Have you ever wondered what it would be like to touch the actual funnel ‘hat’ worn by the Tin Man in the original Wizard of Oz? Or to hold the funnel used at the Battle of the Alamo by Davey Crocket as he filled muskets?
What about the funnel used by Mrs. O’Leary in the barn where the cow kicked over a lantern and set off the great Chicago fire?
A display of all these funnels and more is slated to visit this vicinity soon. The Antique Funnel Society of America announced this week a planned visit throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania in the near future.
Complete with their own band, and cheerleaders, The Famed Funnelettes, spokesperson Seth Wharfdale said this visit will replicate the visit made to the county nearly 40 years ago when it set up a huge display in Havre de Grace on Union avenue near Franklin street.
“The funnel is functional!” is the motto of the Funnel Society. When we obtained the funnel worn by the Tin Man we thought we’d struck gold,” Wharfdale notes. “Just to touch it, to realize it was worn by John ‘Jack’ Haley in the classic film is enough to get shivers running up and down my back.”
There will also be a sort of ‘antique roadshow’ flair along with the displays. “We will evaluate any and all funnels brought to the event, to appraise them and detect any historic significance,” Wharfdale offered.
“Our goal is to never, ever forget the funnel and it’s roll in the history of our country. Funnels have been used and often neglected through the ages. Consider where we’d be today had not the funnel been invented?”
There are some ‘fallacies’ along with the displays, such as the story of how the great Chicago fire started.
“The fire started at about 9 p.m. on Sunday, October 8, in or around a small shed that bordered the alley behind 137 DeKoven Street. The traditional account of the origin of the fire is that it was started by a cow kicking over a lantern in the barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O’Leary. Michael Ahern, the Chicago Republican reporter who created the cow story, admitted in 1893 that he had made it up because he thought it would make colorful copy.”
“Nonetheless,” Wharfdale adds, “We have the funnel used to fill the lantern, whether or not that’s how the fire started is inconsequential!”
“The Davey Crocket aspect is riveting,” Wharfdale notes.
“Weeks after the battle, stories circulated that Crockett was among those who surrendered. However, Ben, a former American slave who cooked for one of Santa Anna’s officers, maintained that Crockett’s body was found surrounded by “no less than sixteen Mexican corpses”. Historians disagree on which version of Crockett’s death is accurate.”
“Anyway you look at it, we have funnels that are worth seeing, believing and holding in your hand…nothing is for sale, just for appreciation by funnel lovers one and all.”