June 2012 Newsletter

New Glassware

To the right are pictues of the new bottles that are officially added to our line today. From left to right, is a Baker Patent Fruit Jar, the W.K. Lewis Tomato Ketchup bottle, Whitall's Atmospheric Fruit Jar, and lastly Potter and Bodine Wax Seal Fruit jar..

 Civil War Glassware



Customer of the Month

 Jeff Rodriguez

 Jeff Rodriguez 

There are times when fate will deal a hand that will reveal its value at a later date. Looking back Jeff, had commented that he had not set out to reenact per se; the motivation to look into it came about from a book on photographing reenactments (of all things!). In a desire to find out more, he attended a local event in Edgewater NJ in 1989. He joked that he naively asked what was required to get involved, "Do you have to take a test?"

Jeff was really bitten by the bug at that first little event, and made up his mind that night, to get involved. As they were the only ones that he found at the time, he joined the 7th Rhode Island, which was actually based out of Rhode Island. Shortly afterwards, (and as the 7th Rhode Island dwindled down in members), he found a permanent home in the 7th NJ.

With the 7th, he not only found a home unit, but found what he really enjoyed in the hobby. Up to this point in his life, he had never camped out, and joked that if you asked him to start a fire outdoors at that time, he would have put a match next to a log. The real pleasure that he gets, is not only experiencing the life of the soldier, but also interpreting it for the public, educating them on mid-19th century life and possibly getting them interested. While he admits that there are those that enjoy discussing battles and stategies, it is the everyday minutae that he enjoys collecting and sharing.

Jeff is a classically trained artist, having graduated from Parson's School for design, majoring in illustration. He did commercial pieces for the Meadowlands Racetrack here in NJ. He also sells his original watercolor artwork pieces at his online store. His artwork is available for purchase at his online store located at:

Jeff is recently married, and met his wife, who by pure coincidence, was also involved in the hobby. They met through completely modern day connections, and were surprised to find their common interest.

Jeff also enjoys doing different impressions. He got interested in zouaves when he saw the colorful uniforms in different period illustrations. He was one of the first to put together a Collis Zouave impression, which he was able to get a local woman to create for him.

His current interest is recreating a World War II Navy impression, in honor of his father's service as a machinist's mate. All in all, that photography book has brought him a hobby that both he and his wife can enjoy together, and allowed him a way to pay tribute to past military service personell as well as his own father.



Check us out on facebook!

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We have current updates, and weekly (mostly) video blogs, discussing various topics of the hobby. Check us out when you can, and feel free to contact us for more information.

NJ Sekela on Facebook


New additions to the fabric line!

TNew Jeanclothhrough our contacts in the fashion business, we were able to find several small mills capable of producing the same or better quality fabric than is currently available in the hobby. Samples of different jeancloth samples submitted from different mills. The tan jeancloth is very fine, both fine cotton and wool, and is such an even finish, that it looks like satinette. SO MUCH of the reproduction jeancloth to this date has been made with craft or carpet yarn, and there have been copies of copies. The original fabrics were INTENDED to mimick 100% wool, and did everything that they could to mask the warp.

The yellow warp jeancloth (sky blue on yellow) is closer to what we have commonly seen in the hobby today.

We expect to have inventory of the fine tan, indigo (dark navy) blue and tomato red jeancloth in the next three weeks.


 vegetable dyed yarnsI was also surprised to find out that there are still houses that do vegetable dyeing. The yarn on the far left is natural indigo, and the far right is walnut and madder.

This house is capable of piece dyeing as well as yarn, opening up a range of options from yard goods to socks. We are also working on our own line of coverlets, in both analine and vegetable dyed wools.

 Look for our uniforms this summer on BBC America!


We had the honor of producing the 1860's Metropolitan Police Uniforms that are featured in the upcoming series, premiering this August. It is funny how a simple request can blossom into something much bigger. We had originally started out producing the Metropolitan Police hats for the Conspirator, and with the scholarship of our customer, Nick Finelli, were able to recreate the entire uniform for the period.

Look for updates at this link!


Wooden "Telegraph" Matches.
check it out!

Wooden MatchesThis project is finally coming to completion, and we are looking forward to having them in stock. Enclosed are pictures showing the bodies after varnishing, and with the chemical tips added.

We are very eager to offer these, as they have not been available since the 19th century.

New and upcoming projects!

New Porcelain Calico buttons

Porcelain Calico buttons

The next logical progression to the Prosser patent buttons was to offer the calico styles. These have been several months in the works, and we are in the home stretch with them. We are expecting delivery in the next three weeks, and will have two patterns (shown left), in 4 different colorways, red, black, green, oxblood.