1st in-a-series of little books about little things for BIG KIDS
by Inspector Collector and Brenda Bellorin © 2004 ©
Inspector Collector and boy-o-girl do I have spoons. Lots and lots of spoons. All different kinds of spoons - spoons for digging into ice cream and spoons for digging to the center of the earth and lots more. Spoons for babies, spoons for nurses, spoons for movie stars, spoons for presidents, spoons with holes in em, all sorts of spoons for kids just like you.
Why do I have so many spoons you may wonder. Cause I like to eat, don't you? And cause they're fun to play with, don't you think? Also you get a lot of free spoons when you get snacks - I just wash em off and keep em in a special box at home. And oh yeah, I try to learn all I can about my collections - there's amazing cool stuff to know about the boring old spoon, believe you me! What, you say, the grownups mite yell at you for playing with spoons all the time? Don't worry, someday you'll be a grown up and you can play with spoons so much you can be a spoon professional like Mr. Spoons. Or you mite design your own new spoons and somehow, some magical way only you know how, make eating ice cream even more fun!
The first time I remember caring about a spoon was when I was 16. Well, actually I kinda always liked the wooden paddles they give you with small tubs of ice cream, but anyways I went to work at the White House in Washington D.C. for a school internship. The first day on the job they gave me a pair of white cotton gloves, a rolling cart, and a set of keys to a display case that held antique presidential silver. They said I should put the stuff on the cart and roll it into the storage room. So I took down things like Martha Washington's teapot and put them on the cart. Then I saw George Washington's porridge spoon, made out of pewter. Wow, my imagination raced back hundreds of years and I pictured George eating his breakfast with his false wooden teeth. I couldn't help myself. I knew it wasn't the best thing in the world to do but I looked left, I looked right and I just licked that spoon. That's right, you can probably still find Inspector Collector's DNA on the spoon that was used by the first president of the United States of America. It was big and clunky and looked a little something like this one, which is a reproduction (a fake! A phony!) of an old Colonial era spoon.
Grownups joke about counting spoons after a party. Since they are sometimes made of silver, people have been known to steal them. At the white house they use silver plate (which is not pure silver) for most occasions and use real silver or even vermeil (gilded silver) cutlery for state dinners. The Chief White House usher Gary Walters said "Our major problem is small sugar spoons or demitasse spoons that get swept up in the cleanup." Still, people steal small silver for mementos.
Collecting is about brevity. About communication - but with stuff you don't really need words so you can communicate with people from anywhere, Saturn maybe even. We are human. We collect memories, words, experiences, ideas, and stuff. Collections are like diaries. They tell us where we've been, where we're going. Even the stuff we simply cannot possess gives us clues about where we wish we could go. Collect and live. Live and collect. Collecting is emotional. If we had neither emotion nor feeling we would not collect. We need, we feel, we posses, we want to posses more, or maybe we just wanna get rid of everything and start afresh. Any way you pile it up, collecting is a way of becoming an expert, and they can never take that kind of knowledge away from you.
Believe it or not, spoons are a fashionable collectible. QUOTE BEDNARSH'S BOOK. SAY NICER THINGS. DEFINE MORE TYPES OF TRAD. SPOON COLLECTORS, COMMEMORATIVE SPOONS, The kind you see in gift shops or advertised in women's magazines with a bent towards homemaking. Mementos. They are a symbol of civilized life and there are thousands of people who maintain traditional spoon collections. Most collector spoons are made to be sold to collectors. The typical spoon collector cares more about design and aesthetics than function. Collector spoons tend to have a top finial with a word and picture of a particular place, Niagara falls, the Eiffel Tower, etc. Spoon collectors have special wooden cases for kitchen and living room displays and have collector societies and meetings and a lot of fun. These spoons tend to be rather expensive. Meatloaf, the singer, collects this kind of souvenir spoons [illustration]. I prefer the free plastic spoons that come with takeout food, in packaged meals, at ice cream shops, etc. I also like spoons that are not for eating - makeup spoons, blacksmith spoons, dental spoons, ear wax spoons etc.
