40th Annual Collector's Day displays some truly unique collections

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -- Collectors of all sorts dusted off their spoons, legos, stamps and even antique potato mashers to bring to the Florida Natural Museum of History for the 40th Annual Collector's Day celebration. Here's a look at some of those collections and why collectors say once you fall in love with something, you just can’t get enough.

Collector's Day is a free event where all types of items show up to be displayed and talked about, but not sold.

The Florida Natural History Museums' education specialist Tiffany Ireland explained a few of the things you could see.

“We happen to have antique toy sewing machines or microscopes, Star Wars. Honestly, just about anything someone is interested in? It's here," she says.

Carter Gilbert has been collecting stamps for 82 years and has been at the event since it started 40 years ago.

“It's amazing," he says. "Every Collector's Day, the different things people collect...you can’t imagine why some of the things people do collect them. Anyways, it is interesting from that standpoint.”

It's about bringing together like-minded individuals who can educate others who might be interested in starting a collection of their own.

Ireland said, “we’re just trying to show people they can collect responsibly and they can actually collect with a purpose, for example, we have a collection of slide rules which actually has some pieces in the Smithsonian Museum and they’re actually showing how we got to the moon using slide rules instead of calculators.”

Toy and Lego enthusiast John Mcgahey said, “I've had so many stories told to me and I've been telling stories all day, it engages you with other folks you have common ground. You go out and find that other person, build friendships and you both attack the same thing.”

Almost every collector says it's not necessarily about acquiring as much stuff as you can, it's about finding the one piece you never thought you would.

Mcgahey explained his favorite part of being a collector. “I live for garage sales so every Friday I'm at the garage sales the flea market, I'm looking for that rare treasure you may find. You never know you move a piece of cardboard, boom, there’s something you’ve always been looking for. You remember that toy you had as a kid and your mom sold at the garage sale or threw away and you find it again it's a feeling of pure joy.”