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Magnificent obsessions

Jay Raymond collects irons. Until 2007 he collected only streamlined irons: In the U.S. this meant irons made between 1932 and 1952. In 2007 he sold that collection of about 180 irons, and he now collects electric irons made between 1890-1925.
Alan Davies collects old bricks.
Rev Doug Dawson owns about 900 harmonicas.
Shaun Kotlarsky collects electrical and telegraph insulators. He has about 2,000 of them.
Bob Manning collects Mickey Mouse ties. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Nov 13, 2012 - 29 comments

Woodward realized that it was only a question of being pestered forever or quietly throwing open his place

"The What Cheer House catered to men only, permitted no liquor on the premises, and housed San Francisco's first free library and first museum." Opened in 1852 by Robert B. Woodward it became immensely popular. "[S]ailors enjoyed staying there... [he] was such a well-liked man that they would often bring him trinkets from around the world when they’d come to town. For Woodward, these gifts were the beginning of what would become a life-long obsession with collecting." He moved the collection and opened Woodward's Gardens in 1866 between Mission and Valencia at 13th-15th streets. Called the Central Park of the West, it was San Francisco's most famous public resort. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Oct 4, 2009 - 23 comments

Oh, the Japanity!

I had today off so I decided to take pictures of my Pikachu Obsession...
posted by kirkaracha on Jan 6, 2005 - 59 comments

Modern First Editions

If You Were Rich Would You Collect Modern First Editions? Well, it's difficult to browse Christie's upcoming auction of 20th century books and manuscripts; the stock of a well-known bookseller such as Ken Lopez or even go "bargain-hunting" at Amazon without understanding their appeal... [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 25, 2002 - 21 comments

A 63-year old Norwegian bus company owner has amassed one of the worlds largest collections of ancient manuscripts valued at over 110 million dollars. His story, how the collection is used and his plans for the sale proceeds are all first-class and an inspiration to private collectors of antiquities.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 25, 2002 - 15 comments

One of my favorite things about surfing the web is stumbling upon someone's magnificent obsession.

One of my favorite things about surfing the web is stumbling upon someone's magnificent obsession. In order to qualify as a Magnificent Obsession (M.E.) -- at least according to my definition -- the hobby must strike me as slightly-to-extremely insane while, at the same time, fill me with admiration for the hobbyist's discipline. Some M.E.s are about collecting totally useless data (like the main link above), or like this research into EXIT Sign Coloration; or strange items, like Wal-Mart receipts or air-sickness bags. But my favorite M.E.s are the ones that lead to huge expense and huge amounts of time spent building or fixing wonderful, useless objects -- like planetarium projectors or Lost in Space robots, which "can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $35,000 and vary in detail depending on the abilities and resources made available to the builder. A project like this can take months if not years to complete." Know any other good M.E. links?
posted by grumblebee on Oct 4, 2001 - 80 comments

"Many individuals have asked me in past months, Why moist towelette collecting? Why not stamp collecting, or numismatics? To be different, perhaps? Well, I must admit that at first that was part of the appeal, but I have since become aware of the strong movement of Moist Towelette enthusiasts, and accepted that I am not alone in my fascination / hobby."
posted by machaus on Jun 25, 2001 - 12 comments

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