Twice I've bought expensive spoons by mistake. While on holiday in Denmark, I miscalculated the currency exchange rate and ended up paying $70 when I thought the price converted to $12. The elongated sterling silver spoon, seemingly intended for serving small amounts of food from a large container, is capped with a handwrought finial that echoes the characteristically unique spires of Copenhagen. [illustration]. Another time I placed an absentee bid at Sotheby's on items from the Andy Warhol estate. Inexperienced at how auctions worked, I won only one of the items I desired, and lost a set of Native American elk horn spoons, and the spoon I won was not the one I intended to purchase. I'd read the catalog too quickly and ended up with a plain wooden spoon instead of a painted and carved spoon with a figure atop. I've come to appreciate the Northwest Coast First Nations potlatch festival spoon. Its carved wood and has squares of mother-of-pearl inlaid. Imagine carving up a seashell into perfect ½ squares and embedding them in the wooden handle of the spoon, without a single modern tool. The large 19th century spoon was used for either ceremonial dipping of water, or for serving family-sized portions. At the potlatch festival, families take turns giving away all their possessions to others in the nation. So one day you have nothing but soon you attend other potlatches and start to build up household possessions. It's a cycle, not unlike the cycles of nature.
Spoons are easy and international. All kinds of people collect spoons. It's basic. 1 - 2 - 3- . Like that. Snap. [illus. Yogurt spoon that snaps together] But its like stamps, infinite. You can't have 'em all -- sometimes a picture or a memory has to suffice. Spoons are used in many cultures and have been for centuries. They are interesting because they are hand tools for eating, and eating's usually a good thing! Anything man makes for mans body is usually done with some style and shape and design beyond function.
If you think about it, who doesn't have a collection of spoons? Maybe its a decorative Russian spoon with a cherry design; a spoon used to mix paint; a Mr. Peanut spoon used to take polite hands-full of roasted goobers; a Pakistani wooden spoon with an animal figurehead; or a 1950s fork/knife/spoon that puts the "spork" to shame. [illus. here are several varieties of the spork, an eating implement of questionable design. It seems to me that this dual device makes both the spoon and fork features work less well than if they were alone. But for economy sake, they are popular. I just found the first black spork, at Kentucky Fried Chicken, at the end of 2003. The first spoons were made from seashells. That's why so many metal spoons you pick up have a scallop design on the handle. Its not why these serving spoons have seashells embedded in the handle - other versions of the same spoon used wheat, spices, etc. [illus] That's why Indonesia, which boasts some 14,000 islands (and thus plenty of shells) makes some of the world's most fascinating spoons, such as the four shown here, one of wood and stone; a knife and spoon set made of burnished coconut shell, a twisty number made of an actual sea shell, and a plastic one made to look like it was delicately carved from water buffalo horn.. By my definition, one needs three items to make a collection - two is a mere pair. A past president of Sotheby's auction house disagrees, arguing that the person who paid $44 million for a single Van Gogh still life could hardly be booted from collecting society. With that in mind, I beseech you to help me find my third blue-plastic mayonnaise spoon.
I'm a museum teacher for my job and own the most unique and sometimes useless collections of anything and everything. Why I've got thousands of different paperclips, hundreds of different toothpicks, bottlecaps by the score and tons more. There's so much little stuff in my apartment the walls mite just burst open one day. Ripley's Believe It or Not wrote about my collection of Chinese menus - there are a bazillion of em - I can't count 'em all - wanna help? [illus.]
