Grandpa's Collections

collect-radiosThere are all types of collections; those souvenirs, items such as matchbook covers, menus, tickets, toys, records, brass pieces, musical instruments, early radios, stamps, buttons, and cups/saucers that a family members may have collected during their life.

These items are not just what your relative like to collect, but can also speak volumes about their interests, experiences, hobbies and memories. Someone with a collection of ticket stubs may have had as their first job being a ticket taker in a theatre, train station or toll booth. Another person who has a postcard collection or matchbook covers may have traveled to all those locations or been in those businesses. If you can date approximately the postcards or the matchbook covers, you can then narrow down the time period they were in the location.

collect-elephant buttonsNow other collections such as brass pieces or cup and saucers will be harder to identify the connect to the relative. Be sure to check if the ancestor had some inventory to insurance purposes – that could hold some clues.

Of course some people’s collections can be on the bizarre side. Some people like to collect the paper strap that goes over the toilet seat in hotels / motels showing it has been cleaned. Then there are people who collect air / sea sickness bags on airplanes or ships. At least these two types can also show the places the relative has traveled.

People collect items for the fun of it and to see how many of a specific items they can find. Some of a relative’s collections could be very valuable – monetary wise, others not so much.

For the most part a person’s collections are for sentimental reasons, something a bit nostalgic for them to hold onto.

collect-teapotsIf you have seen or were given a relative’s collection, learn about it, check any paper work and value. If no value, see if it can be re-purposed into a display in remembrance of that relative.

Photos: Vintage Radios, Elephant button display and teapot collection.

Related genealogical blogs:


Treasures of Female Ancestors

Home Movie Collection


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