became popular in the 1920s, exploded in the post-war era thanks to increases in spendable income. Today, original cast-iron banks and toys from the J & E Stevens Company sell for thousands of dollars. The enduring value of these products is a testament to the quality and ingenuity that helped make Connecticut the nation’s leading toy producer for much of the 19th century.   from Connecticut History

Here’s a quick video talking about cast iron mechanical banks from Canadian Pickers! Enjoy!

 

Along with unique cast-iron mechanical banks, we also have a wonderful selection of other banks for saving those coins. Start a great habit for your children and start them early. Stop by and browse our selection at Bahoukas Antique Mall. We’ll be watchin’ for ya!

How Do You Carry Cash?

Money Clip? Money Belt?

Money Cclip, Army Money Belt, 200 year old money leather money belt

The money clip is an optional fashion accessory for the male wearer. It keeps paper money sorted and prevents it from being rumpled-looking in the pants pocket. There is a modicum of style attached to the use of this kind of clip. After all, if you are going out for a night on the town, it would not do to pay club cover charges with badly folded and crumpled up dollar bills. It is far more impressive to pull out a wad of neatly folded cash and hand the doorman the right change in the blink of an eye.
It is fair to say that the history of the money clip is directly tied to the history of non-coin currency.   … Peter Suchy Jewelers blog 
It was interesting to learn that Invented during China’s Han Dynasty in 118 BCE, original lightweight bank notes were made of leather. (from above post)
… an early precursor to the money clip is the drafts organizer of ancient Mesopotamia. Although it would be accurate to say that this clip is more closely related in function to a paper clip, it does factor into the money clip’s history by virtue of the items it secured. Back in 323 BCE, a clip would be used to hold notes detailing the storage of grain. The clips prevented loss of papers and helped with the easy distribution of the notes. A similar clip was used in Japan until about 300 CE for notes detailing rice storage.    … Peter Suchy Jewelers blog 
Interestingly, because most money clips are metallic, they are not necessarily as good a deal for travelers today. But …
… Although rare, carbon fiber money clips are starting to see market acceptance. Using advanced moulding techniques, the high strength and durability of carbon fiber make for ideal qualities. The carbon fiber allows the clamping surfaces to open beyond parallel, without the deformation of normal metal money clips. Also, being non-metallic they are ‘scanner proof’ which allows the user to pass through metal detectors without having to remove cash and credit cards.   from Wikipedia
Many guys will recognize the U.S. Army Money Belt which makes it easier and safer to carry money, important papers, etc. Money belts are described in Wikipedia:

Money belts are belts with secret compartments often worn by tourists as a precaution against theft. One form of money belt is a belt with a pouch attached to the front which is worn under a shirt to protect valuables from thieves and/or pickpockets.

Another form appears to be an ordinary belt when worn, but contains one or more hidden pockets on the inside, often closed with a zipper. Money belts are often worn by tourists as a precaution against theft.

Items typically placed in a money belt generally include such things as a passport, travel tickets, driver’s license, credit cards, cash, and jewelry. A significant problem is that scammers, pickpockets, beggars, and the like, know that the presence of a money belt brings a high likelihood of the bearer being a tourist, and therefore a high-value target, bringing more attention upon the wearer than desirable.   from Wikipedia

The most amazing money belt in our shop at Bahoukas Antiques is this 200 years old leather belt shown in the photo. It was from around 1800-1820 and was used by the lady’s great grandfather as he traveled west in a wagon train! WOW!

As you see, we have truly unique items in our store. We look forward to your next visit!

Military Hats – WWI to present day

Do You Remember Wearing Any of These?

military hats - l to r - Kevlar, Army, Navy visor caps, WWI cap

There are those who collect military apparel. But there are those who will have stories to share when they see one of these. Which one might you be?

We have an array of military items that you might want to peruse. But here we have, left to right, a modern Kevlar helmet, an Army visor cap (middle bottom), a Navy visor cap (middle top), and a WWI helmet. Did you ever wonder how Kevlar is so strong and protective. Click on this link to learn “How Kevlar Works.”

Stop in and see this as well as many more very collectible pieces. CLICK THIS LINK to view a great 250 year history of American Army Uniforms from the Business Insider website.

Back to School Fun

Hope your first week was extraordinary!

