Collecting is a hobby that many people participate in and collections can certainly span all styles and interests of people. More common collections include such items as stamps, baseball cards, dolls, and books. On the other end of the spectrum are those that collect items less likely to be appealing by the general public, but nonetheless their collections have grown far and wide and in some cases have grown to be notable in many collector circles. While some people might find the collections bizarre, boring, or even worthless, to their owners they are truly priceless.
Air Sickness Bags
Yes, according to Steven J. Silberberg – “airsickness bags are works of art” … obviously art is in the eye of the beholder here. OK, we admit, there are actually a few clever looking ones. An interesting collection and fascination with air sickness bags, this museum currently exhibits 2177 unique bags and many of them you can purchase. In fact, if you are thinking of starting a collection yourself, he offers a starter kit of 3 bags that can be mailed to you. Let’s just hope these are brand new and clean!
Belly Button Lint
Graham Barker began collecting belly button lint aka naval fluff in 1984, and is apparently a world record collector. He states that right before his shower he regularly goes digging for fluff and once found he places the lint in a jar for safe keeping. Apparently he also collects beard clippings and few other random things.
Burt Stark and a friend started collecting toilet photos and toilet paraphernalia long ago and since then have decided to share their love of toilets with the rest of the world. At the virtual toilet museum you can visit every exhibit in the “real” Toilet Museum, and even hear toilet sounds if you choose to, but I’d suggest you visit that area while not at work. Think your friends might like toilet stuff… send them an electronic toilet postcard using Post-A-Toilet.
A museum for people who burn their food… and collect it! Deborah Henson-Conant is the curator of the Burnt Food Museum which began with her… well burning food, or actually a hot glass of Cider which had become a “Cinder” and thus the first, and most impressive exhibit in her museum; the “Free Standing Hot Apple Cider”. You can also send her photos of your lovely burnt meals for her to display.
Dr. Val Kolpakov, a practicing dentist in Saginaw, Michigan began collecting toothpaste from around the world in 2002. Currently, he has over 1,400 items and in March 2010 his collection was recognized as the largest in the world by World Records Academy. Some of the more interesting flavors include Bourbon, Scotch, California Wine, Crème de Mint, and Amaretto. I might actually really love brushing my teeth if they brought those flavors back… thoughts?
Phil Miller has been a collector of sugar packets since 1978 when he started with his first set – the Presidents of the US. His collection has been ongoing for over 17 years and is growing sweeter by the day.
Staplers don’t seem like anything odd to be collecting, but perhaps it’s the collector’s enthusiasm that has this one making the list (if he is real). Lionel Simca claims to be an avid amateur staplist with a large collection of classic Swingline staplers. (Is there such I thing as a pro-staplist??) Anyways, I can’t help but be reminded of the movie “Office Space” and its famous line… “Have you seen my stapler?”
Becky Martz collects banana and broccoli labels and bands. She currently has almost 10,000 different banana labels, and has gone to numerous banana label conventions (I had no idea such a thing even existed) and is quite the banana label enthusiast.
Barbie doll collectors are actually pretty common, but Ken collectors are a bit rarer and what makes it even more so is that he is a male collector. His name is Jef Beck and he is a growing statistic with male doll collectors. He holds a very high regard for the fictional character even claiming Ken to be his best friend. His collection looks to be very impressive, as you can see on his site at Man Behind the Doll.
John Reznikoff, founder and President of University Archives and a historical hair collector from Connecticut has a collection of over 115 locks of celebrity hair. John manly collects celebrity and historical locks as it is a true financial investment. He has even created a perfume line using the DNA from the celebs hair follicles… interesting.
A collector of tissue boxes since 1997, this woman has a large number of box coverings. Some of these tissue boxes are super creepy (like these doll heads.. ack nightmares!!!), but others are very cute and creative, see more tissue boxes.
Band Aid Boxes
Kevin Savetz unintentionally became a collector of band-aid boxes when he moved into his new house once owned by a buddies great grandparents. They were left with over 2 dozen of the metal band-aid boxes and are now sharing photos of them with the world on their Website.
Sigurdur Hjartarson, runs the Icelandic Phallological Museum in the coastal village of Husavik. He started his collection of male animal organs in 1974 with a lone bull’s penis and continued to collect. He opened his museum in 2004 after retiring from teaching. His museum is home to over 260 animal penises, the largest from a sperm whale, 70 kilograms and 1.7 metres long.
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