Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The museums you have to see!

In a nod to its proud and rich heritage, Las Vegas is planning on erecting a “museum to the mob” to open by 2010. Exhibits will salute the city’s founding fathers – Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, and Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro. To add to the absurdity of this project, it was the brainchild of the current mayor, Oscar Goodman, a former defense attorney who represented some of these mobsters.

But it got me doing some research. What other bizarre museums are here in America? This list is incomplete but there are certainly enough for you to wanna make your summer vacation plans. So until the Mob Museum opens in Las Vegas, you and your family are welcome to see and enjoy…

The Dr. Pepper Museum
The Triangle Tattoo Museum
The Red Light Museum of Prostitution
The American International Rattlesnake Museum
The International Museum of Toilets
The Exotic World Burlesque Hall of Fame
The Museum of Useful Things
The Lucy-Desi Museum
The Salt Museum
The Museum of Sex
The Bata Shoe Museum
The UFO Museum
The UFO Welcome Center
The Museum of Colorado Prisons
The Texas Prison Museum
The Lunch Box Museum
The Tick Museum
The Cockroach Hall of Fame
The AAF Tank Museum
The Haunted Monster Museum
The Andy Griffith Museum
The Oldest Peanut Museum in the US
The American Cave Museum
The Creationist Taxidermy Museum
The Vacuum Museum
Stark’s Vacuum Cleaner Museum
The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History
The Drive-In Museum
Velveteria (velvet painting museum)
The Mount Horeb Mustard Museum
The Museum of Roller Skating
The Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia
The Museum of Bad Art
The Big Daddy Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing
The Teddy Bear Museum
The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame/Museum
The Trash Museum
The Sewing Machine Museum
The Museum to the Creator of Conan the Barbarian
The Conspiracy Museum
The Museum of Surgical Sciences
The Dukes of Hazzard Mini-Museum
The US Border Patrol Museum
The McDonalds Museum
The Big Mac Museum
The Liberace Museum
The Twister Museum
The Houdini Museum
The Weightlifting Hall of Fame
The Museum of Mourning Art
Schmidt’s Coca-Cola Museum
Venthaven Ventriloquist Dummy Museum
The Lawrence Welk Museum
Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum
The Museum of Hoaxes
The Elevator Museum
The Natural Museum of Funeral History
The Museum of Funeral Customs
The Captain Kazoo Museum
The Troll Museum
The Spy Museum
The Museum of Menstruation in Maryland.

And it’s not a museum but certainly worth an honorable mention…

The Circus Performers Mass Grave in Forest Park, Ill.


maven said...

OMG, Ken, that museum list is unbelievable! Especially the Museum of Menstruation. I had to actually look that one up. Started by a 53-year old bachelor...makes you wonder. LOL

Rob said...

Some facts about the Museums you list.

Actual T-shirt: Go With The Flow at the Menstruation Museum.... No Strings Attached.

I tried to go to the Museum of Hoaxes once. It didn't exist.

The Salt Museum is located on the site of the old Snow Museum.

It's illegal to use the rear entrance in the Museum of Sex.

The vacuum museum truly sucks.

All of the tour guides at the Pez museum have tracheotomies.

Every 45 minutes at the Roller Skating museum you have to walk backwards for the length of one song.

There isn't a single car in the parking lot at the The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame/Museum.

There is no admission charge to the Border Patrol Museum. You just sneak in.

The Janitor at the Weight Lifting Museum is affectionately known as the Cleanin' Jerk.


No one is allowed to face the back of the Elevator Museum.

Jake Hollywood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jake Hollywood said...

And in addition to the Burlingame Museum of Pez, there's also the Easton Museum of Pez Dispensers (Easton, Pa)...

Who knew a candy/dispenser could inspire not one, but two museums?

ravaj said...

i am quite fond of the spam museum in austin minnesota, although the entry page to the website is kind of scary

as was the car park attendant who, upon seeing the virginia plates on my car, could not resist making hammy comments :-)

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, the Bata Shoe Museum is in Toronto. I don't think we've been annexed just yet, but I haven't seen tonight's news.

If you're going to be at the Spam Museum, why not take a side trip to Darwin, MN, home of the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota? (Interesting: "Spam" is the track before "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" on the soundtrack to UHF.)

Tim W. said...

A mass grave of circus performers? You can't simply make a joke about that because it already IS a punchline.

Anonymous said...

