ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

I’m a Spoon Collector

Updated on February 19, 2018

How My Collection Started

I was on a summer vacation with my family when we went into a gift shop, a must with our family, and I found a section with souvenir, or "tourist," collections. They had bells, thimbles, shot glasses, but what caught my attention was the spoons. I couldn't have been more than ten years old at the time. From that day on, every time I travel, or even sometimes when other family members go on a trip, I get a souvenir spoon. That was only the beginning though, as my fascination with spoons increased with time. Now, I have a wide variety of spoon pieces that make up my collection of over 50 spoons. It may be weird to some, but collecting spoons is actually a fairly popular hobby.

Photo: My Spoon Reflection

A little over half of my collection.
A little over half of my collection.

What are Souvenir Spoons?

When you go to almost any gift shop you will find souvenir spoons. They are meant to help you remember your visit to a certain place; whether it be an aquarium, city, state, country, national park, memorial, amusement park, etc. They usually have the name of the place you visited and a significant picture along with some possible other writing, such as a date or design. The design of a souvenir spoon typically has a large handle top with a picture, symbol, or engraved writing or art, with the handle sometimes being detailed or decorated, and a bowl that can be plain or also have a picture or engraving.

George Washington - Photo credit: clker.com
George Washington - Photo credit: clker.com

A Brief History

Galt and Bros. created the first souvenir spoon made in the United States in 1889. It was created to commemorate George Washington’s 100th anniversary since becoming President. After that the obsession and interest in souvenir spoons just snowballed, as a Martha Washington spoon was designed soon after the first souvenir spoon, followed by a Salem Witch Spoon made by a jeweler named Seth. F. Low. People started writing books about collecting these tourist spoons and at Chicago’s World Fair they took the popular hobby and ran away with it, creating amazing designs and new collectors along the way.

Types of Tourist Spoons

There are probably over a million types of different tourist spoons, but here are some of the categories that I like to place my spoons in:

Bowl Shape

Two of my spoons with different bowl shapes.
Two of my spoons with different bowl shapes.

You would think when you are talking about a spoon it would just be the regular concave spoon, like those that you eat out of, but when you are talking about souvenir spoons there are many varieties. Some of the ones that I have in my collection or have seen in others include a shovel shape, one side of a shell, an opened flower, side scooping, a leaf, an arrow, different animal shapes, and some are even spork shaped. There are actually collector forks as well, but I'm going to stick with the spoons. Although, I do have one small souvenir fork in my collection, as it was an ironic piece because it came from Big Fork, MT.

Material

Pewter Lewis and Clark Spoon from collection.
Pewter Lewis and Clark Spoon from collection.

I like to collect metal spoons made out of brass, silver, pewter, and even gold. Most souvenir spoons tend to be either sterling silver or silver plated from what I've seen. Other material types have included porcelain, wood, and some ceramics, but these are hard to find as souvenirs.

"Charm" Spoons

Part of the hanging charm spoons from my collection.
Part of the hanging charm spoons from my collection.

I have not yet been able to discover where this design originated, but I have an entire section of my collection that has these hanging charms. They are usually placed dangling inside a hollow circle that has been made in the upper part or very top of the handle. If the spoon is silver the charm often tends to be gold colored.

My Other Spoon Obsessions

Besides the souvenir spoons I also collect antique spoons that have no particular place that they necessarily are from. I especially like ones that have detailed art or work or have no art work at all, but are very large and have a unique design. I haven't gotten one yet, but I would like to add some vintage advertising spoons to my collection, which can be very popular amongst a variety of collectors. I also love spoon jewelry, specifically rings and bracelets.


Why Spoons?

An old serving spoon my grandmother gave me.
An old serving spoon my grandmother gave me.

There is just something intriguing about spoons, perhaps the way they are shaped and designed. It is interesting to me how a now common household item that we use every day could be turned into memorabilia or fine art, although during a time in history not everyone had spoons. Additionally, there are so many types of spoons that the collection possibilities are endless. This can also be a fairly inexpensive hobby if you pick it up, as collector spoons do not usually cost very much. However, over time or depending on the type of spoon you have, they can be worth a lot of money. Monetary value aside, souvenir spoons especially, spoons can help you remember a special time, moment, or family member.

What is your favorite piece in your collection? Is there a spoon collector in your life or do you know others that are collectors?

Do You Spoon?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Bexley profile image

      Bexley 

      5 years ago

      You have a nice collection of souvenir spoons! They hold a lot of great memories of places you've been. I like the little "charm" spoons...they're cute!

    • Rymom28 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rymom28 

      5 years ago

      @Magda2012: Thank you!

    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 

      5 years ago

      your collection is wonderful! squidlike it.

    • Rymom28 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rymom28 

      5 years ago

      @SgtCecil: I have a few international spoons. I have not been to Japan, nor has any on my friends or family, but I would love to see what someof the spoons look like. Might have to put a trip there on my bucket list :)

    • SgtCecil profile image

      Cecil Kenmill 

      5 years ago from Osaka, Japan

      Not spoons, postcards for me. But this is a cool lens. Question: do you go international? I live in Japan and I've seen some weird spoons out here.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)