A Fifth 'What In the World Is It?'

Can you guess the function of this bit of Millburn memorabilia?

Congratulations again to Susan Stern for correctly identifying the fourth vintage item in the collection of the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society. It was, as she noted, a record cleaner for removing dust and static from your vinyl records and was probably included with a Harmony Shop purchase, at no charge. A 1972 ad for a similar record cleaner notes that the record cleaner was "...an excellent way to keep your records clean. A pad of special fabric that scours the grooves of your records, extracts the dust, and supplies a tiny amount of anti-static to keep your records from attracting more dust."

A search of the Millburn directories online at the Millburn library web site  shows the Harmony Shop in business primarily in the 1940s. A 1946 directory ad is posted here and the 1946 directory has the following entry for the business:

"THE HARMONY SHOP--William G. Lupton Jr, pres; Donald W. Collins, v pres; William G. Lupton Sr, sec-treas sales and service on radios, phonograph records, and major appliances; 170 Essex; tel MIllburn 6-1830"

The site is home today to PNC Bank on Essex Street.

The historical society has in its collection a number of vintage vinyl records, primarily produced by Millburn High School's student folk singing groups. Patch readers who have vintage records in his or her collection should store those vinyl records vertically on a shelf, as you store books. Do not stack or lay records flat as this will cause them to warp or crack. Additional storage and preservation tips can be found here and here.


This week's item is identical to similar items in the historical society museum collection, but the museum items have identifiying labels on them, so we are posting a photo of this otherwise-identical unlabeled one. It is made of paper, has a 1.75" diameter, and is 1/2" high. Can you guess what it is?

We will use this blog to highlight unusual objects at the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society museum. The objects will be posted with only minimal information, so we encourage you to guess what the object is or what its purpose was. In approximately one week, information about the object will be revealed and a new object will be posted.

The first person with a correct guess will receive a small custom gift from the historial society and is invited to contact us at mshhs@comcast.net, to let us know whether to mail/deliver the gift or expect a visit to the museum (we appreciate pickups).

[Many thanks to Millburn High School volunteer Anna Gracey for scanning the objects and composing the introduction.]

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

J S Beckerman May 29, 2012 at 06:09 PM
pill case?


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