Your collection's fate?

poniatowski

Active member
Would that be Hayes' M1917? Nice little tank. (I'm at work and can't see the photos, but I'm guessing from your location that it might be him). I used to drive a friend's Sherman for him at re-enactments, as well as other armored tracked and wheeled. I've been in FT's and M1917's, but never got to drive one. I'd like to take both the M1917 (or FT) and an M103 for a spin.

:D Ron
 

Peter_Suciu

Active member
My wife worries that after we bought the cannon this year that I'll move up to a tank. I would love that and I would absolutely keep it on the front lawn!
 

Gustaf

Active member
Staff member
poniatowski said:
Would that be Hayes' M1917? Nice little tank. (I'm at work and can't see the photos, but I'm guessing from your location that it might be him). I used to drive a friend's Sherman for him at re-enactments, as well as other armored tracked and wheeled. I've been in FT's and M1917's, but never got to drive one. I'd like to take both the M1917 (or FT) and an M103 for a spin.

:D Ron
A funny story about the day this photo was taken, Hayes had pulled the tank out of his building and parked in on a hill to change the oil, when he got ready to start it, he had a friend (not me) put a block of wood behind it and then standing in front of it, he kicked it out of gear. It started moving slowly backward until it go to the block of wood and then did not stop. It crawled over the wood and rolled down the hill as Hayes was trying to hold it back. It looked like a futile effort, but it actually slowed it down enough that when it hit the level area just before the overhead door is slowed and only went about a foot through the door. For a moment, it looked like it would go through the door into the building and out the far wall onto the highway. It actually worked out pretty good, as the ducktail had been removed for storage, and was sitting right beside the tank when it stopped. So we did not have to carry it very far.
 

Gustaf

Active member
Staff member
J.LeBrasseur said:
Gus- you told me you where going to make the third one for my Birthday present next year....

James
Hey James, you spoiled the surprise, Lori just called and canceled the order:(
 

poniatowski

Active member
Gustaf said:
poniatowski said:
Would that be Hayes' M1917? Nice little tank. (I'm at work and can't see the photos, but I'm guessing from your location that it might be him). I used to drive a friend's Sherman for him at re-enactments, as well as other armored tracked and wheeled. I've been in FT's and M1917's, but never got to drive one. I'd like to take both the M1917 (or FT) and an M103 for a spin.

:D Ron
A funny story about the day this photo was taken, Hayes had pulled the tank out of his building and parked in on a hill to change the oil, when he got ready to start it, he had a friend (not me) put a block of wood behind it and then standing in front of it, he kicked it out of gear. It started moving slowly backward until it go to the block of wood and then did not stop. It crawled over the wood and rolled down the hill as Hayes was trying to hold it back. It looked like a futile effort, but it actually slowed it down enough that when it hit the level area just before the overhead door is slowed and only went about a foot through the door. For a moment, it looked like it would go through the door into the building and out the far wall onto the highway. It actually worked out pretty good, as the ducktail had been removed for storage, and was sitting right beside the tank when it stopped. So we did not have to carry it very far.

LOL! Yes, one does not 'block' a tank's track (it's made to go over obstacles!). IF you want to 'block' it, you have to wedge it under a road wheel, which is easier on a modern tank with center or end guides. The way to do that on an M1917 would be to slide a triangular block between the last and next to last 'bogie' set... on each side. It would be even better to do two or three per side. Once done, start the tank, creep it forward and remove the blocks. Anyhoo, I bet Hayes had some choice language going during all of this!

:D Ron
 

Gustaf

Active member
Staff member
whoh! was about all he said until the tank came to a halt, then there was some muttering, Hayes may use colorful language sometimes, but I do not recall anything untoward being utter out loud.
 

poniatowski

Active member
Gustaf said:
whoh! was about all he said until the tank came to a halt, then there was some muttering, Hayes may use colorful language sometimes, but I do not recall anything untoward being utter out loud.

I haven't seen him since the 1990's at an MVPA convention. I used to be more 'colorful' too, but gave it up. I really do like that tank and it's good to see it preserved (and running!).

:D Ron
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
An excellent discussion and one that has popped into my head ever since I turned 50....what to do with my treasures as old age creeps upon me? I will not be donating to any museum. Case in point, an old time (ex military) collector in our area had connections at the Base Borden military Museum which is about 30 min from Barrie. He was allowed to take home most of the pickelhauben that they had to restore/clean them. I know for a fact that "parts" were exchanged with repro items before he returned them. He died of cancer a few years back and his collection was sold.

