It really began way back in 1977. That was the year the hobby that we now enjoy was born in print. Dorothy Evelyn (Fratzke) Brown published the first reference and value guide to miniature replica buildings. She documented her husband’s, Tom’s, collection, providing details about the miniatures and about the original buildings they represented. As far as is known this is the first work that detailed such things as the company, the production run, and the manufacturing material. Two years later Dort published Volume II in the same format and style. Click here to read more about Dort and Tom Brown.
In 1994 a small group of 15 collectors gathered in California. Everyone chipped in $10 to cover the cost of printing and mailing a newsletter to see if there were other collectors out there. Through networking our initial effort brought 30 subscribers and very soon another 35 had responded to articles appearing in antique and collectible journals. The Society was off and running.
With a spiffy masthead designed by collector and graphic designer Gerry Rosentsweig, the Souvenir Building Collector, Journal of the Souvenir Building Collectors Society, provided the subscribers with the kind of information and connections that enhanced the pleasure of collecting. Dixie and Bill Trainer took on the task of editing and producing the Journal. Many subscribers helped out by sending in articles and photos for inclusion. Click here to read the many tributes to Dixie Trainer.
By Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1995, the first real convention was being publicized. It took place in New York City in May. It was also the start of producing a limited edition souvenir building replica to commemorate the event. Of course, the coveted Chrysler Building became the 1995 commemorative. 2017 will be the twenty second convention year.
In the intervening years the SBC Society has grown to around 200 members from all over the globe. Souvenir buildings have increased in price. Museums have paid homage to the genre with exhibits and shows. And several more books have been written that document these miniature treasures in all their variety.
1996. Souvenir Buildings and Miniature Monuments, Margaret Majua and David Weingarten.
1997. Miniature Metal Souvenir Buildings from Germany, Doc and the Magic Lady.
1999. Monumental Miniatures, Souvenir Buildings From The Collection Of Ace Architects, Margaret Majua and David Weingarten.
2001. Banthrico/Toystalgia/Valley Casting Co.; Building/Monument/Landmark Bank Replicas. Lance Oldham.