weird museums

I’ve read a book about these places.
Has anyone ever visited one?
Which one?
Did you like it?

When I was in 8th grade, our science teacher took us to the Medical Museum (also known as the Mütter Museum) in downtown Philadelphia. Swell! Lots of ooky stuff: the Great Wall of Eye Diseases, jarsful of deformed fetuses, bits and pieces of famous people, a cast of Chang and Eng . . . Nightmare fodder for weeks!

The wierdest museum I’ve ever been to was attached to the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy. It’s a beautiful church, lots of statues and frescoes, and on display they have…um, St. Anthony’s tongue. It’s in this very ornate, gold and jewel encrusted glass case and it looks like a piece of gray leather. I wouldn’t say I’m provincial, but speaking as a Presbyterian gal from North Carolina, I found this a little unusual.

In a building near the basilica is a museum featuring things that people of have left for St. Anthony. Nothing in the museum was in English, so you had to cobble the story together for yourself. As far as I could understand, if you prayed for St. Anthony’s intercession and he saved you from something, it was appropriate to draw a picture of the scene and leave at the basilica. So there were all these hand-drawn pictures of people in sickbeds or in fires with St. Anthony hovering in the background. The thing is, instead of being arranged chronologically, they were arranged by disaster. So there was a whole series of people in cart or automobile accidents, followed by a series of people drowning, followed by a series of people falling out of windows, etc.

The whole experience was completely fascinating. I’d definitely recommend it.

I should preface this with I travel, A LOT. That and I love strange things.

I’ve also been to the Mutter Museam and found it facinating. The human nervous system exibit may have been a little gruseome when you think about it, but very informative.

I’ve been to two of the Ripleys “Believe It or Not” museams. The one in Pigeon Forage and the once in Flordia. Both were, diffrent. I guess when your attraction is basically an almagamation of varios oddities it gets that way. They guy who could smoke through his eye was pretty cool as was the Alaskan guy who made false teeth for himself out of sawed down bear teeth. Why do these places always feel the need to show mid-evil torture devices though. Ewww.

Most of the other major museams I’ve been to are mainstream.

Chicago Museam of Science and Industry
St. Louis Science Centre
Oklahoma City Museam of Science
The Smithsonean

Well, here are some off-beat museums I’ve been to:

Museum of Tobacco Art & History, Nashville, TN - some really weird-looking pipes.
Barbed Wire Museum, LaCrosse, KS. Unless you’ve already got an interest in the subject, though, don’t bother.
Veterinary Museum, Jefferson City, MO. Some odd artifacts, but only a room or two.
Crawford W. Long Museum, Jefferson, GA. Home of the doctor who pioneered the use of ether as an anesthetic; probably the only museum with old anesthesia machines. Also contains an old-time doctor’s office.
Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum, Phoenix, AZ. Definitely worthwhile.
Cole Land Transportation Museum, Bangor, ME. Tons of fun.
Patent Model Museum, Fort Smith, AR. Some very odd model contraptions.
Culinary Museum, Providence, RI. Every cooking or eating utensil you could ever imagine, and some you couldn’t
J. M. David Gun Museum, Claremore, OK. Imagine Costco with guns lining the shelves. Then triple it.
Million Dollar Museum, White’s City, NM. Very interesting collection of miscellaneous stuff, right outside of Carlsbad Caverns.
Oscar Getz Whiskey History Museum, Bardstown, KY.
Corvette Museum, Bowling Green, KY.
Idaho Potato Expo, Blackfoot, ID. A must-do if you want to say you’ve toured Idaho.
Shrine to Music Museum, Vermillion, SD. Huge collection of weird and wonderful musical instruments.
Museum of Questionable Medical Devices, Minneapolis, MN. Very cool.
American Advertising Museum, Portland, OR.

Have fun touring!

Dont forget the Pez museum in California!

Some others I fogot to mention.

The Molley-Kathlyne Gold Mine
International Museam of Toy Cars
The Vanderbuid Mansion

Damn, you beat me to this one. However, I just found out that they have closed their location and will be moving into the Minnesota Science Museum in St. Paul. It is a unique muesum. Does the mainstream-ness of it now ruin the atmoshpere?

The Museum of Gold in Lima Peru has an incredible collection of gold Inca artifacts (natch), as well as gold crosses with rubies and emeralds that the Spaniards made with stolen Incan gold. They also have a huge collection of medival weapons and armor.

There’s the Mustard Museum in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin.

I’ve never been there, but my dad took a French exchange student there when she was visiting us 5 summers ago.

I haven’t been to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, but I’ve read all about it, and I recommend you do too. Utterly fascinating.

The Museum of Bad Art in Dedham, MA!!!

And a trip to a place of culture would not be complete without a stop at the gift shop!!!

Can’t believe I forgot to mention the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI. And they actually have a circus on-grounds, too!

Chaim Mattis Keller

The Morse Museum, alas no more, but it was in Warren NH. It was started by Ira Morse, who made a lot of money in shoe making and then travelled the world, playing the tourist and buying whatever he saw.

This large one room building was filled with stuffed animals (and parts including several elephant ears, feet, and hides), iron pyrite (labeled as “gold crystals”) and more shoes that you could shake a stick at. Oh, and a mummy.

Alas it was shut down about 10 years ago and the contents auctioned off, another bit of Americana gone forever.

If I’m not misaken, there is a Spam Museum somewhere.

Chattanooga, Tennessee has a **Dragon Museum **.
It also has…
a **Tow Truck Museum **
the **Congressional Medal of Honor Museum **
**Confederama **–a US Civil War museum, which would be mainstream, except for the cheesy name.

A friend went to the Museum of Granite. ANother went to the Museum of Oil Refinery. They won the award for Most Boring Family Vacations. Both museums are in Canada somewhere…

In the Tokyo-Yokohama area, we have:

The Museum of Salt and Tobacco
The Ramen Musem
The Curry Museum (good restaurant in that one).

I’m also pretty sure Harvard Medical School has a teratology museum.

here in columbus, oh we have cosi (columbus something of science and industry). they have a great collection of cracker jack toys. not exactly a museum, but a public place that charges admission for you to look at things. as a kid, we took ritual field trips to cosi, (oh, how i miss field trips…)and the cracker jack exibit was always my favorite.

The Parasite Museum in Meguro, Tokyo is a fascinating place. Here are some photos. The bottom photo is an 8.8-meter (29 feet) long specimen of a tapeworm, extracted from a human.

I’ve been to the Museum of Torture in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. Très bizarre. But that giant tape worm mentioned above freaks me out more! :eek: