I am a little late to this fad, initiated in 2016. But since it is still currently surging (this article ((possibly paywalled))) cites a current instance in my native state, I thought we needed to know about it.
Charles Davis collected elephant hairs — in particular the long hairs that grow from their tails. By the time he was 83, in 1962, he had hairs from 357 different elephants.
Cincinnati Enquirer - June 14, 1959
Details from a syndicated article by Ramon J. Geremia (Weirton Daily Times - Mar 24, 1962)
Davis, 83, who uses the title "Elephant Biographer," lives alone in a six-room house surrounded by mementoes of circuses and of elephants he has known, loved and pulled hair from. There are statues of elephants, elephant-shaped lamps, pieces of ivory, elephant bull hooks, even a tooth garnered in 1933 from an elephant named "Vera."...
But the elephant hairs make up the bulk of the collection of elephantiana. The longest one is 13 inches, the shortest, plucked from a 200 pound baby elephant, is one and one-half inches long. They include colors ranging from black to white with a few red chin whiskers.
Most of them were plucked from elephant tails — some were cut from the more belligerent behemoths. Every zoo in the nation is represented, except the Bronx Zoo in New York...
Davis started his unusual hobby as an elephantphile in 1928. He asked a circus elephant trainer to suggest something he could collect from or about elephants and the trainer suggested hair. Davis, a retired optometrist, says his collection "took my mind off business."
July 1973: Two undercover agents approached Eduardo Bazua at a gas station and attempted to buy heroin from him. However, he was reluctant to make the sale there and asked if there was somewhere more private they could go. So the agents took him to their nearby office at the Drug Enforcement Agency. Once in the office, Bazua proceeded to make the sale, and the agents promptly arrested him.
In Bazua's defense, there was no lettering on the door identifying it as the DEA, but even so, the fact that the office was on the 12th floor of the downtown federal building should have been a clue.
To see the book, the can must be opened with a can opener, presenting the owner with a dilemma: do they want their artwork to be ‘original’ and leave the can sealed, or do they open the can to see the book inside. We had hoped to use a sardine tin, with the little key to open it, but could not find a source. During the search we found a local business, Dave’s Albacore, which had an old canning machine salvaged from Cannery Row. They were willing to can the book for us, saying ‘drop it off on a Friday and we will can the books first thing Monday morning, and hopefully that way they won’t smell too much like fish.’