During the twentieth century -- before "Made in China", America produced remarkable things. Good 'ole American stuff. From blankets to cameras, paper hats to vintage jewelry, even the most common things America made were footprints of pride. Yep, from the workwear of the turn of the century, to bottles, old signs, and depression glass America had design and utility down pat.
Even the awkward seventies are collectible. With the resurgence of environmentalism I've seen a vintage seventies "ecology flag" selling on ebay for hundreds while a pair of Peter Max hippie sneakers go for thousands. Time and events definitely change our perception. Just do an auction search for "Michael Jackson" to see how quickly yesterday can become worthy of collecting.
One of my favorite places is The Antique Store in Bridgehampton NY. Not only do they have great antiques, but the proprietors are even able to make a pair of socks or an old piece of glass a gem of American design.
In these economically skinny times, I love walking into this store just to gaze at the great displays of American collectibles. I hope someday America will move forward into yesterday to once more produce remarkably beautiful things.