Mars Pathfinder and Mars Polar Lander Microphone Lapel Pins

The Mars Pathfinder landed on Mars on July 4th, 1997. It was the first time scientists tried to land a craft on Mars and the experiments carried out by the Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner Rover paved the way for the current studies on the Red Planet. The Planetary Society sponsored the Mars Polar Lander Microphone in order to try to pickup whatever sounds might be occurring on Mars. As far as I know the microphone is still operating and comes on at various times in an attempt to gather those Martian sounds. These lapel pins were given to an employee at the Jet Propulsion Lab, in lovely Pasadena California.

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CB&Q Railroad Button

“The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was a Class I railroad that operated in the Midwestern United States. Commonly referred to as the Burlington or Q, the Burlington Route served a large area, including the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Wyoming, and New Mexico and Texas via subsidiary railroads. Its primary connections included Chicago, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver. Because of this extensive trackage in the midwestern and mountain states, the railroad used the advertising slogans “Everywhere West”, “Way of the Zephyrs”, and “The Way West”. It merged with three other railroads to become the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1970.” (Information Courtesy of Wikipedia)

And this is a button from the uniform of someone who worked on the CB&Q at sometime in the past. These sort of uniform buttons went out with button shoes.

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Button, AC Sparkplugs

In the old days, around the 1950’s and  1960’s, there were a number of things that were done to cars, including washing and replacing spark plugs, rather than just getting them replaced as is the current fashion. I don’t even know if cars have spark plugs anymore as my knowledge of the internal combustion engine remain a mystery to me.

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Hopalong Cassidy Savings Rodeo Button

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Hopalong Cassidy was once the biggest movie star in the world. He was just one in a long line of people who have held that title for a time. This button was a rare piece because of what had to be done to get this button. The “Hopalong Cassidy Saving Rodeo,” was a device designed to teach children the value of saving money. For a small price Hoppy would send kids a card and a button. A button to wear and the card to fill with quarters. When your card was filled, you got your mom or dad to sign the card and then, along with another small price, you sent the card to Hoppy who sent you another button to show how much you had saved, and another card. Apparently, Hoppy’s savings rodeo ran all the way up to $30.00 which is why these buttons are rare. I mean, I imagine your parents thought it was a good idea to teach kids to save money, but no kid was saving over $20.00 worth of quarters back in the 1930’s and 1940’s. There were too many cool things to buy, so buttons over $10.00 are fairly rare. This one ended up in a private Hopalong Cassidy museum in Las Vegas. The buyer said they had only seen pictures of one and never had held or owned one.














When you collect ephemera you are exposed to a lot of junk. I recently ran across these buttons. Some are from locations in California and the others are just a little strange.