The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame
The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame has a vast array of musical memorabilia including signed albums, posters and promotional materials. In addition, the music collection includes clothing, musical instruments and personal memorabilia from Buffalo’s many locally relevant and nationally prominent artists. From Harold Arlen’s, Somewhere Over the Rainbow lyrics to Rick James’ funky outfits, to Goo Goo Dolls signed guitars, the story of Buffalo music memorabilia is a comprehensive collection of Buffalo’s best.
The array of memorabilia includes collectibles from prominent Buffalo artists such as Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps, Grover Washington, Jr., 10,000 Maniacs, and many others. The collection also has concert memorabilia telling the story of famous Buffalo concerts including Elvis’s gold suit appearance at the Memorial Auditorium, the Who’s first post-Cincinnati tragedy performance, and Bruce Springsteen’s final live performance (to date) with the E Street Band.
The Buffalo Broadcasters Association
The Buffalo Broadcasters Association maintains a huge treasure trove of film archives from local news stations spanning from the early ‘60s through the ‘80s. They are in the process of digitizing this film, which will be used in multiple exhibits and displays telling the story of Buffalo. From the closing of the Lackawanna steel mills to the rebirth of the waterfront. From the rise of notable Buffalo broadcasters and entertainers, such as Buffalo Bob Smith, Mark Russell, Ramblin’ Lou, Houndog Lorenz to the prominence of Buffalo broadcast personalities Paul Maguire, Don Criqui, Wolf Blitzer, and Tim Russert. The History of Buffalo will be broadcast in exhibits featuring vintage television sets and radios.
We have an extensive broadcasting and entertainment memorabilia collection. This includes old broadcasting equipment used during the ‘40s through the ‘80s. Vintage videotape machines, reel-to-reel tape machines, cassette players, and cameras.
The Buffalo Entertainment and Sports Experience & Museum will have a working radio station where students and retired personalities can work together to produce radio interviews and shows that can be broadcast on a leased carrier. This station would become a source of information for downtown events. A visitor could call a famous Buffalo sporting event while watching the clip in a working press box and receive video from their announcing debut via email.
Buffalo Hockey Experience + Museum Hockey Collection
The permanent collection of the Buffalo Hockey Experience + Museum is comprised of memorabilia dedicated to the history of hockey in Buffalo, New York and Southern Ontario.
The collection has a few key areas of focus: ticket stubs/programs, game used equipment, Memorial Auditorium artifacts, historical games, early Buffalo Bisons and Buffalo Sabres history. Significant portions of our game used collection has been on display at the First Niagara Center during the Sabres 40th Anniversary season of 2010-11 and the current season.
Some major highlights include a uniform worn by Tim Horton during his last game in Memorial Auditorium, a set of French Connection game worn uniforms, an extensive collection of early Memorial Auditorium event documents,a jersey, stick and jacket from the Bisons IHL Championship team of 1932 and an almost (23 short) complete run of ticket stubs from every Sabres game played in Buffalo.
During the history of most sports franchises there are changes to the uniforms, some changes are very minor, while others are an extreme makeover. The Sabres have gone through three major changes and several very subtle ones. The Museum collection has several of these variations and is attempting to acquire a home, road and alternate jersey from every season.
This unique collection is comprised of jerseys from several Sabres greats along with NHL Hall of Famers Dale Hawerchuk, Doug Gilmour, Pat LaFontaine and soon to be Hall of Famers Dave Andreychuk, Piere Turgeon, Alexander Mogilny and Dominik Hasek. The collection also has a jersey of all the player members of the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame.
The collection touches on all professional hockey teams that have called Buffalo home. With so many items the BHE+M anticipates sharing its resources with the entire community through future displays at the First Niagara Center and ultimately with our permanent home at Statler City.
The Tranter Collection
The Tranter Collection is the largest, most comprehensive and finest Buffalo Bills football memorabilia collection, with over 100,000 artifacts.
Six four-drawer metal file cabinets house 1,000 programs from every game in the Bills history including the team’s first game versus the Boston Patriots on July 30, 1960, their first AFL regular season game on September 11, 1960 at the New York Titans, and their first NFL regular season game on September 20, 1970 versus Denver. Additional programs were collected from all of the Bills playoff games, highlighted by the 1964 and 1965 AFL Championship games and their four consecutive AFC Championship games from 1990-1993. Each program is catalogued in a separate file along with ticket stubs and related newspaper articles from many of the games.
