Who doesn’t love 5¢ taffy or the penny bubble gum that came wrapped in a cartoon?  Today you pretty much need a second mortgage to buy a chocolate bar.  And when you finally sidle up to the checkout to pay for your treasures, you are greeted by a modern-day cash register that is so complex it doubles as a launch platform for the Space Shuttle program.

Welcome back to The Hollow today, my friends, where we continue our photoblog series “The Antiques Toad Show” by showcasing images we captured when we visited the Metchosin Pioneer Museum on Vancouver Island last fall.  Being related to folks who share the same passion as you do can sometimes open special doors, as was the case on this great day when our best friends Dad, heretofore known as The Curator, allowed us private access to the museum after hours for an extended photo-shoot.

Antique Cash Register - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Cash Register - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Growing up as a little tadpole on the Canadian plains, I have vivid memories of me and my sister taking our allowance down to the corner store to buy a certain treat.  To be honest, we just missed the age of 5¢ candy, but with that being said all the items we used to love so much were all well under a quarter.  The trip itself to the corner store on foot or bike itself was part of the adventure.  We’d find ourselves stopping frequently to partake in some side-adventure…

By the time we made the journey to and from the store, we felt like we spent the day on some wild Indiana Jones style adventure.  Sure, we didn’t have to battle a pit full of venomous snakes, but that Garter snake we found in Mrs. Jones’ backyard was fun to chase around for a bit.

Antique Cash Register - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Cash Register - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The day we visited the museum, I found myself drawn to this antique several times.  It was as if it beckoned me to photograph it, like it thought itself very beautiful and wanted to be shown to the world.  It was my pleasure to capitulate.

The rust, weathering and smudged dirty glass all serve to add character to the scene.  Whose hands had danced about this register, ringing in various candies, treats and sundries over the years?  Today’s modern registers make their presence known through a cacophony of bells, whistles and beeps.  These old antique varieties made their own distinct noises; the keys being depressed, the numbers popping up in the view screen, the opening of the door…  all actions that produced their own, immediately recognizable sounds.  To me, all these sounds were comforting for some reason.  Perhaps that direct connection with our past is somehow personified in the music that comes from such a wonderful old machine.  I don’t really know for sure.

Antique Cash Register - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Cash Register - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

As I was busy taking in the scene and composing our shots, these two items were on display right in front of the cash register.  These antique containers all have the hallmarks of years of love and use.  Gentle wear marks and stains pepper the outsides, sharing a little of the stories that are held within.  We don’t see many tins cans like this any more, and as I encounter things like this on my travels I tend to gravitate towards them.  Do items like this hold a little of the energy of those who once owned them?  In many cases, I feel they do.  Not all items will readily share their stories, preferring to keep their secrets hidden within.  But some items not only share this energy, we find, but in some cases they want to sing their song from the highest of mountains.

It’s all there for us to hear and enjoy, if only we open our minds and hearts.

We always appreciate your kind visit, it really means the world to us here at The Hollow.  Please do leave us any comments you may have, we love to hear from all our visitors.



  1. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Those are way cool. I have a few old things I came to have recently that would really fit this style! LOVE that old register too!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so very much Aaron, we always appreciate your visits and kind comments! You sir, are the best of the best!

  2. avatar Jim Nix says:

    wow these are great Toad! I especially love that last one of the tobacco container! perfect focus there!!

  3. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    I wonder how good that tobacco was. I love all the detail in that cash register too. Good stuff!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      The old tobacco was pure, today they put in a lot of additives for various reasons. If you’re into that sort of thing, I’ll bet this tobacco was awesome at the time… it might be a little stale today, I didn’t check. LOL :)

      Thanks a ton for your kind visit and most wonderful comments here today, Chris, we sure do appreciate it!

  4. Every time I reckon I have seen it all you come up with this place in Metchosin. I’ve gotta check it out. Let you know when I have. Nice coverage and thanks for that.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You will love, love, love that place, Joseph, I promise! I’ve still got around 70+ images from the museum to post on our blog, so please stay tuned! Thanks so much for your kind visit today, my friend, we really appreciate all the friendship & support here!

