UNDATED (CBS) -- Some important pieces of White House history will be auctioned off today in Atlanta. They were collected by a longtime employee, who literally saved many of them from the trash pile. He collected everything from presidential cufflinks to rocking chairs and the public is getting a look at them for the very first time.
At Great Gatsby's Auction Gallery in Atlanta Georgia, John Lloyd is selling his grandfather's hand-me-downs. Given the hands they originally came from, there's plenty of interest. Lloyd says, "When you work at any place in the world, you're bound to get things after a while when people come through. Well my grandfather's happened to be presidential things."
Lloyd's grandfather, Bonner Arrington, was a carpenter at the white house for thirty-three years, employed during Harry Truman's administration through to Ronald Reagan's. Lloyd says, "That's one thing he liked about his work, helping out the most patriotic house on the face of the planet in his opinion."
Helping out and helping history. Arrington collected memorabilia that now offers a three-dimensional timeline of America's presidents such as Truman's lighter, John F. Kennedy Jr.'s monogrammed baby pin, and even a burnt wooden post from 1814, when the British set fire to the white house which arrington found at work during the Truman reconstruction.
He also helped with the Kennedy renovation, and collected items from the first lady herself, including a handwritten thank you note after the death of her son Patrick. Lloyd says, "They're real people and they have real lives and a lot of this collection demonstrates that fact too."
Great Gatsby's Auction owner Ted Tzavaras says, "I'm sure when he was collecting them he never thought they'd be of great big value but today we're reliving part of history with these items."
One thousand things that Arrington saved will be auctioned off today and starting bids range from $25 to $12,000. And just like presidential life, the collection is bittersweet with wedding and inauguration announcements next to memories of an assassination and a funeral. Lloyd says, "When I dug down to the bottom of the box and I found that presidential limousine packet, it really made me shutter. The limousine that President Kennedy was assassinated in, and the actual packet that is touting the safety features of this new vehicle. It's like had those been used, we might still have had President Kennedy around today."
Lloyd, expecting his first child in May, says the profits will go toward the next generation of his family. He's hoping buyers want a piece of history from his grandfather and his country.