Heading back to school creates mixed emotions. As parents we see our children growing up way too fast, especially if you’ve just sent them off to college. Our young one’s first day of school is always emotional. Don’t get me wrong, some parents are jumping up and down with glee, while others are teary-eyed and sad. But to school we must go!

collectible character lunch boxes, Dick and Jane Reader, world globe and a beautiful palette of watercolor paints are just a few of the back-to-school items available at Bahoukas Antiques.

To make school days extra special, here are just a few items available in our store that can make it a fun event. Character, collectible lunch boxes, a special Sally, Dick and Jane Reader, a world globe, or even a wonderful palette of watercolors can make returning to school a real treat.

CLICK HERE for some fun facts about the Dick and Jane Readers you might not have known.

Or CLICK HERE for some great ideas for kids to use with the watercolor palette box.

The older world globe is a great way for an older student to learn how much the countries of the world have changed. They can compare the globe to a map of the world on the internet of today!

Of course, collectible lunch boxes are just plain fun. Having a character box that your student will love to open at school lunchtime will remind him/her of how special you think they are.

What would YOU like to give your unique student? Stop by soon and see the possibilities we have waiting for the perfect owner!

70,000 BC and oil lamps are still valuable today

When the power goes out, what do YOU do?

oil - kerosene lamps for home use - one with clear globe - one in orange

The simple oil lamp has a very long history keeping humans safe, working, and comfortable.

After human race first tamed the fire and started to use it as a light source, a need appeared for a smaller, controllable flame – a more sophisticated solution, if you will. First such solution was an oil lamp some 70.000 B.C. Early humans used shells, hollow rocks or any nonflammable material as a container and in it some moss soaked in animal fat which they would ignite and it would burn with a flame.   from History of Oil Lamps

Then in Egypt, Greece, and Rome they began to make the lamps out of man-made materials: terracotta, bronze, stone and alabaster in a shape of a dish that would hold oil and a place for a wick that would prolong burning and prevented the whole surface of the oil to catch fire.

That design stayed the same until the 18th century when Aime Argand, Swiss chemist, invented and patented “Argand Lamp”. His lamp consisted of container for oil as all the other lamps but had cylindrical wick to give larger surface for a larger flame and glass tube chimney around the flame to direct the draft, make a stronger flame and make lamp safer for carrying.    from History of Oil Lamps

Here’s another great link for more details on Aime Argand, the Swiss chemist.

Then in the mid-19th century, kerosene lamps came on to the scene. We still use them today, mostly for ambiance. But, here at Bahoukas Antique Mall we also believe they have utilitarian value. If you’ve endured a nasty winter storm that kept the power off for days or a hurricane that meant battening down the hatches and surviving days without power, you know the value of a kerosene lamp to help you get through the tough times.

But the ordinary oil lamp also shared in the history of our developing country. A simple oil lamp allowed people to stay up later, to work in their barns and sheds, to read in the evening. They were used for signaling in the railroad industry and  to light highways and towns.

railroad, barn and highway oil lamps

On the left is a Pennsylvania Railroad Lantern, 1920s, by Dressel in the U.S.
The middle is a Barn Lantern by Feuerhand of Germany, 1930s.
The Highway Lantern on the right is by Dietz of the U.S., 1930s.

In the days before city lights and GPS, railroad lanterns served a very important purpose: they communicated signals at night between trains and stations. Sometimes, a timely lantern signal meant the difference between life and death. In one romanticized 19th-century story, for example, a 15-year-old girl named Kate Shelley saved the Fast Atlantic Express from a broken bridge by alerting a station agent, whose lantern signal to the train averted disaster.  from Collectors Weekly

So even today, one of our lamps might just make a power outage a bit more comfortable as you wait for your electric to come back on. Stop by today and see what we have available – lots of styles and sizes!

Long Ignored Joy of Linens

Linens Napkins, Tablecloths, Hankies and more

beautiful vintage linens available at Bahoukas

Vintage Linens are beautiful and often real artistry in their making. But, although we now use tissues instead of cloth hankies, there are some wonderful ways to use vintage linens in today’s lifestyle. Check out this blog post: 15 Cute Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens.

Here’s a beautiful close up of the detail on some of the pieces available in our store.

detail of beautiful vintage linens

If you’re wondering how to clean vintage linens, we have two links available, PART 1 and PART 2 from Dell’s Daily Dish blog.

Stop in to Bahoukas Antique Mall and browse for the perfect vintage linens to use or to decorate with. Be sure to check out some of the awesome upcycled items created by Barbara of Green Joy!

