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  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.

Empire Fanatic


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About Empire Fanatic

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 01/06/1967

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  • Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  • Occupation
  1. General Foam Norfolk factory

    They should have closed this one years ago when they made the Empire purchase.
  2. General Foam Auction Tarboro

    Mel, here's photos from ebay of the Empire marked (with the original undated logo) carolers, which was in the Noma catalog in the mid 1960's. So Empire was making it in the mid 1960's. The mold in the photo has the original Empire logo as well. Not sure how Lidco fits into this. About the Bayshore pumpkin mold, I know Empire made their Haunted House, Scarecrow and Top Hat Pumpkin(have never seen this Empire version outside the catalog, so they might not have ever actually produced it) as they are listed in the 1989 catalog (as new). I really don't believe they ever made the Bayshore Super Deluxe Pumpkin. That's why I think it was cool that they still had the mold. It also tells me they probably still had all the Bayshore Halloween Molds.
  3. General Foam - Former Empire Factory

    That's cool!
  4. General Foam Auction Tarboro

    That's a good question. There's lots of info and many pics on the Blow Mold Nation page on Facebook. There were members there yesterday and at the auction today. I'm sure there will be multiple posts and more photos tonight. It did answer one question I always had. The really old Empire molds still existed! I couldn't believe when I saw the 14" carolers above. Do you know if Empire even made them into the 1970's? Also, did you notice Mel on the top shelf on the left in picture 4 is the mold for Bayshore's Super Deluxe Pumpkin No. 7883 and 7829? Totally cool! Do you know if Empire ever actually made this item?
  5. General Foam Auction Tarboro

    Here's a link to the Lots that have molds. Click on each to see photos. It took me about two hours to save all of them. Mostly descriptions, but in some you can see the mold. Recognize some of these oldies??? https://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bscci/catalogue-id-bscci10279?searchTerm=aluminum+blow+molds&whereToSearch=%2Fen-us%2Fauction-catalogues%2Fbscci%2Fcatalogue-id-bscci10279
  6. Yesteryear....

    Mel, do mean the official company name? I have some old toy catalogs. The 1976 Fall catalog says Empire Of Carolina - A division of Carolina Enterprises, Inc. The company went public in 1979. According to a letter from then President Mason Benson in the front of the 1981 toy catalog: "The year 1980 was Empire's first full year as public company." ........."However, we are proud to report, with your support, Empire of Carolina, Inc. returned a profit to it's shareholders in it's first year of operation. But, the bottom of the next page says MCMLXXXI Carolina Enterprises, Inc. Then the back page lists the executives under the heading "Empire of Carolina, Inc. The 1995 Annual Report lists the main company as being Empire of Carolina, Inc. A June 1996 Prospectus for a stock offering states: "Empire of Carolina, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in 1979".
  7. General Foam - Former Empire Factory

    Click "Parcel" on the upper left. Then enter 501 Daniel in the "Address Search". Click on General Foam Plastics. Then "Prop Card" in the top center.
  8. General Foam - Former Empire Factory

    Check out the county web-site for the property. If you click on "Prop Card", and then print, it'll open a summary which lists all of the buildings, their use and year built (center top).
  9. Yesteryear....

    Did you happen to check out their ads from 1963, 1964, and 1965 to see who the MFG was? Walgreen's had blow molds in 1966.......https://www.newspapers.com/image/104277999/?terms=outdoor%2Billuminated
  10. Yesteryear....

    Mel, here's an ad from McAlpin's Department Store here in Cincinnati. It appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer December 3, 1967. I printed it out about 20 years ago at a local library. I've also posted a shot of the entire ad preview page from the archive site Newspapers.com to verify the date. Looks like most of the non dated pieces we are familiar with are listed in the ad. Below is the link to the dated search I did as well as a link to a more general search using the phrase from the ad: "outdoor illumined". If you scroll through that list, you can see there are more McAlpin's ads for Christmas blow molds as early as 1963 and 1964. I don't have a subscription to the site yet so I can only see the small preview photos and can't determine who made them. There is a 7 day free trial. I plan to try that when I have more time to explore the papers. https://www.newspapers.com/search/#lnd=1&ymd=1967-12-03&query=outdoor+illuminated&t=844&oquery=outdoor+illuminated++december+3%2C+1967 https://www.newspapers.com/search/#lnd=1&query=outdoor+illuminated&offset=5&t=844 Here's a 1962 JCP ad with blowmolds... https://www.newspapers.com/image/101656472/?terms=outdoor%2Billuminated
  11. Yesteryear....

    Mel, do you have the rest of this article? It mentions photos of larger Santas "pictured below". We may have learned two things. 1) If Judith Novelty was a part of Mallory Randall Corporation, and it bought Carolina Enterprises in December, 1968, that means the Pixies marked Judith Novelty 1966 were not Empire products. 2) The oldest Empire products, such as the Nativity above, were not dated. That dating began in 1968. Judith Novelty's influence as they dated their Pixie molds? Are you aware what year Empire was founded? Also, where was the factory located prior to moving to Tarboro in 1960?
  12. Empire 1974 Christmas Catalog

    You're right. Maybe there was some other reason. I know there were no blow molds in Sears catalog in 1976 (not sure about 1975). Also, I remember they disappeared from local stores around that time and my Mom telling me no stores were going to sell them and she gave me a reason for it, but I can't remember. I do remember being happy when they popped up again. 1976 or 1977? I was 10 at that time. A discount store near my house had the Dapol Santa and Snowman (36"?). My Grandpa bought me the Santa as I already had the 48" Poloron Snowman.
  13. Empire 1974 Christmas Catalog

    Does anyone know why molds Empire stamped 1973 weren't even in the 1974 catalog? I'm specifically referring to the 22" Jolly Snowman and Santa, as well as the 40" NOEL Candle. There could be others. Even the large Santa Train stamped 1972 wasn't in it. Maybe because of the Energy Crisis at the time?
  14. GFP Closing

    Two questions. What was still being manufactured in Norfolk? Swimming pools and toys? Also, there appear to have been a lot of blow molds left that were recently sold. I wonder why Menards couldn't get any? All they had was the Nativity set this past year. Seems shipping all those from Tarboro to Norfolk would have been expensive.
  15. General Foam - Former Empire Factory

    It's amazing the horrible condition the former Empire factory is in. Here's a overhead view. Click the square on the lower left hand side to see the view and use the "-" sign on the right to size it in order to see the entire building. It's the building on the right side of Daniel Street, and is very long. Click View Larger Map, and click on it, to take it to street view to go up and down Daniel Street to see the entire factory. What a mess!