Bagology - No second-rate science

The average person collect stamps, beer labels, toys or pictures of well-known people. Some people have taken collecting a step further. These are the bagologists, who collect things other people won't even touch.
Imagine being on a flight from Bremen to Stuttgart. The Boeing 737 has reached its flight altitude. Suddenly there is some turbulence. The passengers turn pale, the feelings in your stomach region are confusing. There is a sudden need to empty your stomach. At such times, you know you have a friend, sitting in the back of the seat in front of you, pressed between the in-flight magazine and the safety procedures: the airsickness bag.
2.6 million of these bags are consumed by Lufthansa passengers every year. The numbers for Swissair are 1.2 million, and Air France 3.4 million.
Rumours say that the airsickness bag was invented after a flight from Moscow to Berlin in stormy weather, sometime in the 1920's. The big breakthrough came in the 1950's, when new technology allowed paper bags to be made without the use of undependable glue.

News from the Bags-scene
These simple bags from trains, buses and airplanes are known as "barfbags" or airsickness bags. The hobby of collecting these bags is now slowly emerging from the shadows of social acceptance. The self-confident bagologist no longer shamefully ask friends to bring bags from their trips, but advertises for bags in travel magazines, calls airlines and asks if they can send some bags, or uses the Internet to find others with the same interest to swap bags with. Bags are sent around the world on hectic swap exchanges, and sometimes people even pay money to extend their collections. Since its founding in the 1960's, the hobby has become more and more widespread.
The collector of today has, like before, a big task. Maybe a couple of people help find bags when they travel to faraway places. Airplanes from new and exciting airlines are efficiently emptied of bags whenever the collector boards one. The collector keeps in touch with like-minded people. For every acquired bag, the list of bags is kept up to date. Trade lists are kept, under the principle "One new bag is worth another new bag". If I sent you 12 different bags, no matter how many bags you send back, there must be 12 different ones. Collectors of other items, like safety cards or other airline items, may also be willing to trade bags against what they collect themselves. Before the end of the century, we should see a world-wide organization for exchange of airsickness bags. The first book dealing with airsickness bags was published in 1998.
The modern collector doesn't use shoeboxes to keep the bags in. The bags are put in transparent folders, and neatly filed in some kind of archive. Doubles of bags come in handy when you want to trade bags with others. Records of the numbers of different bags are carefully kept. The bags are sorted alphabetically, or by the countries and regions of the world.
Keeping an overview of one's collection is done with a computer. Tables with date of acquisition and other data are kept about the bags. As every now and then airlines change their bag designs, there must also be a system for keeping track of this: bags with or without a logo, variations in colours, what material is used (paper, card, plastic, etc), closing mechanisms for the bags, and so on.
While the collector scene has changed a bit in the latest years, the actual bags haven't seen many changes. Plain, white bags are not so often seen any more. The instruction "Please put the bag on the floor and close it after use" is also disappearing. The standard is changing into bags with a plastic coating on the inside. More colours are being used, and the logos are getting bigger and more detailed.