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Author Archives: Hepcat Restorations

Happy Memorial Day

To all those who have served and sacrificed. Today, we choose to remember you. This country is only great because of what you have done. The brave men and women who serve today will continue this legacy.  

Glamourpuss Pin-up Studio meets Hepcat Restorations


The Glamourpuss team is made up of Eva the owner/photographer, Julieta the make up artist and Felicia the hair stylist. Eva does such a fantastic job with the poses and lighting effects. Julieta does such an amazing job enhancing beauty with her makeup techniques. Felicia is able to do such fantastic hair styles. Together, they are able to create such a cool and finished image that is breathtaking. Each one of these ladies are so talented, supportive and kind.


Mel and I had the fantastic fortune of meeting Eva, owner of Glamourpuss Pin-up Studios. We were introduced through a mutual friend named Donny, owner of Donnyo Antiques. Glamourpuss came out and used our house for a photo shoot a couple weeks ago. What Mel and I love most about them is their mission: increasing women’s self-esteem/self-acceptance/body confidence one pin-up photo shoot at a time.


As a favor for them using our home as a backdrop for their shoot, Eva took some great images of our home.


 Eva is hard at work editing the photos of the ladies who were shot. Once she is done, we will post them so you can see how great these ladies turned out.


Eva used a lot of color filters to achieve the lighting you see in the tiki room.

Below are some living room shots.



The Seeburg and Moss lamp never looked so good.


Above, you can see some of our Gay Fad barware.




Love those Heifetz Rotoflex lights.




This is in the entry way to our home.


Here is our guest bedroom with the curtains our friend Tracy, owner of m.a.r.k. vintage made. We bought some vintage barkcloth that Tracy offered to sew for us. She saved our bacon!



Below is a shot of our office.


It was refreshing to have some many people from the vintage community partner on this project.  Thanks to all who had a hand in making this happen!

1952 Dolly Toy Cowboy & Indian Wall Plaques


I have seen these wall plaques over the years of our collecting and always thought the imagery is so 50’s! I knew I wanted to collect a few pieces to place in some areas in our laundry room, we kind of have a western theme going on in that small room.


I was surprised that there wasn’t any info on the artist Phil Riley online. His pieces have a Disney feel to them so it would not surprise me in the least to find out he was a cartoonist for Walt Disney.


 I am known for filling all areas on a wall with artwork and 50’s imagery. I knew these wall plaques will fill in areas that were void of visual appeal.


These have been placed on the small area above our washer and dryer.


I love the story that all the Dolly Toy pin ups tell. There is a lot of expression and vibrant colors. I know these were for kids rooms and nurseries but I can’t stop myself from wanting to use them in other applications.


These were placed on the empty wall to the left of the door to the laundry room.


Most of the pieces have the year they were manufactured on them.


Here are the other western theme pieces they released. I plan to try and acquire all the western ones if possible.


As you can see they had a lot of different ones that you could adorn the walls of your kids room with. I guess you could say these predate “fathead” wall pieces.

History of Dolly Toy Company


Dolly Toy has closed its doors. Its name and its products, nursery furnishings called Mother Goose Pin-Ups, were unique in the marketplace and their name was known across the country. H.B. Holtvoight started Dolly Toy in Dayton in 1923 as The Dolly Folding Kite Company. He was later joined in the business by his sons, Hubert G. Sr. and John, as well as his daughter, Mildred.

il_570xN.719967141_2gz6 However, the kite business didn’t prosper, so in trying to bolster profits the company started making toys out of laminated box board. These toys proved successful and in 1929 the business became The Dolly Folding Kite and Toy Company.


Worthy of note is that during the Great Depression there were more than 30 toy and novelty manufacturers in Dayton, but only Dolly Folding Kite and Toy survived the era to continue business.

$_57-9In 1936 the company acquired the property for $6,000 at 245 North Fourth Street from the Tippecanoe Knitting Mill, a subsidiary of Atlas Underwear, which had moved to Piqua. By this time the product lines at Dolly Kite and Toy had expanded to include seasonal novelties for Easter and Halloween.


