Ripley’s Believe It or Not! boasts over 30,000 exhibits, and the man responsible for every single one of them for the last 33 years was our Vice President of Exhibits and Archives, Edward Meyer. Now, after a grand total of 40 years working for the company, Edward has decided it’s time to take a bow and enjoy his retirement. Let’s learn about some of the cool stuff and strange things Edward has gotten up to over the past four decades.
To start, Edward was hired to manage the Ripley library, which contained the many cartoons Robert Ripley had penned since 1918. To this day, the Ripley’s cartoon is still going. As the company expanded, Edward’s role quickly expanded, and he became a professional shopper for the company. Originally, Ripley’s Odditoriums were few in number and mostly contained objects collected by Robert Ripley himself before he died. Edward changed all that. He set a goal to purchase an exhibit a day and would bring in well over 500 artifacts a year.
Edward quickly became an authority on all things strange, traveling the world seeking out the bizarre. Despite being on a constant hunt for weird stuff, the truly oddest things always seemed to find him. A paperweight made of acrylic with hundreds of human nails—a gift—sat on his desk, and he received the strangest mail in the country. He regards his most important purchase not to be the most expensive dress in the world—which he bought last year—but 16 pieces of the Berlin Wall. He had traveled to Germany as it fell, intent on taking a suitcase full of rubble home, but immediately realized that wasn’t enough for Ripley’s.
With a 40-year tenure with the company, Edward has been at Ripley’s longer than Robert Ripley himself and has bought thousands more exhibits than our founder. He may be leaving us, but his impact will never be forgotten.