Anniston's James Bond
by Dan Whisenhunt
Staff Writer
Aug 10, 2008 | 4474 views |  0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Farley Berman in Africa. Photo: Image Courtesy Anniston Museum of Natural History
Farley Berman in Africa. Photo: Image Courtesy Anniston Museum of Natural History
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When Farley Berman died at age 88 in 1999, he left a legacy that continues to draw people to Anniston.

Berman, whose avid weapon and artifact-collecting led to the establishment of the Berman Museum of World History, was described as a globe-trotting James Bond-figure.

A member of the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps during World War II, Berman was cagey about the source of some of his finds.

Among his collection were belt buckles that fired bullets, exploding cigarette lighters, Jefferson Davis's traveling pistols, a jeweled dagger that belonged to the Egyptian King Faurok, Adolf Hitler's tea set and a scimitar of Abbas the Great of Persia.

When people asked about these artifacts Berman would respond, "I don't know. It just showed up in my bedroom this morning."

After Berman left the Army he returned to Anniston to run the family business, Berman's Department Store. He was also known for his ties to the military community when Fort McClellan was still active and was longtime co-chairman of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce's military affairs council.

Berman's collection was so large when the museum opened in 1996, it could only display a small fraction of it.
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Anniston's James Bond by Dan Whisenhunt
Staff Writer

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