From a piece of a NASA space shuttle to a pressed coin sold at Disneyland, souvenirs come in all shapes and sizes. In Europe, during the 17th and 18th centuries, it became fashionable for aristocrats to travel the continent on a Grand Tour, collecting artworks and mementos along their journey, such as a chunk of a Greek sculpture or a piece of mosaic from Pompeii. However, as the defacement of these historic sites became a serious problem, visitors were encouraged to purchase regional crafts to memorialize their trips, like shell cameos or micro mosaic jewelry.

Over the last century, manufactured souvenirs have mostly taken the place of looted objects. There are souvenir lamps, spoons, toys, figurines, salt and pepper shakers, porcelain plates, hand fans, pennants, knives, pinbacks, ashtrays, and more. Many collectors seek out particular types of souvenirs, like those tied to famous places such as Yellowstone National Park or Mount Rushmore. Others are focused on a specific event or person, like items from the early World's Fairs or objects related to a particular politician, like John F. Kennedy.


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