Jake, sorry we missed each other last week. Since we only have two more days of walking before we break for the holidays, want to try and meet tomorrow at Radford? I'm there 10 to 1. Ask for Lowell and Babaloo, I'll be with them.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Flour Museum in Minneapolis!
(I've actually been there; a giant box of Bisquick nearly fell on my friend.)

Richard Cooper said...

The Troll Museum? That MUST include most of the anonymous jerks posting in here lately!

Jake Hollywood said...


I'm at the Indie Film rally tomorrow (they be my peeps) from 11 - 2 and then on Monday I'm at Colfax (as usual) on the early 6 - 9 shift.

I'm also at the WGA theater for the Milch thing, which now starts at 2:15

If I'm not feeling too lazy I'll try and stop by before the rally, but I will be at Radford on Monday around noon. I want to talk to Garner Simmons about his work with Sam Peckinpah. Maybe then?

Michael Jones said...

Is the The International Museum of Toilets in Flushing, NY by any chance?
Here's a lovely online Museum for the ambitious among you.

blogward said...

If you do visit the Circus Performers' Mass Grave Museum, be sure to look out for the grave of Stanley Potto, the elephant troupe captain whose harsh training methods led to his tragic demise on one disastrous night at Coney Island. His plot is at rows A13 thru G23.

Rob said...

Best part of the Troll Museum is the giant set of hands that wrap around you and spin you back and forth rapidly until your hair flies out in all directions.

Anonymous said...

And there's going to be a museum of sanitation in NYC!

Anonymous said...

Ooo, do you mean the Spy museum in DC? I've been there and it's actually a lot of fun. I went with some friends expecting to kill an hour or two and we wound up staying for four!

"Easton Museum of Pez Dispensers "

I lived 30 minutes from Easton, PA and never heard of this one, but of course Easton has the Crayola factory.

CM said...

The "Museum of Useful Things" is actually a retail store.

I went to a fantastic museum in Minneapolis several years ago, which has since closed down: the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices. I got a phrenology reading from a machine (I have an exceptional head!) and saw something that resembled a large harmonium that could cure everything from homesickness to cancer.

CM said...

Oh, I have another one for you, though, to replace the Museum of Useful Things: also near my hometown, the Museum of Bad Art. Let me tell you, it lives up to his name.

Anonymous said...

I visited the spy museum once... I kept getting the feeling I was being watched....

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Jello Museum, located in LeRoy, NY.

Nerdie McSweatervest said...

Don't forget the International Vinegar Museum in Roslyn, South Dakota, which is coincidentally the home of famed accordionist Myron Floren. I know, you're wondering -- how can one tiny town be twice-blessed like that?

Howard Hoffman said...

Hand over my heart, I stopped into the Tupperware Museum in Kissimmee, FL, where you could see the giant rainbow made of Tupperware, the entire Tupperware-making process and how Tupperware evolved over the years.

I was going to link to it, but sadly, I just discovered it's no more - along with another one I visited on the same road trip, the Museum of Beverage Containers in Tennessee.

Let's support all these cultural phenoms, folks, or they'll meet the same fate!

Anonymous said...

And the strangest museum... the Millionaire Mutant Juicers Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York if Barry Bonds gets voted in.

Wayne Kline

Yank Azman said...

And while in Toronto, which is a part of (North) America, don't forget the Sugar Museum. And in St. Jacobs, Ontario, the Maple Sugar Museum. Sweet!

Mary Stella said...

Crutnacker, your facts are hysterical.

Ken, you forgot the Antique Vibrator Museum in San Francisco. Guess their publicist doesn't create enough buzz. *g*

Anonymous said...

Used to be a Museum of Beverage Containers outside Nashville. It was cool.


Emily Blake said...

There's a gourd museum in Coats, North Carolina. I used to pass by it every day on my way to work. I never did go in but I kind of wish I had.

LouOCNY said...

the Shoe Museum in Toronto is actually kind of interesting...

There is also The Atomic Testing Museum in Vegas, the Greyhound Bus Museum in Hibbing, Minnesota, and the Transit Museum in New York

Anonymous said...

CM - the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices supposedly has moved to the Science Museum of Minnesota, at least according to the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices website .

I'm hoping the stuff I currently help design and engineer ends up in the museum. Love to take my kids and show it to them so I can hear "You really designed something that was put inside people that intentionally delivered such a large electric shock that they felt like they were kicked by a horse. Were you insane?"

Anonymous said...

