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HOW DO YOU KEEP SUEDE SHOES LOOKING NEW?

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Question: I belong to an informal club known as the Circle of Suede Shoe Lovers, which (so far) consists of 28 members. How can we clean off the marks and smudges made by other dancers who bump into our precious suede shoes? Please tell us what products to use with specific instructions. Also, how can such shoes be entirely cleaned - once in awhile - to keep them fresh and clean looking?

- Circle of Suede Shoe Lovers,Pittston. PA

Answer: Just think, if he were alive, Elvis (who didn't want anyone to step on his blue suede shoes) might have become the 29th member of the club.

Any readers with suede cleaning tips, or who know of any cleaning products that work, can write me to be put in touch with the Circle of Suede Shoe Lovers.

The 1948 edition of the Modern Household Encyclopedia, says rain spots on suede shoes can be removed by rubbing with a manicure type emery board, whereas grease spots on black suede shoes can be removed by rubbing gently with emery paper, or with cloth dipped in glycerin, and to then rub shoes with a mixture of equal parts of black ink and olive oil.

To clean suede shoes, brush gently with a wire brush and apply the proper shade of liquid suede cleaner, and to keep them clean when not wearing, and to preserve their original color, wrap the shoes in paper, or put them away in a paper bag. And to avoid marks from rubbers or galoshes, to first slip stockings over suede shoes.

On the other hand (or foot) the book "How To Clean Everything" first published in 1952 by Simon and Schuster, says suede shoes should be brushed with a bristle, rubber or wire brush in a circular motion, and to use wire brushes lightly or you may destroy the nap, and after brushing carefully, to smooth the nap in one direction, and that there are aerosol dressings that raise the nap, and other dressings containing dyes to restore the color, and if oil or grease stains on suede do not yield to cleaning fluid, to try mixing the fluid with fuller's earth or another absorbent, and letting the paste stand on the spot overnight.

To check out suede cleaning products, phone shoe manufactures listed in the AT&T Toll-Free 800 Directory Business Edition, which costs $14.95 and can be ordered by phoning 800-426-8686, or purchased at most AT&T Phone Center locations.

Vintage suede shoes can be found pictured in color along with their descriptions and values in "Fashions of the Roaring '20s - With Values," by Ellie Laubner (Schiffer). It is available for $32.90 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.

Question: Where can I find information on how to clean burnt-on grime from off the bottom of Griswold and Wagner cast iron skillets that I collect?

- Catherine Foote, Phoenix, AZ

Question: For a number of years, I've had a little cast iron tea kettle of which I'm enclosing a photo. It has a wooden handle on a wire bail, and a little white porcelain knob attached to the lid that can be moved in a complete circle around the top of the pot. The piece measures 41/2-inches in diameter, and stands 6-inches high to the top of the handle, and is marked WAGNER WARE Sidney-O with the letter A underneath. How can I find out its age, history and value? Are there any books on such pieces?

- Kay Thompson, Austin, TX

Question: I have a 51/2-inch Wagner frying pan, as well as some old smoking pipes. How can I find out the value of such pieces?

- Max Gustin, Biloxi, MS

Answer: A major Griswold and Wagner collector, whom I personally know, swears the following method will clean burned bottons on cast iron skillets, pots or pans with amazing results:

Put the skillets in a self-cleaning oven turning on the function, and letting it run for the same length of time it would take to clean the oven. Afterward, recure the skillets by completely rubbing the whole pans with vegetable oil. Then either bake the pans in the oven as regularly used, or place them on burners on top of the stove until all the black grease turns into ash. Then simply wipe the skillets clean. If you don't have a self-cleaning oven, ask someone who does and if you can use it.

In answer to the inquirey regarding the age, history and value of the little Wagner tea kettle described above; such a toy kettle,which dates between 1915 and 1925, has a value of $150 with an iron finish or $100 with a nickel finish. It can be found pictured, described and priced along with the history of such toys in "The Book of Griswold & Wagner - Favorite, Wapak, Sidney Hollow Ware - With Price Guide," by David G. Smith & Chuck Wafford (Schiffer). It is available for $32.90 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.

In answer to the above inquiry regarding the small Wagner pan: Such pans are usually worth between $50 and $60 depending on the size, finish and markings. To make sure of its value, send me a Xerox of its marks along with its color and finish. Or consult the above mentioned book.

To check out or sell old, odd or antique smoking pipes and related items, write pipe collector Frank Burla, 23W311 Wedgewood Court, Naperville, IL 60540. Enclose a photo and description of the pipe, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply, evaluation, or offer. Or phone Frank (who also appraises other antique smoking items, and sells books on the subject) at 847-961-0156.

Question: Where can we find original jukeboxes dating from the 1940s? We're looking for a particular one for our parents' upcoming anniversary? We have an old snapshot of our parents dancing to a jukebox in their favorite hangout before they were married.

- Connie Anderson, Janesville,

WI

Answer: You'll find the exact jukebox you want - along with the popular records from the '40s it played - at the Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot-Machine & Jukebox Show. Nov. 23-34 at the Pheasant Run Resort on Route 64, North Avenue: 21/2 miles west of Route 59 in St. Charles, Ill., near Chicago. Admission $5. For show information or travel directions, phone Steve Gronowski at 847-381-1234. For discount room rates phone Pheasant Run Resort at 800-999-3319.