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the magical world of airsickness bags

Welcome. This is what my wife calls "a bunch of stupid jokes and pictures of paper bags." She's right about the jokes. She's wrong about the bags: some of them are plastic.

What the critics say: "Utterly unnotable" (Wikipedia editor). "Ridiculous collections #4" (Buzzfeed). Other comments: "As complete wastes of time go, it's a very high quality complete waste of time... An entirely dispensable source of inane comments about a truly trivial subject... A monument to the planet's worst corporate design... An unwelcome reminder of some of the more unpleasant moments in our lives."

Donations (unused, please) of bags not represented in the bag gallery are welcomed -- please mail to this address, and I'll credit you on this site! I am happy to trade any extras that I have. Check out the links to other bag sites, find out how you can use your spare bags, and explore the fascinating world of bag manufacturers

Highlights: The design features page reveals the secrets of professional baggery, and the logos page analyses the enigma of airline corporate identities. Search for your favourite bag, browse the bag gallery by country and airline, and check out the biggest, best and worst bags!


Air sickness takeover fever

A major firm lacks a key marketing outlet, while another firm has spare capacity. The result: a takeover bid. That is common in the commercial world, but almost unknown in the shadowy parallel universe of bag-collecting.

Until now.

In an unprecedented move,, an innovative joint bagsite of German collectors Thorsten Hecht and Gerhard Lang, has expanded further: it now features bags from fellow German baggist Gerd Clemens.

"We've started out by featuring particularly beautiful or rare items from Gerd's collection", says webadmin Thorsten Hecht. "Gradually we'll include his whole collection on our site."

This move brings together three of the world's top 11 collections under one roof - similar to the alliances that now dominate the airline industry, and conglomerates such as Duni and DeSter that lead the barfbag manufacturing sector.

Will the HechtLang Clemens tie-up lead to further consolidation in baggery? Rumours swirl of a transatlantic tie-up between and, and of a takeover bid by newly established for fellow newcomer

Meanwhile, publicity-shy market leader Niek Vermeulen continues to deny persistent gossip of a marriage with similarly web-averse second-placed Oliver Conradi.

Proponents of such conglomerates should beware the lessons of history: European and American anti-trust regulators may start nosing around bag collections they deem too large and in breach of competition policy.

In other news, has also announced a new sideline in life jackets. Unclear how many passengers have drowned as a result of these items being removed from the aircraft. Or whether they are for exchange against barfbags.

Monday, June 25, 2007 

The ideal 60th birthday present

It's always worth browsing YouTube for keywords such as "barfbag" and "air sickness bag". You might come up with gems such as the two on the left, which show a lucky 60-year-old bag aficionado displaying some prize items to a rapt audience of party guests. And opening a present to find it's one of Steve Silberberg's eminently collectible bagposters.

In case you missed it first time, you can also view CNN's report on Virgin Atlantic's admirable Design for Chunks "Limited Edition" series - probably the only time that barfbags have ever been covered on a major news network.

Click on the pictures to view the videos.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 

Aَirline threatens baggist with "necessary steps"

Cape Verde airline TACV doesn't like its logo appearing on Januscz Tichoniuk's bag collection website.

The airline has threatened the Polish baggist with "all necessary steps" if he does not remove the logo.

Strange that the airline is concerned about its corporate identity in eastern Europe: TACV does not fly to Poland. And when's team of investigators visited the carrier's website, it was down: "Server does not exist or access denied". Maybe the airline's executives should focus more on its online availability to potential passengers, and less on people who steal its bags?

In a gesture of solidarity with Janusz, we reproduce the TACV logo on the left.

TACV is not the first bag purveyor to threaten a baggist with legal action. proprietor Steve Silberberg reports he received a letter from a vice-president of the US cable channel A&E, threatening various unspecified actions if he did not remove a promotional bag from his site. He responded by suggesting that the media might be interested in the story: "TV network sues barf bag collector". Sadly, A&E did not pursue the case.

Update (20 Jun 07)

In a touching and unprecedented display of solidarity, other baggists have begun putting the TACV logo on their websites. The brave baggists include Walter Brinker, David Shomper, Rune Tapper and Steve Silberberg.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 

World Airline Historical Society founder dies

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Paul Collins who founded the World Airline Hobby Club some 30 years ago and saw it become the World Airline Historical Society of today, passed away peacefully this morning at 8:10 EDT.

He lost his battle with cancer and diabetes on this his 68th birthday.

I'll personally miss Paul as he was like a brother to me. We shared lots of time together (not enough) and our innermost thoughts including those about mortality. The hobby has lost a great supporter.

Paul will be cremated and no services will be held except the possibility of a memorial service in the future and I'll notify everyone if that happens.

If you'd like to send a condolence card to Mrs. Collins and her Daughter, please send to Pat and Paula Collins, 13739 Picarsa Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32225, USA.

- Denir Camargo

Friday, June 15, 2007 

Vintage bags

If you're looking for vintage bags of the non-barf variety, then Vintage Depot Direct is well worth a visit. This online shop offers what it describes as "antique advertising and vintage collectibles". Including a whole section of ancient bags.