The Collection has letterhead and stationery throughout the Bills history, including the first letter sent to fans from General Manager Dick Gallagher, dated March 1960, announcing that “The Bills are Back.” The Collection has the only Bills blue and silver jersey from the 1960 and 1961 seasons known to still exist. The Bills only wore blue and silver jerseys during their first two seasons. The number 33 jersey was worn by Art Baker in the games played in 1961.
In addition to the Baker jersey, the Collection includes an impressive array of game worn jerseys from several of the Bills stars from the Super Bowl years.
A Jim Kelly white gem with the Bills 35th and the NFL’s 75th anniversary patches attached, a Bruce Smith blue jersey, a Mark Pike blue jersey, a Thurman Thomas white jersey, an Andre Reed blue jersey, and a Steve Christie blue jersey with the 35th and 75th anniversary patches attached.
Other unique jerseys include a 1971 blue Alvin Wyatt, a Sand Knit white Greg Bell, a 1980′s blue Joe Cribbs, a white with a hand pouch Tony Hunter, a white mesh Steve Freeman, and a 1974 white Scott Hunter. Another jersey highlight is a 1973 gamer worn by O.J. Simpson during his record breaking 1973 season.
Each year the league’s best players are invited to play in an NFL hosted All Star game in Hawaii. Each player wears a special Pro Bowl jersey during the game. The Collection includes two game worn white Pro Bowl jerseys from Darryl Talley and Joe DeLamielleure.
The Bills latest style jersey, worn since 2002, is represented with game worn blue jerseys of Nate Clements and Willis McGahee and a white gamer of Drew Bledsoe.
The Collection includes several other players’ used equipment: Ted Washington 4 XL shoulder pads, Doug Flutie game worn shoes, Chris Spielman and Sam Gash thigh pads, and game worn gloves of Thurman Thomas, Paul Posluszny, Tony Driver and several other former Bills players. Also, the Collection contains an early 1960′s player worn blue jacket and an early 1970′s red wind breaker worn by a Bills coach.
Game worn helmets are represented in the Collection, including a standing buffalo helmet from the 1960′s, an Ahmad Rashad streaking white buffalo helmet from 1974, a Booker Moore red helmet, a Ron Pitts red helmet with blue face mask, a Nate Clements 2006 helmet, the helmet that Scott Norwood wore in Super Bowl XXV that is renowned for his “Wide Right” kick, among others.
The vast array of memorabilia includes bobble head dolls from the early 1960′s includingtwo silver helmeted nodders, the popular early 60′s standing buffalo helmeted ear pad nodder and the first Bills NFL bobble head produced in 1967. There are bobble heads of Jim Kelly, Joe DeLamielleure, Drew Bledsoe, Eric Moulds, Takeo Spikes, James Lofton, Marv Levy and many other Bills players and generic logo nodders.
The Collection includes hundreds of publications featuring the Bills – Bills covers on Sports Illustrated and the Sporting News, Bills Bulletins published by the Bills (including the first one published July 1960), Buffalo Bills Weekly, Bills Digest, Shout!, and many football preview magazines with Bills players on the cover. A comprehensive collection of photographs and several thousand football cards, highlighted by a complete 1965 Topps set and rookie cards of O.J. Simpson, Jim Kelly and Jack Kemp, are part of the Collection. The football cards also include Topps team sets from every year, all of the 1960′s, 1970′s and 1980′s Bills cards produced, Bills police sets, the 1980 Bell’s set, the McDonald’s sets from 1986 and a comprehensive group of 1990′s and 2000′s cards. A vast array of toys commemorating the Bills and hundreds of player autographs are in the Collection.
Many books have been written about the Bills and its former players. There are over 100 books in the Collection including By a Nose by Fred Smerlas, They Call me Dirty by Conrad Dobler, The Education of a Rich Rookie about O.J. Simpson’s rookie year, and Rockin the Rockpile by Jeffrey Miller.