Kitchen Utensils Aplenty

Vintage Kitchen Utensils Can Add Pizzazz!

box of vintage kitchen utensils at Bahoukas in Havre de Grace MD

a variety of vintage kitchen utensils in a basket available at BahoukasThey may be older, but many function better than their modern-day counterparts. Even more of them are hard to find.

At Bahoukas, we have a wonderful variety of kitchen utensils and decorative items sure to add both function and interest to your kitchen decor.

Check out this great article of 25 Vintage Kitchen Tools You Don’t See Anymore!

I’m willing to bet that we have most of them. Stop by and check it out.

Old Antique Tools Can Be Your Best Asset

old long handled shovels used for digging telephone pole holes at Bahoukas in MarylandCleaned-Restored Old Tools

… can be some of the best tools you’ll have in your garage, workshop or barn. They are often made better and have stood the test of time. Well-used, they seem to fit perfectly in your hands. Cleaned up, they are truly beautiful.

A variety of old tools useful still today at Bahoukas

At Bahoukas Antique Mall we have a wonderful selection of old tools. We’re sure a couple of them are exactly what you’ve been searching for.

If you’re wondering how to clean them and if you should bother, consider this:

Whenever I head back home to the Midwest to visit my family, my dad and I always schedule at least one afternoon to spend together, scouring local antique stores for beautiful old hand tools. Why? Because, beneath years of dirt and grime, we’ve found files, planes, screwdrivers, and hand-drills that have turned out to be some of our favorite and most-reliable tools in our workshops—all they needed was a bit of cleaning and some basic maintenance to bring them back into good working order. So, if you’ve been collecting old tools but not using them, maybe it’s time to put ’em back to work! This helpful guide to cleaning old tools with common household items that Anne Briggs from Anne of All Trades shared on Craftsy is a great place to start.  _from Makezine

Do you know what a door porter is?

We Know Them As Door Stops

Those heavy, cast iron, painted door stops that you use to hold a door open. With cooler days approaching, turn off your air conditioners and open the door. Let one of these whimsical cast-iron door stops hold the door open for fresh, cool air to circulate through your home or office.

They can be whimsical or historical, but cast-iron doorstops were always functional before air conditioning and central heating. In 18th century England where they originated they were known as “door porters. They were made in America in the early 19th century. Historically, President Andrew Jackson is said to have had figural frog doorstops with the slogan “I croak for the Jackson wagon, “ used during his campaign. _from The Antique Shoppe Florida

Duck, dogs or boats cast-iron doorstops at Bahoukas Antiques in Maryland

In the above photo, the duck is a reproduction. The dogs and the ship “The Constitution” are originals.

After the Civil War when iron casting techniques became more refined doorstops became of a status symbol for the upper class and many subjects from animals to ships became popular. Whatever was trendy at the time was turned into a doorstop. During the 1850s when trading with Japan began figural doorstops were images of Buddha.  _from The Antique Shoppe Florida

Door stops first appeared in England in the late 1700s. Made of cast brass, they were used to help prop open the heavy English doors, allowing air to better circulate through homes. The earliest door stops had wooden handles so they could be easily moved. Handles disappeared in the 19th century; by then, cast iron had replaced brass. Most door stops you’ll find today were likely made in America sometime between the turn of the last century and 1940. They hit their peak of popularity during the 1920s and ’30s.   _from Yankee Magazine

Coca Cola in Havre de Grace

Coca Cola Bottling was a solid economic asset in Havre de Grace

1942 Coca Cola Advertising Tray with woman at driver's wheel of a green convertible car and another woman standing and talking to her.Coca Cola has been a part of the Havre de Grace economy for decades. Here’s a small news clip (3rd column a little more than half-way down the page) from the Midland Journal that describes the plant managed by J. C. Hebditch. The date was November 1, 1940. It reads:

Coca Cola By Hebditch
Adhering to the fine principles of production which make Coca Cola the nation’s outstanding drink, the Coca Cola Bottling works has grown rapidly under the management of J. C. Hebditch, who established the plant 17 years ago (1923). It is located in Havre de Grace, on Juniata St.

The modern plant sterilizes every bottle and distrbutes its products throughout the Harford and Cecil counties, keeping service above par at all times. A call for a case of Coca Cola receives prompt attention, with gas and soda orders also filled on prompt schedule.
-The Midland Journal, Friday, November 1, 1940

Another interesting news clip re: J. C. Hebditch of Havre de Grace Coca Cola Bottling Co.

