Museum of East Alabama receives anonymous gifts

Special to the Opelika Observer

By Fred Woods

Do you believe in Santa Claus? The tooth fairy, maybe. Someone unknown left some  valuable antiques at the back door of the Museum of East Alabama about four weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon or night. Two antique wrought iron barber poles, circa 1920s, and a brass surgeon’s lamp, used in the 1862-1898 time period, were discovered by museum director Glenn Buxton when he came up to check in response to a friendly citizen’s phone call.
The items are spectacular as well as potentially valuable, with a little restoration. The barber poles are probably manufactured by Paidar Company, one of the oldest and most respected makers of barbershop supplies. One is two-tiered, about five feet tall and is floor/sidewalk mounted. The other is one-tiered, also floor-mounted and is about 3 1/2 feet tall. Both are electrically wired, illuminated and the barber poles rotate inside glass cylinders.
The brass surgeon’s lamp looks as though it only needs polishing to restore it to its full function and beauty.
If you dropped off these beautiful items, please contact the Museum of East Alabama at once at (334) 749-2751 or email at .  First for museum officers to properly thank you for these beautiful and valuable gifts. Second the museum needs to know you had a right to make the gifts before they can afford to incur the expense of restoration which, in the case of the barber poles, will cost several hundred dollars.
These items are beautiful. If you know anything at all about them, do please contact the museum.


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