As he so often does, John Ptak at the Science Book Blog inspired today's post. John brought my attention to a 10-page Minnesota lumber industry publication about tree bands, which were used to identify logs as they floated downriver. He also mentioned telephone pole marking pieces and the found art of telephone pole numbering. This led me to recollect talking with a collector who specialized in collected numbered telephone pole nails.
The ubiquitous telephone pole is the source of a number of collectible sweet nothings, not the least of which are signs, posters, and flyers stapled the poles. A sub-genre of flyers, lost dog posters, inspired a book on the subject: Lost: Lost and Found Pet Posters from Around the World.
I doubt the original inventor of the telephone pole ever imagined this most utilitarian hunk of lumber would produce such a wide range of collectible flotsam.