My first collection was pennies when I was 5. Maybe I collected seashells and stuff on the beach when I was even younger but I can't remember. Anyways, I was sick and after mom took away the breakfast-in-bed tray (I forgot what kind of spoon came with the hot oatmeal) and dad threw me a sack of pennies and a coin-collecting album. It was a lotta fun to sort and match them to the book. I filled in about 18 of the holes, replaced the 18 cents with money from my piggy bank (its up on a shelf with lots of cool stuff - do you have a shelf with treasures on it? Its like a diary for me except you don't have to read it, you just look at it and handle it and move it around differently all the time) and went to the bank like that every week or so until the album was almost full. But still I am missing some. You can't always have everything but it is fun to try. You can start collecting other things anytime you want - I collected pencils - they were cool ones from a machine in school that cost a nickel and they had the names and fun facts about cars and states and stuff like that. In 2nd and 3rd grade I collected football cards, but only the ones with guys with really unusual names like Jan Stenerud and Roman Gabriel.
I collect small, free (or very inexpensive) stuff, or pictures of the stuff I just can't have. It makes life interesting, these hobbies of mine. Stores and restaurants WANT you to take their business cards, their toothpicks with their name and phone number on the wrapper. Carvel and Haagen Dazs put their logos on their spoons so you'll remember their ice cream. Chinese restaurants print menus so you can take them home. I prefer to collect these menus, rather than ask for the 'hardback" menus that are supposed to stay at the restaurant. Also I live in New York City, in a tiny studio apartment, 28 x 10 feet [picture of you in your apartment with a display of that collection] and I want to keep all my things there and keep growing the collections. You can fit thousands of pieces of paper into small drawers. Printed paper becomes really cool when it gets old because it contains history, words, pictures and other information more valuable than diamonds. So while I would love to collect old record players, alas i only have room for their tone-arms. It's easier and just as much interest can be gleaned from small things. Big is not necessarily better.
Anyways, to make a long story short, now I work in museums and collect lots of stuff and play with it all the time (see the list of my collections on page __). My teensy apartment, with a bathtub in the kitchen and a WC that's no longer claustrophobic because it's filled with maps and cool stuff with maps on it. There are only two chairs - and three big benches for seating and storage. There are shelves on the ceiling and a giant glass case full of drinking glasses. It could be called the New York City Studio Museum - I can never seem to put everything away. What could be more fun? Let me know at my website, www.inspector-collector.com
IC - do you see?!!!
b. dictionary definitions
(definitions from different dictionaries and/or from other contexts, MUST ADD definitions created by kids). Graphical approach: page of the dictionary scanned, marks of an editor on specific parts of the definition that will be discussed latter. scan the dictionary's page. Simple. Old-fashioned style kids dictionary illustration, with numbers and arrows. A broad definition.
Webster's New World Dictionary
From the Old English for spon, or a chip, a flat piece of wood, whence spade.
1. a utensil consisting of a small, shallow, usually oval-shaped bowl, and a handle, used for picking up or stirring food, etc. as in eating or cooking. 2. something shaped like a spoon; specifically a shiny curved fishing lure, usually made of metal, set above a hook or hooks so as to wobble when drawn through water. 3. a golf club with a wooden head and more loft than a brassie, also called a number 3 wood. Verb:: to take up with or as with a spoon. 2. to push, lift or hit (a ball) with a scooping motion instead of a direct blow. Colloquial, old-fashioned term for kissing and caressing. Also old fashioned spoony for silly or foolishly sentimental or amorous in a mawkish way.
Spoonerism - unintentional interchange of sounds well-boiled icicle instead of well-oiled bicycle. Rev. W. A. Spooner famous for such slips.
Old spellings include spon, spou, spoune, spone, spown, spoyne, spoone, spoine, spwne, spooin, speen, spvne, speaun, spean, speean,
Spoonmeat - soft liquidy food for infants and invalids.
Spoons - a card game
c. Historical facts:
These pages should help the reader understand the definition:
Evolution of material. From old to new, playful designs
the relationship between spoon "technology" and the ways we are supposed to use them in the table
what makes this tool different than other (it's a spoon, not a paddle, not a shovel…), what is it used for (traditional obvious uses; then show how it is used for more things than what the dictionary says: for medicines, to express love, to remove ear wax, to rest other spoons, to shape eggs like flowers, etc.). show how the fist western spoons looked like, explain why traditional spoons resemble sea shells, etc.
