What is an empty shell to someone can be worth a whole-lot-of-money to another. Found at a storage unit, this somewhat rusty bomb-shell is now a ten-foot eye-catcher outside a Mt. Airy salvage store. Hey, psst, wanna buy a bomb?
It’s the shell of a Mark 84 General Purpose bomb that the U.S. first tried out on Vietnam. It’s sitting in a garage near Weavers Way Co-op and it can be used for just about anything. It’s just one of the many interesting items that show up at the Philadelphia Salvage business run by Chris Stock.
It is a novelty, “We are just having a blast with it,” said Harrison. Some people are offended by it and some think it is cool. Harrison says a 12-year old boy wants to bring it home but doesn’t know how to hide it. It also can make a lot of noise, “Last week when we were pulling it in to close the store it fell off the cart, making a loud boom,” he said.
Harrison says he’d like to see someone put some wheels on it and use it as a soap box derby car.
As for its value, he says it could fetch $900. There are several people interested: A coffee-shop want to use it as an outdoor sign and a group restoring a plane may use it to match the one they already have.
More than bombs Philadelphia Salvage is more about finding a wide variety of home furnishings. It houses a wide variety of items that are displayed from the front to the back and from the floor to the ceiling. There are the massive church doors form the Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on 63th and Lancaster, old dinner chairs, which are stacked up to the roof and there’s a large vintage sign that says “Security Fireproof Storage”. There is a small workshop in the back. Here, Chris Stock shows a couple of Lancaster County ’40/50’s handmade American steel boxes that they are refurbishing. “We are sanding down the rust a bit and rubbing them in oil. After we are done with them they will be used at a South Philly nail salon to display nail-polish,” he explains.
Need room for more stuff Stock says Philadelphia Salvage is in final stage of negotiations to acquire 12,000 square feet in an open lot just a few doors down from the business. He says it will have a lumber yard, sell prepared wood for raised flowerbeds and slate chalkboards.
Hang out with them Oh, there’s one more thing you should know about the guys down at Philadelphia Salvage. They like to hang out with just about anyone. Every Thursday night, neighbors, craftsman and artisans gather in front of the store for a community hang out. Stock and Harrison put out a bunch of seats and offer free beer and bourbon (to those of legal age, of course.) James explains that it is a good thing because the nearest bar is on Germantown Avenue. “I was there last night, nobody was outside, everyone was cramped inside. I could hardly hear who I was talking to. While hanging out with us is comfortable and you can share with like-minded people,” he said.