I remember precisely the moment when I caught the virus of  collecting gramophone needles tins, namely in 1994. This passion is connected to one of my favourite hobbies, I mean flea markets and brocantes : already when I was a child, going to the bric-à-brac with my mother during the afternoon off school was a delight, and I never stopped : today I visit flea markets wherever my holidays lead me.

All this happened thanks to a friend who visit flea markets to enrich her collection of writing pens. She knew that I had kept from my childhood a small collection of metal sheet tins in a small size : pills or powder tins, thumbtacks tins and so on and, among them, a small number of gramophone needles tins. One day in 1994 this friend brought back to me from a flea market an address of a seller on which stand she had seen numerous gramophone needles tins. I paid a visit to this man without waiting and discovered a whole world of gramophone needles tins, much more than I could offer, and with a diversity of illustrations and shapes I had never imagined : this has pretty been like love at first sight !

On this very day I made a choice –  and my first big expense for « little pieces of metal », like the seller pointed out to me – ! By arriving back home, I took off my showcase every tin which was not a gramophone needles tin and began the endless quest that characterizes collectors. In the meantime I took out of the attic the first gramophone and the few 78 rpm records I had bought when I was not even 12 years old : a portable HMV gramophone.   

During these late nineties and the first decade of 21st Century you could still find easily gramophone needles tins on usual flea markets. With the time however this market dried out and my way to find tins nowadays is either directly through my network of concerned people I was lucky enough to meet, or on specialised markets and on the web. Visiting flea markets and brocantes is still one of my favourite hobbies and I do it all over Europe, but without discovering often new finds for my collection…

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