Collectables come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, I have about 12 large comic book boxes FULL of the heroes from my youth. I have book shelves filled with graphic novels, blu-rays and collectable figures. Don’t even get me started on the Olly Moss, Martin Ansin, Graham Erwin, Dave Perillo and Tom Whalen prints that adorn my walls and countless others that sit in tubes in my closet just waiting to be framed. But, in Cleveland, Ohio, Kyle Bitters has amassed a unique collection all his own.
Kyle’s obsession….thermoses. That’s right, I said “thermoses“. Kyle, who reminds me of David Spade, is a retired air traffic controller who has been collecting thermoses since the early 90’s. The only criteria he uses is that they must be metal and they can’t be sheathed in characters or cartoons.
To date he has stockpiled over 500 of these vintage pieces of Americana and each one is different from the next. Every time I look at these I picture one of those old photos of construction workers from the early 1900’s, up on a skyscraper, having lunch on a steel i beam. Feet dangling over the side, seemingly not a care in the world as they eat their lunch hundreds of feet off the ground while sitting on a eighteen-inch wide piece of metal.
For some reason, that I can’t explain, I find myself wanting to visit Kyle’s accumulation of classic liquid dispensers. That being said, I’m afraid that if I do, I may want to start my OWN thermos collection and that could get ugly. Weekends spent going to yard sales and swap meets and even scarier, my beloved prints would need to come down off the walls and I don’t see THAT happening any time soon. Take a look at these photos of Kyle’s collection of vintage vacuum bottles.
Thermos Photos by Eric Kvatek