There's also another MN museum The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices. The main museum is closed now, but the museum has a wing at the science museum of MN. There's some crazy stuff there for sure.

Anonymous said...

Is "The Oldest Peanut Museum" a museum for the country's oldest peanut, or the oldest museum for peanuts?

Rebecca said...

I would like to recommend The Tuba Museum in Okemos, MI which is also a delightful international restaurant.

Julie O'Hora said...

And the rest of the world claims the US lacks culture...

William C Bonner said...

What about the Liberace Museum that's in Vegas?

Anonymous said...

When I was on vacation in Chattanooga 2 years ago, I nearly caused a wreck pulling over to the side of the road to get a shot of the International Towing Museum.

Is that the definition of ironic?

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised neither you nor the commenters so far have mentioned L.A.'s own Museum of Jurassic Technology. It's entirely made up of strange and wonderful exhibits, many of them fictional.

Anonymous said...

All hail the crutnacker. Haha!

Anonymous said...

These all sound enticing, but I'm saving my money for June, 2009, when the ABBA Museum will open in Stockholm. 70,000 square feet of sequined, bellbottom, polyester jumpsuits and music made from some of the finest European cheese. There will even be a karaoke studio and costumes you can borrow, so you can dress up as your favorite ABBA member and sing your favorite ABBA songs. Be sure to shoot some video so you can show your friends back home how cool you are!

Anonymous said...

this is just like you liberals, talking about museums all day while honest hard working americans are out of a job because of you. what is it with you liberals?

By Ken Levine said...

Usually I just delete idiot comments from anonymous contributors but the one above was just so stupid I had to leave it.

Anonymous said...

Ken, since it's getting toward the end of the day and everybody's had a chance, I hope you will permit me 2 longer than conventionally acceptable posts.

From Dallas Morning News, Dec. 14, 2006 [unaugmented]
JFK Conspiracy Museum Making Way for Sub Shop

DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- Surely an institution that floats the idea of two Lee Harvey Oswalds can blame its closure on a more complex plot than making way for turkey subs. But the head of The Conspiracy Museum tells a rather bland tale about why its gallery of cover-up explanations behind President John F. Kennedy's assassination is temporarily shuttering December 30 after 13 years.

"Basically," says Tom Bowden, the museum's president, "they're putting a Quizno's here."

Hardly the skepticism expected from a man who's made The Conspiracy Museum a tourist landmark since opening in 1993 two blocks from where Kennedy was killed.

Bowden hopes the changes and new location will boost profits at The Conspiracy Museum, which doesn't break even despite getting about 1,000 visitors a month, he said. He's made up the difference by lending his time and research to Kennedy documentaries and other films, like one on the idea of cloning Jesus from the Shroud of Turin.

Anonymous said...


Strange but true:
1. Kennedy had a secretary who took a Subway to Queens. Quizno had a secretary named Jared. Coincidence?
2. Several observers reported seeing a second Quizno’s on the grassy knoll.
3. Several others reported 3“hobos” eating “take-out” in the rail yard.
4. JFK would probably be alive today had Nellie Connolly asked to stop for a sandwich.
5. New Orleans DA Jim Garrison investigated reports that a shadowy figure named Clay Shaw was actually named Cole Slaw.
6. Slaw-Shaw planned to open a Dealey Plaza dining establishment serving Po-Boy sammiches with ham slaughtered from the front AND from the rear with a mail order Manlicher-Carcano rifle.
7. No way of knowing for sure who fired the Manlicher-Carcano found at a nearby Subway, because it had been handled by 37 different
countermen before being handed over for processing.
8. Observing kosher dietary principles, Abraham Zapruder would not eat at Subway, but was willing to photograph others eating there.
9. The Frank Church committee confirms that there definite is a Quizno’s cover up – but it’s only BBQ sauce.
10. Most restaurants serve their sandwiches with only a lone pickle.
11. Although the Warren Report gave Quizno’s only one star. Director Oliver Stone insists it deserved at least 2 and quite possibly 3.
12. Conspirators dining at the new Quiznos are entitled to deduct the meal as a business expense – no questions asked until the public clambers for some.

CASE CLOSED (but sub rosa)

Rob said...

All hail A Buck Short.

Here in Kentucky we have the world's most dubious "museum", the Creation Museum, a heavily attended museum that claims to teach creation "science".

If you want an idea of what those of us in flyover country have to deal with, read these messages written about an editorial slamming the "museum":

Anonymous said...

