30+ Unexpected Old Things People Found While Cleaning Out Their Houses

Time flies when you are having fun and living life, but when you slow down to appreciate the past, you might find something interesting. These people discovered artifacts from the past like a 100-year-old nursing kit and their grandparent’s army medals. Whether it was sitting in an antique shop or someone’s home, it is exciting to see objects from the past and how technology has changed over time. Prepare to be in awe because of the incredibly interesting things people were able to find from the past. 

1. Star Wars Death Star Planetarium

This person found this Death Star Planetarium toy that was created in 2011. This is a cool find for all Star Wars fans.  

Star Wars Death Star Planetarium


When you turn it on in a dark room, you can see the entire Star Wars galaxy, and then when you put the top on there are little holes that light up the constellations. 

2. 111-Year-Old Miniature Set Of Shakespeare’s Plays

“To be, or not to be. That is the question.” This person found his grandfather’s set of 111-year-old miniature Shakespeare plays. 

111-Year-Old Miniature Set Of Shakespeare's Plays


These little books are very fragile because of their age and can easily be ruined if they are not handled properly. 

3. A Purple Heart Medal

This person was so surprised when a couple found her grandfather’s Purple Heart Medal in a pile that was labeled “trash.”

A Purple Heart Medal


The box had his dog tags in it, so they were able to track down the family and return this incredible memento.

4. Original Cash Register From 1904

This person took a picture of his barber shop’s cash register because it is an original from 1904. It is still working in perfect condition, and it is maintained well. 

Original Cash Register From 1904


In these registers, the receipt comes out with hole punches because there wasn’t digital technology yet. If you paid $2.50 the receipt would print with two hole punches in the dollar column and 50 hole punches in the cents column. 

5. 3,000-Year-Old Figurine

Someone found this figurine while digging in his garden, and he brought it to a museum to be inspected. He found out that it was probably from a grave dating back 3-4,000 years. 

3,000-Year-Old Figurine


It was found in Italy, and the person who found it donated it to the Museum of Parma. 

6. Antique Light Bulb With Flower Shaped Filament

This is a lightbulb from the 1930s produced by Aerolux Lighting Corporation. They produced artistic bulbs with flowers inside that would shine in different colors depending on the gases and coating on the filaments. 

Antique Light Bulb With Flower Shaped Filament


This company also made lightbulbs with cartoon characters, animals, religious symbols, and popular emblems inside. These were popular from the ’30s-’70s. 

7. TV From 1962

This Zenith Reflection-Proof television was supposed to be the black magic television set of the ’50s and ’60s. It was said to not have reflections from windows, bright lights, or room lights. 

TV From 1962


In the advertisements for this television, Zenith promised that this television would have the clearest image with the detail of fine photography. 

8. 600-Year-Old Carved Out Buddha

In China’s Jiangxi Province, construction workers cause a local reservoir to sink 10 feet, which revealed this carved out buddha. 

600-Year-Old Carved Out Buddha


Based on the location of where it was found, it is most likely from the Ming Dynasty, which lasted from 1368-1644. It is incredible how well it has been preserved. 

9. 1942 U.S. Eagle Republic “Airmen Know Your Enemy” Flyer

This was found in a bomber jacket from World War 2. These flyers were given to pilots so they would know their enemy if they landed in enemy territory. 

1942 U.S. Eagle Republic "Airmen Know Your Enemy" Flyer


In the left image, it instructs you to fold the page in specific places that form a cartoon of Hitler’s face. In videos shown to American pilots, it said, “Simply align the puzzle as directed by the quadrants and arrows and you will assemble a picture of the worst Nazi of all. We do not expect you to encounter this person under everyday circumstances, but should you somehow find yourself proximate to his person, you may be able to take action which will shorten the war and save millions of lives.” 

10. Intricate Old Key Holes To Stop Grave Robbers

This is a Warded Lock that was used during the Middle Ages on mausoleums to protect the graves from being robbed. 

Intricate Old Key Holes To Stop Grave Robbers


These locks cannot be unlocked without the specific keys. Inside there are intricate slots and notches that only correspond to the exact key. 

11. 100-Year-Old Nursing Kit

Back in the late 1800s, nursing kits had cocaine tablets in them because it was used as a medical treatment. Cocaine was used for many things in the medical world before people realized how addictive it was. ​Cocaine was used as a local anesthetic in the eyes because it made the eye immobile and desensitized to pain.

100-Year-Old Nursing Kit


Also, it was marketed as a treatment for toothaches, depression, and alcoholism. You didn’t even need a prescription for it, and it could be purchased for 50 cents. 

12. Arrowhead Found Inside A Log

This arrowhead is so old that a tree grew around it. This was likely from Native Americans who used these to hunt for food. 

