OGDEN -- Carrying a rifle and clad in an authentic uniform, Gus Bryngelson looked every inch the Russian soldier Saturday as he guarded his display of World War I memorabilia at the Utah Gun Collectors Association's Antique and Modern Gun Show at the Golden Spike Arena.
The show attracted hundreds of spectators and dozens of exhibitors who sold and traded antique guns, swords, ammunition, and Old West and American Indian items, coins, artwork and relics.
Several exhibitors, like Bryngelson, a Rupert, Idaho, farmer who collects only WWI memorabilia, brought items to the show solely to display.
Dozens of spectators stopped by his booth to look at the carefully arranged array of German army uniforms, helmets, guns, supplies and journals.
"It's fantastic," Glade Roos, of Logan, said of the display. "There is a lot of history right here."
Bryngelson became fascinated with WWI in 1960 when his grandmother gave him a certificate indicating that his grandfather Robert S. Adams, who had served in the Army, had been shot in the chin during a battle in France.
Bryngelson said that, in 1968, when he was 14, his mother gave him a German military helmet from World War I.
Eventually, he branched out, adding helmets and uniforms worn by soldiers from Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Britain and the U.S.
He has also collected military pistols and rifles and other rare items, such as a German soldier's written firsthand account of a battle in Poland.
Bryngelson, who declined to reveal the value of his extensive collection, said he acquired the items from collectors and online by scouring eBay.
He enjoys sharing the history of his collection and has displayed items at a military museum at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City.
Gil Biggerstaff, of Twin Falls, Idaho, said he was impressed with Bryngelson's items. "His display is the best of the best."
The show that concludes today is one of three held each year by the Utah Gun Collectors Association at the Golden Spike Arena.
Bill Hockett, president of the association, said the aim of the family-friendly event is to allow individuals to sell their wares and to educate the public about antique guns and collectibles.