Category:
Hobbies and DIY

Byron Randall, collector of potato mashers



Byron Randall (1918-1999) was an American West Coast artist, but he also received recognition as a collector of potato mashers.

He told a UPI reporter in 1984 that he started his collection not because of any special connection to potato mashers, but simply because he wanted to have a "unique collection." But he gave a more detailed explanation of the origin of his hobby in an interview with Wesley Joost and Jon Randall:

One of my skills is cooking so I had a normal interest in potato mashers as a tool. Every one was different in some way, and they were all designed by someone who had a different idea about what was the best way to arrange the wire striking face and wooden handle. That intrigued me. When I was furnishing the guest house I frequented the markets and Salvation Army. Nearly all of them would have some kitchen gear. I was attracted to them because they were all beautifully functional and simple and never had been standardized like the Dover Eggbeater.

Randall also admitted that he didn't like potatoes themselves — just the mashers.

As of 1984, he had collected 384 mashers. I don't know how many he owned by the time he died. But he claimed that this was the biggest collection of potato mashers in the world.

The Idaho Potato Museum also has a large potato masher collection, which they acquired as a result of a Boy Scout's Eagle Project. So I emailed them to ask how big their collection is. A representative (Tish Dahmen) responded that they have "280 mashers on display then another box full."

She reckons that Randall's collection was larger, and unfortunately she has no idea what became of his mashers. But she added: "if you discover its whereabouts, please know that we’d be happy to house and exhibit it if his family or estate wants to donate to us … we will be happy to accept it!"

Finding a permanent home for a potato masher collection seems like a worthy project, so I'm working on it. There was once a Byron Randall Museum in Tomales, CA, where Randall lived and ran a bed-and-breakfast. Perhaps the museum acquired his collection. However, the museum doesn't have a website. So I don't know if it's still in existence.

I've contacted the Tomales Regional History Center to ask if they know where Randall's potato mashers are.

Idaho Potato Museum Masher Collection — via California or Bust!



Milwaukee Sentinel - May 4, 1984



The Pittsburgh Press - May 3, 1984

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 16, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Collectors

Co-Star Records





There were fifteen of these uniquely bizarre records.

The whole story is here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 30, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Amateurs and Fans, Celebrities, Hobbies and DIY, 1960s

Hawk Model Kits

image

Original ad here.

It might not be 1965 any longer, but thanks to a revival at Hawk Model Kits, you can get these wacky figurines new again.

image

Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 19, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Hobbies and DIY, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1960s

Know Your Missiles!

image

[Click to enlarge]

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Apr 10, 2016 - Comments (17)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Children, 1950s, Weapons

John Q Public, Movie Mogul



Wow, imagine if you had to go thru all this to create a cat video for YouTube!

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 30, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Movies, 1950s

Seaweed Collecting


Back in the Victorian era, this was apparently a popular hobby. From Collectors Weekly:

Affluent Victorians often spent hours painstakingly collecting, drying, and mounting these underwater plants into decorative scrapbooks... Part of the appeal was what a seaweed collection said about the collector. Anyone could appreciate and collect flowers, but painstakingly obtaining, preserving, and mounting seaweed specimens demonstrated patience, artistic talent, and the refined sensibilities necessary to appreciate the more subtle beauties of nature. Queen Victoria herself made a seaweed album as a young lady.

And yes, the seaweed did smell bad. But Collectors Weekly reminds us that the Victorian era was "a more pungent time."

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 18, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Nineteenth Century

Diamond Postcard Gun

image

Original ad here.

image

Original text here.

I am uncertain about how the technology of 1914 allowed for one-minute development of photos. But somehow they managed, as you can see from the buttons below.

And damn, that was one gorgeous hunk of equipment!

image

image

Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 07, 2015 - Comments (7)
Category: Business, Hobbies and DIY, Photography and Photographers, 1910s

XM42 Flamethrower



Purchase yours here.

A tip of the propeller beanie to Charles Stross.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 21, 2015 - Comments (4)
Category: Death, Destruction, Hobbies and DIY, Technology

Car with Thatched Roof

Posted By: Paul - Wed Dec 03, 2014 - Comments (4)
Category: Eccentrics, Hobbies and DIY, 1960s, Cars

Collecting Dirt

Back in 1936, Patricia Salter had an unusual hobby for a 12-year-old girl. She collected dirt. Whenever I come across stories like this, it always makes me wonder what became of the collection. I'm guessing that at some point it must have been tossed in the trash, or dumped outside.

But it looks like there are some like-minded dirt enthusiasts in the present day, over at the Museum of Dirt.


Source: The Washington Post - Feb 9, 1936

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 16, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Collectors, 1930s

Page 3 of 6 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›




weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •