Why Collect Sugar Packets?
Why collect anything? Let's face it we all collect something. More popular items to collect must include stamps, but then they cost money if only their face value initially. We all at some time in our lives have visited a cafe or restaurant and had a cup of tea or coffee and taken a packet of sugar or two. Even if we don't take sugar, we always seem to take a packet 'for next time'!
We go on holiday to a once in a lifetime location and find in the hotel restaurant a couple of sugar packets....
Hey, these look nice, I wonder if there are any more. You search the sugar bowls and find more...
and with packets like these you may be lucky and find a complete set.
(These are from Yugoslavia)
When we get home we are constantly reminded of that holiday each time we see the sugar packets and then you wonder, "Was that a full set and how many are there in the set?"
Each time you go into a cafe, you look for the sugar packets. Sometimes you may be unlucky and find just the plain ones but more often than not you'll find an unusual one, maybe part of a set and then you think, ah! that'll go nicely with that set I got on holiday. That is how a lot of collections get started.
My collection started when I was in Holland in 1953. I visited a cafe and in those days the sugar was in little 'envelopes' with a picture of the cafe so collecting these made an ideal record of where I had been.
Wherever I went I looked for sugar packets...
then I noticed even the restaurant chains had sets of packets...
this is one of 50+ from the Van der Valk restaurants.
Everywhere I went in the world, I looked for sugar packets, on airlines, ferries, visitor centres, clubs, pubs. It has not taken all those years to amass over 35,000 different ones as there were periods when I didn't collect many at all, but after moving house and sorting things out I found them all again and I decided I had to put them in some sort of order, really to see if any were being duplicated. I found the best way to store, sort and display them was to use cigarette card albums with transparent leaves showing both sides of the packet without having to take them out. These leaves can be bought in 4, 6, 8 or 10 pocket sizes which accommodate most sizes of packets. On average each album holds about 500 packets.
I'm still looking for sugar packets..............
how do you open a Sugar Packet?
Use a sharp, thin blade such as a scapel. Pierce only on the back and make a clean, small slit as close to the crimped edge as possible. Try not to tear or cut with scissors. Shake the sugar out and try not to wrinkle the packet. the cut should not show when mounted. Do not mount in such a way that will harm the packet, plastic sleeves are best, as used in cigarette card and coin albums and are available with 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 pockets per page and are ideal for collections as they show both sides of the packet.
Wrappers which are glued, such as the French ones, need greater care and patience. Ease each one open gently with the back of a thin bladed knife, so that it does not cut the paper. Extract the sugar cubes as soon as possible and then each glued section can be gently eased apart with the fingers.
If it is only possible to open a packet by tearing, tear just a quarter of the way across and keep it whole. Try and keep all the pieces of a packet/wrapper as it is possible to repair it if a whole is unobtainable.
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