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Early youth collecting experience

Article about: Hi friends, I wonder if it might be a fun exercise to look back at our early days as budding collectors. I started to be interested in military artifacts at around age 15 in 1975. The circa

  1. #11


    [QUOTE=I started with stamp collecting then moved on to the more interesting militaria collecting when I was 14, fueled by my grandfather's periodic gifts (a veteran of two world wars) of military pieces he had acquired. I was hooked then and the interest never diminished apart from parking the hobby while we had small children and less money.[/QUOTE]

    My uncle gave me many items from the time he was in the Navy during WWII. This was back when I was in college in the early 80s Still have all of it. Here is a sample. NH

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  2. #12


    Seeing as we're telling stories, I suppose I'll tell mine. Apologies in advance for the long, rambling tale.

    It all started for me when I was about 12. The time came to learn about the Second World War in school, and my grandparents decided to take me to meet my great uncle. He's a bit of a hoarder, and quite a character. He lives in the house my great-great grandparents bought, filled to the brim with god knows what. Whenever we went to visit, he'd have bits of disassembled kitchen appliances all over the place, and there were boxes heaped up on the floor wherever they could stand. He was also an avid metal detectorist until a few years ago, when he got a bit too old and rickety to walk the fields and dig holes by himself.

    We turned up at the house on an autumn afternoon, when it was already starting to get dark. We went around to the back door (the front door is blocked by a table) and knocked, and it wasn't long before he was showing us all the WWII-related ephemera he has accumulated over the years. The main attraction was the shed, where he had literal bucketloads of shrapnel and aircraft parts. I was given a few of those to keep. There was also a military gas mask in there, hung up on a nail in the corner. I wasn't allowed that, due to worries of asbestos, but there was something else he wanted to give me.

    We went back up to the house, and he disappeared upstairs. After rooting around in the attic for a while, he came back down with a square box. Below is that very same box, still a part of my collection today.


    I ended up taking it, and everything else I'd been given, to school for show and tell. It went down very well. The interest lasted into first break, when other kids would approach me and ask to see some of the things up close. I also (regrettably) wore the above respirator around the playground several times!

    There was a period of a few years where my interest in WWII took a back seat. It was only a couple of years ago that it really started to peak again, when I discovered the wonderful world of deactivated weapons. I bought my first deact, a Mosin 91/30, and it snowballed from there. Here I sit today, surrounded by the product of a very overenthusiastic interest in a wonderful hobby. I've met many great people, and have handled pieces of history that I never thought I'd touch in my life. If I went back now, and told 12 year-old me that he'd eventually own his own MG 34, he'd think I was mad!

    Someday I'll be old and grey, and these first years will be as dim and distant as some of the memories shared here. I look forward to retelling them fondly, and hopefully I'll inspire another generation in the process. Here's to many more years of collecting fun. Not just for me, but all of us here. May the bug never release us from its grip.

    Regards, B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  3. #13


    Quote by BrodieBartfast View Post
    Seeing as we're telling stories, I suppose I'll tell mine-----------
    Along those same lines,
    When I was in my early teens, there was a lady that lived next door to
    my grandparents. She became a very dear family friend. She was a widow
    and an amazing artist. During my summer vacations I would spend hours at
    her house watching her paint. -- Any way, On my 16th birthday she gave me
    a ww1 German sawtooth bayonet and ww1 German M16 helmet that her
    husband had brought home when he returned from the ww1. I still have the
    bayonet and use it a lot as a prop in my iron cross pictures. Of any piece in my
    collection, That is the piece that I will never sell.
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  4. #14


    I am 17 years old and started to collect since 2008
    when I was 7 years old when my grandfather gave me a jar of coins.
    A few years later then I started studying the second world war and started collecting I focused mainly on German things.
    I have been studying my family bulgarian history since the First World War
    I apologize for my bad English


  5. #15


    Quote by emo155 View Post
    I apologize for my bad English
    Your English is just fine. No need to apologize.
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  6. #16


    "I have been studying my family bulgarian history since the First World War"

    Ah, I see, that explains your on going search for a Bulgarian issue M1895 Mannlicher bayonet. Good luck on that, there was someone who posted on this forum some time ago who found one on a visit to Bulgaria, for sale in a local market, so if you live in Bulgaria, your best chance is probably finding one there.

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