September 18, 2006

32 Weirdly Specific Museums

Taking as a starting point my short list in Museums of Interesting Things at Interesting Thing of the Day, I set out to discover other small museums that specialize in just one specific (and typically rather odd) subject matter. I thought I’d find a few more; it turns out there are dozens. Here’s a mere sampling from around the world; for other lists, see Weird museums and America’s Weird Museums. And by the way, these are all brick-and-mortar museums; there are many more that exist only on the Web.

61 Responses to “32 Weirdly Specific Museums”

  1. nam co said:

    There’s a National Museum of Funeral History in Texas that is open seven days a week with $6 admission for adults (281-876-3063). Pretty weird stuff, but a “real museum” to be sure.

  2. G said:

    are people dying to get in?

  3. T said:

    Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum is not a museum, it’s a video arcade. I live nearby in a nearby city in Michigan.

  4. M said:

    There is a mustard museum in Mt.Horeb, Wisconsin. http://www.mustardweb.com

  5. Chad Smith said:

    In my hometown there is the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, which includes a wall (similiar to the Vietnam War Memorial) which lists all the men and women who died “in the line of duty” as wreckers.

    http://www.internationaltowingmuseum.org

  6. Sean said:

    The Kholer toilet company runs a museum in Kholer, Wi. I’ve been there- and I think I accidently went to the bathroom in a for-show installation.

  7. Steve said:

    ROLLERSKATING MUSEUM LINCOLN, NEBRASKA

  8. muckster said:

    Don’t miss the Museum of Holography in Chicago, it’s craptacular:

    holographiccenter.com

    “A teaching and research facility specifically dedicated to displaying, promoting, and encouraging the advancement of holography.”

  9. Zanthany said:

    Glore Psychiatric Museum, St. Joseph, Missouri.

    Not exactly a weird subject, but the exhibits within showcase some of the most freaky patient and doctor behavior from the last 100+ years of mental health.

    for a small taste: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/MOSTJglor.html

  10. DTam said:

    I was so surprised to see Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum on this list! That place is such a treasure in Michigan; a good part of my childhood was spent there playing the arcade games and looking at all of the quirky things they had there.

    Thanks for honoring that truly deserving museum

  11. Leigh Klotz said:

    http://www.tesla-museum.org in Colorado Springs. I went, and all of the perpetual motion machine prototypes had signs on them that said “out of order.”

  12. Bitslicer said:

    Let’s not forget the Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in St. Louis, MO

    http://www.bowlingmuseum.com

  13. Jevin Ramjattan said:

    museum of sex – manhattan, new york – http://www.museumofsex.com

  14. Joe Kissell said:

    Nam co, M, Chad, Steve, Leigh, Bitslicer, and Jevin: Thanks for your excellent additions to the list!

    T and DTam: I’ll let the two of you fight it out as to whether Marvin’s is really a museum. I haven’t been there, but since the name includes the word “museum,” I figured it counted.

    Zanthany: Yep, the Glore Psychiatric Museum is on my list (#19).

    Keep those wacky museum suggestions coming!

  15. Jessica said:

    Museum of Ham – Madrid (It was really as shop, but it is called the Museum of Ham and it is wall to wall, floor to ceiling – ham.)

  16. Kash said:

    There’s a rosery museum in the Columbia Gorge in Washington, which I’ve driven by a couple of times. It is so big, it’s even been featured in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, but I don’t think the rosery museum has its own home page—seems to be part of the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum. http://www.columbiagorge.org/exhibits http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1116644

  17. Alonline » Weird museums - why? said:

    […] Here’s a list of 32 weird museums. The big question is why these museums are necessary. Do we really need 3 museums dedicated to bricks? Or a museum of rice? And how about a museum of bananas? These are all real museums you can go and visit, and this list doesn’t include any of the Internet museums that also exist to document completely pointless things. You could plan your next holiday around visiting some of these museums, if you don’t have a life. […]

  18. Sid said:

    There’s the hammer museum in Haines Alaska, the curator is very interesting also. Do you know the difference in a hammer and a mallet. Now I do.

  19. lain said:

    You’re missing the Icelandic Phallological Museum (aka penis museum)!

    http://www.phallus.is

  20. Homer Simpson said:

    There is a bead museum in Washington DC: http://www.beadmuseumdc.org

  21. Del said:

    There is a really ‘craptastic’ museum in london that deals with the most random shit ever made.

    http://www.tate.org.uk/modern

  22. Ivan Minic said:

    Wouldn’t imagine most of these existed :)

  23. Spyder said:

    There is a penis museum in Iceland called The Icelandic Phallological Museum

  24. its about time» Blog Archive » Shouldn’t a great museum… said:

    […] 32 Weirdly Specific Museums […]

  25. Jocelyn said:

    San Jose, California has a Quilt museum.

    I’ve been to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum and the Iga-Ueno Ninja Museum. Here in Ehime prefecture, There’s Asakura Towel Museum in Imabari, as well as a paper museum in Mishima and a sex shrine/museum in Uwajima (www1.quolia.com/dekoboko).

  26. Steve said:

    In Sparta, Greece, there is a Museum of the Olive, and in high Wycombe, England, a Chair Museum.

  27. Adam said:

    Don’t forget the Antique Washing Machine Museum in Mineral Wells, Texas. Drove by it many times before actually stopping in–it was certainly worth the 20 minutes.

