This week’s feature is a throwback to fieldwork done in 2014 at the University of Iowa’s Hubbard Park, in front of the Iowa Memorial Union. On what historically an alley between Lots 1 and 8 (now the grassy lawn you know as Hubbard Park), an auger test (110–120 cm below surface) yielded a token reading, “Des Moines Hardware Club” and “State Hardware Convention Des Moines 1907.” There is a high probability that this object relates to the Corso family, who lived on Lot 1 from 1895 until at least 1922. The family worked as fruit dealers and confectioners; it would not be too unusual for this type of store to also sell hardware items. Indeed, Antony Corso’s sister (Josephine Rinella) sold fruit at Iowa City’s “Thomas’ Hardware Corner” at least during 1909 (Smith 1909).
The rust on this token was removed using electrolysis - running electricity through water.
For your amusement: Yesterday was my annual two hour drive to Powell's to get the newest Toby Daye book on release day - only, I am the local enabler so I actually end up getting five copies. But all my friends who read the series are students or teachers so they're trying to get through the first weeks of school, and I end up feeling a little like I'm the local Goblin Fruit dealer. "I'm too busy to read." "I've got the newest Toby book." "Give it to me now." is how it usual goes.