The Bills and many of their players have been featured on posters, advertising Miller Light, Bud Light, Old Milwaukee, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Bully Hill, Verizon Wireless, Rich Foods, Genesee Beer, Kids Escaping Drugs, and numerous other vendors/sponsors. Many posters were sold with images of players (e.g., Jack Kemp, O.J. Simpson, Machine Gun Kelly, Doug Flutie, Bruce Smith, etc.).
The Collection offers many interesting collectible themes. The Bills made four appearances in the Super Bowl resulting in a host of themed memorabilia including pennants, steins, mugs, cups, logo footballs, chip and dip trays, and of course programs and tickets.
Seven Bills players have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: O.J. Simpson, Billy Shaw, Marv Levy, Jim Kelly, James Lofton, Joe DeLamielleure, and Thurman Thomas. Many collectibles are produced to commemorate the induction ceremonies. The Tranter Collection encompasses numerous collectibles from these ceremonies –the annual Hall of Fame stein, an autographed football of each Hall of Famer, and an autographed Hall of Fame mini-helmet of each Buffalo inductee. In addition, the Collection includes the Hall of Fame pennants, buttons, pins, shot glasses and plastic coffee mugs.
During 1980 and 1981 the city of Buffalo marketed a theme of “Talking Proud” to enhance the city’s image nationwide. In concert, the Bills played the theme song, “We’re Talking Proud,” at Rich Stadium to inspire community spirit each time the Bills team scored. The Tranter Collection includes several items produced in commemoration of the city’s theme including a pennant, buttons, mugs, hats, book covers and a foam buffalo with the logo “Talking Proud” printed on it.
The Christmas theme is highlighted by several Christmas figurines and Santas produced by the Memory Company and by the Danbury Mint, as well as over 50 Christmas ornaments from as far back as the mid 1960′s. In addition, the Bills produce a Christmas card each year that is sent to season ticket holders. The Collection includes these Christmas cards from almost every year since the mid 1960′s. Unique Christmas collectibles include two different Buffalo Bills nutcrackers.
Stuffed animals are another staple of the Collection including many themed Buffalos — a Cooperstown Bear, a Bills Vermont Teddy Bear, a Billy Buffalo (the Bills game day mascot), and an NFL Huddles Bills Buffalo. The Beanie Babies craze did not overlook the Bills, as at least a dozen different Buffalo Bills Beanie Babies were created.
A staple football collectible is the pennant. The Collection contains every pennant the Bills produced (100+). In addition, special commemorative pennants, like the 1964 and 1965 championship team picture pennants, each of the NFL Eastern Division Championships, the AFC Championships, and their participation in the Super Bowls are included in the Collection.
Each year the Bills publish a media guide. The Collection has an original media guide from every year of the Bills existence including the very hard to find 1960 version. The Bills team also produces annual pocket schedules. The Collection has these schedules from every season, plus several matchbook schedules. The team produces an annual team picture; all pictures are included in the Collection. The NFL produces a team calendar for each season and has for every season since 1979/80, with each being represented in the Collection.
Many food items have been produced with either Bills players or the Bills logo on the packaging. The Collection encompasses an array of cereal boxes with Bills players’ images including:
- Wheaties box representing the Bills three straight AFC Championships 1990-92
- Wheaties boxes highlighting the league’s best players with Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas and Jim Kelly represented with other NFL players on different boxes
- Kelly Krunch with Jim Kelly featured, Coy Wire Shredded Wheat, Steve Tasker Corn Flakes, Andre Reed Shredded Wheat
- Several Flutie Flakes boxes with Doug Flutie. (There are three different versions of the Flutie boxes.)
In addition to the various cereal boxes with images, there is Bryce Paup water, Travis Henry Wheat Thin crackers, Coy Wire Thin Wheat crackers, Drew Bledsoe Crisp’Itz crackers, Pat Williams Ice Cream sandwiches and Flutie Fruities. Also, a Bills logo is on the packaging for several other food items including Crunch It Potato Chips, Salsa, Real Mayonnaise, Edy’s Ice Cream, Diet Coke, Pepsi, Coke, Molson Beer, Coors Lite and Labatt Blue. Other interesting foods represented by the Bills are Gourmet Jelly Beans, “House” Ballard Chocolate Chip Cookies, Kelly Krunch candy bar and Brach’s Buffalo Bills TD peanut chocolate candies.
