Question: Years ago, my great-grandfather was given a handsome pocket watch by a friend whose late husband had owned it. It is silver, 2 inches in diameter and is attached to an oval shape watch fob decorated with a “Red Goose Shoes” logo on one side and “Friedman Shelby All Leather Shoes” printed on the other side. The watch is in very good condition and runs perfectly. Anything you can tell me about it, including possible value, is appreciated. — M.F., Brigantine
Answer: Founded in St. Louis, Missouri, as Gieseke-D’oerch-Hayes, the firm that later became the Red Goose Shoe Company originally sold shoes to pioneer families who were traveling west.
After the company’s attendance at the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair, where stock boys painted a red goose on its cartons, Red Goose Co. owners liked the idea and trademarked it in 1906.
During the early 1900s, Red Goose Shoe merged with Friedman Shelby All Leather Shoes, a partnership that remained until the mid-20th century when the Red Goose line was discontinued.
Your 1927 ornate pentagonal silver-over-brass case pocket watch and fob set was made by the New Haven Clock and Watch Co. located in Connecticut from 1853 to 1946. It is an interesting, scarce advertising piece that many of today’s collectors are delighted to come across, especially when the watch is in fine, working condition.
This year, a perfect New Haven pocket watch with an enamel Red Goose watch fob fetched $790.
Question: I was very interested in your recent column about the Campbell’s Soup dress and hope you can tell me something about a Campbell’s Soup metal lunchbox and thermos that belonged to my late brother when he was a kid. It is dome-shaped, colored and looks like a real loaf of sliced bread, 9 inches wide, 7 inches high and 4 inches deep.
The thermos that came with it looks like a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. My brother received the set as a Christmas gift from our grandparents. It was so unusual our mother placed it on his bedroom book shelf, and he was not allowed to use it as a school lunch box. I am curious about the lunchbox’s maker, and if it presently has any collectible value. — H.D., North Wildwood
Answer: You have described the Campbell’s Soup “Bread Box Dome Top” lunchbox paired with a Campbell’s soup thermos. Offered by the Campbell’s Soup Company in the late 1950s and 1960s, the lunchbox’s raised, lifelike sliced loaf of bread design was a product of Aladdin Industries, a maker and vendor of kerosene lamps, stoves, thermal storage containers and eventually school lunch boxes.
Founded in 1908 in Chicago by Victor S. Johnson Sr., and initially incorporated as the Mantle Lamp Co., Aladdin was made a subsidiary of Mantle Lamp Co. in 1914.
By 1917, Aladdin introduced its first thermal-ware jars and initiated a line of heat and cold retaining dishes that were popular for decades. The firm’s first licensed character decoration on metal dome-top lunch boxes appeared in the 1940s following a move to Nashville, Tennessee. Aladdin was the leader in lunch box production and remained so for 30 years.
Sold in grocery stores throughout America, popular character images that decorated Aladdin lunch boxes included Hopalong Cassidy, Mickey Mouse and the Jetsons. Aladdin’s factory closed in 2002, following its purchase by Pacific Market International.
Recently, a 1968 Campbell’s Soup metal dome-top design bread lunch box in near-mint condition with matching thermos sold for $85. Prices paid for other dome-top favorite subjects made during the 1950s and 1960s include a Hogan’s Heroes one that brought $506, a Lost in Space for $445, Bozo the Clown for $227, Jetsons for $182, School Bus for $84 and a U.S. Mail for $78.
Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Living section, The Press of Atlantic City, 1000 W. Washington Ave., Pleasantville, NJ 08232. Email: treasuresby firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.