Perhaps for this reason, perhaps for others, the
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.
Have you ever been
accused of being “stuck in the past?” Then
met one of these true believers in “The Cult of the New.” They’re in
of life. They make great consumers, so the corporate world loves them.
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
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.
* * * * *
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).
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.