May 1 , 2022 /


Many of us are or have been collectors.  We collect all kinds of things and some people specialize in a niche that would not have occurred to the rest of us. Here is a list of 17 strange ones. Unopened Coca-Cola bottles?  OK, I once collected matchbook covers and one U.S. coin from every year. My parents gave me little blue books where I inserted them into the appropriate slots. You can still get those books and there is now one with 240 slots.

Here is Bob Vila’s list:

One of my sons collected vintage guitars for several years when he was younger, sold the collection and put a down payment on a house.  He once had a collection of matchbox cars and now has  a collection of ukuleles.  He specializes in repair and restoration of guitars and ukuleles.

He and a colleague have an amazing collection of vintage pinball machines and a museum that is open to the public.

I have had several collections over many years and in the process of downsizing or right sizing have sold or given them to others.  Those collections included some 18th and 19th century antiques – pottery, textiles and some furniture plus printed German fracturs or birth certificates, mostly from Pennsylvania.  I still have a couple of pieces of pottery from Left-handed Russell Henry whom I met and who is more contemporary although he has moved on beyond this life.

Two friends who live in PA are antiques’ dealers as well as a collectors of early PA furniture and accessories. We used to go to country farm auctions in the hope of finding something rare that we could acquire at a reasonable price.  That is no longer the case.  Antiques Roadshow and the Internet have changed collecting antiques along with thousands of other things.

A friend, Jonathan Holstein, is an expert on American Quilts and at one time had an amazing collection of early Amish quilts, many with colorful geometric designs. He and his wife Gail hung the first show of quilts as an art form at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in 1973.

Jon also wrote the book,”The Pieced Quilt: An American Design Tradition” He still lectures on quilts and is a consultant to numerous collectors and museums.

As a final note on the high end of collecting, you have only to look at the car collections of Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld and some others who will not be named.  At the other end are the kids just starting out collecting, things like tadpoles and lightning bugs, maybe bottle caps, and although short-lived, it’s how many of us collectors started out.  Now I collect stories about people and write about them like this.  What do you collect?


Comments (5)

  1. As a kid, I used to collect bubble-gum wrappers with pictures of dinosaurs on the inside… all neatly pasted into a collection book provided by the bubble-gum maker 🙂 Then I moved onto flags of countries… then music cassettes… and CDs… and books… and now? I’m not sure. I guess I collect travel experiences?! That’s the closest thing I can think of 🙂

  2. What do I collect? That’s a great question! As I kid, I used to collect bubble-gum wrappers with Dinosaur pictures on the inside, and then pasted them into ‘collection pages’ provided by the gum-maker… to be traded in for a book… then it was flags of countries… then it was science fiction books… then it was music cassettes… and CDs… and non-fiction books… and now? I imagine it is travel experiences… and maybe ‘questions’…?

    1. Thanks for sharing. I am imagining that people collect things that attract them and finding out why would be an interesting project. Why flags of countries? What was it about them that caught your attention, and so on. Books, yes, and a particular genre too. I’ll stop here for now as this could go on and on and on.

    1. We’re all collections of memories, don’t you think? But 300 stuffed animals as family is a large collection of family members. I wouldn’t fathom a guess of how many hugs you have given and collected but my hunch is way more than anyone else I knowl Glad you’re enjoying the posts, feel free to share.

Please share your thoughts and opinions