What Do You Collect?

What Do Kids Collect?

Since September Wednesday’s Storytime: Guess & Go have touched on what it means to be a collector. We’ve highlighted many different types of collections—toys and dolls, cartoons and comic books, trains, books, and more. MHHM founder, W. Parsons Todd (1877-1976) enjoyed collecting objects and beautiful handmade treasures from the past. Today, November 18, 2020, we remember Mr. Todd on the anniversary of his birthday. Mr. Todd did not leave a lot of information about why he loved to collect things from the past or what his favorite objects in his collection were. What we do know is that Mr. Todd was kind and served as a public official, twice as mayor, in Morristown. He supported many Morristown organizations as well as the founding of his museum, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum.  His advice for living in community is as necessary today as it was when he first gave it–in his own words Mr. Todd wanted everyone “to be friends and get along well with each other”.

Thank you W. Parsons Todd for Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, for the building and the beautiful and important collection open and available to the public, and for your work as a philanthropist supporting Morristown organizations including Morristown Memorial Hospital, Neighborhood House, Urban League, The Salvation Army, Morristown-Morris Township Library, the YMCA, the Red Cross and United Way. You made your love for Morristown, New Jersey very apparent through your words and actions and it is understandable why you were known as “Mr. Morristown”.

Join us for Storytime: Guess & Go at noon today to hear stories about collections, with ideas about starting a new collection, and to see some of the “one-of-a-kind” pieces from Mr. Todd’s collection.

What do Kids Collect? Family Treasures—Medals and Memories on Veterans’ Day

During Storytime: Guess & Go we will think about families that save and treasure medals, uniforms, flags, and other objects that once belonged to their family members who served in the military. MHHM founder, W. Parsons Todd, recognized the importance of never forgetting the sacrifices of those who serve and have served in the U.S. military. In Morristown, NJ memorials that we may drive or walk past every day are there because of the efforts and support of W. Parsons Todd. In 1948 a memorial to the soldiers lost in the Spanish-American War was placed at the corner of Elm Street and Morris Street in Morristown. Ten years later, in 1958, a memorial to those who served and were killed in World War II and the Korean Conflict was dedicated on Memorial Day at the corner of South Street and Madison Avenue in the J. Robert Tracey Veterans Memorial Park. Mr. Todd also collected several historical pieces from the Civil War including small bronze statues from key moments in military battles.

This Veterans Day, join the Museum today at noon on Facebook for stories about families who share what Veterans Day means from one generation to the next.


Hear the story, America’s White Table, by Margot Theis Raven read aloud.

What Do Kids Collect? Trains

This November, in recognition of National Model Railroad month, MHHM highlights some of trains and the railroads related objects in the W. Parsons Todd collection at the museum. Mr. Todd took the train daily from his home in Morristown, New Jersey to his office in New York City for over 70 years. He received recognition from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad as the oldest commuter on the line before his retirement. At the time, Erie-Lackawanna Railroad was the largest commuter railroad in New Jersey which is now operated by Metro-North and NJ Transit.

Visit the MHHM Facebook page at noon today to hear stories about trains and see interesting objects from the Todd collection. If you have a collection of trains, email us a picture at cwinslow@maccullochhall.org and we will share your collection during Storytime: Guess & Go!


Take a look at the Henry Ford Museum’s railroad exhibit.

Explore 5-minute virtual visits to the New York Transit Museum.

Learn more about Joshua Lionel Cowen (1877-1965), creator of Lionel model trains and founder of the 120-year old Lionel, LLC. He designed his first toy train, the Electric Express, for display in toy store windows.  

What Do Kids Collect? Baseball Memorabilia

America’s favorite pastime, baseball, was also a pastime of MHHM founder, W. Parsons Todd. As a boy, Mr. Todd enjoyed playing baseball in Morristown. This sport also actually had an impact on the collection at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum because it was through baseball that Mr. Todd met and became friends with Cyril Nast, son of Thomas Nast (1840-1902). It was through this friendship that the artwork of Thomas Nast found a permanent home in the Morristown neighborhood where Nast and his family once lived.

Join in at noon today at our Facebook page to hear stories about baseball and see pieces from the museum’s collection during Storytime: Guess and Go. If you would like to share a picture of your collection, email us at cwinslow@maccullochhall.org.