While many small towns were dying because of the poor economy during The Depression, Tippecanoe was on the move. Dolly Folding Kite and Toy was only one of several companies to start businesses at that time. Joining it were Sun Glow Industries, the New Tipp Theater, the White Mountain Creamery and several one-man stores. Expansions were completed to The International Flare Company and to The Sun Glow Furniture factory. Also opening were a welding shop, a watch and clock shop and a law office along with much growth in housing construction.


As World War II approached, Dolly Kite and Toy began producing various military components out of laminated box board while expanding into Christmas and Easter novelties that had traditionally come from Japan. Prior to the late 1930’s these novelties had been produced exclusively in Germany, then in Japan, but now the United States was the primary supplier.


In 1942 John Holvoight spoke about the problems of meeting the growing demand for their products. One Dolly Kite and Toy order was for a total of $43,000, all in 3 cent and 5 cent items!

$_57-7At the end of World War II one of Dolly’s artists, Phil Riley, designed a new kind of wall decoration for nurseries and children’s rooms, and the popular Mother Goose Pin-Ups were born!!!


Dolly Toy patented the idea and began selling a small number of the Pin-Ups in department stores in 1948. As repeat orders came in they expanded production. Seeing their success, competitors tried to copy the idea and undersell with a similar product, but Dolly Toy initiated a law suit, which they won, and all opoohlampther items were withdrawn from the market.


Later a costumer line called Tidee-Ups was added, followed by nursery lamps in 1958 and crib mobiles in 1963. Tidee-Ups are decorative pegs for hanging up clothes. Business continued to grow so the factory was expanded in 1947 and, with continued growth, a new warehouse was built in 1950. The company name was officially changed to The Dolly Toy Company in 1951. By 1964 the company had surpassed the million dollar mark in sales of nursery accessories. Two more expansions followed in 1967 and 1968.


Along with the Pin-ups and mobiles, the company also made over 500,000 toy houses in 1952 – small Toyland villages designed to go under Christmas trees, on fireplace mantles or in store windows. Several years before they had produced over a million such villages, but the toy business was fickle and the demand varied each year. Additional sets in the Christmas village line had slots in the back for small Christmas lights that glowed through the transparent windows of the houses and churches. This line, designed by John Holvoight, treasurer of the company, also included small evergreen trees and snow bases made of Styrofoam.


Carl Moser, the plant manager in 1952, reported that some of the problems producing these seasonal items included competition from foreign countries with lower worker wages and with the high freight costs in the United States. Dolly Toy had to pay a double first class rate to ship because while each box of toys took up space in the box car, it weighed very little.


Moser said, “This puts a lot of pressure on the profits from a 15 cent item. Profits are slightly better on the higher priced 29 and 69 cent items in the same category.” Moser ended this 1952 interview by saying, “All items aren’t sold in the millions and profits can be small with the $1.25 an hour assembly line labor cost and the high freight rates (here in the U.S.), you never know in the toy business what tomorrow will bring.”


What tomorrow brought to Dolly Toy was the closing of its doors this year. The company will be missed. Dolly Toy Pin-Ups, lamps and other nursery accessories will soon be considered collectible antiques.






1950’s Big Boy Barbecue Restoration



Mel and I picked up this Big Boy BBQ back in March of 2014. I knew it was time to drag it out of mothballs and get it ready for the grilling season.


I wanted a smaller BBQ than our GE Partio Cart for when I feel like just grilling something quickly.


The first step was to disassemble the BBQ.

This BBQ appeared to have been painted with a paint brush. Unfortunately, who ever painted did not do a very good job.


As you can see this grill had lots of surface rust and peeling paint.


No time like the moment! I jumped right in and started sanding. I noticed a lot of surface rust under the old paint.


On areas where the paint was difficult to get to I used a scraper.


After hours and hours of sanding and scraping it was ready to be painted.


I am proud to present our newly restored 1950’s Big Boy Barbeque!


I tried to add accents of red to offset all the silver paint.


The rims were originally silver but I think the red makes them pop!


This is where the coals go. This tray was incredibly rusted but after lots of sanding it looks like new.


To adjust the heat of this grill you raise and lower the coals by moving this red handle up the graduated adjuster.


With the help of my step-father Dave, we were able to cut out new side tables and apply new Formica to them so they are like new.


I had to order a new rotisserie motor for the grill. The one that came with it is toast. I was fortunate that I found an original NOS Big Boy BBQ rotisserie motor on eBay!


