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Collins display at 1876 Centennial and 1976 Bicentennial

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Steve Tall, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    At the suggestion of "Old Axeman" (Bernie Weisgerber), I've started a new thread about the big exhibit that Collins & Co. had at the 1876 Centennial Exposition (at Philadelphia) which was later displayed for the 1976 Bicentennial at the Smithsonian.

    This post has a recap of the conversation so far, with additional information to come in later posts.

     
    Yankee Josh, Drum4fun and Miller '72 like this.
  2. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    The Smithsonian (in Washington DC) had an exhibition titled "1876: A Centennial Exhibition" which opened during the Bicentennial year (on May 11, 1976) and remained on display for 20 years (until August 10, 1996).


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    1876: A Centennial Exhibition
    May 11, 1976 – August 10, 1996

    Arts and Industries Building
    900 Jefferson Drive, SW
    Washington, DC

    Location: Entire First Floor (except South Hall)

    See materials acquired from the nation's 1876 Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, which recapture the atmosphere and spirit of the original Exposition. Many of the same types of objects are on view, as well as some which were originally displayed in 1876.


    from http://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/Details/1876-A-Centennial-Exhibition-1317
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  3. RICKOFF

    RICKOFF

    372
    Jun 2, 2009
    Thanks Steve, having grown up in Philadelphia I am very familiar with that building as a child it was known as Horticultural Hall in Fairmount Park a most impressive building and still there.
     
  4. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    In a book published in 1877, titled "Souvenir of the Centennial Exhibition" (by G.D. Curtis), there appears the following description of the Collins & Co. exhibit:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Text version:

    The exhibit of the famous Collins Company of Hartford and Collinsville in the Main Building was an attractive one, although the first thought would be that no arrangement of axes hatchets picks shovels etc could be made that would be pleasing to the eye. But the company proved otherwise and their spacious show cases radiant with plate glass held glittering designs formed with polished axes hatchets machetes knives etc arranged in circles or otherwise ornamental. These articles are known and used the world over in every section of North America. The Collins Company's trade mark is the only guarantee required by a purchaser. The settler of Australia swings a Collins Company axe and the Brazilian clears a path through his native jungles with one of its heavy machetes. As an illustration of the extent of their manufactures it may be stated that nearly five hundred styles of machetes are made. Such is also the case with axes plows and other implements for a design that will sell in one section or to one nation would not be accorded even the compliment of a trial test in another if its shape was unsatisfactory. Hence the great variety of articles manufactured the exhibit of which at Philadelphia gave a good idea of the capacity and extensive trade of the firm.

    [​IMG]
    https://libwww.freelibrary.org/CenCol/Details.cfm?ItemNo=c020842
     
  5. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    I would have loved to see that.
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  6. phantomknives

    phantomknives

    Mar 31, 2016
    i regret not knowing about this
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  7. C&Co. Legitimus

    C&Co. Legitimus Gold Member Gold Member

    50
    Jul 12, 2018
    Steve Tall thank you for the information on the thread. I’m still trying to figure out how this forum thing works. As stated in my first post. I live close to the old Collins Co. and have the 1876 collection. I would like to hear from anyone that has Collins items they believe come from that exhibition. I have the original Smithsonian list along with the correspondence letters. I am looking for other Collins items to add to my collection. I’m more into knifes, sword, machetes, signs, catalogs, one of a kind items, advertisement and John Brown Pikes. Other makers like Upson, Hart and Pond knifes. Unionville CT manufacturing companies.
     
  8. Old Axeman

    Old Axeman

    502
    Jan 10, 2015
    I don't know if anyone else here was lucky enough to have seen in person the 1876 Centennial Exhibition that the Smithsonian used from 1976 until 1996 for the Bicentennial exhibit.
    C&Co.Legitimus, I have to ask, how did you come to acquire this fabulous exhibit? I thought the Smithsonian kept all their exhibits in perpetuity?
     
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  9. Miller '72

    Miller '72

    Jul 25, 2017
    Not a simple task surely...I would love to know how you were able to acquire the exhibit, any exhibit, from the Smithsonian.
    As a neighbor myself, grew up and still live but 20 minutes from Collinsville, I am most interested in learning more of the centennial exhibit, possibly if you would consider perhaps, to allow a viewing.

    -Miller
     
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  10. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Viewing! Viewing! Viewing!*



    *crowd chanting.
     
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  11. C&Co. Legitimus

    C&Co. Legitimus Gold Member Gold Member

    50
    Jul 12, 2018
     
  12. C&Co. Legitimus

    C&Co. Legitimus Gold Member Gold Member

    50
    Jul 12, 2018
    Forgive me if I post in the wrong area I’m still trying to figure out how forums work in general. As for the collection it was on loan to the Smithsonian and was returned. I have all the paperwork to show it’s provenance and remember it was originally put together for 1876 but went back again in 1976-on then returned. Sounds like that’s when you saw it last?
     
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  13. C&Co. Legitimus

    C&Co. Legitimus Gold Member Gold Member

    50
    Jul 12, 2018
    Remember it’s not in the display cases like when in the Smithsonian. Lol I wish. I’ve been thinking about building it but man that was one big @ss display. Remember The Smithsonian ships things in crates just like you see in the movies. I’m off to work. I’ll try to reply throughout the day.
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  14. C&Co. Legitimus

    C&Co. Legitimus Gold Member Gold Member

    50
    Jul 12, 2018
     
  15. Miller '72

    Miller '72

    Jul 25, 2017
    I would be excited just to see the crates lol!
    I think we should grab a coffee or better yet a beer at The Crown & Hammer

    -Miller

    A Collins Connie Nut :cool:
     
  16. C&Co. Legitimus

    C&Co. Legitimus Gold Member Gold Member

    50
    Jul 12, 2018
    How do you post a pic from your own photos?
     
  17. Miller '72

    Miller '72

    Jul 25, 2017
    You can try using this image hosting site to post pics.

    postimages.org
     
  18. C&Co. Legitimus

    C&Co. Legitimus Gold Member Gold Member

    50
    Jul 12, 2018
    Cool. I’m typically up there on the weekends or driving through on my Harley. I’m obviously looking for buyers but I’m really interested in why or how people got hooked on Collins? Is there a favorite axe you collect or are looking for?
     
  19. Miller '72

    Miller '72

    Jul 25, 2017
    When did you acquire the centennial exhibit?
    Did you obtain it complete, minus the cases?

    As I understand you are now looking for buyers to sell off the pieces of that collection/exhibit you no longer want to keep?

    I like all axes, hatchets, traditional hand tools.
    I do have a collecting bug for CT made connie patterns, Collins and Roger's of course, but New England made and other CT made axes (Connie's always) are as high on my list.
     
  20. junkenstien

    junkenstien

    531
    Feb 15, 2017
    Be a shame to break it up,hope you try to sell it whole first
     

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