Did you know that one part of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s amazing collection includes more than 300,000 pieces of baseball memorabilia that began as one person’s collection? Jefferson R. Burdick (1900-1963) donated his collection to the Met, including his entire collection of 30,000 baseball cards: some of which date back to the 1880s!

St. Petersburg Museum of History in Florida holds the largest collection of autographed baseballs, nearly 5,000 and is certified by Guinness World Records. This link includes a searchable database.

Read Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventure Series, 12 books that follow a boy who travels through time when he touches old baseball cards.

What Do Kids Collect? Books

“I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books,” wrote Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) who grew up with his father’s library around him. Visiting Macculloch Hall Historical Museum you will find many books that once belonged to the Macculloch-Miller family, now part of the W. Parsons Todd collection. Some of the books are children’s books, most likely read by the generations of the children who grew up in Macculloch Hall. Others books include textbooks that were probably used to teach history, geography, and science in Mr. Macculloch’s Latin School for Boys from 1814-1829 at Macculloch Hall.

Do you have a collection of books at your house? Do you always seem to be looking for a new book to add to your collection? Visit MHHM’s Facebook page today at noon for Storytime: Guess & Go to hear two stories about, you guessed it, books!


Learn more about the Library of Congress, considered America’s greatest library.

Learn how an important personal collection of books became a public collection:

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, part of the New York Public Library, was named for Arturo Schomburg (1874-1938) who was an historian and activist who lived in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. As a child of African descent growing up in Puerto Rico he was told by a teacher that people of African descent had no history. Schomburg devoted the rest of his life collecting and preserving objects that led to a greater understanding of the Black experience.

Listen to an excerpt from Carole Boston Weatherford’s Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library.

Want to learn how to make books? Find ideas at Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord’s website.

What Do You Collect? Fossils & Maps

In Celebration of Earth Science Week, October 11 – 17, 2020, Storytime: Guess and Go will take a look at collectors and collections of fossils and maps. Are you a cartographer, a person who draws or produces maps, or a cartophile, someone who loves and collects maps? Do you like to collect and study fossils? If you do, you may have a future career as a paleontologist. Paleontology comes from the Greek words “palaois”, which mean old or ancient, and “logos”, which means study.


Join in for Storytime: Guess and Go at noon on our Facebook page to see maps from the Museum’s collection, collected by founder W. Parsons Todd, and to hear stories about what people collect.

Looking for interesting maps? Visit the U.S. Library of Congress website. The Library of Congress has the largest cartographic collection in the world with 5 million maps, 80,000 atlases, 500 globes and thousands of other map-related objects.

Learn about fossils here.

What do You Collect?—Stamps

October is National Stamp Collecting Month which provides an opportunity to talk about how stamp collecting influenced W. Parsons Todd as a collector and founder of Macculloch Hall Historical Museum. Todd began to collect stamps, particularly stamps from the United States, when he was a child and continued to collect stamps for over 90 years. When his stamp collection was sold after his death, the auction house recognized his collection as “the most valuable U.S. holding to come to the market in the last decade”. Due to its size, nine different auctions were held. The income from the auction was put back into the W. Parsons Todd Foundation, which owns Macculloch Hall Historical Museum.

Today, stamps offer children and young adults the opportunity to learn about important places, people, and events from around the world. Stamp collectors of all ages can search for used stamps, “mint stamps” that have never been used, and First Day covers with cachet. According to the American Philatelic Society, “your stamp collection can be whatever you want it to be, there is no right or wrong way to collect”. Philatelic comes from the word philately which is the study and collection of stamps.


Take a look at educational resources provided by the Postal History Foundation.

Explore the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum.

Discover some fun postal stamp facts for kids.

Read some ideas for finding a pen pal.

What Do You Collect?—Cartoons and Comics

MHHM is recognized as having the largest collection of original Thomas Nast (1840-1902) artwork in the world. Thomas Nast, a 19th-century artist and illustrator, is considered to be the father of the modern political cartoon. Due to the efforts of museum founder, W. Parsons Todd (1877-1976), historians and scholars can study this collection for research purposes and the public can view original Nast artwork on exhibit.

