We generally devote our Friday blog post to a specific artifact or exhibit at the World of Coca-Cola. This week, I was inspired by the Collectors Corner in the Pop Culture Gallery. We have done several Collector Focus blog post the past few months and from the comments we have received, I can tell that the readers appreciate the stories of how and why some people make Coca-Cola collectibles a hobby.
I first noticed Michael Van Leare when I saw some photographs he posted to facebook. The photos certainly stood out, it is not everyday that you see photos of a 10,000 can collection being packed in boxes to be shipped half way around the world. But that is what Michael was documenting as he and his wife moved form Virginia to Thailand. We e-mailed Michael with some questions about his collection.
What made you first start to collect and why cans and not bottles? Oh the blasphemy, I actually started with a Pepsi pop art set in the US. After that, I noticed other nice designs, Coca-Cola being a leader in this area. I collect cans because of the design and commemorative bottles were just not as common in my area.
What other reasons do you have for collecting? To meet collectors from all over the world, online and offline. It is nice to be able to meet face to face and see other peoples collections. Also, when you assemble your display wall of cans, as many collectors do, I love to see the evolution in the design of the can.
What are your favorite cans? My favorite are because of the story behind the can, where I found it, was is a good bargain, the person who gave it to me, etc. Others I love because of the design. The newest or complete sets are always the most popular.
Micheal's website, CanPedia is a goldmine of photos of cans from around the world, but I wanted to show you some of the photos of the move that first caught my eye.
More on Journey
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- 5 Artists Who Will Transform How You See Coca-Cola
- Why the Coca-Cola Archives is Digitizing More than 6,000 Analog Tapes
- Celebrating the Champs: The Storied History of Coke's Commemorative Sports Cans (and Bottles)
- Coca-Cola Salesman's Career in Mississippi Started During Civil Rights Movement