Van Bibbers Little Cigars

Here we have Dallas resident Louis Oppenheimer’s (1868-1948) “Van Bibbers Little Cigars” case and cigar cutter.  The container is a heavy pressed paper or light weight cardboard, and has a striker on both ends. The Lorillard Tobacco Company which was located at 11601 Plano Rd, Dallas, TX 75243 carried the Van Bibber brand, and had ads in the Dallas Morning News. The  Van Bibber Little Cigars was by H. Ellis & Co., of Baltimore, USA . Manufactured by “The American Tobacco Company.”

Morton Rachofsky – Geometric Art


Morton Rachofsky (1930-2019), a Dallas realtor, inventor, and artist among many other things created this work of art. We previously posted about his 25 hour clock that he patented; and it was eventually sold at Neiman Marcus.

The Dallas Morning Newspaper on May 5, 1979 had an article about Dallas City Hall holding Dallas Art 79’, a juried show that included a similar wooden geometric piece of Rachofsky’s. Below is a link to Russell Tether which sells works by Morton Rachofsky. You can understand his material choice, and geometric design aesthetic by viewing multiple art pieces.


Parity – A Game of Economics, by I.L. Sanger

Donated with the Sanger-Badt Family Collection were game pieces and instructions for “Parity,” a card-based economics game designed by I.L. Sanger in the 1930s, the object of which is to balance the bank of your nation by trading/depositing/spending based on amounts outlined on game boards. Several sets of handwritten and typed instructions accompany the game, evidence that he dedicated a great deal of time to fine-tuning his invention.

In 1937, I.L. sent letters to several game companies, such as Milton Bradley, Monopoly, and Cadaco, Ltd. in an attempt to have the game manufactured and dispersed. Unfortunately, it does not appear that his efforts were successful. 

Game pieces include:

  • 15 cards representative of “Francs” in denominations of 100 billion to 1500 billion, plus a card that says “France International”
  • 15 cards representative of “Lire” in denominations of 100 billion to 1500 billion, plus a card that says “Italy International”
  • 15 cards representative of “Dollars” in denominations of 5 billion to 75 billion, plus a card that says “United States International”
  • 15 cards representative of “pounds” in denominations of 1 billion to 15 billion, plus a card that says “England International”
  • An additional card that says, “Royal International.”
  • Four game boards, 2 for each country with an explanation of value, interest, and parity of one to five gold bars based on various currency amounts 


Roman Lachrymatory

At the DJHS Archive, we have a lachrymatory bottle which can also be called a tear bottle, tear catcher, tear vial, unguentaria, or unguentarium. This particular lachrymatory bottle, from the Roman Period 63 BCE – 330 CE, was given to Mrs. Mabel Byer (1888-1976) by the Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, Pinchas Sapir. This artifact is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, provided at the time it was gifted to Mabel Byer.

Tear bottles were fairly common in the Roman Empire near the turn of the Common Era when mourners filled small glass bottles or cups with tears and placed them in burial tombs as symbols of respect. There is some speculation as to the validity of these claims, as apothecary bottles with other uses were also common during this time.

Collection of the Byers Estate

Marcy Lee Manufacturing Company – 1957 Framed Photograph

Marcy Lee Manufacturing Company originated in Tyler, Texas in 1923 and, in 1927, moved to Dallas. In 1964, Marcy Lee Manufacturing Company was the first tenant at Apparel Mart. The “Marcy Lee” name is a contraction of the name of the original partners, Lester Lief, Luis Marmar, and Morris Siegel.

In the DJHS archives, we have a framed photograph of Marcy Lee workers from January 1957 in Dallas, Texas. The photo says taken by Garrett. We have an Etsy store linked below that sells antique Marcy Lee dresses.

The Lief Family Collection

1965 Menorah by Ellen Lord

This is a 1965, “Austin Stone,” menorah designed by Ellen Lord, and created by Austin Productions. The menorah features six children with raised hands for candle holders.

Made of a composite material, the menorah is made to look like the stones of the wall of Jerusalem. There are multiple types of menorahs designed by Ellen Lord that have children and look like stone.  “Austin was founded in 1952 in Brooklyn, N.Y., as a museum reproduction company featuring selections from great art collections of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Asian, African and Contemporary sculpture.”