Now that it is all done, I can rest my arthritic hands. I can see the benefits of a sand blaster!


I am very pleased with it’s restoration.


Now I have a reason to break out all of our vintage BBQ utensils!

Amazing Bar with Frederick Weinberg Stools


As usual, I was cruising Craigslist and came across this set last night. I noticed it had been on Craigslist for a couple days, and I thought I would just check to see if they still had it.


I assumed since it had been on there for two days that someone would have snatched it. We got a call this morning from the owner who stated she still had it. We jumped in the car and shot on over.


The thing that drew us to this bar are the cut outs in the front. The owner said it used to have colored plexiglass that was lit from behind. She said it was amazing when it was lit.


This bar will need a 100 point restoration. Since the Formica is chipped, I plan to redo the formica in black. That will go better with the animal print vinyl instead of the faux marble top.


I also plan to replace the silverfish finish on the foot rest area with black formica.


I might have to reinforce the bottom as well.


The shelf is at an angle so the alcohol labels can face up towards you, cool idea!


This bar has this cool little ornament on the front with a small chain draped across the front.


I am pretty sure these are Frederick Weinberg from what I could research online.


These stools don’t match the bar very well with the animal pattern they have on them now. I will try to find a similar cheetah pattern to recover the seats in.


This bar and stool set is now my next project. I am excited to see how it turns out. We have a bar in our living room that will be put into the shop since we snagged this one.


We try to upgrade our collection as we go along. This bar will make someone very happy, I am sure. It has served us well. Below are the bars we have owned over the years.


This swanky diamond bar was so cool with it’s two tier top. It had such an atomic feel to it. This is now sold.


This bar is the ultra rare Expando bar. We sold it recently to a lady in L.A. She was so pleased to get it.


We sold this 1963 Tropical Sun Company tiki bar at our grand opening, it sold in less than an hour!


This Art Deco bar was fantastic! It reminded us of an early jukebox because of how the front corners lighted up when the door was opened. This is now sold.


This wrap round bamboo bar didn’t last long in our booth. It has such cool simplicity too it.


This aqua bar was so awesome. We drove all the way to Fresno to get it. Now it is in someones home being enjoyed!


This is just a swanky 70’s bar. It’s now sold.


This tiki bar has already sold. We think it might have been a Paul Frankl, but we could not substantiate it’s pedigree.


This Tiki bar is currently in the process of being restored and will be in our shop sometime soon.


Here is the grand server that we still own and use today!


This is the first bar we ever bought and restored. We purchased this one in the early 2000’s (sorry for quality of picture).


Of course our beloved and rare Witco Tahiti Bar that we will be buried with, ha ha. We think a bar is a necessary piece to have in a home for entertaining. We think society needs more reasons to socialize with neighbors and friends, and what a better way to do it than sipping a drink at your own bar.

Carlo of Hollywood Stallion Partner


As you may be aware, we’re major collectors of Carlo of Hollywood watercolors.  One of our favorite pieces is our large Stallion watercolor.


This is one of the two smaller ones that would have been part of this 3 piece set. When Carlo watercolor paintings were sold, they were usually in pairs or sets of three. In the case of this stallion set, there is one large one and two smaller ones. Usually, one of the smaller ones would be almost a duplicate of the larger one.


This one has some character, but it may just be dirt under the glass. I’ll have to take it apart and clean it up!


We just love the bold imagery of these pieces.  We of course, love the forced perspective/angular frames.


We decided to hang them above our fireplace.


Hopefully, one day we’ll locate the other smaller Carlo.


As always, we hope to enjoy these for years to come.

Large 1951 Tropical Reglor Lamps



Upon review of our blog, I noticed that I forgot to show the resto on our 1951 Reglor lamps. Sometimes I get too caught up restoring that I forget to blog about the restorations I complete. Below is a before and after of these. I used the same restoration process I have used on other chalkware pieces.


As you can see, they are not in terrible condition, but there is some damage and years of filth built up on the surface.


The female lamp had damage to her waist down to the metal wire.


Here is the repair and repaint of the damage to her waist.


I am pleased how these have been freshened up.


She looks like new now!


I don’t think these are the original Reglor shades, but they work.


On to the next resto!


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