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©Copyright 2011-2018 Eric Wrobbel



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Vintage Paper Mate Lady Capri pen (1957) -- a stylish mid-century modern pen for the forward-looking gal. From 'Collecting: A Rationale' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: https://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/rationale-3.htm

COLLECTING:
A rationale

Page 3
 

Perhaps for this reason, perhaps for others, the collector finds himself with natural enemies, strange as that sounds and as benign and inoffensive as the collector believes his endeavors to be. There are people who feel threatened somehow by collecting and who absolutely detest old things as if they are an affront to progress or something.

Was there 'retro' in the past? You bet! Nostalgia isn't a recent phenomenom. This Western Electric 202 telephone from 1955 was originally from the 1930s. Western Electric reissued it in 1955, appealing to folks then longing for the 'good old days' of the 1930s. Originally black, Western Electric dolled up the phone and named it the 'Imperial.' From 'Collecting: A Rationale' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: https://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/rationale-3.htm

Have you ever been accused of being “stuck in the past?” Then you’ve met one of these true believers in “The Cult of the New.” They’re in all walks of life. They make great consumers, so the corporate world loves them.
They buy whatever is new and replace it whenever it gets “old.”

They believe—here is the dangerous part—they believe that everything new is better than everything old. This is the philosophy that gave us Nazism, automated telephone answering systems (“press 1 for English”), and New Coke.

Collectible Fink University pin, Mad Magazine. From 'Collecting: A Rationale' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: https://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/rationale-3.htm

The converse is not true either. Everything old is not better than everything new. New things create wealth in an economy. But old things—things of quality—fill an essential role. They inspire the creators of new things to do good work. Appreciating old things helps guide people today to make things that can stand proudly next to the best of the past.

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About the pix shown in this little treatise, Collecting: A Rationale:

A collector accumulates stray objects such as these even

though they may never develop into a collection. Page one shows ceramic earrings, 1950s, maker unknown. The Duotone Cactus Needles are, I am not making this up, phonograph needles from the 1940s made of genuine cactus thorns. The late-1940s pin “Remember Pearl Harbor” by Lampl is inscribed “for aid to the Honolulu Community Chest.”

Page two: Sears employee pin c.1940, and 1950s Model 44 Vendo Coca-Cola machine. My grandfather's Elgin watch was given to me when I was very young and may have helped lead me down this garden path.

This page features a Western Electric Imperial phone (1950s), the distinctive Paper Mate Lady Capri pen (1957), and a Fink University pinback button from Mad Magazine (1960s).

Collectible school pin Leggett Elementary School, Pontiac, Waterford, Michigan. From 'Collecting: A Rationale' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: https://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/rationale-3.htm

Here’s a pin from Leggett, my old elementary school in the 1950s. As with my grandfather’s watch, preserving one’s own memories is perhaps the best reason of all to collect.