Arrowhead Found Inside A Log


The middle part once held some sort of weight that helped make a deeper impact. Since this one landed in a tree, it seems like they did not have a good hunt that day. 

13. Antique Aquarium

This antique aquarium is giving us the Little Mermaid vibes. The copper details have rusted slightly, giving it an iridescent color in some lighting. 

Antique Aquarium


The detailed work here is much more intricate than most fish tanks you find today. If this doesn’t leak, it is a great find. 

14. Monopoly Set From The 1940s

Someone found this Monopoly game in the walls of their house that was built in 1925. The first Monopoly set was released in 1935 by Parker Brothers. The person who hid it must have been annoyed that someone was cheating all the time. 

Monopoly Set From The 1940s


Fun Fact, in 1941, the British Secret Secret Intelligence Service had the manufacturer create a special edition for World War II prisoners who were captured by the Nazis. The game contained maps, compasses, real money, and other items that were used for escaping. 

15. Corvettes Produced From 1953-1989

These are 36 different models of Corvettes that were produced between the years 1953 and 1989. They were found in an abandoned New York storage lot. 

Corvettes Produced From 1953-1989


These cars were used for an ’80s promotion, and then someone forgot about them. They have now been recovered and restored, and you can win one of them by entering the sweepstakes by “The Lost Corvettes.” 

16. Typewriter From 1950s To Type Sheet Music

This typewriter for sheet music was first invented in 1936, and it was sold in the 1950s for $225. That would have been very expensive for the time. 

Typewriter From 1950s To Type Sheet Music


There are still some in existence in museums and private collections. These were created to make writing sheet music more efficient. 

17. Antique American Pledge Of Allegiance

Many people today know that the American pledge of allegiance says, “One nation under God, Indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” In this old copy of the pledge of allegiance, it does not reference God. 

Antique American Pledge Of Allegiance


The original pledge of allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy. The reference to God was added in 1954 by president Eisenhower in response to the Communist threat. 

18. Roman Coin From 306-337 A.D.

This Roman coin was found by someone when they were metal detecting in France. The coin pictures Emporer Constantine I, and it was minted in Trier, Germany, between 306 and 337 A.D. 

Roman Coin From 306-337 A.D.


These coins were made from bronze, and due to hyperinflation, they became worthless. 

19. 60 Year Old Condoms

Based on the looks of these condoms, this must be why there were so many babies born in the ’60s. 

60 Year Old Condoms


In the ’60s, condoms were made with polyurethane. Condom companies found that this material had a high rupture rate, so they were discontinued. 

20. This Old Sundial Shows Multiple Times Around The World

Usually, sundials only show the time of the place that it is sitting in, but this one is different. It has multiple panels that help show the time of other countries. 

This Old Sundial Shows Multiple Times Around The World


This specific sundial sits on Mont Sainte-Odile in Alsace, France. It is truly a site to see. 

21. Page From A Captains Log From 1777

Captain’s logs were used in the 1700s and 1800s to record details of the voyage. Sometimes they are short, and others are long and detailed. 

Page From A Captains Log From 1777


These logs include details such as scientific information gathered during the journey, daily accounts of the weather, and meteorological observations. 

22. Computer That Still Runs On DOS And Uses Floppy Disks

This person’s grandpa still uses a computer that runs on the Disk Operating System (DOS) that was used in computers until the late ’90s. 

Computer That Still Runs On DOS And Uses Floppy Disks


Also, this computer is compatible with floppy disks, which stopped being made in 2011. 

23. A Bar Of Silver

This person found a bar of silver in their grandma’s house, and it is worth $1,500. That is a pretty valuable find. 

A Bar Of Silver


Silver is measured in troy ounces, and one troy ounce is worth $15.00 today. We wonder if he found more than one silver bar. His grandma must not have believed in banks. 

24. Antique Door In Germany From 1380

This door from the 1300s has a metal piece under the keyhole so it would be easier to unlock the door in the dark or after a long night of drinking wine. 

Antique Door In Germany From 1380


This idea would be very helpful in all college dorms for students who spend nights out at the bar. 

25. Railway Ticket Dated Aug 18, 1890

The first passenger train started operating in the US in 1827, and this ticket is dated for 1890. Train travel was only around for 60 years when this ticket was used. 

Railway Ticket Dated Aug 18, 1890


It is so interesting to see how railroad tickets have changed over the past centuries. Hopefully, this piece was preserved and given to a museum. 

26. Original Moon Landing Printing Plates From The Time Magazine Cover

This metal printing plate was used to create the Time magazine cover when the US landed on the moon in 1969. 

Original Moon Landing Printing Plates From The Time Magazine Cover


These metal plates were used in the ’60s and ’70s to print magazines. 