No airline barfbags available, sadly, and the closest thing to a barfbag is the "Blood Circus Scream Bag" to the left. Which can be yours for a mere $3.99 plus postage and packing.

So if, like me, you have a stack of Air France or Lufthansa bags you can't get rid of for love or money, my recommendation is just to keep them for a few decades. In 50 years' time, they'll be worth a fortune.

Thanks to Steve Silberberg for this alert.

Monday, June 11, 2007 

Dirty socks? Wash them with Barf

For "Extra cleaning power" and a "Fresh perfume" smell, choose Barf detergent.

This Iranian washing powder is suited for handwashing and top-loading machines only. Don't use it in front loaders.

Barf, or "برف" means "snow" in Farsi. An apt name for a detergent.

Monday, June 11, 2007 

Dog bag rejected, US economy continues free fall

For a glimpse at why the US economy is heading for the cliff's edge, look no further than the American Inventor reality TV show.

This show pits inventors against each other in a competition for hard cash to invest in their pet projects. Inventors have come up with such items as pictures that change colours when you pee on them, bibs to use in the car, and devices to douse burning Christmas trees in water. All of which are going to see off the challenge from Asia's rising economies.

The most promising invention was the Arf Bag - a barfbag for carsick dogs. Inventor Kim Douglas's creation looks like a gas mask. Sadly, the judges didn't like it, so she didn't progress to the next round.

Kinetosis-prone canines will have to throw up onto the back seat for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to Steve Silberberg for this alert.

Sunday, June 10, 2007 

Hindenburg bag

The Japanese TV show is said to have featured a barfbag from the Hindenburg

Could a bag have survived this?

If a charred envelope can fetch $14,000, how about a mint-condition barfbag?

A barfbag from the doomed airship Hindenburg has turned up on a Japanese antiques show.

Or has it?

The Daily Yomiuri Online alerts readers to a Tuesday evening programme on TV Tokyo called Family Treasure Appraisers (or Nandemo kanteidan in Japanese). This "allows collectors to seek elusive objects and the public to learn the the value of family heirlooms as the at-home viewer contemplates life's forgotten artifacts and oddities. The show's research department provides interesting background information on some of the more newsworthy objects such as their recent report on a set of china, drink canister and barf bag brought back from a 1936 trip on the Hindenburg--all in perfect condition."

The Hindenburg, a German airship, burst into flames at Lakehurst, New Jersey, on 6 May 1937, killing 35 people on board. Some 61 passengers and crew survived the disaster.

The Family Treasure Appraisers (or "We'll Appraise Anything") programme, the Japanese equivalent of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, has a panel of experts who value objects brought to the studio by celebrities and members of the public. It is moderated by Ishizaka Koji (a well-known Japanese actor) and Shimada Shinsuke. The programme with the purported Hindenburg bag was broadcast on 15 May 2007.

This programme included a valuation of 27 items from the Hindenburg, owned by a Mrs Otani, whose great-grandfather previously owned them. The "agreed value" (whatever that means) was 100,000 yen (about EUR 610), and the "evaluated value" was 800,000 yen (about EUR 4880; this is revealed if you click on the "open the price" button on the site).

However, baggist Homer Goetz casts doubt on the possibility that a barfbag was among the 27 items on the show.

"There not have been barf bags on board of these huge air ships like the Hindenburg", he says. "The airships did not fly but sail, and to signalize passengers that sailing on an airship was extremely safe and a comfortable alternative for flying, there could not be sicknessbags on board. That was the result of my correspondence 4 years ago with people from Zeppelin museum in Friedrichshafen, which included a steward from Hamburg, who was sailing as a young man on the Hindenburg."

If a barfbag was aboard, it could be worth a lot of money. Mail recovered from the crash fetches high prices - up to US$ 14,000 - among philatelists.

If you'd like to check the current availability of bags on board current-day airships, you can book a flight on the Zeppelin that does aerial tours over its home base of Friedrichshafen, in southern Germany. A mere EUR 200 will allow you to snaffle all the bags on board - if there are any.

Monday, June 04, 2007 


What do Latvia, Liberia and Lesotho have in common? Yes, they all start with an L. What else? They're all missing from my barfbag collection.

What's the biggest country not represented? Chad. In terms of population? Burkina Faso. Other prominent absentees (coloured red in the map): Georgia and Rwanda. 

Major underrepresented portions of the globe are a swathe of Africa and chunks of Central Asia and Central America.

Donations from these areas especially welcome!

Centres of megabagdiversity are the USA (though many US bags are distressingly plain), China, the UK, Canada, Germany, Brazil and Indonesia. 

Click here for details.

For new baggists only


New to the world of bag collecting? Want to get a head start on your collection? Then send me an email, and I'll send you a randomly selected free starter pack from my surplus bag stock. There won't be anything rare, and you may end up with some duplicates, but at least you'll be able to show your friends a few more of these lovely cultural artefacts. Make sure you include your mailing address in your email. Offer good as long as stocks last.

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