In 1962 Salada Tea produced a coin set that included eleven Bills players’ images on these attractive coins. In 1965 and 1966 Coke and Tab printed Bills players’ images inside their bottle caps. Each of the two seasons 35 Bills players’ images were featured. In 1977 RC Cola produced a ten can set featuring Bills players’ images on the cans, highlighted by Bob Chandler, Joe Ferguson, and Joe DeLamielleure.
The Bills logo and various players’ images have been featured on a wide variety of cupsand mugs. The Collection contains several hundred cups and mugs, highlighted by the 12 player edition of Volpe cups commemorating the Bills 1965 AFL championship. The Volpe cups are thermal plastic cups with a sketch, by artist Clark Volpe, of each Bills player’s image on the cup. Burger King and McDonald’s sponsored several cups, and the Bills produced many cups that were given out at the stadium when a beer or soda was purchased.
The Buffalo Bills different helmet images have been featured on several items, including children’s helmets, mini-helmets, and helmet lamps. The Collection includes each of these representations of the Bills different helmet styles (standing buffalo white helmet, streaking buffalo white helmet with gray face mask, streaking buffalo white helmet with blue face mask, streaking buffalo red helmet with blue face mask, streaking buffalo red helmet with white face mask and the streaking buffalo red helmet with new helmet stripes).
The NFL manufactured and licensed a wide variety of football figurines. Several Bills Starting Lineup figurines were produced (e.g., Jim Kelly, Cornelius Bennett, Bruce Smith, Chris Spielman, etc.). Additional figurines manufactured include the 1965 Johnny Hero in a Bills uniform; the Shindana O. J. Simpson figurine; the Salvino O.J. Simpson autographed figurines; and the Headliners featuring Bruce Smith and Jim Kelly, a Bend Ems Jim Kelly, and Best Talking football players Bruce Smith and Jim Kelly.
A Buffalo Bills football collection would not be complete without an array of footballs. The Collection includes many facsimile autographed team footballs representing several different Bills teams and many logo footballs including an AFL game used football. The Collection also includes a couple of NFL logo footballs. Some of the NFL footballs are imprinted with Pete Rozelle’s name as commissioner; other NFL footballs are imprinted with Paul Taglibue’s name as commissioner. The Collection boasts a Super Bowl logo football from each of the four Super Bowls in which the Buffalo Bills participated.
The Bills produce annual “highlight films” commemorating each of their seasons. The Collection includes almost all of these highlight films with bonus editions: the 25 year anniversary edition, “Years of Pain, Years of Glory,” and the 35th anniversary edition, “The Greatest Moments in Bills History.”
Jack Kemp was not only a great Bills quarterback but also a very important political figure of the past 30 years. The Collection includes an array of Kemp political memorabilia including posters, buttons, pins, brochures and copies of the two speeches he gave at the 1984 and 1996 Republican National Conventions. The highlight of the Kemp memorabilia includes two pins of Buffalo Bills football helmets worn by the Secret Service when guarding Kemp during the 1996 Presidential election and a mini-football that was thrown into the crowd at the conclusion of the 1996 Convention.
Other Bills collectibles of interest include various stadium seat cushions that fans use to sit on to provide comfort over the hard stadium seats, street banners from each of the four Super Bowls that hung from the light poles throughout the host city, and a 1994 draft day Bills standing buffalo white helmet telephone used by the Buffalo football staff during that year’s draft. Also, the Collection includes several different types of Bills logo tools – a wrench, tape measure, hammer, a level, and a Bills toolbox.
A variety of board games were produced including Electric Action football, Quarterback, O J. Simpson See-Action football, VCR Quarterback, Buffalo Bills checkers, Bills Tic Tac Toe, and several jigsaw puzzles (e.g., a Jim Kelly, Kent Hull puzzle).
Some of the more unique collectibles include a Bills snow blower, Bills champagne bottles commemorating several of their championships of the 1990′s, a helmet grill, a helmet picnic basket, a Jim Kelly cigar, a 1975 Bills Avon bottle, the “All the Way with O.J.” styrofoam hat given away at the September 14, 1969 game versus the N.Y. Jets, and stadium seats from both War Memorial Stadium and Rich Stadium.