Happy Monday and welcome back to the American Treasure Tour blog after what we hope was a wonderful weekend spent with family and friends. Displayed throughout the Toy Box here at the ATT are many, many nostalgic tin advertisements harkening back to the "good ol' days" before stainless steel and fiberglass were big sellers. In fact, today we are going to talk a bit about one of the items that was created to reduce the risk of rust - a big problem if you owned something that was exposed to rust. Like a car. Or a boat. Or just about anything.
Robert Fergusson was a sea captain and fisherman who owned his own ship. Like many other ship owners, rust was a big problem, one he had to make sure did not get out of hand; otherwise, he would be in deep water, quite literally. Aware of the rust that ate away at his metal hull, Fergusson realized that places on the boat where the naturally-produced oil from fish caught at sea created a protective surface on the metal. (He incorporated whale oil in his production until that was banned. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 has served to protect whales in the United States. Very few countries around the world still permit the exploitation of whales.) Fergusson saw the potential for his rust preventative and devoted the next few years of his life to creating a protective coating that he patented in 1921 and called Rust-Oleum. Rust-Oleum was a family-run business until 1994. And, of course, it can be used on practically anything today, from boats to cars to lawn mowers.
QUESTION: On which of the following would you NOT use Rust-Oleum for protection?
B) Lawn Furniture
C) Kitchen Cabinets
D) House Cats
BAD DECISIONS. Okay. We know that people sometimes make very poor decisions. It's a part of being human. But we can argue that one of the stupidest decisions ever made by residents of the United States of America was, well, abandoning the United States of America. This country is not perfect - as the political debates of the last few months have certainly shown us - but it is still a great place to live. So why abandon it? Well, South Carolina did on this day in 1860. Just before Christmas, they decided they could not tolerate the potential that the incumbent president, Abraham Lincoln, might potentially one day do something to challenge the institution of slavery. So, they abandoned their country by seceding. Soon enough, they would get neighboring southern states to join them in one of the greatest acts of - can we call it stupidity? - in American history. To follow, the Civil War.
SKAGGS MAN! Born on this day in 1944 was Jimmie F. Skaggs. The Ohio native never became a headliner for a film, but he became quite prolific during the 1990's, mostly portraying bartenders, homeless people, and practically anything else they could think of. The one thing he rarely got to show off was his talent as a dancer, prior to his death at the age of 59 from lung cancer.
QUOTE: People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy. - Anton Chekhov.
ANSWER: We REALLY hope you don't need to read the answer to this one. But it is C) Kitchen Cabinets. Wait, no! We meant to say D) House Cats. Please do NOT use Rust-Oleum on your cats. That would be very, very, very bad.