Wednesday, April 8, 2009

History of the Refrigerator Magnet

It is reported that the first refrigerator magnet patent was obtained by William Zimmerman of St. Louis, Missouri, in the early 1970s. Zimmerman patented the idea of small, colored, cartoon magnets to be used for decorative display and convenience. Wikipedia. The largest collection of refrigerator magnets was reportedly accumulated by Louise J. Greenfarb (apparently her real name), to quote from Wikipedia;
Her world record was included to the Guinness World Records with 19,300 items as of 1997. According to the British "Book of alternative records", it grew to 29,000 as of February 2002, and later up to over 30,000 items. Over 7,000 magnets from Greenfarb's collection are exhibited at the Guinness Museum in Las Vegas.

As of 2007, Louise has collected 35,000 magnets. Her current count as of January 2009, which has not been officially recognized, is 40,000 plus non-duplicates. She keeps over 10,000 duplicates on-hand to trade with her magpals.

You can now buy a 16th Century World Map Francis Drake Fridge Magnet. I have noticed that no matter how innocuous the object, there is some one who holds the world record for collecting the object and there is a convention somewhere of people who buy and sell it.

Another example of this phenomenon is the Coca-Cola Collector's Club. Their 35th Annual National Convention will be held in Denver, June 30 to July 4, 2009. Can't miss it, but I probably will.

OK, if that wasn't enough, then check out what is likely the world's largest collection of banana labels. As for me, I don't believe that Louise J. Greenfarb actually exists.

1 comment:

  1. She does exist. I am her son. Contact me if you want to know the rest of the story......Bryan Greenfarb - 317 709 3028.