27. 2000 Year Old Green Serpentine Stone Mask

This 2,000-year-old mask made of green serpentine stone was found by archeologists in Mexico at the base of The Pyramid of the Sun. 

2000 Year Old Green Serpentine Stone Mask


Other items found during this dig included human figurines made out of the same stone. There were also human remains discovered at nearby pyramids, which were thought to have been sacrificed. 

28. Lightbulb From 1902

It seems that things from the early 1900s were built to last considering this lightbulb still works. 

Lightbulb From 1902


These lightbulbs look much different than the ones we are used to seeing today. They have more pieces inside and do not shine as bright. 

29. An Old Tea Cup That Keeps Your Mustache Dry

This teacup with a mustache protector is called the mustache cup. These were invented in 1865 when mustaches were widely popular. The British military even required soldiers to have a mustache. 

An Old Tea Cup That Keeps Your Mustache Dry


The popularity of these cups declined during the 1920s and ’30s, but it has now become a popular collector’s item because mustaches are popular again. 

30. Old Lunar Globe Where The Far Side Of The Moon Is Still Uncharted

The far side of the moon was first observed in 1959 by a Soviet space probe, and the first humans to see it were on Apollo 8 in 1968. This lunar globe has to be from before that time. 

Old Lunar Globe Where The Far Side Of The Moon Is Still Uncharted


The near side of the moon is the part that faces heart, and it is much smoother while the far side has many more craters and impact sites. 

31. Some Horse Hitches Still Stand In New Orleans

Horse hitches are still found on the streets of New Orleans as it is a very historical city. These were used for parking horses before cars were popular. 

Some Horse Hitches Still Stand In New Orleans


Besides New Orleans, these horse hitches can be found in other states where historical markings are preserved. 

32. Calculator From The ’60s

We are so happy that calculators have become more efficient since the 1960s. This one seems very complicated to use, and the instructions are even more complicated to understand. 

Calculator From The '60s


This “Magic Brain Calculator” was invented in Japan and became highly used throughout the world by the ’70s. 

33. Old European Houses Used To Have Shoe Scrapers To Clean Off Mud

During the 18th century, people started getting out of their carriages and walking through their cities. Now that people were walking more, their shoes got muddy, and they needed to clean them before going inside. 

Old European Houses Used To Have Shoe Scrapers To Clean Off Mud


Boot scrapers started to be placed outside of European homes to clean the bottom of shoes after taking a stroll along the dirt paths. 

34. 1980s McDonalds Happy Meal Toys

These toys are the 1980s McDonalds Changeables, or McRobots. These were introduced when Transformers became popular, so McDonald’s released its own version. 

1980s McDonalds Happy Meal Toys


The series consisted of a Big Mac, Mcnugget box, large fries, milkshake, Egg McMuffin, and a quarter pounder. 

35. Freddie Mercury Plate From 1980’s

Freddie Mercury was the lead singer of the band Queen, who passed away from AIDS. This vintage plate makes him look like the king he really was. 

Freddie Mercury Plate From 1980's


Although this specific one is from the’80s, there are similar designs sold on Etsy for all the Queen and Freddie Mercury fans. 

36. Coin From 1797

This coin from 1797 features King George III. It was a coin used in Britain worth two pence. 

Coin From 1797


Right before this coin was produced, there was a coin shortage in Britain, so this was an overreaction to that. 

37. Newspaper From 1969 About The Moon Landing

“One small step for man, One giant leap for mankind.” On July 20, 1969, the Apollo Lunar module landed on the moon, making America the first country to have Austronaunts successfully land on the moon. This person found a few newspapers printed on that day. 

Newspaper From 1969 About The Moon Landing


This event was a significant part of American and world history. If we were them, we would frame this as it is an original. 

38. Antique Ring Made To Hold Poison

This ring was found at an antique market in New York. The vintage ring dates back to the 16th century when poison or pillbox rings were first worn. The center lifts up and poison could be put inside to use on enemies.  

Antique Ring Made To Hold Poison


People could easily tip their hand over someone else’s drink and poison them without anyone knowing. 

39. Vintage Forbidden Candy Identification Chart

This vintage pill identification chart was created because many pills can look like candy to children. 

Vintage Forbidden Candy Identification Chart


These charts probably saved many lives, but pills shouldn’t be left around children in the first place. 

40. Nintendo Hanafuda Cards From 1889

Hanafuda playing cards have been around since the 16th century, but Nintendo only started selling them around 1889. These cards were used in gambling parlors by the Yakuza. 

Nintendo Hanafuda Cards From 1889


These cards made card games popular in Japan again, and today they are still sold by Nintendo. There is even a special Mario edition. 

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