Military memorabilia collectors gather this weekend at Monroeville Convention Center
Military memorabilia collectors, aficionados and fans can have field days this weekend at the Monroeville Convention Center.
Ohio Valley Military Society’s Militaria Antiques Extravaganza is back at the convention center, 209 Mall Blvd., on Friday and Saturday.
More than 250 vendors have several thousand pieces on display and available for purchase. Items include uniforms, knives, swords, bayonets, medals, patches, helmets and pictures.
There are objects from across the globe such as British medals from the 1800s, Russian and Soviet Union medals, battle trophies from a Turkish war in the 1870s and all the way to a portrait of a U.S. fighter pilot from the 459th Fighting Squadron during World War II. Most of the items are from the two world wars.
“It’s a world-class museum, but the stuff’s for sale,” said OVMS board member Jeff Shrader. “The artifact is a conduit to the history.”
One of the more rare medals is from the Battle of Trafalgar, a naval engagement fought by the British Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish navies in 1805. The medal wasn’t issued until 1848 and was earned by Charles McCarthy, a British rope maker and sailor.
Some of the vendors are authors, scholars and industry leaders who will educate visitors on the various items.
“There are people here from all over the world sharing their knowledge and passion of our shared military history,” Shrader said. “There are people here who 75 years ago would have been shooting at one another, but today they’re comrades united by their love of history and dedicated to the idea of preserving these artifacts and the individual servicemen that they represent for future generations.”
Shrader said he expects around 1,500 people to visit over both days.
This is the 35th annual extravaganza and the fourth year presented by the OVMS. It was previously presented by MAX Productions.
Ohio Valley Military Society was founded in 1960. With more than 4,000 members, it’s the nations largest military collectors group.
More information about the show and organization is available at sosovms.com/the-MAX-Show.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.