I do not believe that most of the younger generation has any interest in our treasures, most have no family connection with WW 1 or WW 11. I have taught some rare adolescents who do have an inherent love of History and these things but they would be half a dozen out of 7,000+ that I have taught. I would also state that most of our membership here do have, either a father and a grandfather as in my case or some other immediate relation who fought in the wars. This explains our interest/connection.
I also do not see the younger generation having the disposable income to afford to have thousands of dollars sitting on shelves in the form of spiked hats. I have been advised by people far more financially acute than my self to sell, take the money and run. Unfortunately, I have a problem with that, at least at this stage in life. Most of us here are of the Baby Boomer generation, we were raised by survivors of the Great Depression who saved and had a hard time throwing anything away. We had/have good jobs with a lot more security/seniority than those who follow us. We have disposable income and can afford to collect.
My solution, is to allow each of my children to choose a helmet/s as a remembrance of my passion and love of History. The rest will be sold probably/hopefully by me. In the meantime, I intend to sell off the more common types and use that money to buy more rare helmet/items which I hope will hold their value despite a fall in demand. This may be pie in the sky but my collecting has been a huge positive in my life and I do not want to let that go until I am forced to do so probably by some health concern but none as yet. So, that is my rationalization at this point.
Perhaps I should sell out and reinvest the money in collectible computers with Logan to advise me??? At least I could still collect and there is a market for the first generation models which do appeal to generation X. My 2 cents worth anyway.
 

poniatowski

Active member
The museum I am thinking of is the Chazen Art Museum at UW Madison (my alma mater) for two or three of the helmets, which they might display in the area where they have just a few weapons and a Japanese armor. I don't really think they'll have an interest in them and will also check with the Stadt Historisches Museum in Berlin next time I'm there. I know enough about museums to tell them the donation is on the condition of them displaying the items, rather than storing, and have children who will check up and make the 'loan' permanent once they are on display. After that, it's up to the museum, not my children or wife, what happens. I won't care because, as stated, I'll be dead. I also have never donated to a museum for tax purposes, but to help their displays... it's just what I do.
My kids have already staked claims on some very nice helmets and I'm glad to see them interested. One Pickelhaube'r has asked for one and he still has first refusal when that one is sold.
Other than that, I'm still collecting as I can, which means right now I'm in there with the younger generation, no money! However, I agree 100% with Brian that kids coming up have little interest in this stuff and would put more value on a 'smart' phone than a GdK helmet. Very true indeed.

:D Ron
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
You really can't blame today's generation......if you are in your teens, you do not have much personal history time on the planet so how do you relate to old stuff? If older in your 20's or 30's you are carving out a career or raising young kids, trying to pay your bills. If you have a collector for a father then you will have been dragged out to shows and exposed to it but other than that, the vast majority have no reason to be interested.
Speaking of university...I had a History prof...an American from TN, I believe his name was Charles Wooley, I was in his office one day discussing an essay......he had 3 Hauben on top of a book case there. If memory serves, all were high domed with cruciform spike bases. Those were the first ones that I had ever seen in the flesh so to speak.
 

Gustaf

Active member
Staff member
All the talk about today's generation not being interested in history made me think, was there ever a generation that was interested in history? As I recall, in a class of about 400 in high school there were only two other classmates who were interested in history, both lost interest as they got older. Those who have attended SOS should have observed that there is a fair percentage of young people attending, and there are some of the older dealers and collectors who are using the same strategy as drug dealers to get them hooked (give them some freebees or make discounts). If I encounter a kid that is interested, I try to make sure they have something in hand to remind them of that interest. There are some amazing kids coming along. It was a bunch of kids that made science fiction a thing of the past by not paying attention in school when their teachers tried to tell them what could not be done. I am sure that Douglas Adams never expected there would be a real "Hitchhiker's Guide" by now.
 

Peter_Suciu

Active member
I think there is some interest in history. Video games and movies have helped a lot. Games like Medal of Honor and movies like Saving Private Ryan both managed to get the youth more interested in history. I see some young collectors, but the biggest hurdle is that this stuff costs a LOT of money.

I don't remember a lot of teenagers at shows when I was young, and today I do see a few younger collectors. At SOS last year there was a group of young collectors dressed in uniforms and their girlfriends/sisters(?) were dressed in 1940s clothing and nurse's uniforms. So I'm sure there will be collectors in the future.