In any case, this section should be long; it is essential to the book (we could later divide it). It will allow the reader not only to look into the different uses the object, but to see how it has been interpreted in other cultures (differences east /west, etc.).
the uses of the tool. How have they changed in time? How do they differ from one place to another? This could be a good place to talk about manners. It's polite to slurp in Japan, Korea and other parts of Asia - whose manners would you follow if you had a foreign guest? A series of quotations from manners experts from different countries to wax eloquent about this topic Are you supposed to eat pasta with a spoon? Where does the spoon go when you are setting the table? Are there universal rules about this or do they change from one culture to another. There is no universal set of manners but perhaps 21st century kids could create a universal code of manners. But we all know proper manners deep inside.
d. basic layout of regular spoons
individual pictures, We begin with the most obvious and then move on to the more rare and unusual spoons.
Classification based on uses: spoons to remove earwax, medicine spoons, engagement spoons, etc.
· KINDS OF SPOONS
· Soup spoon [Maxfield Parrish illustration of 2 chefs with giant spoons]
· Recyclable (this spoon, designed by artist ____ and sold at the Museum of Modern Art design shop, is made of biodegradeable materials. It also functions as a fork and as such is excellent for picnics that don't harm mother earth illus)
· Wooden ice cream spoons don't seem very elegant at first, but here are old and new ones and they all have slightly different shapes and types of wood. The wrappers are pretty cool too, the way the spoons are all hooked together like a beaded necklace.
· Plastic ice cream spoons (these were the first spoons I consciously collected). I was in Europe for the first time, touring Italy, when I noticed that the spoons for Gelato are shaped like a shovel, making it easier to get every last drop of ice cream than if you used a rounded bowled spoon. While researching for this book, I learned that the spoon is one of mankind's first tools - and the word "spoon" derives from the early word for spade, or shovel. If you look at German Spaten beer labels, you can see the spade or shovel they use to shovel the beer ingredients into the cookers. Also in this collection are Mexican ice cream spoons with flower designs (Mexicans sometimes flavor ice cream and desserts with edible flowers like nasturtium), some ice-cream cone shaped ice cream spoons, and a particularly pretty criss-cross patterned one from Caracas, Venezuela. Illus.
· Ice Cream drink spoons (these colorful and longhandled beauties are used to stir tall soda fountain treats like Root Beer Floats and Malteds, that require a lot of stirring, especially when you are on a first date and have lots of nervous energy to fiddle away.
· Coronation spoons (Different versions of the coronation spoon are available for each of the 20th century coronations, but they are very similar looking. Most of the examples are demi sized, but there are also some very large examples available. The marks are sometimes hidden in the handle design, but if you can find them they will reveal for which coronation it was made. The smaller version of these spoons were made in quantity.)
· Seashell spoons
· Metal spoons
· Metal seashell design spoons
· Baby spoons (sometimes a baby spoon is merely a small adult spoon bent into a loop so the adult can hold it while feeding the infant. [illus]. Some baby spoons come in the top of baby food carrying dishes so the parent can feed the child on the go and not be at a loss for a spoon [illus.] Baby spoons are sometimes curved so the child can grip the spoon more tightly. They also come in cases quite frequently as adults are very concerned about cleanliness for their youngsters. One set shown here illustrates the growth of the baby - the first spoon is held by an adult, the second has a loop handle so the baby can hold it themselves, and the third has a more common straight handle, but with ridges to help the baby learn to properly grasp the utensil)
· Folding spoons (frequently come atop Chinese canned soups and desserts)
· Snap-together spoons (from Dannon yogurt single-serving cups)
· Kids spoons
· Plain old regular spoons
· Measuring spoons (tend to come in sets of four or five attached to a ring. Some are adjustable and only need one spoon with a sliding measurer [illus. One from the 1950s, one from 2000]. One measuring spoon is flat-bottomed so you can measure liquid and leave it waiting on the countertop until it is needed for the recipe. [illus.]
