Yesteryear’s ice cream parlor stool

These wood-topped stools once likely sat at an ice cream parlot. I use them to display various items.

Many years ago, I found this little cutie — a twisted iron or wire vintage ice cream parlor stool that was used at the fountain or counter. These were used in older drug stores or five and dime stores at the soda fountain counter. I can just see people sitting on these stools while drinking their sodas at the fountain many years ago.

I have seen the beautiful wood-topped ice cream tables and chairs with the twisted iron legs. Some are even copper, finished with a bit of a pattern in the iron legs and feet only. Beautiful oak wooden tops were usually used on the tables and the seats of the chairs and stools. There was also all metal tops and seats. Many were made by the Chicago Wire Chair Company. From what I can gather, these were likely made in the late 1800s to the early 1900s when the company was in business. It is always fun to find a full set of table and chairs, with the same finishes and twisted wire patterns. Many times we will find a single or loan stool or a chair, and they do make wonderful little additions to any room in the house. I have this one in my main hall way by the front door. I use it mainly as a place to put a flowering plant and it sits underneath one of my favorite pictures. Naturally, I have an under plate for my plant and even a vintage lace and crocheted doily. I want to maintain the wooden top in its original finish so I am pretty careful what I put on top of it.

If you have a full round table and four chairs set, they can be used most anywhere in your home or on the patio. It’s nice to have one handy out on the patio for you to sit and enjoy a nice warm day while drinking a favorite cup of tea or coffee. I always think about the “adventures” these sets may have had. Just think of the families who have sat around a parlor table and visited during an afternoon chat or maybe in a pool hall while playing a game of pool or darts … or maybe even an actual ice cream parlor where you could pick and choose your favorite malt or shake — or maybe even a hot fudge sundae. Yum. It’s making me very hungry right now. But I better continue with the story of these twisted iron stools instead of so much talking about ice cream and such.

These taller stools can be used at your high countertops as seating for your kitchen areas — or as a prime place to display other soda fountain items. Not only do we find these soda fountain seats and tables, but it is fun to watch for the hot fudge dispensers or the beautiful tall glass jars that used to contain marshmallow creme in them, even with a special dipper for the jar. Ice cream parlor items of any kind — especially signs displaying the different sundaes for sale or a new and different sandwich or maybe a new flavored malt — are a fun find. So many things today are quite collectible for those who love the advertising part of collecting or the furniture.

Naturally, it is always better to find items in their original condition, but sometimes you just have to take a chance on something that is in rough or very used condition. Especially if it is something rather hard to find then grab it when you find it and treasure it — have it redone if need be or lightly restored.

I remember going to a number of antique shows at the malls or large fairground sites years ago I even tried doing a few at one time, but they are hard work and takes up most of your weekends for sure. And this past weekend was a big antique explosion of junk, treasures, furniture and everything else imaginable all over the state of Nebraska. I could not go this year, but in earlier years it was always fun. Then I get to hear all the fun stories about the neat items that were found by my class members and antiquing friends. It’s always fun to see what they bring home and makes me wish I had gone with them.

Please remember about the antique shops in your local neighborhoods — give them a visit and see what new finds they have brought in to the shops in the last few weeks. Also, please do not forget about my “What’s It Worth” antique classes at the Wild Bill’s, 1100 S. Jeffers St., here in North Platte. Give me a call at 308-530-4572 if you need more information about the classes. Everyone is welcome to visit — we get to see everything from vintage jewelry and purses to smaller pieces of furniture and prints, dishes, silverware, tools, oriental items, and the list goes on and on. Put the class on your calendar: from 5 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday.

Take care everyone — and keep your eye out for those one of a kind items that you have never ever seen before and makes you so anxious to show it to us all.

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