Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Go To Guy For the Fourth of July

Who do you think of first 

for the 4th of July?

For me that would be

Uncle Sam and his Lady Friend.

Uncle Sam as a patriotic figure

dates back to the War of 1812.

A man by the name of Samuel Wilson 

from Troy, NY, contracted with

the government to provide beef to 

the troops during the war.

The barrels were stamped US, for country of origin,

but folks jokingly began to say the initials stood for

 Samuel Wilson, the meat purveyor. 

Soon the term "Uncle Sam" became

linked with national pride and the US government.

The symbolic character, when illustrated,

was generally featured with a goatee

and wore red striped pants, blue jacket, and a top hat.

As with collecting other holiday pieces,

I found that my collection grew as I came across

interesting pieces that had been hand carved from wood

or sculpted in paper maché or as a cloth doll.

Most basically remain true to the original tall, lean, and lanky

 cartoon character of political cartoonist, Thomas Nast.

I have come to appreciate the different personalities given each 

figure by the artist who created these patriotic guys.

As is often the case with collections, I didn't start out

to collect Uncle Sam figures, but somewhere along the way

they captured my interest and and one led to another.

Like this guy, faded and rather small,

and signed and dated 1940.

I found him at an estate sale along

with a companion piece of a carved army officer.

How I wish I knew the story of the individual who 

carved this wonderful piece of folk art. 

Normally my "guys" are at home

on a set of shelves in a guest bathroom,

but during the summer months they can be found

sitting about in vignettes in our home.

This summer I filled my Nantucket baskets with flowers

and gathered a few of the figures on a wicker tray.

They make a festive centerpiece 

on the dining room table.

I shared a complete post on my collection of Americana

in July of 2011.  You can read more about each of the figures

as well as other Americana I collect here.

My collection is not historically valuable, but simply 

pieces that appeal to me, picked up through the years.

If interested in starting a collection of your own

you might find this book of interest.

THE FOREMOST GUIDE TO UNCLE SAM COLLECTABLES, by Gerald Czulewicz, Sr. Available here at Amazon.

Wishing each of you a Happy 4th of July!



The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Hi Sarah, nice collection of Uncle Sams. You did a great job of displaying each of them. I only have one Uncle Sam and he is too heavy to stand alone, I have to wire him to something to keep him from falling over. Sounds like to need to be on the hunt for new ones. Enjoy the 4th.

  2. Sarah, your collection is lovely. Your Uncle Sam's are so precious. How special to have this collection. Your vignettes are lovely with flowers and your Uncle Sam's. So whimsical and cute too. Happy 4th to you. Thank you for sharing this delightful collection at DI&DI.

  3. Sarah, I love a great collection and your Uncle Sam's are unique! Thanks for sharing the background! Wishing you a Happy 4th! Pam @ Everyday Living

  4. Wow, Sarah, what an incredible collection! I love the back story (did not know it), and always appreciate a fellow collector who falls into their collection over time. Your DR centerpiece vignette is particularly appealing with the Nantucket baskets. True Americana! Happy 4th!

  5. I'm always amazed at your Americana collection, and I loved that you told the history of Uncle Sam. Gosh, I didn't realize he was that old. :) Great post! Happy 4th of July!

  6. Sarah, I love your collections but Uncle Sam and Americana is near and dear to my heart. I have vintage post card envy too ;) Like Rita, I didn't know the story behind Uncle Sam either. Thanks for sharing your love of the Red, White and Blue. Happy 4th to you!

  7. I love your collection Sarah! You always have such a creative way of displaying things. I didn't know how the Uncle Sam got started. I always thought it was created for the military to recruit soldiers. Happy 4th of July!

  8. I can never get over your tasteful collections.Charming..and Happy 4th!I never thought of putting flowers in my Nantucket basket:) I have pasta in mine!

  9. What a fun collection! I really enjoyed learning the history of Uncle Sam!
    Happy 4th of July!

  10. What a cute collection you have, Sarah! I love the nutcracker! My grandfather and Daddy both used to build whirly-gigs which is what brought me to your blog this morning. Happy 4th of July, and enjoy your day.


  11. Good morning Sarah, you have lovely collections of Uncle Sam. Thank you for sharing all your decoration
    Have Happy 4th of July!!!!
    God Bless America!!!!!!!

  12. What a beautiful tribute. If I had to pick a favorite I think it would be the uncle sam figurine that's all faded. Loving his smile :-)

  13. Lovin' your red, white and blue Uncle Sam collection Sarah! Especially fond of the hanging, blinged up ornament. Happy 4th of July-enjoy:@)

  14. WOW, Sarah, your collection is amazing. Wishing you and yours a Happy 4th!!!! xoxo

  15. Sarah, I just love the needlework, Sams!! They are precious and I think I could actually make those! Happy 4th my friend! I hope you enjoy the day among all of your fabulous Uncle Sams! :)

  16. What a wonderful collection! Love the way you have worked them into little vignettes around your house for the holiday, too. Now you must tell me about that quilt -- did you make it? I have old quilts from my family, but none that I think are that pretty!

  17. Sarah, I LOVE all your patriotic decorations! Positively adore the little needlepoint ones. If I owned them, I would tell everybody that I made them. Unfortunately, nobody would believe me. Have a wonderful 4th and rest of the week!!

  18. What a wonderful collection! That's the only collection of Uncle Sams I've ever seen!
    Happy July 4th! Rhondi

  19. Oh my goodness, Sarah, what a fabulous collection of Uncle Sams! I am swooning over each and every vignette that you've shared and I'm going to go back and look at your "guys" again.
    Happy 4th to you! God Bless America!