1950 Coca Cola advertising tray with a red-headed lady drinking a CokeRotarian Offers Land For Swimming Pool HAVRE DE GRACE, Md., Sept. 27, 1944 – from The News Journal from Wilmington, DE – J. C. Hebditch, a soft drink company representative for Maryland, has offered a tract of land on the dual highway opposite the Chesapeake Courts for a swimming pool and also has donated $100 toward the $2,000 needed for the civic enterprise. The Havre de Grace Rotary Club, of which Mr. Hebditch is a member, will sponsor the project and has agreed to return all money donations if the pool is not built within eight months after the goal has been reached.

Special Edition Coca Cola Barbie Doll still in box, 1997, Red top, denim vest, red and white checked slacks with various Coca Cola itemsClick here for some fun history from the World of Coca Cola website.

Are you a collector? You might want to check out this page from Coke’s Website!

A Planter is not ALWAYS a Planter!

Create a Perfect Home Decorating Piece with
Fun and Beautiful Ceramic Planters!

Beautiful ceramic planters of all shapes and sizes available at Bahoukas Antiques in Havre de Grace Maryland

You’ve seen them – the little lambs and chickens, giraffes and bears, baby items and puppies, and so much more. These delightful ceramic planters can be used for many other things than plants. Although, a cute grouping of perfect little plants in these ceramic planters would be awesome. But consider using them to hold a variety of items: business cards, pencils, crayons or colored pencils, paint brushes or pens, toothpicks and cotton swabs. They can be functional and beautiful and most definitely put a little flair in any room! Go ahead, let your creative side show!

There are some really fun ways to enjoy the colorful ceramic planters of yesterday. Visit this Pinterest page for a few of them. Then stop in at Bahoukas to pick out 3 or 4 or 5 for your latest decorating idea. And don’t forget, in a week or two the kids go back to school… then it’s a slippery slide to the holidays and gift giving. You could have a lot of fun with a project using a few of our beautiful ceramic planters. Stop in soon!

Eye Cup or Eye Bath Glass

You may need these today after you enjoy the Eclipse!

eye cup or eye bath glass to refresh your eyes after the eclipse - from Bahoukas in Havre de Grace Maryland

glass eye cups or eye baths date back into the 19th century in the United States, and aluminum examples appeared early in the 20th century. Through the years there have been several devices used to install liquid eye medicines into the eyes for irrigation or treatment, but for use by the patient, the eye cup or eye bath were most popular until eye drops were developed using a screw-capped top provided with a plastic collar and a rubber unit carrying a glass dropper and a rubber teat. To use the eye cup, the patient applied it to the eye with the head bowed forward, threw the head back with the eye open, ensured lavage of the eye by blinking several times and then removed the cup with the head once more bowed forward.     … Dr. Richard Cannon

Of course you know that you DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN during today’s eclipse! If you do, then you obviously have not been connected to any media in the past couple months!

These very collectible eye cups can be used as easily today as they were used in the 19th century. A warm eye wash will relieve irritated eyes tired from reading, watching too much tv, or working on your computer. A wash can also be used to quickly remove irritating or hazardous chemicals in the eye. Naturally, we recommend that you consult with a doctor or other medical establishment. But the eye cup easily fits around the outside of the eye. When you tilt your head back, the refreshing wash easily works by just blinking your eye a few times.

If you need one of these great items, stop in today. If you just like the look of these little cups, they can be added to a collection, used for a tiny flower, or even in a shadow box. Stop in we’ll be open all day!

Printer’s Trays – yesterday and today

Did you ever wonder why there are so many layouts of printer’s trays?

Old printer's trays often used for shadow boxes today, available at Bahoukas in Havre de Grace MD

These amazing vintage printer’s trays are sturdy and beautiful pieces of wood in their own right. Today they are often used for shadow boxes where folks put a variety of ‘collectibles’ in them and usually hang them on the wall. We might add it’s a great way to keep those smaller collectibles together and add a beautiful display piece to your home or office.

But are you aware that they were used to hold the letters for the old letterpress. Well, we say ‘old’ with the exception that Letterpress has become popular again. Just ask Glyph’s in Havre de Grace. Beautiful cards, stationary, and posters are being created today using the Letterpress.

But have you ever wondered why there are so many different layouts. CLICK HERE for some history and also CLICK HERE to read a bit of how they’re being used with a Letterpress today.

Here’s a beautiful assortment of ways to use the old printer’s trays in Pinterest. Gorgeous. Do a search and you’ll thousands of ways to use these old printer’s trays. Enjoy!