· Kitchen spoons
· Fufu scoop and paddle (these spoonlike objects are used throughout Western Africa to serve the staple of the diet, a mashed tuber starch called FuFu. The long wooden paddle is used to stir the roots and water and the scoops, sometimes made out of a wedge of dried cassava shell (cassava is one of the tubers used to make fufu and is also the source of tapioca pudding which is very yummy to lick off your spoon) is used for serving the ultra-sticky stuff. Once when I ate in a Ghana-ese restaurant, I ordered soup with FuFu and the waitress asked "do you want a spoon or do you want to taste your food?" I rose to the challenge and ate my soup like the Western Africans do, with the right hand and fingers.
· Special utility spoons
· Plastic disposable spoons
· Wooden disposable spoons (a long time ago, in the early 20th century, wood was deemed so abundant that disposable cutlery was made from Adirondack trees [illus.])
· Straining spoons
· Slotted spoons
· Kiwi slicer and spoon (sometimes products seem just a tad too specific - wouldn't any spoon work on a nice soft kiwi fruit?)
· Teaspoons (perhaps the most common of all spoons, these are used to serve tea but have also become a standard unit of measure - the teaspoon)
· Spoon rests (these thin metal seashell "spoons" look to be from around 1900. they may have been used as spoon rests, or to hold oysters once they were removed from the shell.)
· Marrow spoons
· Jelly spoon (this elegant and petite wooden jelly spoon comes from Denmark)
· Mustard spoons
· Horseradish spoons-
· Coffee spoons [there are small spoons made for stirring the cream and sugar into coffee. Sometimes they are just stirrers, a stick without a bowl at the end, but sometimes they have tiny spoons at the end of the handle to assist in stirring the solid ingredients into the liquid. One such example, from Cuba which is renown for coffee, was saved with the last bits of Cuban java clinging to the bowl. Coffee scoops [illus] are used to measure portions of coffee for brewing. And here's another type of "coffee" spoon - this one is actually a rack for holding coffee cups - its way to big to fit into anyone's mouth! [illus]
· Homemade decorative spoons (kids can easily while away a day decorating disposable spoons with string, feathers, beads, and whatever bric-a-brac you may have laying about. [illus.])
· Absinthe spoons
· Ceramic spoons
· Wok spoons
· Bone spoons
· Fishing lures called spoons
· Coconut shell spoons
· Drinking straw spoons
· Toy spoons
· Decorative spoons
· Salt spoon
· Caddy spoon (short handled spoons designed to be left locked inside the tea caddy. Tea was a very expensive commodity in the 18th century. The term rococo, a famous fanciful 18th century design comes from the French rocaille, meaning shell. Shovel and frying pan and jockey helmet shapes were popular
· Sugar spoon
· Peanut spoon
· Gravy spoon,
· Chinese spoon (handle can also be used as a funnel [illustration]
· Demitasse spoon
· Spoon storage bag (silver spoons are usually kept in soft bags to protect them from scratches and tarnishing illus.)
· Diet cutlery (this joke set was used as a gag gift in the 1950s for people who wanted to joke about losing weight)
· Grapefruit spoons (usually pointed with serrated edges to scoop and scrape this strong fruit)
· Half and Half spoon (used by bartenders for mixing dark black beer with lighter colored beer to get a two-toned beverage illus)
· Chocolate spoon
· Spoon/bottle opener made by Brown and Bigelow, now defunct company, as is the company which gave it out. One end is a bottle opener, and bowl for mixing a drink.
· Split spoon - giant contraption to get earth core samples [illustration]
· Spoon warmers, Victorian gadgets to decorate sideboards - filled with hot water and serving spoons in them would not further chill the food. Often seashell shaped.
· Welsh Love Spoons - the giving of a carved wooden spoon as a token of love and affection is an ancient Welsh tradition. The spoon is an early form of an engagement ring and the rustic swain carved meaningful symbols into the handmade gift for his intended (a chain meaning "together forever"; double spoons for "togetherness"; triple spoons for "family"; one wooden ball for each hoped-for child, etc.)
