MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Daniel Weiss is sure there is someone out there who wants a lard bucket from the early 1900s. He has about 10.
And he’s ready to make a deal.
What’s up with that?
Weiss is trying to find new homes for the assorted 1,400 vintage tins he has collected over the decades.
“I can only enjoy them so long,” Weiss, 73, said in his tin room museum at his Mountlake Terrace home. “There’s nobody to pass them on to. You can’t haul a U-Haul behind a hearse.”
Not that he plans to depart anytime soon.
A tech-savvy neighbor, Adam Becker, is managing the sale and posted the collection on Facebook Marketplace, which is how The Daily Herald caught wind of it. Inquiries can be made to DansCans247@gmail.com.
“I’ve never seen this many different categories of tins all in one place and this many,” Becker said. “He has it memorized where each one is.”
Prices are negotiable.
Weiss won’t sell the whole collection as a package deal for cheap, rather he hopes that pieces go to people who have a thing for tins like he does.
Tins behold the trappings of civilization: watch dials, air rifle pellets, tennis balls, sugar cubes, circus peanuts, razor blades, hair dressing, tooth powder, laxatives, cellophane tape, typewriter ribbons, mop polish.
“A lot still has the stuff still in it,” Weiss said.
But this isn’t about consumption.
You can buy a new plastic 7 ounce container of Dr. Scholl’s foot powder for less than an old 1 ounce tin with chlorophyll from the 1950s to “refresh your tired, tender burning feet.” That will set you back $20.
The Caswell’s Coffee cans go for $25 to $90. Drink at your own risk.
The tins reflect a bygone era: George Washington chewing tobacco. A Santa box with Rod & Gun tobacco, dating back to when smoking was cool for the Claus.
Weiss also has old toys, clocks, spittoons and glass doorknobs in other rooms.
“Antiques in general were like just magnets to me,” said Weiss, who had a gardening business and worked in steel fabrication.
He and Ellen, his wife of 23 years, have a modest home stuffed with flea market finds. She collects wall pocket vases and cat figurines.
“It’s the thrill of the hunt,” he said. “You can never collect everything you want. You’d have to have a hotel.”
The tin hobby started small, with a few tins of loose tobacco Weiss scored for a few bucks about 50 years ago.
“I loved the old lithographs. I got them for the graphics. I thought they were cool,” he said. “Then I got a biscuit tin, then a wafer tin that was plaid. A tin with gramophone needles. After that, I forget.”
He’d scoop up deals at swap meets.
“People always thought I was a dealer, but I was just a collector,” he said.
He installed shelf after shelf in the tin room to display his finds.
Most he bought for a few dollars. He splurged $25 about 40 years ago for a marshmallow tin that a Facebook buyer was happy to get recently for $80.
“She was tickled pink,” Weiss said. “It is so much fun to see people excited. People want these advertising tins.”
Even with about 75 tin sales so far, the shelves remain packed.
“You can’t tell I sold anything,” he said.
In the tin room is a lighted display rack with antique knives, army men, lighters and metal roller skate keys. Those are for sale, too.
Life came full circle for Weiss with his tin room.
“When I was 12 years old I got to a museum near the Husky Stadium. And I remember walking through there and going, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to bring our sleeping bags and wake up to this?’” he said. “… and here I am.’”