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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!


Baggist aims for the moon

Here's a 1969 photo of American baggist David Shomper (circled) trying to sneak into the nosecone of a Saturn V rocket to steal the astronauts' barfbags.

Or maybe he's queuing up to go to the loo - the shack he's standing near.

David used to work on the Apollo moon program. The black-and-white photo below shows the whole rocket, with a person circled to give you an idea of the scale.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

David tells me that he doesn't in fact have any Apollo-era bags: he wasn't collecting back then.

This is the fourth of a series about bagophiles in their natural habitat. Want to have your picture on Send me a jpg, and I'll put it on the web!

Sunday, July 10, 2005 

Bagsite of the month

Bagsite of the month for July 2005 is Japanese collector Takeshi Muto's Aircrafts and Travel site.

Sadly, Takeshi does not swap bags, but he does have a range of Japanese and international items, including an Osaka Airport Transport bag I haven't seen before: designed to avoid drunken customers leaving unsightly stains and unpleasant odours in the waiting lounge, or for use by queasy passengers deplaning after a bumpy landing.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 

Duni-DeSter divorce

Bagmaking giants Duni and DeSter have separated, reports's senior industry correspondent Niek Vermeulen.

The separation was a major story in the Dutch media on 1 June 2005, says Niek, who did not provide any other details.

Baginsiders will be surprised at the split. Swedish bag manufacturer Duni ("The Cutting Edge in Food Service Systems") took over Netherlands-based DeSter only in 2000. Despite the merger, the familiar DeSter star logo continued to appear on bags - either in the gusset or on the base.

"Five years is a long time for a marriage in today's world", commented one baggist.

"I only hope that bags weren't the cause of the breakup", said another. "My wife has been trying to get me to split from my bags for the last 10 years."

Sunday, July 10, 2005 

Bagcare tip #1: Chewing gum woes

Chewing gum in your bag? Help is nigh!

Some ignorant non-collectors appear to think that airlines provide passengers with an individual barfbag for the sole purpose of disposing of masticated chewing gum. They then replace the bag in the seat pocket, in flagrant disregard for the clear instructions on most bags to hand used bags to the cabin crew.

Overworked cleaning staff often fail to detect the gum during their rushed sorties through the cabin, and the bag with its chewing gum load lurks undetected in the seat pocket.

Professional baggists are alert enough to check their swag for foreign bodies before smuggling them off the plane. But their legions of assistants - friends, relatives, office-mates - who also pick up bags and donate them to their friendly neighbourhood baggist, are not so circumspect. They grab the bag, failing to detect its unpleasant contents, and present it proudly to their baggist acquaintance as a trophy of their flight.

The baggist is, of course, far too polite to point out the flaw in the gift, so smiles grimly and adds the bag to his extras collection, vowing to exchange it as soon as possible for that 1945 green blotting-paper Aeroflot bag he has been lusting after for years.

In this way, chewing-gum laden bags enter the bagtrade in disproportionate numbers. Traders welcoming an exchanged bag into their collection are horrified to find a wad of dried latex gumming up their latest prize.

As all parents know, removing gum from a child's hair or clothing is well-nigh impossible. The same goes for prising the noxious wad from the interior of a bag without damaging the surface.

There is a solution, though. Rather than throw away your precious bag - or swapping it with another unsuspecting baggist - just pop it into the freezer overnight. The gum can then be removed easily and without further damage to the bag.

You could try this with your children too if they have gum in their hair. Certainly cheaper than a haircut.

Thanks to veteran collector David Bradford for this tip.

Any more bagcare tips? Send them to me and I'll publicize them on this site!

Friday, July 08, 2005 


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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