· Spoon rings [illustration]
· Dental spoon excavators used for getting at decay and cement under temporaries.
· …and that doesn't count ice cream spades and scoops, spatulas (not to be confused with turners which are used for flipping omelets and pancakes), ladles, dippers and shovels of every sort. [illus. of many such items]
e. Spoons around the world:
This part should define show differences between spoons from East and West, etc., and should be portrayed in contexts (people having soup, spoons in a drawer, etc.)
In Korean the spoon has place of pride on the table. Korean restaurants often wrap the bowl of their spoons in sanitary paper wrappers printed with the name of the restaurant. The Korean spoon is most commonly a very long-handled thin metal spoon. Koreans used metal chopsticks because the metal tarnished if the food it touched has spoiled. Koreans have the highest incidence of stomach cancer in the world. They smoke and drink too much, but also insist on eating their soup boiling hot - many Korean tureens plug in for continued boiling during dining. Thus the long-handled spoon so people don't burn themselves on the hot pots during communal dining. Korean spoons can also be made of wood [illus] but invariably they have a long handle.
Spoons can be made of many things, a hunk of coconut shell found curved under the sand, a piece of bone, or seashell or molded clay. One Indonesian version even has a bowl made of carved stone with a fitted wooden handle. Gourmets only eat caviar (sturgeon eggs) from bone or seashell (often abalone) spoons as these materials do not impart any additional flavor to the delicate fish eggs.
This spoon, from Narita airport in Japan, illustrates some of the differences between East and West. The spoon has a very deep bowl, like typical Asian spoons, but it is made of metal and has a straight handle - truly this designer has crossed cultures (illus]
This spoon from Africa is made of wood and zebra bone!
f. Upside-down Page
[illus: forks are just like spoons except they leak - Family Circus cartoon] or something else opposite or kooky
g. Spoon Professionals
people who make spoons, artist who use them out of context… James Robinson, British Cutlery maker
[illus: Alberto Giacometti, Spoon Woman]
Lucas Samaras - hot spoons on polaroids
h. End with a double page
kid collector that collect spoons or a group of kids or the kids all together making their own spoons/objects
(spoon museums, spoon collector, interesting facts, way to look for more information, child spoon collector or kid making spoons, etc. guide to web pages, museums, collections, or more bibliography about the subject. Lots of www info could be "deceased" by the time a kid picks up our book, so let's give ideas on how to find new stuff ourselves
What You Never Knew About Fingers, Forks and Chopsticks, by Patricia Lauber, Simon and Schuster
The big site operated by Wayne Bednersh, author of 2 books on spoons. I had email with him a while back and he is real nice, traditional style- http://www.geocities.com/RodeoDrive/6232/
NE Spoon Collectors Guild c/o Norma Bowen, Box 12072 Albany NY 12212
American Spoon Collectors c/o Bill Boyd, 7408 Englewood Lane, Raytown MO 64133 and their monthly newsletter The Spooners Forum
Spoon Collectors of Southern California, 3832 Denwood Avenue Los Alamitos CA 90720
American Spoons, Souvenir and Historical by Dorothy T Rainwater and Donna H. Felger, Schiffer Publishing, PA 1990
World's Fair Spoons by Chris McGlothlin
Silver Spoon World
Spoon rack sources Timbercraft North West, Silver Merchandise 1-800-251-1212, Miles Kimball, 1-900-231-4886
quotes about spoons (the one about Buda, for example), comic stripes (Mafalda: spoon lovers and haters, etc.)
· Did you know you can keep bubbles in a glass bottle of soda without putting a cap on it? Just put a small spoon into the bottle (handle first) and put it in the fridge - the soda will still have bubbles for a long time!
· "Ladles and Jellyspoons" Bart Simpson addressing audience [illustration]
· The spoon does not understand the flavor of the soup, Buddha
· And the fork ran away with the spoon. origin?