We have the same Luddites here in Dallas, only they’ve got money. Why I prefer to leave the creation debate to the professionals. Of course that’s only a theory.

But, as I nurse my Makers Mark, now that you’ve revealed you’re whereabouts, I know you will want to add to your museum facts that the Nectar of the Gods Museum (aka Dr. Pepper) is only open for tours at 10, 2, and 4.

And, finally, one would be remiss not to call attention to an unexplainable omission of the 10,000 sf “Stoogeum” (3 Stooges Museum) in Spring House, PA. The doorbell rings “Hello! Hello! Hello!”

As the last living ingenue (and quite possibly last living anybody) from a half dozen of their oeuvre, my cousin Diana was flown in from LA and worshipped as a goddess for the building dedication in 2004.

Shouldn't we give Mr. Levine his blog back now?

Anonymous said...

The Museum of Bad Art is disappointing. The art's not atrociously bad, not hilariously bad, just obviously bad.

Probably the fault of those damn liberals.

Derryl Murphy said...

Odd to think that looking at this list makes me think the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia might be somewhat mainstream. But by all means, the medical oddities and freaks make for an incredibly disturbing visit.

Crutnacker, your link to the Creation Museum comments didn't work. But for those interested, author John Scalzi recently paid a visit:

Well worth a visit.


Derryl Murphy said...

Oops. The link is well worth the visit, not the museum. Good job proofreading...


David J. Loehr said...

There's also the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum in LaCrosse, KS, whose brochures taunt you with the subtle differences between Leonardo's One Awhile and Leonardo's One Awhile, Two Awhile, but of course, you need to visit the museum to learn the

Rob said...

Here's the link to comments on creation.

You're drinking Maker's Mark in Texas. I'm drinking Diet Dr. Pepper in Kentucky. Who says we can't get along.

Maker's is my favorite Bourbon. I keep saying I'll go tour their facilities, but I hate having my head dipped in wax.

Anonymous said...

I tried to visit a place called "The Museum of Tomorrow" once... The road signs kept telling me that it was only another day's drive further ahead....

Mary Stella said...

Urban legend/Rumor says that John Derringer's, um, appendage, is/was rather large and is somewhere at the Smithsonian. I'm unable to verify this fact. My friends and I couldn't find it on our search mission several years ago, although I was tempted to ask a docent. While strolling the Smithsonian buildings, don't expect to find exhibits of three-headed calves or people with six-feet-long fingernails at the Ripley Museum. It isn't that kind of Ripley's, believe it or not. *g*

MrTact said...

A fun overview of the Creation Museum:

Rob said...

I've heard that about John Derringer's appendage as well.

Luckily, if you want to see a musuem devoted to a big dick, all you'll have to do is wait a couple of years for the establishment of the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

You gotta wonder what they'll do with the rest of the space once they fill the shelf.

Anonymous said...

It's John Dillinger, not Derringer. Maybe that will help your search. :)

Rob said...

You're absolutely right. A Derringer is a SMALL gun.

Guess I was listening to Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo as I was writing.

You forgot about the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat museum here in Louisville, Ken. It has the world's largest bat. (See, there's a theme here.)

Anonymous said...

If they don't have an exhibit on Moe Greene or Hyman Roth, then I'm not going. Greene made that town.
So said still-missing alleged mobster Alfredo Corleone, who went out fishing on Lake Tahoe one afternoon and has never been seen since.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the world's largest bat, and since John Dillinger is on this list ... how about Milton Berle?
PS though the world's largest bat was the "bat" smokestack outside Yankee Stadium!

Anonymous said...

You should see the devil museum, really nice. Of course, not as nice as sex museum...

scott davidson said...

As an artist myself, I enjoy reading Philip Koch's sensitive writing about Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth, who along with Whistler and Rothko, are my favorite American painters.
I don't live in the United States but have traveled and passed a short time there. But even with the little time spent in your beautiful country, especially in small-town America, I can relate to some of the poetical feel that Hopper and Wyeth had captured in their art, which is for me part of the attraction of their paintings.
Browsing at the other day, as I do now and then, I find a good selection of Edward Hopper's work, ,in the big archive of Western Art, that customers can order online for canvas prints and even hand-painted, oil-painting reproductions can be made and sent to them.
Hopper's surrealistic and depersonalized world is there again. Timeless, yes, as it is still there now in the roadside cafes and diners that I ate at all over America.