Library display salutes Mickey Mouse at 90

Shawn Hardy
Bill Spigler shows a metal hand-car, operated by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, along with other figures from his collection. In honor of Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday, Spigler's pre-World War II Mickey Mouse items are featured in the display case at Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library in Greencastle. SHAWN HARDY/ECHO PILOT

Mickey Mouse turned 90 on Nov. 18, 2018, and a display continuing through at least the end of January at Greencastle's Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library celebrates the Walt Disney icon.

The pieces in the library display case are from the pre-World War II collection of Bill Spigler of Waynesboro.

Spigler, long an antiques collector, buyer and seller, displayed baseball cards at the library about 10 years ago and also is known for his expertise in coins and stamps.

He and his wife, Jo, spend several days a week in Greencastle caring for their granddaughter, 4-year-old Addie, daughter of Will and Amie Spigler. He said they are often at the library for Miss Cheyenne's classes, referring to children's librarian Cheyenne Bookwalter.

Spigler saw the "wanted" sign on the display case and knew he had a good, unique collection to fill it.

He's been collecting Mickey Mouse items for more than 30 years.

"Unique" is an apt description of the vast number of ways Mickey appears in a range of materials, including plastic, iron, rubber, wood, ceramics and cardboard.

"Walt was a master at getting into every corner," Spigler said, marveling at the marketing genius of Mickey Mouse's creator. He recalled a visit to Ireland where there were Mickey Mouse pieces in the toy room of a castle and commented on Mickey Mouse's popularity in China and Japan.

Spigler has a key-wound, metal hand-car pumped by Mickey Mickey and Minnie Mouse figurines — made either of composite or paper-mache materials. The train car was made by Lionel and Spigler observed, "Walt had a deal with everyone."

And like Norman Rockwell, Disney put himself into his art. There are collector's cards featuring Walt Disney with Mickey Mouse.

Sets of 1930s cards, similar to baseball cards, were another piece of ingenious marketing. Each contained a question answered on another card and collectors could place the cards in albums instead trading them.

Also in the display case, Mickey can be found piloting a plane, riding a racehorse, driving a car or just hanging out in different outfits, along with his girlfriend, Minnie Mouse, and friends Donald Duck and Pluto.

The library is always looking for displays or collections for its display case and more information is available by stopping by the library at 305 E. Baltimore St. or by calling 717-597-7920.