• Why Would Anyone Collect Nazi? When we started inviting people to post items from their collections on Show & Tell, we knew that sooner or later we'd be faced with a Nazi swastika. At first, we simply followed the lead of eBay and deleted anything with a Nazi swastika on it that was not a coin or a stamp. But then we noticed that the handful of people who were uploading these World War II medals, helmets, and badges appeare…
  • From World War II Parachute to the World's Most Romantic Wedding Dress Apparently there's a small wedding in England this week. While we're sure that Kate Middleton's wedding dress will be a fashion tour de force, we're also sure that it can't possibly be as romantic as this one, which is from the collection of the Smithsonian. Here's their description: "This wedding dress was made from a nylon parachute that saved the groom's life during World War II. Maj. Claude…
  • Yard Sale Treasure: A Rare Flight Jacket On one sunny California morning, my sister-in-law called from a garage sale, thinking I’d be be interested in a bunch of old license plates and possibly a typewriter. I wasn't too excited about the typewriter, but the promise of the California-issued tags prompted me to drive 20 miles to this sale. I wasn’t disappointed. Indeed, there were 31 license plates from 1919 to 1956. Even better, thoug…
  • War and Prosthetics: How Veterans Fought for the Perfect Artificial Limb There's something undeniably beautiful about prosthetic limbs, designed to echo the physical grace and mechanical engineering of the human body. For most people, these objects elicit some combination of squeamish discomfort and utmost respect. But far fewer of us connect those feelings to the untold generations of battle-scarred amputees whose sacrifices made prosthetics a public priority. "Pat…