  28. Heather said:

    Be sure to check out the Mike Weaver Drain Tile Museum outside of Geneva, NY!

    http://www.genevahistoricalsociety.com/Johnston.htm

  29. Frank said:

    When in Atlanta, don’t miss the Museum of Patriotism…

    http://www.museumofpatriotism.org

  30. Jeannette said:

    Mushroom Museum Phillips Mushroom Place 909 East Baltimore Pike Kennett Square, PA 19348-1896 (610) 388 6082

  31. Nathan-Andrew said:

    There’s also the Eichenau Peppermint Museum in Germany.

    Besides having recipes, and other assorted mint facts on their website, they offer free e-cards. A good way to blow someone’s mind!

  32. Doug said:

    A museum all about paperweights! http://www.paperweightmuseum.com/about-the-museum/museum-history.html

  33. I Am Joe’s Blog » Blog Archive » Revolution Number Nine said:

    […] A couple of days ago, we saw a huge spike in the number of visitors to SenseList, thanks to a mention on digg. That was pretty cool, especially since SenseList hadn’t yet attracted a great deal of attention since we launched the site in July. But today, we saw an even bigger surge of interest, this time due to a mention in Yahoo TV’s daily The 9 (we were #5). In both cases, the post that attracted so much attention was 32 Weirdly Specific Museums. Which is funny, because that was, for me, one of those off-the-cuff, phone-it-in kinds of posts, based on an article I wrote for Interesting Thing of the Day way back when: Museums of Interesting Things. […]

  34. Trish said:

    Banknotes.com has a World Currency Museum/Gallery

  35. Trish said:

    And Canada has an actual physical museum where they invite you to: “explore the evolution of money around the world and through the ages at the Bank of Canada’s Currency Museum. A fascinating variety of media of exchange including shells, teeth, and cocoa beans, as well as today’s currency, tells us about the societies where they originated.”

  36. James said:

    Don’t forget the Hair Museum

  37. Joe Kissell said:

    These are all outstanding additions to the list—thanks everyone! (And a special nod to Del; I’ve been to the Tate Modern and I agree with your assessment. Sorry, modern art fans!)

    A couple more suggestions that came in by email:

  38. enq said:

    Congratulations, you made it in the top list of lists. Please take a look here: http://uberlogging.blogspot.com/2006/10/top-list-of-top-lists.html

  39. jan klink said:

    Museum of stained glass art and enamelling art in Ravenstein, the Netherlands ( museum voor vlakglas- en emaillekunst ) http://www.vlakglas-en-emaillekunst.nl

  40. Sarah said:

    The Spam museum in Austin, MN.

  41. Kanenas said:

    Is the Mütter Museum weirdly specific or just weird?

    Or perhaps it’s just too much awesome.

    Las Vegas is also great for odd museums, such as the Liberace Museum. After all, where else are you going to get a sequined potholder?

  42. nigel avery said:

    The Pencil Museum – never take the thing fo granted again – Lake District England

  43. Briamah said:

    Museum of Bad Art

    http://www.museumofbadart.org/

  44. Brewster said:

    Great list!

    The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices has a new web address:

    http://www.museumofquackery.com

    Thought you might want to update your link!!

  45. Sultan said:

    there is a parasite museum in Tokyo. They have the worlds longest tape worm. Pretty gross.

  46. alfred said:

    may i add the museum of butter in maslovice czech republic – if you are nearby well worth a visit, bring your own bread!

  47. 32 Weirdly Specific Museums « Tincans2’s Weblog said:

    […] read more | digg story No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> […]

  48. joe said:

    i’ve been driving by this place in Connecticut for years and maybe one day will stop. The Golden Age of Trucking Museum. has anyone been there?

    http://www.goldenagetruckmuseum.com/about.shtml

  49. 32 museos a cada cual más raro said:

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  50. Elizabeth said:

    Two more additions from Bradford Pennsylvania – the Zippo lighter museum (some great war stories with returned zippos) and the Buck pen knife museum. Both associated with factories.

  51. 32 Weirdly Specific Museums « Modern Furniture said:

    […] read more | digg story Posted in Uncategorized. […]

  52. Lori Polka said:

    The BarbWire Museum is awesome. The building was once a bra factory. Not only do you learn about the of history of barbwire and ranching in Texas, but the evolution of the bra.

  53. Al said:

    let’s not forget the Crayola Museum in Easton, PA (US)

  54. Colonel Moutarde said:

    The “Hand Museum” in Lausanne, Switzerland

    Most of the time medical oriented exhibitions, but boring all the time !

  55. Deirdre said:

    St. Petersburg, Russia has a “Hygeine Museum” designed to scare schoolchildren into washing their hands. Exhibits include Pavlov’s real dog, a smoker’s lung, and lifesize models depicting victims of various diseases (plague, cholera, etc.)

  56. Stu said:

    Two weirdly specific museums in one: a) Zane Grey Museum (author, notable for westerns) b) National Road Museum Each worth the price of admission. http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/places/se07/index.shtml

    Also I’ve been to the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum in Orchard Park, NY. Too bad it’s closing its doors. http://www.pedalinghistory.com/

  57. download free movies said:

    LMAO!! I was laughing on the first 5 or so entries.. LOL do these actually exist? That’s really weird! This post just made my day :)

  58. Nursery Admission said:

    WOW nice collections of museums.

  59. Indian Discussions forum said:

    This is wonderful collection of museums and some are really strange

  60. maizuru said:

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  61. Ben Johnson said:

    I would like to see the toilet museum :D It has to be pretty interesting.