Another one of those days today and again postcards say it best.
Here’s a postcard of some torture devices almost as bad as the ones I’m enduring at my university.
This postcard was sent to me many years ago when I was living in West Germany (back when West Germany was still a country, that’s how long ago it was). Sadly, I never got a chance to visit the museum the postcard is from, the Kriminalmuseum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.
Here is the back:
“Glen, I thought you’d get a kick out of this postcard! It is from a really [unknown] museum with lots of nifty torture devices, chastity belts, etc. See you on the 17th eh? And don’t forget to WRITE!!! Notice the Iron Maiden? Well. Say hello to X for me!! Bye bye Babs Bye Bye!”
I love odd, tiny, or otherwise off-beat museums – and I love postcards from odd museums even more. Here’s a recent arrival (the fifth of the new year) from a Las Vegas museum that I’d never heard of before:
The Mob Museum opened in 2012 (long after my visit to Vegas). The reviews on Yelp are mixed, but it appears the postcard donar enjoyed it:
“The Mob Museum is an interactive Museum dedicated to the history of organized crime and law enforcement. The Museum offers multiple perspectives and provides a contemporary, engaging, challenging, and educational experience.”
“Very cool interactive museum in a great building downtown.”
I’m curious if any other country in the world has a museum devoted to crime? Certainly, crime is a big part of probably ever country’s history. It just seems like such a quintessential thing to memorialize criminals – according to some of the reviews the museum evens glorifies them. Certainly, Hollywood has done a great job in presenting outlaws and gangsters as heroes. (Bonnie and Clyde is one of my top 20 favourite films of all time – but it really glosses over how many innocent people they killed.)
I’d love to visit this museum and check it out for myself.
Here’s the third, and final, recent acquisition from the collection’s newest donor. Her travels added some spectacular items to the collection, including this one:
Minnesota is one of the few U.S. states I haven’t been to (and judging by the scare postcards I have from there, neither have many other people I know). But now that I know there is a Spam Museum (and the Jolly Green Giant), I’m dying to go there. The Spam Museum, also known as Guggenham, Porkopolis or M.O.M.A. (Museum Of Meat-Themed Awesomeness), is in Austin.
Here’s the flip side:
“In 1942, a U.S. military base was nicknamed “Spamville.” It’s location was a secret.”
Amazing but true!
“You won’t believe it! Or maybe you will. Spam Museum. Austin, MN.”
You simply must have this one in your collection. We ate spam on pretzels and wore metal gloves.”
Although, I have been vegetarian for twenty years now, Spam is one of the few meats I have cravings for and it’s the only one I would cheat and eat (I’m not joking, I love it!). I almost bought the Spam-flavoured macadamia nuts when we were in Hawaii, and now regret that I didn’t. Part of my love for Spam derives from memories of my European backpacking days (before I was a vegetarian) when I would survive for days on end with just French bread and Spam (which I would alternate with Nutella).
So this postcard is definitely a treasured addition to the collection!
A friend, and new donor, just got back from my dream vacation. She and her family went to many of my A-list destinations and some I’d never heard of before. Like this one:
Gopher on the left: “This one is needed for the museum”
Gopher on the right: “Save the endangered species!!”
Placard: “G.A.G.S. Gophers Against Getting Stuffed”
I saw stuffed mice dioramas scenes in the movie “Dinner for Schmucks”, but had no idea there was actually a stuffed rodent museum – in my own country even! And I never heard of it!
This postcard from the Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington, Alberta is a post-modern – satirizing the controversy over the museum. It’s also a fine addition to my offbeat museums collection.
The flip side of the postcard extols the museums unique appeal:
The museum, although smaller than a classroom portable, is everything you might wish for and more. You can even wear a giant gopher head. Kitschy heaven.”
Here’s another specimen from my collection of offbeat museums of the world. This one from Merry Olde England, where pencils were invented.
To learn more about the Pencil Museum, read the reverse side of the postcard:
We are in York right now and loving all the historic stuff about this city. For two nights we were in Keswick in the Lake District which is very beautiful and has stunning scenery. While in Keswick we visited the Pencil Museum and I thought you should add this to your list of quirky but interesting museums. Most fun fact – During World War II at the Keswick Pencil Factory (which still operates!) hollow pencils were made to hide espionage maps in thin paper. We are heading to Edinburgh on Saturday for a week in Scotland.”
I love the wartime intrigue involving pencils. Where else would you learn their role in espionage except by visiting such museums? Although, it is sad to note that the postcard was written in ink (as almost all of them are nowadays) so I hope there still is a future for pencils and pencil museums!
Yesterday, I mentioned here that one of my favourite museums is the Jell-O Gallery in Le Roy, New York. The museum is a lot of fun (even if there are no free samples). Here is a postcard I sent myself from the museum.
I had no idea that Jell-O was “The Dainty Dessert” as a child I had a fondness for slurping it up and wiggling around in my mouth. Then there was an incident where I witnessed a senior grabbing mounds of orange Jell-O with his hands from an all-you-can eat buffet and wolfing it down on the spot. So dainty isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But if you go to the museum you can get your picture taken as the Jell-O Girl!
Here’s the reverse side:
“1906 Recipe Booklety introduced in 1904 the Jell-O Girl was a popular advertising image.
LeRoy, New York Birthplace of Jell-O”
“Our New York state trip is winding down. But oh what a trip! From the multicoloured splendours of the world’s largest kaleidoscope in Catskill Corners on our first day to the jiggling wonders of the Jell-O Museum in LeRoy on our last day – it has been a truly incredible. ”
I forgot about the world’s largest kaleidoscope – it was almost as much fun as the Jell-O museum. But Jell-O always has a special place in my heart, even if I can’t get it to ever come out of my molds (a brain one, being my favourite).
Update: Notice the postalmark / cachet over the stamp. It’s Shrek and Donkey – I didn’t know the U.S. Postal Service did such cutesy marks.
Today is Liberace‘s birthday. The famous flamboyant pianist (and subject of the recent movie Behind The Candelabra with Michael Douglas & Matt Damon) would have been 94. I wasn’t a fan per se, but I always wanted to go to his museum.
I love odd and obscure museums! My favourites I’ve been to are: Seoul’s kimchi, Amtsterdam’s sex, Prince Edward Island’s potato, Havana’s rum, Phuket’s sea shells, Toronto’s shoes, New York state’s Jell-O, Hong Kong’s tea, and of course Prague’s postcard museum. During my recent trip to Niagara Falls I discovered an Evil Knievel museum but didn’t have time to go 😦
Sadly, I may never be able to add the Liberace Museum to the list. By the time I made it to Las Vegas, the museum had closed for good. Someone who was lucky enough to visit it sent me this postcard:
See how unique the museum was? You just can’t see stuff like a mirrored limo anywhere else. Here’s the reverse side of the postcard:
“The Liberace Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada. Rolls Royce: 1962 Custom designed Rolls Royce Phantom V Landau Limousine driven 68,000 miles before adding tiny mosaic tiles with designs of galloping horses. It was never driven on the streets again only on stage.”
“Hi Glen, I thought you would get a laugh out of us going to the Liberace Museum.”
So my only consolation is this postcard and a pair of Liberace socks.