  5. Another interesting series from home Toad! I really like the details in the cash register and the depth of field you chose in the last image is perfect.

  6. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    Fantastic!!! What a charming writeup Toad. That last photo is the winner for me. The Shallow DOF mixed with the fantastic subject matter make it a beauty. Love the Antique Road Show! :)

  7. avatar Jim Denham says:

    What a great collection of goodies Toad! That register is the Bomb! A trip back in time, both in image and in the stories you’ve woven here! Well done my friend!

    • avatar Rachel Cohen says:

      Toad what a lovely collection and post! I especially love that old cash register! I too remember the five cent candy bars, and the penny bubble gum with comics wrapper. Boy, those were the days! :)

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks a ton, there, Jim, coming from you that means a LOT to us here!! I cannot begin to thank you for all you do for us my friend, you sir, are the best!

  8. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Very cool Toad. This museum is incredible. I love that register. Beautifully captured.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so very much Edith, it’s a huge highlight for us when you get a chance to pop by and leave us your wonderful comments!

  9. Wonderful shots of a amazing crafted piece of history Toad. Reminds me of being a nipper; over here we used to have fizzy drink bottles (Corona I think) which had a deposit. As a kid we would take the bottles back to the village shop (and any we found in bushes and bins) and use the money for 1p sweets.
    The sweets were all loose at the front of the shop (Hygiene!!!) and were measured on old scales into a paper bag.
    Happy days

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I can totally picture this, Chris, thanks so very kindly for sharing your wonderful story with everyone here! We really appreciate all your friendship & support, it means so much!

  10. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Very cool images Toad. Great textures and details. The processing is also very spot on. Wish I was there for you and the snake ;-o

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      God, Len, I hate snakes!!… I wish you were here for us, too! LOL :D Thanks ever so kindly for popping by today, my friend, it really means an awful lot to us!

  11. Thanks Toad. You really took me back to a simple time. I remember visiting my my grandparents. Grandpa would always give us each a quarter and we could go down to Lutes (the local grocery store) and get a pack of gum and a bottle (yes bottle) of Coke…and still have money left over.

    The good ole days *sigh*

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Every time I see Coke in a bottle at the store, I am instantly taken back to being 5. Right on the spot, no delay. These associations we make are strong and lasting, eh, Mike? Thanks a ton for popping by and leaving us your incredible comments my friend, I really really appreciate it!

  12. avatar Rick Rueter says:

    The cash register reminds me of times long past of collecting discarded pop bottles worth 2 cents apiece and redeeming them for penny candy at the local store. A find of 6 bottles would translate into 6 black balls, 1 licorice pipe, 2 Bazooka gums and 2 red licorice sticks; enough to last a whole week! And the register was of similar vintage, but black.
    I do enjoy your photographs, and having visited the island frequently can relate to the subjects.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      What a wonderful set of comments to leave here, Rick, thanks SO much for taking the time to visit and for leaving these for us all to enjoy! Really happy to meet you here today, it truly means a lot! Best wishes to you!

  13. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Boy if that cash register could talk I bet you it would have some stories to tell. Nice captures, Toad!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so much, from the bottom of our hearts, Rick! We truly appreciate your support more than you know!

  14. I really love nostalgic photos like these, especially that last one. Great work my friend.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Steve, that really means so much to us here! We really appreciate you taking the time to pop by and leave us your comments my friend!

  15. Great shots, Toad, made all the more enjoyable by the story. Brings the images to life.

  16. avatar Rich McPeek says:

    Great shots! Love the detail! Have a great weekend!

  17. It’s so nice to see things like this being preserved. Your pictures document this place really well. Definitely takes me back to simpler times. I can remember taking bottles back to the corner store and getting money for them then buying all kinds of candy! Those were the good ol’ days! :)

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      At least we can stop and remember, my friend! We love this stuff, so much. Thank you for your kind visit and comments here Michael, we sure do appreciate it.

Photomatix Pro