  20. What a unique Uncle Sam collection, Sarah! You display them so nicely too. We are having a quiet 4th of July this year. In between trips, we decided to stay home but I am sure we will witness neighbors' fireworks tonight. Hope you are having a wonderful one....Christine

  21. Sarah, you always have the most interesting collections! Happy 4th to you.

  22. Sarah,
    A d o r a b l e collection of Uncle Sam figurines, dear friend!
    I purchased my first "Uncle Sam" this year at Pier One to give as a host & hostess gift!
    It was a perfect gift for a 4th of July Brunch!
    Thank you for sharing yours with us!
    Happy Fourth of July!

  23. Dearest Sarah,
    What a joy to read this on the 4th of July! Wishing you first of all a very Happy 240th Birthday of our great nation.
    LOVE your patriotic collection of various Uncle Sam figurines.
    It is all so meaningful too, telling us the story of the USA as it all started out.
    Thanks for sharing your great photos.

  24. This is such an interesting post, Sarah! I have to share it with Alan. He's a history buff, especially the Civil War times and that period most of the 1800's. This is a great collection, i just love it. You have a great many collections it seems and I love seeing them.

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday. 4 straight days of fireworks and some going on right now!

    Have a great week!


  25. Hi Sarah,
    You already know how much I love your U.S. collection, I think I spotted a couple of new additions today? The stylish vignettes that you have created display them all so beautifully especially when there's Quimper in the background and a fabulous strutting rooster alongside!
    Luv, M.

  26. Sarah,
    My Goodness! Your Americana Collection is just the cutest thing!! Love it!! So festive!! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  27. Thank you Sarah, for telling the background story of Uncle Sam's. That is so interesting. Your collection is amazing. I know you have had fun collecting these works of art over the years.
    I remember you 2011 post but I am going back to reread.
    Sorry, you couldn't make the lunch at Rise. We really liked the restaurant and it was fun meeting other bloggers.

  28. After reading your fun post and seeing all of your adorable Uncle Sam's, I realize something is missing at our house. I don't own a single Uncle Sam. I think I can fix that problem.

  29. Hi Sarah, what a great Uncle Sam collection! I have one of the same postcards, and I have it displayed just like you in my recent post! Have a great week!

  30. Hello Sarah,
    Your post is wonderful. I did not know where the term "Uncle Sam" came from, thank you for sharing about him. Your collection is quite interesting, all kinds of Uncle Sams.

  31. Loved the history of Uncle Sam! Thanks so much for stopping by for "Let's Talk Vintage!"

  32. Love all your Uncle Sam's...what a great collection! Hope you had a great holiday!

  33. Sarah, what a great collection of Uncle Sams. He is such a distinguished gentleman, he has to be the go to guy for the Independence Day celebrations..Hope you had a happy one..Judy

  34. Sarah, it never entered my mind to collect Uncle Sam but I think that's a fun idea! Your collection is amazing!

  35. It was interesting to learn the story behind the term "Uncle Sam," Sarah. I love your collection of figurines. Hope you had a Happy 4th of July!

  36. Dear Sarah:
    Your collection of patriotic figurines is unmatched! Amazing! I love them all and thank for sharing and linking.

  37. this is a wonderful and informative post. love that you stuck with a limited concept, it makes it that much more special.

  38. Sarah- this is a wonderfully informative post and I love your collection.
    You have wonderful things your family can enjoy.

    Thank you for sharing this at Thoughts of Home. We are so glad you are here.

  39. Sarah, This is exactly how my collections usually start--one or two items I am attracted to and then I'm on the hunt! I love your collection. It is so varied, with vintage and your own home stitched needlepoint pieces. I wonder if you are stitching anything now? I have a few pillows and even Christmas stockings but I'm very lazy and slow with my projects. My sister is "Aunt Sam" to my kids and they are always finding Uncle Sam gifts for her and think it is very funny, but I love him for the sense of patriotism he instills. He is the perfect soulmate for Lady Liberty! I really enjoyed seeing your collection and the post you linked to also. Thank you for sharing it with us! Linda

  40. Sarah, what an amazing collection you have. Each piece is special. Thank you for sharing at Your Inspired Designs.

  41. I'm a little late to this, Sarah, but enjoyed it nevertheless. Your collection of Uncle Sams is very sweet. I think I like best the little old carved fellow that you bought at an estate sale. He has a very gentle face.

  42. What a great collection!Years ago I had an Uncle Sam whirligig that used to live in the garden in the summertime, but alas his arms broke off and we finally had to let him go. :( Your post made me miss him again.

  43. Good morning Sarah!

    Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope your summer has been a delight in your garden and home. Isn't it fun to collect what we love, arrange it and admire it in the peace and quiet? Lovely collection AND I never knew the history of this character!

    It's been a great summer so far, but like everything, it will have to end. BUT we still have time to enjoy!

  44. Happy to see your beautiful stitching in the photos!

  45. Dear Sarah:
    Your lovely post was featured today on my blog - congratulations!

  46. Dear Sarah:
    Your lovely post was featured today on my blog - congratulations!

  47. I love all those different representations of Uncle Sam!

  48. I love that vignette on the wicker side table. Thanks for the background, I never really knew the whole story! And thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xoKathleen Charm Bracelet Diva {At Home}

  49. What a great collection of Uncle Sam's! Thank you for sharing at Home Sweet Home!


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