The Best Collection In The World.

22Jul12

I have always been a bit of a collector. Over the years, I’ve collected stamps, coins, baseball cards, records, model kits, magazines and a host of other things even more boring than those.

The thing is, I always felt I was in a competition with other collectors. It was like I wanted to have the best collection of something while, at the same time, knowing I did not have the time or resources to actually have “the best collection.” That competitive thing always left me feeling bad about my collection – whatever collection I was working on at the time.

But, for the first time, I have a collection that is just mine. I don’t feel like I’m competing with anyone. No one is setting the rules as far as rarity, condition or value.

It’s been a freeing experience and I thoroughly enjoy adding to and looking at my collection.

What do I collect?

Obsolete objects.

Obsolete objects are things that we no longer use.  But, the best part, is that these are objects that I used – things that were once ordinary, every day things that have become, you guessed it, obsolete.  The only rule I follow is each that each item has to have been something I used and/or meant something to me.

For example: I have a slide rule in my collection. My high school freshman science class was the last to learn how to use a slide rule. Then Texas Instruments rolled out inexpensive, hand-held calculators the following year instantly making my trusty slide rule a paperweight.

I handed one of my boys another object one time and asked him what it was. All I got back was a blank stare. Back in the day, before everything was packaged in plastic, oil came in cans – you’ve heard the term “oil can” right? The ones I remember were either all steel or steel top and bottom with treated cardboard between. The object in question was an oil spout with a sharp point on one side to pierce the top of the can. At one time, every garage or shed in America had one, usually wrapped up in an oily rag.

Here’s a partial list of my Obsolete Objects:
Plastic change purse,
Pocket protector,Image
8-track tape,
45 rpm single,
5 1/4” and 3.5” floppy disks,
Metal film canister,
Key punch card,
Paper milk bottle top,
A Tom Swift and a Hardy Boys book,
Hotel key,
Household fuse,
Kodak Instamatic camera,
A film strip,
35mm camera with flash,
Transistor radio with earpiece,
Vacuum tube,
Car cigarette lighter,
Aluminum ice tray,
Can of beer with pull tab (the kind that came off),
Betamax tape, and so on…

By the way, if you don’t know what some of these objects are, leave a comment and I’ll explain.

I’m running out of room, I’ll need to expand the space I’ve allocated for my collection. A few of the larger things on my list to acquire; a princess rotary dial phone, a Polaroid SX-70 Land camera, and more.

I suspect one day I will be adding a newspaper, a CD and a dollar bill to my collection. Time will tell I guess.

For now, I know I have the best collection of obsolete objects in the world because they’re my objects.

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3 Responses to “The Best Collection In The World.”

  1. I have my original Mac on a shelf in my office. The printer is in the back of the closet – no room on the shelf – but I can’t bring my self to get rid of it!

    Oh, and two obsolete items I have that you should have – tokens for the Mount Hope and Newport bridges! From the time I graduated from URI I have had a set so I could always go home.


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