· He should have a long spoon that sups with the devil, old proverb
· Born with a silver spoon in one's mouth = born rich
· Born with a plastic spoon in my mouth, the Substitute, The Who
· The Lovin' Spoonful, band
· Spoon, a song by Howling Wolf
· Spoon, Austin, Texas based alternative pop rock foursome
· WNBA basketball star Theresa Weatherspoon's nickname is "T-Spoon"
· Mr. T wears a thick solid gold necklace with a life-size spoon - he calls it his Mr. T-spoon!
· Uri Geller is an Israeli magician most famous for being able to bend a spoon with his mind power!
· Fred Schuman, Superfan Freddy at the NY Yankees bangs a pot and spoon
· German tradition of Bleigiessen is when New Year's partygoers dangle spoons over candles and melt tiny lead figurines pressed into lucky shapes like moneybags and mushrooms. They then toss the liquid metal into a pan of cold water and determine the coming year's fortunes from the twisted forms of the once-molten lead. Heats mean luck and good health. Flowers signify new friendships, chalices, futures filled with happiness.
· Spoon deeply for the warmest food - buffet menu, Trent, Pennsylvania
· Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology
· A man's wife left him and took everything. When he finally got hungry he had not a single utensil and the Tibetan restaurant gave him a long-handled metal spoon. He used it exclusively for over a year.
· During WWII, many European POWs were forced to eat with their hands. At least one man secreted and secretly ate with a spoon as proof of his human dignity. The ordinary looking spoon is on display at The Jewish Museum, NY
l. in-book activities for kids:
Can you find the differences between these spoons?
Can you find the spoons that are repeated several times in this book?
Collect all the different spoons in your home and label a museum-style exhibition.
Hold egg races by carrying eggs in a spoon while walking backwards
Make a spoon music orchestra
Make spoon foods like jelly, jam, chow chow, and piccalilly.
m. small spoon as bookmark on a string.
n. endpapers: spoon, in different languages, halftone
INSPECTOR COLLECTOR (IC) is a professional museum educator whose courses focus on the pedagogical value of collecting. Using everyday objects such as menus, pencils, maps, paper money, and more, IC helps learners of all ages build their sense of wonderment and self-esteem. Together, people explore culture and identity; develop career objectives; and build a sense of community through open intellectual exchange. Participation in a range of creative activities helps students develop language and motor skills while learning how to appraise and evaluate cultural artifacts so as to understand their context and purpose. The links between contemporary culture and history are made apparent, and students become more aware of the connections between their school curriculum and the world around them. The cornerstone of this explorative course is the development of skills like decision-making, innovative thinking, and creative interpretation. IC fosters the multiple intelligences while enriching, stimulating, and empowering students both inside and outside the classroom.
IC's innovative approach can "turn on the light bulb" This unique curriculum is based on the idea that the way we collect objects mirrors precisely the way we learn to read (identify, gather, sort, store, present and re-present). IC enhances analytical skills and helps develop characteristics of good citizenship such as tolerance and cooperation. People learn to "think on their feet" and discover new meaning in the world around them. Students quickly grasp the resonance between their personal holdings and those of other individuals as well as our public museums. The success of IC's curriculum proves that the sense of order and feelings of satisfaction that people establish by collecting can stimulate a crucial life skill: persistence in the pursuit of knowledge.
Harley Spiller, a.k.a. INSPECTOR COLLECTOR (IC) presents his international collections of menus, autographs, photographs, neckties, spoons, and more to inspire the lifelong love of learning that necessarily comes to collectors of integrity. Museum exhibitions of his collections, which have been presented in New York City; Stamford, Connecticut; and Caracas, Venezuela, have twice been cited by Art in America as "Exhibitions of the Year" and his work has been repeatedly praised by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town," CNN Headline News, National Public Radio, The Learning Channel, and more. IC's first museum job was in our nation's capital, at the White House and the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the U.S. Department of State.
