People Collect the Strangest Things!

As a quick internet search will reveal, people really do collect the strangest things. Collectors are squirreling away everything from banana labels to airline spoons - and there are some even weirder collections which leave you asking, why!

Collecting items we love and either putting them on display, or hiding them away for our own personal enjoyment, is so widespread that psychologists have even completed studies on the why we should enjoy it so much. The concept of collecting things and keeping them in one place was born around 12,000 years ago, as prior to this, humans lived more nomadic lifestyles.

Around 33% of us collect something, but our reasons vary greatly. For some, it's a means of expressing loyalty - such as sports fans who collect memorabilia from their favourite team. Collecting can become a bit of an obsession - stamp collectors will scour the Internet for hours on end, looking for those rare finds.

Psychologists suggest one reason for collecting is that adults who felt unloved as children are seeking comfort and so they accumulate possessions. Another theory is that collectors are anxious that something connected to them should live on after they have gone.

A theory called the endowment effect suggests we tend to value things more when we own them, so the more we accumulate, the more we value the collection. In the case of people collecting celebrity belongings, most do so because they feel it brings them closer to the person who owned them. This is known as the concept of contagion. However, this can sometimes sound like stalking if taken too far!

So, what are some of the weirder collections? Perhaps one of the strangest belongs to Deborah Henson-Conant - a recording artist in the USA who collects burned food. The obsession began in the late 1980s, when Deborah forgot she had left a pan of hot apple cider on the stove. She made a phone call and let the pan burn to a cinder.

For reasons best known to herself, she kept it and began adding to her collection with other culinary disasters, including a potato that she had accidentally baked three times, a quiche that was overcooked in the microwave and a burned pizza. She has turned her collection into a "museum", but it's mainly for personal enjoyment, according to her Facebook page.

For Becky Martz, banana labels are her thing - she currently has a collection of more than 17,000 and her own website. She has travelled all over the world in search of new labels and has received coverage on the radio, TV and in magazines. Her motto is "Becky's gone bananas!"

Airlines are a source of collectibles for many people. One Flickr user, known as Dieter, has hundreds of photos of airline spoons, all carefully labelled and catalogued. They include a rare discontinued spoon from Trinidad and Tobago, a silver-plated spoon from the US with a 1950s logo and literally hundreds more from all over the world.

Perhaps more unusual is a collection of airline sick bags (unused, of course) that have been put on display in the Air Sickness Bag Virtual Museum. With more than 2,100 images of bags from various airlines, the unnamed collector says you can find out a lot from an airline's sickness bags. With a designer logo, some look like works of art.

American John Reznikoff has a massive collection of celebrity hair. He has described himself as a "trophy collector" and has thousands of locks of hair, including some historic snips from the likes of film star Marilyn Monroe, former US president Abraham Lincoln and inventor Albert Einstein. He says it makes him feel closer to the people he admires. He has been recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as having the largest collection of celebrity hair on the planet.

Another strange collection is the selection of moist towelettes, still sealed in their original packets, on display in Michigan's Moist Towelette Museum. Among the hundreds of items are Star Trek towelettes, some from Trump Castle and many more from fast food outlets, airlines and just about anywhere else you can think of!

If you're a collector, make sure your prized possessions are stored properly to keep them in tip-top condition. Solent Plastics has a huge range of products that are ideal for people who like to collect all sorts of things.

We're not suggesting you collect burned food, but if you have a large collection of larger, perishable, unusually-shaped items, our range of bulk storage containers will fit the bill. They are watertight, come in all shapes and sizes and are supplied on castors if required, so they can be moved around easily.

We also supply a large range of clear plastic boxes so you can easily see what's inside. If you have very large collections of smaller items, such as silver cutlery or other collectibles, they could be separated and stored in a number of smaller boxes, making it easier to catalogue them.

For collections that will deteriorate over time, such as banana labels, airline sickness bags or paper towelettes, waterproof storage will prevent damp from getting to them. Many of these containers are also airtight and dustproof to ensure the elements don't damage the items over time.

For further information, please contact us.

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