Collectibles – What are they?
What is a collectible? If you ask different people, they would describe collectibles as items collected during a fad and saved for years hoping the item would gain value. Some collectibles do, but other may lose their value for many reasons. Others might describe a collectible as more on the personal level as collecting a certain pattern on a dish as it reminds them of their departed parents. An old Webster dictionary states: “To gather; assemble.” A dictionary on the internet describes collectibles as: “an object suitable for a collection, originally a work of fine art or an antique, now including also any of a wide variety of items collected as a hobby, for display, or as an investment whose value may appreciate.” The sad part…many items that have been thrown away years ago have become valuable collectibles today. No one can guarantee what items we have today will become valuable in the future.
What Makes us Want to Collect Items?
So have you wondered, what makes us want to collect certain items” i.e. ? i.e. the fisherman looking for old lures to bring back memories; the collector of die-cast car to reminisce about his younger years; or the cook wanting to collect old depression glass or maybe cookie jars. Maybe, it was while on a vacation and you found yourself collecting postcards, spoons, or other memorabilia of each place you visited. How about walking along the beach and picking up sea shells to take home. We all had something within us that triggered the desire to collect something special. But what about the unusual or weird things people collect?
What are some Weird Items People Collect?
1. Toilet paper – and yes there is even a web site complete with a Visitor’s Guide, Exhibit Hall, Site Map, and Blob The Virtual Toilet Paper Museum.
“Maybe they should have a toilet paper museum. Would you like that? So we can see all the toilet paper advancements down through the ages. Toilet paper in the Crusades. The development of the perforation. The first six-pack. ” Jerry Seinfeld.
2. Tea Bags – It wasn’t until 1908 Thomas Sullivan was credited for the little bags or “tea bags.” At first they were made of silk, and then gauze and finally strained paper. Prior to this time, tea was loose and stored in wooded boxes. History has it 1960 was when the tea bag wrappers begun to be a fashion. Today tea bags come in all shapes, colors, with or without labels. So the collector can now have a stimulating, no-cost hobby of collecting these different tea bags and wrappers. There is even a web site for the collector and a tea bag collectible club.
3. Lotto Scratch tickets- When you have scratched off your card, do you throw away the card? Well. There are collectors who collect these scratched off cards…this art of collecting scratch cards is called lotology. Some collectors have been collecting these cards for over twenty years! The lottery tickets, new or scratched off, is now being called the collectible of the 21’s century. Here is their web page.
4. Pet Rocks – I find it unbelievable how many people bought rocks with faces painted on them at flea markets.. Some didn’t have anything on them, just a piece of paper with information about how the rock was a pet to keep around. All you had to do was to dig up rocks in your back yard and then sell them as a pet rock. Did you buy one of these pet rocks? Did you also discover…they eat very little …hardly make any noise…and never have to go out at night to potty? They are a wonderful watch dog. Any intruder can easily be discouraged by throwing your pet rock at him hard!!
Have you ever wondered how the pet rock got started? It all started one night in April of 1975 when Gary Dahl, from California an advertising man, was having drinks with his buddies. During the night the men’s conversation turned to their pets. Not having a pet, Mr. Dahl informed his friends he had a pet rock. He described the pet rock as an ideal pet, easy to care for it and cheap plus had a great personality. Of course his buddies started to tease him about it and before long they too were tossing around the notion of a pet rock. Soon the fad spread across the nation. See the Pet Rock Page. Now you maybe sitting there reading this story and laughing…but Gary Dahl sold 1.5 million of these Pet Rocks at $4.00 each and became a millionaire.
5. Dangerous Santa – Here is a new one…Dangerous Santa advertisements and assorted dangerous Christmas items. Apparently this has caught folk’s attention at exhibits. Who would have thought?….a Dangerous Santa collection? Collections includes stories, advertisements, and items that were dangerous in their time. i.e. Bird lights that caught on fire, things that exploded and Santa hawking scary things. You really need a sense of humor for collecting these collectibles. Check out this dangerous Santa poster.
6. Sock Monkeys – As a child, I remember these sock monkeys, but never thought they would become a collector’s dream. The red heel socks were made by the Nelson Knitting Mills in 1932. They milled the heel red to distinguish their product from imitators. No one knows for sure if the first monkey socks were made by crafters at home. In 1951 the company enclosed sock monkey instructions with each pair of socks they sold. Today, you can find a Blog which was written about the sock monkeys, You can also visit an annual Sock Monkey Madness Festival held in Rockford, Illinois… you can actually make a sock monkey yourself from one of their patterns, or just purchase them. You can pick up old sock monkeys at flea markets for around $25.00 up to hundreds of dollars for the larger sock monkeys.
7. Air sickness Bags –
Yes, there is a collector(s) of these bags. There is even a museum displaying many different bag designs. Yes, they are “puke” free!! A poster of these airbags has been created and it is for sale for that “someone who has everything” except a poster of airsickness bags.
This Air Sickness Bags Poster might make an excellent conversational piece for your bathroom.
8. String – Ed Fouts is just one of many people who collect string. He started in 1941 and now has 178 miles of string. He says he used every string that has been used in the large ball. He tied each end of newer string to his oldest string making a perfectly round ball 4’ 6” high and weighs 338 pounds. He kept track of the time that went into tying/knotting the strings and states he has 293 hours of work invested in the ball of string. When asked why he collected string…he responded he had read a newspaper article just before the war on getting a hobby to forget your worries and live longer. He said it works and he enjoys watching people’s eye widen when they see his ball of string. To see the full newspaper article…
9. Toilet Seats – This is one time you don’t have to worry if the seat is up or down. These toilet sears have been artistically decorated with many different scenes and are displayed in the home of Texan …Barney Smith. Over the last 30 years, he has collected over 700 toilet seats and has them on display in his over sized garage he calls his “Museum” Now you know what to do with your old seat when you have to get a new toilet seat. Save the old seat, decorate it and hang it in your home for a new décor and conversational piece. Hint cut out a large portrait of someone you don’t like and put it under the lid.
10. Museum of Burnt Food – Believe it or not…there is a collection of accidentally burnt foods in a museum. The museum was founded around 1980 when “Deborah” …put a small pot of Apple Cider on the stove to heat. While the apple cider was heating, she received a phone call. Now, I am sure we all can relate to this. Deborah’s phone call took a long time causing her to forget about the Apple Cider heating on the stove. When she returned to the kitchen she found what appeared to be a “Cinder”. Her exhibit at the museum is called “Free Standing Hot Apple Cider.”
I am sure we all could add to this collection with our hands tied behind our backs. In fact some of the burnt food images looked as if they might have come from our house!
Believe it or not this was only 10 weird or unusual collectibles. There are many more i.e. Graham Barker’s Navel Fluff Collection; Joseph W. Lauher’s Handcuffs; Phil Miller’s Sugar Packets; The Asphalt Museum; The Chocolate Wrappers Museum; Scott Weed’s Date Nails; or even Dr. Val Kolpakov’s toothpaste Collection. The list goes on and on. Who knows you may even have one yourself others would say it was weird or unusual. Hope you have enjoyed our “What are Collectibles” and a look into what 10 Weird/Unusual Collectibles people have collected.
At Gifts & Collectibles Galore (like2shop.com), we love sharing several weird or unusual collectibles we found with you. In our next Blog we would like to share some more common collectibles. Thanks for visiting with us at Gifts & Collectibles Galore (like2shop.com)