When you discover items at Bahoukas Antique Mall, ask George about it. He always has a few tips about the amazing collectibles in his shop.

Mixing Bowls Survive the Test of Time

Mixing Bowls and Kitchen Utensils at Bahoukas Antique Mall

mixing bowls and utensils can be discovered at Bahoukas Antiques in Havre de Grace, Maryland

Do you remember licking the wooden spoon after your mom or grandmom poured the cake batter into the baking pans? Did you clean the bowl of mashed potatoes before washing it following the family Sunday dinner? mmmMMMMmmmmm Doesn’t the thought of it bring a smile to your face?

mixing bowls at Bahoukas in Maryland

In this article the author shares the amazing history of the common mixing bowl in the U.K. that still thrives today, offering memories for (hopefully) generations to follow. In America we see the ‘mixing bowl’ in old movies of the west right up through television shows today! Collectors Weekly offers this wonderful article on the diversity of the mixing bowl that still remains.

Of course, besides the variety of selection we have at Bahoukas, we encourage you to visit Jo Retro, just across the street. offering authentic, affordable vintage from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Love Pyrex! Yep – they have lots.

 

In addition, here at Bahoukas, we have a wonderful selection of kitchen utensils scattered throughout the store. Before you buy new, check out our supply to see if you can recycle and upcycle an item from Bahoukas. It’s fun to search the store for the right item. It’s keeping items out of landfills. It’s supporting a local shop. But most importantly, you’re getting great quality at a decent price and have a ‘conversation piece’ to talk about as well! Enjoy!

Stop by Bahoukas soon and browse the shop. Give yourself time to search for your treasure!

 

Play Marbles with the Kids

When did you last play a game of Marbles!

Wonderful selection of marbles available at Bahoukas Antiques in Havre de Grace Maryland

Don’t remember how … or maybe just want to learn. CLICK HERE for the basics! Above is a wonderful selection that includes shooters, cat eyes and clear slag glass. We also have a much sought after collection of clay marbles.

Big Marbles including Bennington and End of Day at Bahoukas Antiques in Maryland

 

Above you’ll find the big marbles – shooters! The blue ones are Bennington, others are End of Day. So many choices!

Round dish of shooter marbles at Bahoukas in Havre de Grace

This round tray of different shooters will entice any lover of marbles. Stop by and get your selection. Start sharing a fun game with your kids that requires no electricity or batteries. It does require thumbs!

If you need a refresher, here’s a glossary of terms. ENJOY!

There are plenty more choices available at Bahoukas Antique Mall in Havre de Grace, Maryland. We’ll be waiting to show them to you! Stop by soon!

Beautiful Decoys in All Sizes

Bahoukas Antiques in Havre de Grace, Maryland brings a wonderful variety of decoys to you!

decoys in all sizes available at Bahoukas Antiques in Havre de Grace, Maryland

Decoys are beautiful. They can be simple and primitive or amazingly artistic! Here, at Bahoukas, we have a wonderful variety of decoys to match every budget and every style. Stop by and see them for yourself. From miniatures to very collectible full-size decoys, we would love to show you our selection. Stop in soon!

Pie Birds?

Tis the season for making some great pies!

Do you have a pie bird to vent your pies? Have you seen this singing bird-choir and wondered what that’s all about? Maybe you thought they were waiting for ‘mommy to drop them a worm’!

singing pie birds at Bahoukas in Maryland

Oh, don’t know what they are? Check this out:

pie birdpie ventpie whistlepie funnel, or pie chimney is a hollow ceramic device, originating in Europe, shaped like a funnel, chimney, or upstretched bird with open beak used for supporting or venting a pie.   … from Wikipedia

pie birds at Bahoukas Antiques in Havre de Grace, Maryland

A little more detail of these little pie birds. They stand a couple inches tall. Some folks like collecting them.

Pie funnels were used to prevent pie filling from boiling up and leaking through the crust by allowing steam to escape from inside the pie. They also supported the pastry crust in the center of the pie, so that it did not sag in the middle, and are occasionally known as “crustholders”. Older ovens had more problems with uniform heating, and the pie bird prevented boil-over in pie cooking.

The traditional inverted funnels, with arches on the bottom for steam to enter, were followed by ceramic birds; and from the 1940s they have been produced in a multitude of designs. This trend has been particularly noticeable in recent times, due to their increasing popularity as gifts and collectors’ items rather than simply utilitarian kitchen tools.    … from Wikipedia

Want a more recent reference to using pie birds? Click here for a video with MARTHA STEWART!