Talk:Collyer brothers

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Former featured article candidate Collyer brothers is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
November 27, 2005 Featured article candidate Not promoted


New York has long teemed with pack rats who can't pass a garbage bin without lifting the lid. A few became legends.

In the 1940's, a woman named Theresa Fox was found dead in the kitchen of her three-room hovel -- somewhere in Queens, according to one newspaper account -- with $1,300 stashed in the ratty stockings she wore. Ms. Fox, who was said to have owned property in Brooklyn valued at $100,000, had 100 one-pound bags of coffee in her cupboard, and 500 cans of evaporated milk stuffed in her mattress. The drawers of her bedroom bureau brimmed with sugar, and dozens of loaves of bread were stacked against the walls in a fieldstone pattern.

During the 50's, a shabby, plucked sparrow of a man named Charles Huffman was found dead in a Brooklyn street with no money in his pockets; the police said his $7-a-week room was piled with bank books and more than $500,000 in stock certificates.

And in the 60's a realtor named George Aichele, who lived at 61 East 86th Street in Yorkville, was found dead in a dim catacomb of trash and cash. Amid the stacks of old newspapers, heaps of used razor blades, drifts of pipes and birdcages and zithers was a paper bag containing a single penny and a note explaining that it had been found in front of the house in December 1957.

See Also[edit]

What does Hetty Green have to do with this article? She was a miser, but not a hoarder. Perhaps the link should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:14, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Done. Clarityfiend (talk) 03:27, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Corbis image must be removed or paid for[edit]

Unfortunately, the image "Collyer5.jpg" (depicting a room in the Collyer apartment) is a Corbis image and needs to be removed or paid for. ask123 (talk) 13:17, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

House site is now a park??[edit]

The article states the house's site is now a park. If you type the address into Google Earth, there's a vacant lot at northeast corner of the intersection, but in Street View it shows a building being built there. Is this where the park was??? -- (talk) 08:37, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Here's the park in Google Street View. [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:22, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

OCD, disposophobia, Collyer brothers syndrome[edit]

I removed the lead to the second paragraph claiming many have cited the brothers as examples of the above three conditions/syndromes. Obsessive-compulsive disorder I'd be happy to see put back with citations, but I couldn't make it work with this edit. I'll try to get something together, but invite other editors to give it a go in the meantime. As for disposophobia, the term is a neologism coined by a single person, Ron Alford, and used as the title of a book he wrote, or was planning to write in 2004, according to a New Yorker article (I can't find the book in Worldcat). The term does not appear in any of the journals in the Gale or Ebsco databases I searched, except for the New Yorker article. Similarly, "Collyer brothers syndrome" does not appear in the databases, and comes up in only one journal in google scholar: the October 2007 issue of the Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce, where the author apparently claims "many psychiatrists use the term..." (article is behind a paywall, but the quote appears in the search results, so there's no context.

As I said, with proper citations, I believe the OCD claim can probably be reinstated, but the other two should not appear in the article, in my opinion. I'm also going to attempt to flag disposophobia on the Redirects for discussion page, for what that's worth. Some jerk on the Internet (talk) 13:45, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Income tax?[edit]

The last two sentences of the "Recluses" section: "Since the Collyer brothers never paid any of their bills, the property was repossessed by the City of New York in 1943 to pay back all of the income taxes that the Collyers owed to the City. Langley protested the repossession of their property, saying that since they had no income, they should not have to pay income taxes."

Will someone explain this? No source is cited. If they truly had no income, they could not have been assessed any income tax. If they did owe income tax, they must have had taxes. Which statement is wrong? Was Langley wrong to say they had no income? Is the article wrong to say that the unpaid tax was income tax? What's the real story here?

President Lethe (talk) 20:40, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree that these sentences are nonsense. They presumably had assets in the bank, and interest income was taxable at the time. However, New York City instituted its local city income tax only in 1966, so the only reason to repossess the house would be for nonpayment of real estate taxes. In addition, a suit in small claims court by the utility companies for outstanding bills would've put a lien on the house - possibly providing additional encouragement to the city to intervene.

Rskurat (talk) 23:44, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

it was filmed in an episode of Streets of San Francisco[edit]

The episode's name is "The House on Hyde Street". And they even recreated the exact same look of the house interior like is shown in the article. Check IMDB (talk) 18:57, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Family History[edit]

Despite the assertions of Langley Collyer & the lazy, non-fact-checking Pittsburgh Press reporter, the Speedwell never made it to Massachusetts; it turned back twice on the way due to a recurrent leak and finally was abandoned by the Pilgrims, returning to England for good. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rskurat (talkcontribs) 23:23, 1 August 2015 (UTC)