History doesn’t always present itself through textbooks, scholarly lectures or art. One can often gain insight into bygone cultures through artifacts that were once scoffed at as pieces of junk.
That’s the thinking behind the City Reliquary Museum’s annual Collectors’ Night, a gathering of collectors and archivists who have sifted through countless piles of garbage to uncover quirky and intriguing historical ephemera. This year’s edition will hold court at the New York City Fire Museum and will showcase more than a dozen collections. Guest speakers will include Brian Kelley, who has amassed an impressive range of MetroCards, MTA tokens, patches and other New York City transit swag from the past 50 years, and Nelson Molina, a retired Department of Sanitation worker who collected valuables he found in the trash over the course of his career.
The event will also showcase vintage Coca-Cola ephemera, a series of Chicago gang business cards from the second half of the 20th century, postcards from World War I and much, much more.
See all of these precious knickknacks on Saturday, April 14. Tickets go for $10 online and $13 at the door.