Thrift store treasures…A million faces


This months thrift store treasure is a block puzzle I picked up one day to add to my home decor. I think I paid a couple dollars at the most for this. It has been many years since I bought this. At first I believed it was from the 60-70’s but it is not that old at all. It’s a reproduction of a block puzzle that was originally produced back in the 1920’s.


The artist that designed the faces was Carey Orr. He was an editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune. He used to be a semi-professional baseball player and the money he made from playing baseball allowed him to study at the Chicago Academy of fine arts. He also served as an early role model to none other then Walt Disney himself after they met and Disney had moved back to Chicago.


I bought this block of puzzles because the faces were so funny and I thought it would be a fun little art piece to have displayed in one of my rooms up in Our Little Red House. It was first displayed on a dresser in the kid’s room. Eventually it made it’s way into the big room where we have a table, bunk bed and a living room. Our Little Red House used to be many businesses. The big room was where the business part was. A restaurant, a post office and several homes to many different families. Built in the 1940’s it has it’s own history.

So we turned the big room into the dining area, the family room and a bump bed serves as an extra bed in case someone wants to sleep in there.

I like to leave fun little pieces of toys, puzzles, books, DVD’s and VHS tapes in the big room. There is even a game table in that room that my father bought the kids years ago. We have played Uno, Othello, aggravation, monopoly and done lost of fun little hand made craft projects in the big room. Now this block puzzle has joined all those other entertaining objects that has made that room their home.


I am not exactly sure how much the value of this piece is. If you want to buy your own set they are still available. I’ve seen different prices, maybe some are the original versions so they tend to be higher in price. Priced on Amazon at 48.90 and Ebay at 19.99 I am sure you can find a copy somewhere out there. There was even a site that had some available for $25.

On that site they wrote that…

“According to the different images on the blocks, you can create up to 4,194.304 faces, but that is only if you are able to do one change per minute, eight hours per day, six days per week, and fifty-two weeks per year, you can see every combination in exactly 28 years, 58 minutes and 48 seconds.”


On June 3 1966 Carey Orr wrote…

“ My 50 years as a political cartoonist has been unique in one respect in that I have always finished the drawing completely without submitting the idea to the editor beforehand. The normal procedure is for the cartoonist to submit two or three rough sketches, one of which the editor may O.K for completion. This latter method is a great time waster, and causes the artist to depend on the judgement of others with regard to his own work. Eventually the artist loses the ability to distinguish a good idea from a poor one. It is a bad habit to be too dependent on others.”

Such words of wisdom there. When we allow others to control our gifts we loose that trust and talent we have with those talents in us all. We loose the trust in ourselves. Keep those gifts close to you at all times others wise you may end up loosing them.

Looking through Orr’s political cartoons online took me back to the age of 13 when my history teacher would always bring in piles of political cartoons for the whole class to go through and read. The whole class had to discuss what we thought they meant and how they effected us personally, what we believed in etc…and just the history of that time we were living in. What a talented teacher he was. Back then we all could have discussions without hating or turning on each another. At that age our political knowledge and believes were always based off of what our parents told us anyway.

Here is a link to some of Carey Orr’s cartoons. Trigger warning though…with the way the world works now, some of these cartoons may offend…just saying. They are fun to look through and compare to what we are living in now, As the saying goes “There is nothing knew under the sun” and you know what, there really isn’t. Reading these old cartoons from the past feels exactly like what we are living right now. It is worth clicking on the link and strolling through the different cartoons to understand what I am trying to say here.

If you have tweens or teens in your home then this might be a fun history lesson for them, to compare the past to the present. How important it is that we learn history so we don’t repeat it. Looks like we are headed in the direction of repeating some things if we are not careful.

The world should be a place where we all feel comfortable sharing those differences about each other and to actually love and enjoy everything that makes our planet unique. I pray and wish this for everyone of course. It is a much better planet to live on when there are no wars and disagreements.

Hope you all liked this months thrift store treasures. Happy second hand shopping out there. Stay safe.

Sorry, lost the link above, try this one for now until I figure out what is happening with other link


I am off for the month of August. Thank you for stopping by for a visit. Have a beautiful day where ever you are in the world.

Copyright Our Little Red House 2020 © Do not use photos without written consent of the author.

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