Mr. Todd and Thomas Nast’s son Cyril became friends when they were teenagers. During the 1950s and 1960s, W. Parsons Todd purchased Nast artwork from Cyril Nast, including proofs, sketches, and original pages from Harper’s Weekly. Thank you, Mr. Todd for helping to collect and preserve the past for the future!

Join us today at noon for Story Time: Guess & Go on our Facebook page. See some of the artwork in the Thomas Nast collection and hear stories about collecting. Kids are invited to email a picture of their collections, to be shared during Storytime: Guess & Go this fall as Macculloch Hall Historical Museum explores What Do Kids Collect?


Take a look at the some of the pieces at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, California, which has over 7,000 original pieces in their permanent collection and explore the museum’s resource page for more information. 

Read an interview with Bob Bretall, who made it into the Guiness Book of World Records in 2015 with the world’s largest collection of comic books, which he started to collect when he was 8 years old.

Learn more about comic book collecting.

What do You Collect?—Dolls and Stuffed Animals

Do you remember your first stuffed animal or doll? Do you remember who gave it to you or how you got it? That may have been the beginning of your collection.

Join us for Storytime: Guess & Go Story on MHHM’s Facebook page at noon today. Listen to stories about stuffed animals and dolls and see the dolls on exhibit in the Children’s bedroom, part of the W. Parsons Todd collection.


Listen to Barbara Whiteman, founder of the Philadelphia Doll Museum established in 1988, discuss important pieces from her collection of over 300 dolls, which she personally collected for over twenty years.

Read about Miss Columbia, a traveling doll that toured the world from 1900 to 1902 to raise money for charities. Miss Columbia belonged to doll collector Elizabeth Richards Horton, whose collection is now part of the Wenham Museum in Wenham, Massachusetts.

See the list of the top 10 Toy Museums in the world.

What do You Collect?—Rocks

Do you collect rocks, minerals, or crystals? If you do, you probably know that today, September 16th, is Collect Rocks Day! Whether it is a pebble from the beach or a shiny rock from a nature hike, rocks are appealing to both young and old. Email us a picture of your collection at cwinslow@maccullochhall.org and tell us about your favorite rock or mineral.

Join us today for Storytime: Guess and Go at noon on the Museum’s Facebook page to learn more about MHHM founder, W. Parsons Todd, and to hear stories about stones and rocks that help us see what is so special about rocks.


David Friend started to collect rocks as a child when he found mica and quartz crystals near his home in New York state. He went on to become a successful engineer and helped to establish a gallery of magnificent minerals and gems in 2016. Enjoy a 5-minute virtual tour of the David Friend Hall at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

What do You Collect?—Music

Are you a collector of music? Do you collect musical instruments, CDs or vinyl records, or download your favorite songs on your smartphone or other device? Do you enjoy attending live concerts to see and hear the music played? Maybe you’ve saved your tickets or bought a t-shirt from a live show. If so, this could be the start of a great music collection.

Visit MHHM’s Facebook page today at noon to see some of the musical instruments from the W. Parsons Todd collection and hear stories about the love of playing and listening to music!


Listen to the sounds of ten musical instruments from around the world in The Art of Music: A New Narrative for Musical Instruments at The Met, an online gallery at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met’s collection includes five thousand instruments from six continents!

There are so many music museums in the United States. Take a look at the list of twenty not-to-miss museums.

What Do You Collect?

Starting today, and continuing every Wednesday through November at noon on Facebook Live, Storytime: Guess and Go will focus on collection connections. Listen to stories about people’s collections and learn how W. Parsons Todd and his collection became a museum.

It is hard to imagine a world without museums. So many museums exist today because people like to collect things from nature or made by people. Things, the objects in museums, are all part of what makes museums exciting, unique places to visit. So dust off your collection, take a great picture, and email it to Cynthia Winslow, Curator of Education and Community Engagement, at cwinslow@maccullochhall.org to share today at noon during Storytime: Guess and Go.

If you are not a collector already, after hearing these stories you may even start a collection of your own. In today’s Storytime: Guess and Go, we will see a special object from W. Parsons Todd’s collection and learn how he became a collector.


Visit lucicreative.com to learn how children can create an exhibit of their own.

There are many unique museums in the world. Visit this child-friendly webpage to learn about five unusual museums.