I like picking up little bits of metal that I find while out and about. I’ve formed a collection, which you can see here. Note that this is only what I’ve collected in the last few months. I have more elsewhere, and when I was younger I just held onto things for a bit, then recycled or discarded them.

Scavenged metal collection at home

While I was out and about today (I like to blog while walking), I found several more pieces to add to my collection:

Scavenged metal in my hand

I particularly like the blue-tape-wrapped object which looks like a motor. Quite a unique find!

Why I like it

I think I like finding bits of broken or discarded metal because metal is so permanent, and so indelibly marked by civilization. Essentially every piece of metal went through a grand industrial process, from ore mining to smelting to a factory manufacturing process. None of this would have been possible in almost all of history. And now it’s lost and discarded, detached from its purpose. Lying on the ground for me to pocket.

And yet, despite having lost its purpose, it persists. It might rust, and it might get bent and scraped, but those little bits of metal will last for years and decades to come.

I like that these objects have become detached from industry and enterprise, from commerce and payment. Once, some company payed another company vast amounts of money to fabricate vast quantites of these. Now, no one cares about them, and I can have them for the cost of finding and carrying them: free.

Lastly, I’m turning an eyesore and a tetanus hazard into cherished collection, and that feels nice.

Update: Pittsburgh Collection

I found my Pittsburgh scavenged metal collection:

Scavenged metal Pittsburgh

It has a lot of more unique pieces, including a spring, a chain, a magnet, some partial spherical object, and multiple keys!