My plan is that as my friends sell their collections I'll buy them. I think my future might be to be killed in a helmet avalanche!
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Excellent point Peter, I had forgotten about the video games, probably because I have no interest in playing them, but of course my son Logan does. However, you are totally correct, so many are based in Historical times or WW 2 to modern warfare situations. There is no video game which can appeal to the young male that lacks violence and destruction, that is how we as males are wired as far as I am concerned. In addition, there are many many amazing kids just as there has always been but they are tuned into the technology of this era far more than we can ever hope to be. The successful video game must have some threat whether human or alien that has to be destroyed with weapons. We males are programmed to support and protect our wives and children, how else does the species survive?? This maleness can get warped and twisted in those who have had Fukd childhoods which can lead to evil things but the prime directive is for good. Popular movies have and will also generate interest amongst the youth at least the smarter ones. The dealers mentioned are smart....start the young ones at moderate levels in the hope that interest will grow with income and purchasing power. I hope that there are militaria collection shows 100 years after I am in the ground!
 

Spiker

Active member
I do see a lot of young people in Ciney (the Belgian SOS), they bring their girls, who dress up in the fashion of 1945.They have complete stands now with this type of clothing, a solution to do this hobby together. :)
The 100 year anniversary of WWI can not be missed here, that helps, and once the seed is planted…
Schools visit museums like Flanders fields, and now a days it takes only a little effort to find old footage and info on the internet, it will have to replace hearing a familymembers stories.
Course most of the young collectors will give it up at a certain point, the pickelhaubes are looked at by the older guys, but we all started with bayonets and badges, the things we could afford.
The reason people quit can vary from meeting a partner who don’t like to see money spent this way ,starting a family ,or someone could get terribly disappointed by finding out his latest treasure is a fake, and not so much if the fake is an obvious one from e-bay ,but if it came from a dealer you thought you could trust.
 

WWI Collector

New member
I think many of you are attached personal connection with a war = interest. I encourage you to go to the Civil War show in Louisville each year and try, just try to buy a cap or tunic. You will be mortified at the prices. I go just to look as I cannot afford a Civil War anything. $50,000 is not unusual for a Confederate tunic. Then please go to Belgium or France and attempt to purchase a Napoleonic anything. Then go to Kassel and politely ask where all the France-Prussian uniforms and helmets are. I wish you luck with all three. People that collect those these wars (voraciously) are prepared to spend tens of thousands on a tunic. None of those people has ever met any man who fought in those wars. People, men in general I think it is fair to say, will develop an interest in a military period and collect to it. There will be Imperial German collectors paying astounding sums for good original items long after my family has laid me to rest and my bones are dust. Not all collectors are men like me working to raise a family. There is a good chunk of the population who are wealthy, or at least financiually very stable, who are interested, willing to spend the money to collect, and those people will always be around.
 

Gustaf

Active member
Staff member
A very good point, I was interested in the Civil War when I was a kid, but even then the prices were insane. WWI stuff was considered junk and most of it would be in the junk boxes under the tables at gun shows. WWI uniforms were being worn for work and Viet Nam uniforms had not been made yet. As long as there is insanity, there will be collectors.
 

poniatowski

Active member
Actually, come to think of it, you're all correct. I don't think the percentage of young people interested in history has changed over the years, but the prices of Pickelhaube sure has! I was interested in tanks since age 5, when I used to play on an M3A3 Stuart in front of an American Legion. I really liked the machine. That got me into cheaper militaria and my father was also into history in general and watched documentaries on TV… and paid for part of my interest.
Model making also kept me interested in history of aviation, vehicles of all kinds, ships, etc. When I was 17, I joined our local National Guard unit, not because I was patriotic, but because I wanted to work on the M109 Howitzers they had. From there I went on to crew tanks and then volunteered at the Patton Museum as a driver and eventually instructor on WWII through modern vehicles. My wife went to a training event and got hooked as a half track driver, then crewed and drove in museum re-enactments. During this time, we met a LOT of young people interested in history, re-enactments and such. We even crewed tanks for a local collector and a museum that never got off the ground.

Here's one of the tanks I used to drive (the actual vehicle):

http://www.militarytrader.com/wp-content/uploads/MV-buyers-guide.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:D Ron
 

badener

Member
I think that sometimes we forget the effect of inflation etc. on militaria prices. When I saw my first haube for sale around 1970 it was marked at $50 , a small fortune at the time. The same haube now would be marked between $350-$500. Compare the prices of cars and housing between then and now and you will see that militaria prices are not that far out of line. :D
 
Top