Collection of early 1980s sickbags

by | Local (↓) | Thrift (↑) | 2 comments | 0 question

One red plastic folder with individual sleeves containing 13 wax paper airline and ferry sickbags. Four examples photographed for MoCC. 1: white and blue. 'Disposal bag' is written in five languages, as are folding instructions after use. Main image is a hat wearing kangaroo called Dusty who is smiling at you in an understanding way and offering her pouch as a sickbag 'for a clean feeling'. KLM logo on base. 2: Plain white bag with 'Good luck' disk that is when you open the bag to be sick into it Dice and flower logo, like a tattoo. A bag from the Sea Viking ferry line. 3: white with with orange to red stripes, and Air Europe logo, and an instruction 'if used, please hand to cabin crew for disposal. 4: Blue with white graphics, PAN AM logo and 'Waste bag' wording. White wire tie at top.

Where and how is it used?

They have never been used.

What did you or someone else pay for it?

They were free then and continue to be at their point of use.

Why do you want to add it to the museum?

These are part of my teenage sickbag collection from the early 1980s. I didn't get out of the county much, let alone go overseas. So I asked my friends who did so to bring me back a sickbag. I catalogued them in two plastic folders with labels written in Letraset. The airline (some were from ferries). The journey it had been on. The date of the journey. And the donor. I found this in a box of my stuff that I'd left with my parents which they insisted I took away 6 or 7 years ago. I am adding my museum of sickbags to MoCC so that the world can enjoy them, not just me.

How was it made?

Is made in a factory

Is farmed

Is mass-produced

Is produced by local cottage industry

Is made to particular specifications

Is craft / hand-made

Is foraged

Is found

Is colonised

Is a service

Materials & Making

Who made or produced your commodity?

Don't know.

Who was paid to make it?

People making them in factories somewhere.

What skills does it take to make it?

Machine operation, I'm guessing.

Where was it made?

No 'made in' information is on the bags.

What does it cost to make it?

No idea.

What is it made from?

1. Wax paper:

The whole bag. Greasy to the touch.

2. Ink:

Imagery, graphics and type

3. Wire:

For the PAN AM bag tie

Buying & Owning

Who decides how much it costs?

Airlines, Airline autorities/regulators

Who or what assesses its quality?

Sick bag testers?

Where is it sold?

It's not sold, except maybe at auction or on eBay

Who or what sells it?

People who collect sickbags?

How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?

People gave them to me as presents from their overseas holidays.

Where is it used?

They're not really used.

Where is it kept?

In ap lastic folder in a box at home with other things from my childhood.

How and by whom is it cared for?

It is cared for by a plastic book with individual plastic sleeves in which each bag is stored. They are in very good condition.

How long will it last?

Hard to tell. They have lasted 34 years so far without much decomposition.

Where will it go when it's finished with?

My children will inherit it. A priceless family heirloom. There are two separate volumes, One each.

What is it worth?


How do you and others value this commodity?

See the values contributed by visitors and those of the donor. And add your own values to this commodity.

Total times valued1
Positive (↑)Thrift
Negative (↓)Local
Overall Positive256
Overall Negative-26
Controversy35.25 (0 = most controversial)

What do these numbers mean?

This data that we have collected over time in our database means nothing without interpretation. A relational database, which we are using here, is technology that enables designers of websites and software to compare, contrast, interrogate and infer relations within data. The act of designing a database is not objective but driven by the agency of its creators and owners.

Within the MoCC Collection data is used to help think through the relations between values, commodities and data. Can we describe our values using sliders and numbers? How do we infer meaning such as controversy from data?

Below is a brief explanation of the some calculations and how these help make decisions about what is shown on the site.

  • Controversy Score:
    (Total Positive Values) + (Total Negative Values)

    The closer the value is to zero the more controversial it is in relation to other commodities. Used to infer that values associated with one commodity divide opinion more than another.

  • Average Value Score (used in the sliders):
    (Total Positive for Value + Total Negative for Value) ÷ Total Times Valued

    Used to infer a collective value associated with a commodity.

How do you value this commodity?

To add your own values click VALUE THIS COMMODITY and move the sliders left and right to add your own values - then click SUBMIT
show donor's original values
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Questions and answers

Help to reveal unknown quantities, properties and uses of this commodity by answering this MoCC curator's questions.

There are no questions.


Do you have questions about how this commodity is valued? Or want to talk about your own values in relation to it? Share your comments.

I have actually had a conversation with my friend's boyfriend about always having one of these to hand.. Not the collection mind you, but the bag itself. can't remember the exact details, the topic was definitely sick and sick bag, and use of. They should supply them on tubes as well. I nicked one off a plane to give this friend as a present . I don't normally give presents, so he should consider himself very lucky.

by oyo on April 26th at 10:10pm

As a result of a discussion about this particular commoditiy I have disovered 'The Sick Bag Song Chronicles' by my favourite singer song writer Nick Cave.
According to the website......
"The Account of this 22 city journey began life scribbled on airline sick bags and grew into a restless, full length epic. seeking out the roots of inspiration, love and meaning".

It is aviliable on ebook, audio, paper and hardback. The limited editions are cutomised by the man himself with doodles and lyrics. Each sick bag is hand decorated, rubber stamped and signed by the man himself.
You can buy this collection of Nick Cave sick bag songs but prices range from £7.38 - 699.99
Is this a commodity I need in my life??

by kerrie seymour on May 12th at 12:30pm

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