Prize possessions

Mom and daughter dive into collecting tins

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer contributor

Julie Kinneary and daughter Eva - "Dumpster divers from way back when" - show off some metal tins they've collected. Julie's hand rests on their favorite, a '50s tin showing a girl and baby duck.

The Cincinnati Enquirer/GARY LANDERS

Who: Julie Kinneary, 46, owner of Jill of All Trades, a personal assistant business; and her daughter, Eva, 5, a kindergartner at Mercy Montessori Center.

On display: More than 30 tins, most of which originally held candy, cookies, crackers and tea.

Where: Some decorate the space above the kitchen cabinets in their Norwood home, others hold sewing supplies, and the rest store Eva's crayons, pencils and toys.

The team combs estate sales, flea markets and rummage sales to add to their collection.

Hum a few bars: "We're not too proud to pick through garbage," Kinneary says, laughing. "We even have a song. The words are:

We are Dumpster divers from way back when...

Way back when ...

Way back when ..."

Tardy slip: Eva was late for school one morning because they had stopped to pick up a sink destined for the garbage truck.

"I told her to go in and tell the teacher she was late because she was Dumpster-diving with me," her mother says, a bit sheepishly.

"People always ask me where to find things because I am 'the Queen of Junk' to a certain extent. You could say that Eva's in training."

Happy days: Their favorite tin is from the 1950s. It has a picture of a little girl holding a baby duck on it. "It reminds me of a more innocent time," Kinneary explains.

Eye of the beholder: Other tins bear images as diverse as Peter Rabbit, Elvis, the seasons and fairies. Some are shaped like tiny lunchboxes and pails. More than a few are beaten-up. "We don't mind because that just gives them more charm," Kinneary says.

In the genes: Eva comes by her love of collectibles honestly. It all started with her maternal grandfather. "My father worked for the government and he collected antiques in Europe in the '60s and '70s," Kinneary says. "I have great memories of us going to flea markets and antique stores together, so now I want to share the experience with my daughter."

Share your prize possessions with Marsie Hall Newbold c/o The Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202; e-mail: Please include a daytime, weekday phone number.

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