A graduate of Northwestern University, IC teaches internationally, from pre-school to graduate school, and has worked in New York City museums and cultural organizations for over two decades. IC currently serves as Administrator and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Franklin Furnace Archive. He is producing a new children's TV series, so stay tuned for SHOW US YOUR STUFF with INSPECTOR COLLECTOR!
INSPECTOR COLLECTOR'S COLLECTIONS
1. Collection of collectors (international database on thousands of collections
2. Passport stamps from foreign countries (33)
3 Chinese takeout menus (c. 6,000 from 55 foreign countries dating back to 1868)
4. Contemporary art (several hundred originals)
5. Graffiti stickers (8,000)
6. Mr. T memorabilia (c. 230 objects)
7. Newspaper stand weights and memorabilia (c. 200 from 1930s to present)
8. Watches (6)
9. New York City Metro Cards (over 100 different ones and related information)
10. Cool boxes (c. 30)
11. Cool shopping bags (c. 70)
12. Chinese movie posters and memorabilia (10,000 pieces)
13. Pens (c. 200)
14. Pencils (c. 400)
15. Postcards (c. 500)
16. Crabs (photos and information, c. 30 pieces)
17. Ice Cream memorabilia
18. Maps and objects with map designs (c. 200)
19. Pokemon (articles, c. 20)
20. Forks (c. 45)
21. Toothpicks (c. 50 different ones)
22. Spoons with different functions (c. 300)
23. Japanese Sake bottlecaps (c. 25)
24. Hot Dog information
25. Hamburger information
26. Plastic (hundreds of unusual plastic objects)
27. Shoes (photos)
28. Doors (photos)
29. Crazy Neckties (c. 120)
30. Beer paraphernalia
31. Autographs (thousands)
32. Corn information
33. Magnets (hundreds)
34. Magic tricks (dozens)
35. Photographs (thousands)
36. Pee Wee Herman memorabilia
37. U.S. and international Currency and Coins
38. Distressed U.S. Currency and coins, including actual counterfeits/cartoon dollars
39. Marbles (c. 500)
40. Stick Pins (c. 30)
41. Hair (photos of different styles)
42. Shopping Lists found in supermarkets (c. 2000)
43. Record Albums (c. 1000)
44. Hot sauces (c. 35 in constant use!)
45. Used professional hockey sticks, pucks, jerseys and equipment (c.140 pieces)
46. Small Dolls (c. 100)
47. Fortune Teller handbills (c. 150)
48. T Shirts (c. 100)
49. Matchbooks with maps on them (c. 35)
50. HEAVY@ tags from airline luggage
51. Chewing Gum (c. 500 different packs)
52. Keys (c. 6000)
53. Bottles (c. 20)
54. Playing cards in decks other than 52 cards (25)
55. Folk art and found texts by unusual authors.
56. Pizza (menus and information)
57. Asian eating implements from 12 different countries
59. Beverage wrenches (40)
61. Postage stamps
62. Teensy tiny things
63. Masks from around the world (20)
64. miniature cast iron frying pans (8)
65. letter openers (30)
66. things that sound like Harley Spiller (Frosty Chiller, Hurley Schloither, etc.)
67. Security badges, seals and devices (40)
68. Several items from The World Trade Center, where I worked in 1994-95.
69. Religious skull caps (46)
70. tape (125 assorted varieties)
71. international and unusual paper money (c. 100 bills)
72. pickle information
73. bookmarks (c. 40)
74. citrus fruit peeling devices (6)
75. seeds from unusual fruits (12)
76. unidentified and mysterious objects
77. drawstring bags
78. rubber bands (c. 100)
79. Brooklyn West Indian postcard party invitations
80. Paperclips (c. 1800 different varieties)
81. seeds from unusual fruits and vegetables
Gather, find, glean
Search, assemble, amass
Compile, acquire, obtain, secure, discover, accumulate
Glom it on
curios of all nature
urge to amass
dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, gazillions
cabinet of curiosities
oologist (egg collector)
archeologist - human materials
historiographer, biographer, ethnologist, folklorist
© Harley Spiller, Brenda Bellorin, 1997-2003