For 57-year-old Harry Sperl of Daytona Beach, Florida, burgers are not only a tasty fast-food treat, but also representations of American popular culture that deserve a shrine. “They taste good, they look good and the hamburger is an icon of the United States of America”, explains Sperl. This is the reason why for the last 23 years, this burger enthusiast has been adding hundreds of items to the “Burgerbilia”, the world’s first (and, so far, only) burger museum, located in Sperl’s own home.
Sperl has been using burger memorabilia to decorate his house: he has a hamburger phone, a cheeseburger lamp and even a custom-made hamburger bed with little hamburger pillows. He also has custom carpets with hamburger designs, hamburger-shaped music boxes, erasers, clocks, trays and lots of magnets. Sperl’s passion began when he purchased some hamburger items from a toy store. From that moment on, not only did he start collecting items for the Burgerbilia from flea markets and garage sales, but he also designed his pride and joy – the Hamburger Harley, a unique hamburger-shaped tricycle, with onion wheels and pickle handles. He originally thought of using a Volkswagen Beetle, but he decided he didn’t like the sound of the air cooled flat 4 engines. Sperl then considered a hamburger dragster or a cheap go-cart, but in the end his love for Harley Davidson got the best of him.
Despite being German by birth, Sperl loves everything about living in the US. “I love the weather, the sunshine, the beach, the ocean, the American lifestyle, the American way of life”, and, I may add, he sure loves the food. Although he admits having some cholesterol problems, he still appreciates “good hamburgers”; as for the future, he plans to expand his home Burgerbilia by opening a hamburger-shaped museum, so that people can properly admire his unique collection.