Our collection started in the 1970s after a conversation with my father, Chester Rumbold, about his experiences in WWII. During our conversation, he mentioned that he wished he had brought home a German Helmet as a souvenir. We soon realized that the best way to obtain a helmet in those days was to go to Gun Shows, Flea Markets and Auctions. Unlike now with the internet, information about Military Collectibles was hard to come by, but we soon found out that there wasn’t just one standard German Helmet from WWII. Well, one helmet turned into two…two into three… and from there our collection grew exponentially. After purchasing those first few German Helmets, we expanded our collection to include anything WWI or WWII. We particularly liked getting items that were named or had a history that we could keep with the item. We were lucky to have obtained some of our items directly from WWII veterans, so we can pass that history on to you when you are viewing the item.
Our online museum started sometime in the 1990s or early 2000s, but our first big traveling display took place during the 50th anniversary of WWII in 1995. At the time, we lived near West Chester, PA, and found out West Chester was having events to honor WWII veterans. They were looking for items to display at their events, and we volunteered immediately. We took our collection to the local West Goshen Country Fair, a local synagogue in West Chester during a Holocaust remembrance, and numerous presentations at West Chester University to honor the Army Air Force and Tuskegee Airmen.
In 2012, we were gifted a WWII Willys Jeep that we restored to look like the one my dad had during WWII. In addition to veteran events, we now take some of our collection with our jeep to regional car shows, parades, air shows and reenactments so the public can see and learn about WWI & WWII history. If you would like to see pictures of our traveling museum, click the events link above.
We are always looking for more items for our displays, so if you have something to sell or donate, please contact us.
Exciting News! As with any collector, our collection does not only include military items. After seeing an advertisement looking for people with huge collections of stuff, I applied to one of my favorite shows on TV. I ended up being “picked” by the American Pickers!!! For anyone wondering, YES, it is totally real. We sent some overall pictures of our hoard and they sent a production person out to verify the collection and do a quick interview. All negotiations were done on camera, no prices were discussed before! Awesome experience. Dannielle & Robbie were great as was the entire crew of American Pickers. Watch our episode HERE..