Maurice Collins began gathering strange devices and inventions in about 1976, when he took his teenage son to a rubbish dump near their home to go ‘bottle digging’. His collection grew to around 1,600 weird and wonderful off-beat antique gadgets, include a clockwork burglar alarm, an electric hair-restoring comb, a finger stretcher, a mechanical envelope sealer and the world’s first ever Sat Nav. Maurice is quoted as saying:
“I don’t think anyone else loves collecting ‘thingy-me-bobs’ from the past as much as I do.”
In 2011, Maurice was named TV’s Best British Collector by Bid TV who instigated the award to celebrate the launch of their Collectibles Club. Maurice collected a £2,000 prize, which he donated to the charity he set up, Kith & Kids.
Albert Richardson’s tea making machine has always remained a firm favourite in his collection. In this video he introduces us to some of the items in his collection and demonstrates the tea maker.
Pictures of the items in Maurice’s collection have been available from the Mary Evans Picture Library in Blackheath, since 2016. You can find out more about the collection and read an interview with Maurice in their blog.